Tag Archives: epic

UPDATE ALL THE THINGS!

Oh my goodness. It’s been so long since I last posted that I actually forgot how to log in!

*winces*

I’m sorry. No, I truly am. Life got busy. I really mean it. The last time I *actually* did any updating here was to my “About Me” page, and I wrote in there that on November 19th, 2013, my other half and I welcomed our son Jakob into the world.

YAAAAAAAS! PrimalPat became a Mama!

“They” were right. Having a kid changes everything.

ERRRRR’THANGGGGG.

I’ve never known severe lack of sleep until I became a mother. College was a joke. Four hours of sleep? No problem. I do not remember the first few months of Jake’s life because of how wrecked on sleep I was. There was crying. A lot of crying. Not just Jake. But his mother and I especially.

“WHY WON’T YOU SLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP?”

I remember driving home from a physiotherapy appointment and veering off the side of the road. This is not a joke! Lack of sleep has serious repercussions!

A few days after Jakob was born, one of our midwives, Allison commented:

“Lack of sleep has been shown to cause brain damage”.

Oh? What fixes it?

“Sleep”.

OH YEAH. THANKS, TIPS.

Parenting tests every single possible human trait one possesses. Your patience will never be more pushed. Your frustration will never be more ready to reach a fever pitch. Your level of vulnerability threatens to crumble at any mention in the news, television or even a movie about something awful that happened to a child. Children break your heart.

And you will never, ever feel such pure, perfect joy.

The day after Jakob was born wifey, myself and our little man were moved into a different room. Wifey and I hadn’t slept in days. We were in a haze of sleep-reduced numbness. But there were numerous times, whilst watching my wife with our son, that I started to cry, uncontrollably, not even being completely aware of my raw emotion seeping from my eyeballs.

“OH MY GODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD HOW IS IT I LOVE A LITTLE HUMAN LIKE THIS SO MUCH???!?!!?!?!?!!? YOU JUST GOT HERE. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME. I CAN’T STOP CRYINNNNGGGGGGGG!”

Children break your heart. If you are free and open with emotion, wearing your heart on your sleeve like yours truly, prepare to be broken open.

I have a video captured from my iPhone of Jake’s first real honest laughing fit. I was acting like an ape (no, seriously) in the kitchen, flailing my arms about and generally being a goofball. And Jake was sitting in his mother’s lap, laughing hysterically. The video is shaky because I myself could not stop laughing. A baby’s laugh is severely infectious and its main ingredient is effortless joy.

Babies live in the moment. They don’t ruminate. They don’t worry about bills. They don’t fret over what brand of baby wipes are being used on them. They don’t worry that their diaper is full of shit. Or meconium. The world is enormous and captivating. They watch intently as you interact with them. They think the most random things…like ripping paper…or pushing your face aside with their hand is the funniest thing imaginable.

I’ve perfected my impression of the muppet known as Animal. My favourite Muppet, ever. Screaming “WOMAN! WOMAN! AHHHHH! MICHELLE! WOMAN! ANIMAL!” gives Jake the giggles. It’s really fun making a little kid laugh. It taps into your own inner child.

You remember your own inner child, don’t you? The one that didn’t care that it was minus 21 degrees in the middle of January, and you were busy sitting in your snow fort during recess? The inner child that freely expressed itself, busted a move at a moments’ notice, sang exuberantly along with your favourite Disney movie (The Little Mermaid, anyone? Oh, you’re a Lion King fan. I get it) and played outside?

Playing outside? Do kids do that anymore?

There’s a group of little girls on my street who are outside the very second the temperature rises above 6 degrees celsius. And they stay out for hours. They adore Jake. They come over running when one of us is outside with him. We’ve taken to calling them his fan club. They fawn and swoon over him.

“Ohhhhh, he’s sooooooooo cute!” they say.

He is sweet. He shares his cookies. We never taught him how to share. Cookies are “KAKA!” which he says in a soft whisper, as if it is a secret code word, and the cats better not find out. He points toward the kitchen and says:

“UGH!……….Kaka!”

One “kaka” is not enough. He must double fist. His little cheeks threaten to burst with a wide grin that spreads from ear to ear, a “kaka” in each hand. Dare cookies are AMAZING. He chomps on his kakas, chocolate cookie crumbs all over his little face as he wobbles over to me on the couch, shoving a piece of kaka in my face, smiling broadly.

“Oh, THANK YOU Jake! OM NOM NOM!”

He smiles, ever so proud of himself and hobbles away.

Have I changed? Oh yes.

My tolerance for bullshit dropped about 1,736,927 points. The stupidly and banality of every day life that used to stir intense anxiety is meaningless. I have better, far more important things to fret about.

Growing up in a divisive family meant I felt very alone much of the time. Family can utterly destroy and disappoint, reject and abandon. When you begin your own family, you tell yourself it is going to be different. When you see the rage your own parents expressed boiling in your chest, it’s terrifying and reality sets in.

“I will not be like my parents”.

