I’m sitting in my living room, writing this post and just chilling – that perfect Saturday “I don’t have to rush anywhere” attitude. Two 17 year-olds are in the kitchen finishing lunch that I just made them and happily chatting away in those never so subtle mostly-developed male voices. Yes, I can hear everything they say, all the outlandish, arrogant, full of nonsense and purely disgusting things that they thought needed their attention at this moment. Now my ears need washing, my brain needs to be re-wired to erase all the visuals it produced, and my mouth needs to be stuffed with something sweet to avoid giving both of them my opinion on everything I just heard them discussing – and I’m totally capable of making myself heard to both my kid and his friend, who I know since they were both 8.
Yet I sit here quietly, sipping my drink, making myself forget that whatever I just heard is exactly what they’ll be doing once they are away at college come September. A small calming point comes from the fact that they won’t end up at the same school, or probably not even in the same state, but, I’m sure they’ll find new friends to make trouble with.
And I guess it’s part of growing up, exploring all polarities and dipping your feet in both what you should and shouldn’t do in life. And, the reality is, they are still good kids, smart and doing well in school, so hopefully, good upbringing and some common sense will outweigh certain poor choices, but I do know it doesn’t always work this way.
I think I’m getting more and more anxious about him leaving home and starting his own road of independence. It’s inevitable and necessary, but I’m trying to grasp to all his childhood points I still have with me. I’m not sure if he feels ready to leave yet, I know I’m not.
18 years does not feel like enough time to let your child go!
What’s Cooking This Week
I definitely need something sweet to calm down my jumping nerves, but I also need to feed the boys soon, I know they’ll be hungry again in like 2 hours. Today’s recipe is a combination of both to satisfy all needs and desires. It also makes for a great cold weather dish. We are still in a deep winter mode here in New York despite the fact that it’s March already. The entire meal is made in the oven, so it’s very fuss-free yet delicious. Hope you join me and try this recipe at home.
Baked Chicken with Parsnips and Dried Fruits
15 baby carrots
3/4 – 1 cup each dried apricots, plums and jumbo cranberries
5 – 7 bay leaves
3 tsps of season salt
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 tsp each marjoram and rosemary
fresh herbs for garnish
Pre-heat the oven to 375F degrees, place chicken pieces in a large Dutch oven, cover with water just to the top of chicken, add bay leaves and spices, mix and bake uncovered for about 15 minutes.
Cut parsnips, then add them along with baby carrots to chicken. Continue baking uncovered so the water starts evaporating.
Bake till chicken and veggies are almost done, and the liquid is reduced. Then add all the dried fruits, cover, lower the temperature to 325F degrees and bake for another 10 minutes or so. Then let the dish stand covered for another 5 minutes before serving.
A delicious combo of spices and sweetness, a perfect winter meal for two hungry teens and one anxious mom.