Thursday, January 14, 2010

Recipe for parenting

I love to read recipes. I can devour a cookbook from cover to cover the same way people read science fiction novels. I think cooking a recipe for the first time is like getting to know a new friend. Then when I have plated and tasted the new food I like to write a little review in my cookbook alongside the recipe so I can remember the meal. I will also add any changes I made or suggestions for future attempts along with any personal annotation about the day. In this way I think the recipes become like old friends that come back to see us again and again.

Some of my many favorites include: the pumpkin pie with crumble topping I have been making ever since I worked at a little cafe on Canyon Road in Santa Fe, the tomato cream sauce I call "Catherine's Sauce" ( a delicious recipe I lifted from my roommate in Italy), and the sesame noodle salad I always made for my biology study group before exams. One day I would love to write my own cookbook filled with all of my "comfort foods." I say this because I not only find the food itself comforting, but also the process of making it. There is something inherently calming to me when you read and follow a recipe. A recipe is so confident and self assured. It already knows what it is and what it is going to be. The directions are all there and laid out perfectly for you to follow. When you do so correctly you are rewarded with something wonderful.

So - this morning I got up (actually I did not really sleep last night because someone else was wide awake) and I needed something comforting. I wandered in a daze to the kitchen and I pulled out the timeless classic Joy of Cooking. I did not know why I could not get my sweet son back to sleep last night, but I did know that if I followed the recipe I could salvage the morning with a great batch of buttermilk waffles!

Sure enough, there were smiles again as we settled in around the table and enjoyed a meal together. I realize that there may never be a recipe for parenting like one you find in a book, but in the middle of the night last night I was certainly trying to figure one out. It seems there must be a heaping dose of patience, an awful lot of faith, a certain amount of hope for the future, room for laughter and tears, a good sense of humor, and above all love for each other. All of which I believe we have... along with a really good recipe for waffles! I know that this "recipe for parenting" will be ever changing, and like my "comfort food cookbook" there will be constant amendments along the way. I also know that just like cooking it is the process along with the end product that reaps the rewards. I am looking forward to the adventure and all of the known and unknown aspects that we will meet along the way. I am also very certain that this will not be the last sleepless night that ends with a morning filled with waffles.

BUTTERMILK WAFFLES from Joy of Cooking

Sift before measuring:
2c. all purpose flour

Resift with:
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 tsp double acting baking powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Beat in a separate bowl until light:
2 egg yolks

Add and beat:
1-3/4 cups buttermilk
6 Tbsp. melted butter

Combine the liquid and the dry ingredients and with a few swift strokes mix the batter.

Beat in a separate bowl until stiff but not dry:
2 egg whites
Fold them into the batter.

Cook the waffles according to the instructions for your waffle iron. Makes 6 waffles.

The inscription I wrote for this recipe in my cookbook was 1/14/2010 "Seeking comfort food after a sleepless night with Miles. Doubled the recipe and used 1 quart of buttermilk. Froze some waffles for later. Comforted, but very tired."

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