I’m gonna shout, so cover your ears... THIS IS NOT A VEGAN BLOG!!!! No, but seriously, I know it seemingly makes life easier if we put somebody in a box, but think of me as one of those giant 7-point piñatas: unboxable and full of surprises. I’ve found that the only way to live is the way that fits you and your life best. So a little vegan, a little not. A little play, a little work. Plus, I don’t think I can ever stop roasting chickens for the kiddos.
Speaking of the kiddos, everybody is sick around here and I’m feeling a little nauseated myself. No, I am not pregnant. David has been sick for 6 whole days. Anna has been coughing for what feels like forever. Even Kongo has been making messes all over the place. Philip and I have been loading up on vitamins and veggies, but I’m starting to feel it. I’ll let you know how it goes. It’s funny how we all have such different approaches to sickness. I pretty much ignore sickness to the point where Fau has been like, Mom, seriously... I feel like I’m dying. Philip, on the other hand, wants to call the doctor at the first sniffle. Also, he likes to baby proof everything, whereas I like them to learn to pay attention so they don’t get hurt in the first place. Yep, he balances me out for sure. But I suppose, more than balance, he’s just so much more of an adult than I am. I mean, he is like 40 years older than me. Honestly, I feel like it’s somewhat of a defense mechanism... in my mind, I can’t process the fact that it might be serious or someone could get hurt, so I try not to think about it in the first place. It's insane how the parent mind works, and how it’s so shaped from our own life experiences. It's a great reminder that co-parenting means understanding, respecting, and even adopting a way of parenting that is totally foreign from what you might believe or be used to. I know this for sure, though: I have developed the patience and have lived through enough drama that I’m finally (sorta) capable of checking my ego at the door. What ten years ago would have been a very loud “DO NOT TELL ME HOW TO FIX MY SICK CHILD” is now a softer, “cool... you deal with it; I’m gonna put the other one in the bath.”
I’m learning. We’re learning. But what I'm one hundred percent sure about is that I’m grateful to have had this opportunity to parent at this stage of my life. I mean, I’ll have no hair in a few of months, and not sleeping makes me look like I’m 50 but, jeez, I’m able to enjoy it so much more and also to sit back and observe them in complete amazement... and not because they are particularly amazing (although they kind of are), but more because they are these unique little beings that we have to learn to guide and not push. They have their own souls and ideas and paths...
Anywho, it’s intense, and I’m a hermit, which doesn’t help. That said, I've found that sharing my experience as a mom with other friends that are moms makes me feel less like I'm an alien from outer space. Plus, margaritas are important... and so is good food, like this spread that’s plant-based. I don’t even want to call it plant-based, because MAN, it’s good. But guys, when you’re sitting with your friend, telling her that your kid got kicked out of preschool because he bit some other kid's ear off, it's always nice to have something to munch on between sobs. Lol. In case you're wondering, that did not happen to me... thank the Lord Jesus, my kids aren’t biters. But, I have plenty of sob-stories! The only reason they don't all get posted here is that I know all too well that, in a blink of an eye, they’ll be internet-savvy and will not appreciate me talking about their potty training with hundreds of thousands of readers.
But definitely try this dip for your holiday party with those obsessively delicious crackers with the seeds and the raisins. Or even toast. That was my dinner and my breakfast. This spread. On toast. Also, leave your comments. I like when we discuss parenting and we’re supportive and kumbaya... and I totally delete the negative comments anyway. Ha. Kidding. Sorta.
Mushroom Walnut Pate
(This is a great spread for your party but also great just on toast, drizzled with olive oil and a little sea salt as a yummy snack!)
1 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 sprig rosemary, stemmed, chopped
2 sprigs thyme, stemmed, chopped
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon tamari sauce
In a medium pan on medium heat, add walnuts. Toast until they start to brown. Shake pan often in order to avoid having your walnuts burn. Remove walnuts from pan and set aside to cool.
Return pan to heat. Add coconut oil and allow for it to melt. Add onion and garlic, and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chopped herbs and mushrooms. Continue to cook until mushrooms are tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add a tablespoon of water if mushrooms begin to stick to pan.
Add toasted walnuts to a food processor and blend for about 30 seconds. Add mushroom herb mix, rice vinegar and tamari to food processor and pulse until the consistency looks like paté. Scrape remaining mushroom mix and continue to pulse. Make sure consistency has texture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place in a small bowl and serve warm or at room temperature with your favorite crackers or sliced baguette. Can be made two days ahead. Store airtight in fridge.