This week I had a huge head of beautiful purple cabbage from the organic buying club, and I prepared it in two different ways. I made them both up, and they were both really yummy, so I thought I would share. Recipes at the end of the post.
But first, I have to say that I am going through some kind of transition -- I think it is brought about by C starting preschool, me shifting back into getting in shape, N sleeping well, etc. She is in the phase of infancy that I like the best -- still little, round and squishy, but interactive!
But I digress.
I thought I would not cry about C starting preschool, and I am still not sad about it, but I started crying today thinking about it, mostly out of wondering if I did well enough in his first three years, did I give him a good enough start? It sounds silly to write it down like that, because it's not like I'm cutting him off and kicking him out of the house -- he is just going to spend 9 hours a week down the street playing with his friends and learning to share -- but still. It also made me realize how much time I spend with him. In an average week now, I am away from him (i.e., not in the same building) maybe 3 or 4 hours total, and some week it's 0 hours. So going up to 9 hours every single week will be different. I have no idea what it will be like.
On the other hand, I am looking forward to it. I think it's great that Norah and I will have some time together, and I also suspect that I might do a better job of cherishing and enjoying the time I do have with C if it is somehow limited. Don't we always take for granted what we have? Right now -- since N was born, really -- the daily balance is very precarious. I have to let something fall every day, some juggling ball has to hit the ground, and usually more than one. The mental list goes something like this:
I can keep maybe 3 of those consistently in the air, and sometimes a 4th if I am on top of things. But every day I end up having to drop a few of them, and it's hard to decide. But if I don't decide, and try to do them all, then they *all* fall. So I have to sort of shift around which ones I let go on which days, so that they all get some airtime, if that makes sense.
Today Mom, Housekeeper, and Teacher did pretty well, but Editor dropped a deadline and Wife made a dinner that B doesn't really like much, because it was easier than defrosting meat and cooking a different thing. Self had a big day yesterday (went out to a bar to meet my school friend for her birthday) so even though she didn't get to do much today, she still feels fine (and hey, she's blogging right now, so there you go). Mom lost her temper a few times, but she ended well with peaceful happy bedtime stories, so she gets an A for effort.
So that's the merry-go-round of my day. With C learning social things in school for part of the week, I might be able to get some things done without having to compete or choose quite as much, which might make me more relaxed when he comes home. I am just speculating here, but I do know for sure that keeping up with a creative, energetic 2 year-old is a full time job, to say nothing of N, teaching, or chilling with B.
I was also crying a bit because I am so glad that we get to send him to school -- I didn't interact with kids my age until I started kindergarten, and I have always been a little "behind" socially because of it. Even now, when I am on my way to a dinner party or a gathering where I do not know everyone, I have to give myself a little pep talk, and part of me always wants to run when a room has more than about six people in it. So it means a lot to me to take steps to help C avoid that painfully-shy socially-awkward millstone that I drug around during my school years. There are no guarantees, but wouldn't it be marvelous if he just didn't really think about being awkward? Wouldn't it be great if he grew up confident enough to just jump into a situation and be himself?
But part of the tears are because of something I have only realized since N was born. I worry overmuch about C because of his beginnings in life, being a preemie and all that. I thought I was over it, pretty much at least, and having a healthy almost-term birth with N really helped to heal a lot of that, but I still worry more about him. I think part of me will always be sitting by his isolette, hands folded, nervously watching the little beepy monitors and his tiny tiny sleeping swaddled self. But I don't want that to cloud his own experience of his life -- I don't want to tell the story a million times so that he feels like he is somehow responsible. I want it to be a fun fact he tells about himself when he meets a new friend -- I was born 8 weeks early, but look at how handsome and charming I am now! But I don't want it to be a defining feature.
And he is my first, and he is my boy, and he is my baby. My giant, three-year-old baby who can already operate the PlayStation better than I can.
But that is enough of that. On to the cabbage!
Cabbage Two Ways
1. Cardamom Coleslaw
-half a head of purple cabbage, finely chopped
-just enough slaw dressing to barely coat the pieces -- maybe 3 tbsp?
-a splash of white or apple cider vinegar
-grated carrots (if you want)
-a pinch of cardamom (a little goes a long way)
It is so good. Seriously.
2. Cabbage and Pasta
Heat 2 tbsp of butter on medium -low. Grate in a clove of garlic and a smallish shallot. Add bacon pieces (I used bacon bits but you could cook some bacon ahead of time and use those drippings instead of the butter.) Add half a head of purple cabbage, cut into thin ribbons. Saute slowly until tender. Put in a bowl.
Boil a pound of whole wheat angel hair pasta (I used Barilla Plus). Drain.
Mix the pasta and cabbage together in a bowl. Add parmesan cheese.
Yum! :) I wish I had a picture to share, but I was juggling a fussy baby at the time so I just got it done quick and ate as soon as it was finished. I was especially proud of this because C ate a whole plate of it, and while B might not have voted it his favorite, he did eat a whole plate as well and didn't have to go to McD's to make up the difference. ;D