(If you're just here for the food, scroll right on down past this rambling...)
The Saturday before Mother's Day, I was a raging jerk. For no reason. Did a lot of stomping around the house, never had a concrete thing to complain about (because if I did then the problem could be fixed. I didn't want the problem to be fixed. I wanted to be MAD), and just in general was a pretty insufferable human.
Later, when I finally snapped out of it, or rather IN ORDER to snap out of it, I realized that I'd been doing that thing that the enemy loves us to do. He loves us to bemoan things that can't be changed. Because then there's never a solution. So then we can be miserable and make others miserable without even a light at the end of the tunnel. Not everything is grouchy-mom related of course. Like berating myself for my leg to torso ratio. Or the size of my nostrils. Or wasting time wishing it was insert-some-other-era-here instead of the present day when God willed me to be alive. All of this is absolutely non-productive and the enemy loooooooooooves it. Oh, he just loves it.
So for instance, finding out a new baby is coming sooner than I thought we'd be given one. It's cool to be concerned that our vehicle is not big enough to hold all of us. Or to wonder what we'll do about all the kids' sleeping arrangements. Or to try and figure out a way to finally get the laundry room fixed because OHMYGOSH MORE LAUNDRY. Because all those things are things that a person can actively work on. Or try to work on. But the enemy wants to take my focus off the challenges that can actually be addressed and instead tries to get me to be upset about the things that can't be changed. In this example, the FACT that there is a whole new person already created. The baby is already there, dweej. Can't really fuss about that, can you? But oh, he wants me to. He tries. Because oh how unproductive that is! And how unreasonable! And how it prevents anyone from actually being able to help me! Just like he likes it. What a turd.
But that's not what I was mad about on that Saturday. Instead it was other things that don't have immediate solutions- the FACT that we live in a fixer upper (did I want a specific thing fixed? No. I just wanted to rail against the situation) and the FACT that with lots of people come lots of messes (did I want a specific mess cleaned up? No. I just wanted the idea of messes to not exist). You see? It's all very disordered in retrospect, when you write it down. But while you're doing it, railing against facts, it feels like there is nothing else you CAN do. The enemy whispers that even though it IS this way it shouldn't BE this way. And then you feel helpless. Because you are helpless against those things. He wants you to want to change the things you're supposed to accept so that you have no energy left to attack the things you CAN change. THE ENEMY IS SO TRICKY.
Anyway, enough of all that. I promised you a story about Tommy's delish dinner from Saturday, didn't I?
Once upon a time, out of last year's garden bed, he pulled these onions, which had survived, almost thrived even, through an entire Michigan winter.
In a cast iron skillet he simmered tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, paprika and sage.
An entire package of bacon fried and ready for added deliciousness? Yes please
Into the dutch oven: 4 chuck steaks (from our parish friends' farm. If you live in Southwest Michigan, visit http://yourneighborhoodfarm.com/ and check them out. Even if you don't, take a look. Deeeelicious), pile o' bacon with some delectable grease, the simmered tomato mixture, more garlic cloves, some of the garden onions...
Now put the lid on and simmer. Simmer, simmer, simmer. Two hours? Maybe. I can't remember. It smelled so good it fogged up my memory.
While we waited, he chopped some more of the onions and added olive oil to be added at the end.
Saute some freshly picked (literally, that day by our friends who came over to enjoy dinner with us and exchange plants) asparagus...
How about some scalloped potatoes on the side?
Drool. Eat. Swoon.