I try to write blog posts after stuff happens, and not while I am in the midst of it. Because as much as you think you may want to, you really don’t want to read my irrational diary entries. You want to read my blog posts. I do, at least. I want to read and write about what I learned or am learning, and not all of the crazy, I-am-sure-I-am-the-only-one-who-thinks-this-crap thoughts that get me to the end point. So I am writing in the morning, when my head is clear and I haven’t had time to think of anything crazy.
That being said, we have slowed down a little this week. The holidays take people out shopping or on vacation, and we have enjoyed a few nights at home this week. I can’t remember the last time that happened. We love everything we do and have wonderful friends and spend a lot of time out doing things, which I never regret. But, I also do not remember the solace and comfort of being home until I am doing it and it’s cold outside and we’re sitting on the couch drinking tea and eating cookies and not even remembering where our cell phones are. That is a good night.
This, in contrast to my days. I am starting to feel a little anxious. Only during the day when I am alone and usually when I am out to run an errand. I think it is becoming real that at any time, this baby could come and shake our worlds at any time, even when I am running to Target at lunch. I am excited to meet it, but I am also excited for it to bake a little more.
Right now it is safe. Feeding it is easy, I don’t have to know when it sleeps or when it wants to play, it sometimes makes me tired but I am sure it is not as tired as I will be later when it’s out and I am trying to get it to eat or sleep or stay awake or not cry. So when I am by myself, I start to think about the latter half, when it’s out, and I get a little anxious.
And when I get anxious I make lists of stuff.
What stuff? Any stuff. Things to do. Tasks to occupy my time with.
The best part of these tasks is that they are usually things that I have never done. When something stressful is going to happen or when something is coming that I know I don’t have control of, I try and give myself jobs that are a little risky, but I know I can master. I do it to build my self-confidence before whatever big event happens. To show myself that I am strong and I can conquer hard tasks. I also usually come up with these tasks close to the stressful event date, because I also like to show myself that I am good in a time crunch. Which I am.
Examples of past tasks are things like creating hand-made soap (this was two days before having six people come to stay at our house), or making personalized Christmas gifts for 20 people (three days before Christmas).
I am writing this blog post because I just put “make homemade marshmallows” on my list. I am confessing to you that I do not need to make homemade marshmallows, but I am going to do it. I don’t care if I have to get up at 5 a.m., it is worth it. I am going to prove to myself that I can be a little anxious about a baby and truly enjoy a quiet night at home but still conquer marshmallows. Alas, at least I am aware? Look forward to a post on marshmallows later.
This recipe is easy, it won’t make you crazy and you should make it. How is that for a segue?
Spaghetti with Mushrooms, Spinach, and Smoked Gouda
12 ounces spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 10 oz cans sliced mushrooms
1 small red onion, sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
kosher salt and black pepper
16 oz frozen spinach
8 oz smoked gouda (or other cheese that will melt well – mozzarella, brie, or monterrey jack would all work well)
8 oz meat, cooked and chopped (optional, I used leftover spiral sliced ham)
Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
In another pan, heat the oil over medium heat about a minute and then add the onion and mushrooms, cook about 5 minutes until onions are soft. Add the wine, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook about 5 more minutes
About a minute before the pasta is done, add the spinach to the pasta pot to thaw it.
When the spinach is thawed, run the pasta and spinach through a strainer and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
Put the pasta and spinach back in the pot.
Toss the pasta with the cheese and reserved pasta water until the pasta is coated. Stir in the mushroom mixture and meat if you’re using it.