OK. So this week has been interesting. And hectic. And unbalanced. And yet we’re all hangin’ in there and haven’t crumbled! We’ve been going through home renovations. Specifically our floors have been ripped up and new, shiny wood has been put down in its place. It started out as a double team thing- my husband and I attacked this project months ago together. Then soon switched to my husband doing it all on his own while I took care of the kids, etc. Mainly we didn’t want the kids glued to the concrete slab.
Although that’s been a tempting thought at times.
And for the past few days it’s been the kitchen’s turn. So I’ve been without use of it for days. And the first night it was kinda fun- I picked up sushi and we ate on the floor with a movie…
Then it started to get more and more difficult to work around. You don’t realize how much you use a kitchen until you can’t. Breakfasts, kids school lunches, snacks, coffee… I know my job is to cook, but still- so many other non-cooking things happen in there that you forget about until you can’t get in it!!
I’ve also had my daughter home from school this week because we both have yucky colds and coughs that scare people. So, we’ve been keeping busy (not stir-crazy…. busy. There’s a difference. I’m telling myself there’s a difference.) with various things that you may have seen if you follow me on Instagram (aka my one gateway to the outside grownup world)…
And today I got my oven back! (yay) But here’s the catch- I wasn’t able to walk on the kitchen floors all day. SO. With a desperate and intense desire to have a home cooked family meal again, I threw a turkey in the oven after I came home from the gym this morning.
(Don’t ask me why I have a fresh turkey on hand the week after thanksgiving. I actually have two in the second freezer. Long story.)
But I let it cook all day (in one of those turkey bags I found in the cupboard (that I didn’t realize I had) because I knew I couldn’t check on it all day), then ‘baked’ some sweet potatoes in a crock pot (brushed off the dust first) in the corner underneath the table in the cluttered dining room that has been serving as our pantry for days (washed the sweet potatoes in the bathroom sink), cooked the green beans in another crockpot (because apparently I have two?) and we had the best damn meal on the floor of our living room watching christmas movies.
Y’all. It isn’t about the things you have or don’t have. It isn’t about perfection. Or pretension (clearly). It isn’t even about balance, really.
It’s about what you do with what is already yours. And who you get to share it all with.
It’s also about breaking the rules and having some damn fun amidst the unbalanced chaos.
TURKEY . SWEET POTATO . GREEN BEANS
And… about not being too snobby to use non-conventional and otherwise non-cheffy cooking means, like using a crockpot or cooking a turkey in a bag, because HOT DAMN it was the best damn turkey EVER. It took me 3 minutes to prep- I really just grabbed what was closest and seasoned it with that – an overabundance of garlic salt inside and out (didn’t even know I had garlic salt til I saw my ‘pantry’ on clear display in the dining room), dried thyme and sage, and ground allspice. I cut open the zested orange we had in the fridge from Old Fashions the night before (that my husband tossed to me from across the concrete slab that used to be, and soon will be our kitchen), clipped a rosemary sprig on my way back in from taking out the trash, and stuck those inside the cavity after squeezing the orange into the bag. Then I put my baggie turkey (breast-side down!) in the 250 degree oven and cooked her all. damn. day. The white meat was insanely juicy and perfect and I don’t even prefer the white meat. It was so flavorful. So so good. I had a bag full of stock (best stock ever, hands down) that I just poured into a container for what will most likely be tomorrow’s crockpot soup ;-). I also had no cleanup because I had lined the roasting pan it was baking on with aluminum foil.
The green beans, I trimmed and put in a crockpot with a thinly sliced small onion, a few lemon slices and some rendered turkey stock. I cooked them on high the last hour before we ate… I don’t like them too soft. (I actually lined the crockpot first with one of those slow cooker liners that I also didn’t know I had…no clean-up anywhere!!!) The sweet potatoes, I pricked with a knife a couple times, and placed in a foil-lined crockpot on low for about 7 hours. They were perfect.
Before I go, I need to explain to you how proud I am of my husband and all that he has done. I know this is my blog and I’m supposed to talk about all the stuff I do, but all of what I said above is nothing compared to what he’s been doing. With his own two hands (while also running a company) my sweet husband has been ripping up old flooring that was poorly put in before we moved in, and laying down new… wood panel, by little wood panel. He has transformed our home into something I never could have imagined when we first bought this home as a family of three. Now, with our family of four, we are able to look around and see beautiful, new things in every corner of this home. Things we would not have were it not for my amazing husband. So since I haven’t been able to see him enough to tell him this, (mainly because he’s been underneath a mask and I’ve had a child on my shoulders or lap), he’ll hopefully read it loud and clear right here when it arrives in his mailbox:
You’re a good man, Charlie Brown.