smelling of grease and feeling exhausted

This morning the kids and I hit the beach for about three hours. I am so fortunate that I live only a short drive or bus ride away from a beautiful, sunny, and near-uninhabited beach. Little Nels is getting a tan complete with a white bottom from all his time spent in swim trunks (yes I put sunscreen on my children; fuck off). The beach is easy, safe, free, and healing. The children and I worked on building a “shelter” out of giant logs of driftwood that in a Mama-Corner (TM) of my mind I grimly picture rolling askew, falling suddenly, and smashing a child appendage. Nevermind that this has not happened to me or anyone I know; being a Mama means no matter how sensible you used to be before children you now have your own special crazy side which fully must explore the world’s dangers to your progeny at all times, even while seeming outwardly relaxed. No wonder so many of us are nighttime alcoholics!

A three-hour beach trip means a nap equivalent from my children: today I filled that time with the obligatory dishes and tidying then, sewing (yay!)! A trip to the store where my children humiliated me with their bad behavior (for a change) then home to try to cook with a clinging two year old attempting to wield a knife. This evening in in addition to my regular family fare (soft-tacos with breaded tofu, chicken, slaw, tomatoes, and grated cheese for the undiscerning dairyphiles in my care) Ralph and I also prepared a double batch of real mac and cheese, two loaves homemade bread *, and – the coup de grace – thirty corndogs. The extra food is of course not for my family; I am once again cooking for the Farm tomorrow. In some kind of sick one-upmanship I have been compulsively volunteering to cook frequently (a duty many of my fellow Farmers either dread or simply avoid entirely) then each time designing more and more elaborate measures to take in food prep (as if cooking for ~30 isn’t challenging enough in that tiny funky kitchen). I’m not sure why I do it and do it so balls-out – the glory? Wanting to be loved? Anyway, next week look for Barbecued Mango and Truffle River Trout, Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomato Quiche, Grilled Vegan Potstickers with Sassy Teriyaki Sauce, and for me to stab myself in the face with self-induced group cooking stress. But for now: corndogs. **

* This evening while at the store my husband ended up behind an older gal lamenting that no one bakes bread… her grandmother used to bake bread… she no longer knows how… no one knows how! My husband pipes up: “I cook my own bread,” he offers. “I use a breadmaker, but I cook my own bread.” “Oh,” the old biddy replies, “But no one knows how to do it the real way anymore.” My suggested response: “Yeah – and also no one gets polio anymore you dried-up old twat!” Man! If there’s anything that gets on my tits it’s the “I miss the good ol’ days” dirge.

** Fifteen nitrate-free beef, fifteen veggie – in case you were curious.

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