I have a huge affinity for cooking… You might say it’s my drug of choice. Some folks crave cigarettes; I prefer to prepare a steaming pot full of saffron risotto. I realize there are those who find making dinner to be a chore more ghastly than cleaning toilets, and think that words such as Soufflé, Cassoulet, and Osso Buco sound dangerously akin to blasphemy. I, on the other hand, find those words to be sacred. They cause my inner Julia Child to don her apron, toss a pinch of salt over her shoulder, and proclaim “Bon appétit” to anyone who will listen. You see, I grew up in a family where food equals love. Let me rephrase that… I grew up in a family where exceptional food equals love. My dad is a self-made chef and gourmande, and the apple doesn’t fall far from the Tarte Tatin. He instilled a sense of culinary curiosity in me, which I am eternally grateful for. I will try damn near anything, and I thoroughly enjoy conducting my own edible masterpiece theater. In college, homesick friends would call to request an invitation to dinner. Now, my husband’s colleagues offer to dog-sit in exchange for a home-cooked meal. I secretly love it. To feed friends and family is to offer my sincerest form of appreciation. It is one of the principal ways I express myself and my affections.
I truly lucked out with a husband who honors and views food the same way I do: as an art form. That said, having the opportunity to mince garlic, cut fresh rosemary from my garden, or roast a lamb to perfection is few and far between these days. It shouldn’t come as a shock that a newborn baby doesn’t make the optimum sous chef!
In the first weeks following my daughter’s birth, I was overwhelmed by the incredible show of support by family and friends. I cherished every meal brought to us, homemade or not, because it allowed me to spend much-needed bonding time with my child and husband. But I still longed to light the candles, pour a glass of wine, turn on Billie Holiday, and get my hands dirty. Consequently, I recently started to set aside time for my cooking therapy on the weekends. I can’t always devote hours to concocting my illustrious Eggplant Parmesan, but at least I can get a lunch on the table… Most of the time. Which brings me to the following story:
A few Saturdays ago, I decided to take advantage of a chance to putter around in the kitchen for a bit. At my husband’s offer of assistance, I handed over a very grumpy Gray for some daddy/daughter bonding time. This mostly consisted of whining and crying (on Gray’s part, not my husband’s…), so I attempted to assemble lunch as quickly as possible. I threw together a charcuterie plate of prosciutto, chorizo and pancetta, accompanied by melon slices and a tomato & arugula salad. Though my inner Julia may have been offended by the lack of butter and cream, it was perfect for the hot and humid afternoon. It also occurred to me that perhaps pitching a fun drink into the mix might not be a bad idea. A fussy baby + a light (read: responsible) serving of alcohol for Daddy & Mommy = smoother sailing in rough waters. Don’t take this to mean we were living it up like we were back in the college dorm. Those days are long gone. Do take it to mean we enjoyed a small glass of something festive and celebratory when Gray finally took her nap. If you’re feeling adventurous, and find yourself with five minutes to enjoy your very own “naptime nip”, here’s the recipe I created:
MY SATURDAY SPARKLING SUMMER SLUMBER SIPPER
(Do not attempt to say that after you drink this…)
Recipe created by Jenna von Oy
Serving size: One large glass
**Portion size is ultimately up to you… a.k.a. Use discretion if you are breastfeeding!
¾ Cup of Sparkling Pinot Grigio
½ Cup of lemonade (I used Simply Lemonade)
1 Tbsp. Cassis
1 Sprig of Fresh Basil
Mix all of the ingredients together, top with the sprig of basil, and sip while your baby slumbers!
** Please be warned that the above recipe contains alcohol. I in no way condone or promote underage drinking. If you are under the legal drinking age of 21, please do not attempt to make or consume the above recipe. It is also not meant to be consumed in excess, especially in combination with breastfeeding a child. Please consult your pediatrician for any questions regarding safe amounts, as everyone is different, and I’m definitely not a doctor! Please drink responsibly. For more on that, please feel free to peruse my Terms & Conditions page.
I hope all of the aforementioned disclaimers haven’t taken up too much of what I expect is your very small amount of “Mommy me-time”. They are abundant measures to cover my you-know-what. Excessive, perhaps, but sadly necessary!
Until next time… Peace, Love, & Dirty Diapers,
Jenna von Oy
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