It’s around this time of year I start having a re-occuring daydream.
It has a beach and a book in it.
And not much else.
Actually, there’s a box of mangoes, lots of coffee and cheese.
Okay, so my boys can be in the day dream too. All 4 of them. Just quietly playing in the sand nearby and frolicking happily in the water.
Can you picture it?
Yep…..I am running out of steam. With a month of the school year left, like most families I know, we are limping to the finish line.
Mornings are getting harder. Lots of cranky tiredness going on. And that’s just the parents 🙂
Evenings, well.. let’s just leave that well alone. Set tables and nutritionally balanced meal plans are slowly being replaced with “Who wants a toasted cheese sandwich with a side of carrot?”
We are all slowing down and dreaming of long days of nothing…after we get through Christmas of course!
Oh Christmas! That’s a WHOLE other conversation. I love you so much and yet…(if you want to read a conversation I had with myself about Christmas, click here.)
This slowing down and ‘slightly losing it’ feeling comes at this time every year.
In this house, we are all in need of BUCKET LOADS of GRACE and PATIENCE for each other and ourselves.
I am great at telling my kids to go easy on themselves and each other and to accept that they are tired as the end of year approaches. A bit of compassion and graciousness can go a long way in taking the edge off an over-tired and over-stretched family.
I am not however, as good at preaching that to myself as I try and keep the balls in the air for myself and those around me.
A familiar tale for lots of mums I think.
This brings me to my confession.
Feeling a little full and worn out recently, I found myself sitting outside my gym, first thing in the morning, ready for my work out. My normal routine a few mornings a week for the last few years.
Except this day I didn’t get out of the car. I just sat there.
And then I drove to the movies. And bought one ticket to a movie at 10AM on a school day.
Who does that?
I sat in the empty theatre, in my gym gear, and got lost in BURNT, the current foodie/chef movie starring Bradley Cooper. I loved it.
Feeling guilty, I confessed all to the stranger in the ticket line in front of me. A lovely older lady, with kindness in her eyes, said “I have raised 3 boys. You know the boys and your home, and everything else will be there, when you get back from the movie. Right now, enjoy a quiet moment to yourself.”
I could have hugged that woman.
So I got lost in the story for 2 hours and then I went home and got straight back into ALL THAT NEEDED TO BE DONE.
Yep, just like the older, wiser woman had said, it was all still there.
This recipe came about on a day when I had defrosted chicken thigh fillets for another, more fancy purpose, before LIFE got in the way.
I found myself throwing the chicken in the slow cooker with all of the above ingredients and much to my families joy, it tasted pretty good.
As I was eating it that night, the flavour reminded me of a yummy Chicken Chasseur Pie I used to buy a long time ago when I worked in the city.
Chassuer, is a french word that refers to any type of game meat being cooked with tomatoes and white wine, and often mushrooms and other herbs. When you make this for your family or for friends, you can explain this meaning to them, as you pronounce it with your best french accent. I am sure they will be very impressed indeed!
Another french cooking word to add to your vocabulary, is a bouquet-garni. Meaning ‘garnished-bouquet’, it is a bundle of herbs and often a bay leaf tied together with kitchen string and placed in soups or stews or casseroles to flavour the dish. You can either make your own if you have herbs in your garden, or you can buy them already made in packets in the supermarket.