Thursday, December 2, 2010

"It's Not Chaotic. It's rich."

My bestest friend Ellie sent me an awesome birthday present, Time for Dinner. This is a fabulous cookbook by the former editors of the now defunct (boohoo!) Cookie magazine. Jenny Rosenstrach, one of the authors, is the writer of Dinner a Love Story, one of my favorite foodie/mommy blogs. Beyond providing a ton of great recipes, Time for Dinner is clearly written by women who have actually cooked dinner recently. That is, they know what it's like to work all day and then try to prepare a meal while your kids are melting down, the dog is barking and you just realized that you have no viable ingredients for dinner anyway. With this in mind, they give you lots of good strategies. For example: how to stretch one Sunday dinner into several weeknight meals; how to stock your kitchen so as to maximize the chances of cooking a respectable dinner on any given night; how to get ahead of the game by preparing a cooking staple (beans, marinara etc.) during the weekend.

In addition to the great cooking tips and techniques, these women are just cool. Like you would want to chat with them at the soccer game or, better yet, meet up for drinks and talk about food, family, friends, all the good stuff. One of my favorite lines from the very witty and wise text comes when the authors are talking about the new "normal" that we have to get used to as parents who want to actually cook and eat with our kids. Their mantra: "Repeat after us: It's not chaotic. It's rich." I love it. I am going to have those sentences engraved above my kitchen sink.

And when I have a moment like I did yesterday when both kids were crying because they were hungry and grumpy, and I had left the newly purchased snacks in the car because when I got back from Target it was pouring rain, and I had to leave both of my children literally lying on the floor of the living room wailing while I fetched the much needed snack, I will think of these wise words. The next time I think I am going to have my own special mommy meltdown, I am going to intone this mantra, take deep breadths and know that the chaos is merely evidence of just how rich our lives can be.

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