Today is a big day for this excited little girl. Today is her first birthday. One amazingly long year ago, my water broke and within three hours I held her in my arms. She has grown so much since those first few hours of life and I am so glad I could be at home to watch it all. She is days away from walking and her personality is a beacon of light in a sometimes dreary week.
She reminds me every day to take it all in. The simplest things in life are often the most rewarding. Standing in the garden on an early morning last week I stood over our tiny new seedlings and breathed in the scent of newly dampened soil and I thought, “This is what it’s all about.” My children mean the world to me and I live every minute to be the best I can be for them. I’ve now come to realize that being the best parent to them doesn’t mean that I am perfect, far from it.
I admit to anyone that will listen that I am not the perfect parent. I yell, I get frustrated, I don’t play as much as I would like, I often get sidetracked, I say “in a minute” a lot, I give in to toddler demands way too often, my son watches too much TV, but I am finally at peace with my life. This is my life and I am the one living it. I am not doing it for anyone else and I will not let any one thing define me. I am who I am and I have come a long way in life to be here. If my kids are my greatest accomplishments in life I will die a happy woman, for they will be amazing people. Already my son amazes me every day with his somewhat shy, very emotional demeanor.
My daughter, though young, has a personality all her own and I fully expect to be dealing with a diva by the time she is six years old. God help us.
What this past year has taught me is that being a parent is hard. No one can tell you just how hard it will be, for you must experience itself in all it’s intricacies to fully understand the breadth of the situation you have put yourself into. One day you are living life for yourself and happily cruising along. You can go out anytime you want and plan in advance for weekends in the future with little thought of anyone else. Then one day you can barely leave the house without dragging a suitcase with you, travelling is no longer the relaxing ride it used to be and you no longer get to eat hot meals. Life becomes a whole new beast, lived solely for these other tiny human beings that have sprung forth from your very own loins.
Some days you are mired in regret. Did I really want to have kids? Did I honestly think it was going to be all cupcakes and rainbows and colouring and playing? When in reality it’s tears and crying and diapers exploding with all sorts of horrendously vile things and constant food preparation and laundry and cleaning and face wiping and car seat buckling and sippy cup refilling and vomit cleaning at 3am and sock finding and toy cleaning and and and…..
But most days I look at my children and I see these wonderfully beautiful faces, these gorgeous little smiles looking at me and I think I don’t regret a thing. These little people that I made are going to grow up and be something amazing. They will let me down, but they will surprise me at every turn and I can’t wait for every day to come.
Anyone living in the quagmire that is having young children can appreciate a simple meal. This fava bean side dish couldn’t be anything simpler. Once you get passed the complicated nature of their unruly pods, you are treated to one of summer’s freshest tasting vegetables. Simply cooked, seasoned and served they go well with most proteins and will prove to any haters just how much they’ve been missing. Don’t think of fava beans as being only good served with “the other other white meat” and a nice Chianti. They are great for any dish any time.
One Year Ago: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with 100% Whole Wheat Crust
Fresh and Simple Fava Beans
Yield: 3-4 side servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 8 minutes
1.5 lbs fava beans, in their pods
2 teaspoons butter
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1. First remove the bean pods from the fuzzy outer pods by running a finger down the visible seam and opening it up. Then run another finger down the inside of the pod and into a bowl, collecting the beans.
2. Once you have removed all the beans from their pods, discard the fuzzy shells (preferably in the compost….) and place the inner beans into the basket of a steamer.
3. Set the matching pot filled with two inches of water onto high heat and let it come to a boil. Place the steamer basket over the water and allow the beans to steam for about five minutes.
4. Immediately plunge the beans into ice cold water to stop them from cooking more.
5. Now the fun part! Slip the second skin from each of the beans and discard. Place the edible portion in to a bowl and continue with the remaining beans.
6. When all your beans are naked and ready to go, heat the butter in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat. When the butter has melted and is sizzling slightly, add the beans and sauté for about three minutes. Season liberally with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Similarly delicious food from other fabulous food blogs:
Sautéed Morel Mushrooms and Fava Beans on Apple Pie, Patis & Paté
Fava Bean Dip with Goat Cheese and Garlic on Simply Recipes
Dried Fava Bean and Fresh Fennel Soup on Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Crostini with Fava Beans, Roasted Garlic Creme Fraiche and Mushroom Oil on Local Lemons
Oyster and Fava Bean Stew on No Recipes