It’s impossible to avoid being like your parents. Children model what they see around them. And who do they see for a large percentage of their waking time? Their parents. Parenting is tough, nail-biting, sleep-destroying, limit-pushing stuff. We ought to remind ourselves of our very own inner child that did not give any fucks about “childish things”. Oh, the irony.

Our children remind us to be present, to be fully mindful. Do yourself a favour and breathe. Be in the moment with your kiddo. Remind yourself you will not be like your parents, by being full aware in the moment. By being more like them. Revelling in joy, in new discoveries, in wonder and awe.

“Truly I say to you, if you do not become like little children, you will not enter the Kingdom of God”

– Matthew 18:3

Yes, I just quoted the Man from Nazareth. If the Kingdom of God is a state of pure Being, of total presence and awareness, then children lead the way.

Be like little children.

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Epic Butter Chicken with Turmeric Mashed Cauliflower…OH YEAH!

OH MY GOD, I AM GOING TO HAVE A FOOD BABY.

I just stuffed my face on 1.5 platefuls of this amazing dish. I’m taking a breather to type this post for all you lovelies reading. Let’s see if I can destroy the rest of what’s on my plate after.

I am an avid Mark’s Daily Apple reader, and Mark posted a killer recipe for Butter Chicken in a Silky Sauce a while back. I really wanted to make this glorious concoction of spices, chicken and satisfying fat. However, I realized I didn’t have all the ingredients listed, nor in the right amounts. But I also had ingredients not listed. This is my take on Mark’s butter chicken. It’s so good, I called it EPIC. Thank you Mark for all you do!

Edited March 27th, 2015. The Primal Blueprint and Paleo are nonsense. People who talk about TOXINS! TOXINS EVERYWHERE! And wheat perforating your gut blah blah blah. Well, they don’t know what they’re talking about. If you’re Celiac, DO NOT EAT GLUTEN. If you aren’t…JUST EAT THE FOOOOOOOD!

Epic Butter Chicken with Turmeric Mashed Cauliflower

2.5 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut up into cubes
1/4 to 1/3 cup coconut milk
6 garlic cloves, chopped
3 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chipotle powder (not happy with my chili powder – chipotle will be awesome)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 inch piece of fresh finely chopped ginger
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste

Combine all the above in a glass dish, and stir to coat evenly. Cover it with plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge for at least an hour, if not two.

1/2 white onion, finely diced
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 whole can (those small ones!) of tomato paste
6 tablespoons butter OR (what I had to do, because I didn’t have all that butter) 3 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon beef tallow, 1 tablespoon wild boar lard
1 cinnamon stick
7 cardamom pods, crushed
1/4 cup water
1 whole can coconut milk

Turmeric Mashed Cauliflower

1 whole head cauliflower, cut up into small pieces
1 teaspoon turmeric
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup of the steaming liquid

Take your chicken out of the fridge after it’s marinated for an hour. I took mine out at 1.5 hours.

Add about two inches of water to a medium-sized pot, and place your trusty steamer on top. Don’t have one? Then add your cauliflower to the pot and add about an inch or so of water to it. Those of you with the steamer, pop that bad boy on top, add your cauliflower, and cover with a lid. Crank your heat on high. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium. Steaming cauliflower in this way will take about 15 – 20 minutes. If you’re not using a steamer, your cauliflower should be done in about the same time. Check it with a fork. If it goes through easy, you’re done.

Melt your butter, or combo of fats in a second, large pot over medium-high heat. Add your onions in, and stir until they simmer golden, about 10 – 15 minutes. There’s nothing better than onions cooked in a ton of fat. Really. There isn’t. Add salt to taste. Next, add in your crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, 1/4 cup water, cinnamon stick, and cardamom pods. Continue stirring and reducing this for about 15 minutes. Add your beautifully marinated chicken to this mixture, and stir until everything is well coated, and everyone is having a gay ol’ time in that sexy, spicy mixture. They are having a blast. Don’t you wish you were in that pot? Yes, yes you do. Don’t lie to me. I know.

Add your can of coconut milk to the pot. Stir, stir, stir. You do not want this sticking to the bottom. This will need to cook for about another 20 minutes. This will give the chicken enough time to cook, and the sauce to reduce. Add salt to taste.

If you’re lucky like me your wife/husband/SO/boyfriend/girlfriend/talented dog is your sous chef. So, wifey stirred the butter chicken while I took to the cauliflower. Dump your nicely steamed cauliflower (or, alternately, drain your boiled cauliflower), into a pot, add turmeric, salt and pepper, and 1/4 cup of your steaming liquid. Using a hand blender, blitz this mixture until smooth. It’s bright yellow and GORGEOUS! Isn’t it beautiful? It’s special.

Serve yourself up a massive plate of golden cauliflower mash, with silky, creamy, coconuty butter chicken. Eating large quantities of coconut like this in one sitting produces a rush of energy, and a wonderful spreading of heat all over. If you bite into a cardamom pod, don’t worry. Enjoy the orange flavours swirling in your mouth, giving you that “je ne sais quoi!” quality that all good food has.

Time for me to polish off what’s left on my plate! Can I do it?

😮

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