Sunday, October 31, 2010

Holy EWCM Batman!

As most of my friends and fellow Bumpies know, I practice the Fertility Awareness Method of charting my fertility signs. I charted for three months before getting my BFP with Bryce, and I considered myself decent at recognizing signs of ovulation. I was fooling myself. I am completely confused this cycle. I went from bleeding to fertile quality CM, and when I just peed on an OPK and there was a definite line. Granted, it was a digital, which came up negative, but when I looked at the actual test there was a line.

I don't know if this is good for me right now. Will BFNs feel like I'm losing something when I get them? Am I actually prepared to TTC again, which includes all of the worry, speculation, and disappointment? I'm really not sure. I don't know if I will ever really be. We are going to try this cycle, so I guess it is already FWP week. I'm going to try just to make it about my husband and I celebrating each other. Truthfully, that is all I have control over when it comes to TTCing!

Gumbo

My husband pimped out my cooking services to one of his coworkers, and convinced me that I needed to make authentic gumbo for a tailgate. I am an idiot, and ended up doubling the recipe needlessly. When I realized that one batch was enough, I decided to forgo the second batch until today because I didn't want my arm to fall off.

That is a little dramatic, yes, but with good cause! You see, in order to make a roux suitable for authentic Cajun gumbo, you need a dark brown roux, which can only be created by standing over the stove and stirring it for 30 minutes. Constantly. With absolutely no breaks.

Roux is thickening agent used in Cajun and Creole cooking, and it is used in many of the more famous foods, like gumbo and etouffee. It isn't difficult to make, but it can take a decent amount of time. Below is the evolution of today's roux.

It began as a cup of vegetable oil and a cup of all-purpose flour...



...and it ended as a flavorful base to our dinner!

My parents are Jews from the Northeast, so any skill that I have developed was from cookbooks. I have been inspired to make dishes from my hometown since I was 19, and my ex-boyfriend's incredibly sweet mother explained all of the uses of a green pepper to me. I realized that I could cook food that people wanted to eat; the sort that others would make excuses to come to your table for. Mrs. Elizabeth made cooking seem so simple, and bought it out of the realm of the unattainable and into the realm of the possible. I'm kind of sad that I never got to tell her how amazing that I think that she is, but that is kind of what happens when you marry someone else! Oh well!

I decided to make Chicken and Sausage Gumbo from the cookbook Cooking Up A Storm: Recipes Lost and Found from the Times-Picayune of New Orleans. I cannot recommend this book enough! So many of these recipes celebrate the "at home" gourmands of the Crescent City, the tradition which has been most threatened by the diaspora of its citizens.


For those of you who are married, the following pictures should inspire a giggle or two. My husband harassed me for hours until he was able to run away with his bowl full of "Precious". Ridiculous man!



Friday, October 29, 2010

Here comes Halloween...

Every year I travel to PA to spend Halloween with a group of very close friends. For the first time since I met those amazing women, I am not spending this holiday with them. I originally wasn't able to go due to my pregnancy, but with Bryce's death that became a moot point. I decided not to go because it will be a big wonderful mash-up of fun, and I am not up to being in that state of mind yet. I miss my friends though. I hope that they are having an amazing time.

In solidarity, I've posted some of my favorite pictures from the last few years below. Pumpkins Pumpkins Pumpkins!






Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lunch with a Friend

This afternoon I am heading out to the Old Market for lunch with a very good friend of mine. She was instrumental in helping me get through all of the scary parts of my pregnancy, and she has been very supportive since Bryce's death. I've found it difficult to get out of the house without Brian, so I think that this lunch is exactly what I need.

I am also looking forward to getting her perspective on what to do regarding TTCing again. Our doctor told us that physically we are able to try after one cycle, which ended last weekend, but that he recommended that we wait three months to emotionally heal. My issue with following this advice concerning my emotional health is that I am a very timid person naturally. I have to force myself to do things which scare me, and I can't tell you how many things scare me. I know that it seems ridiculous, especially with my history on stage, but I am terrified of anything that brings on physical and emotional pain. The way that I get through those fears is to simply jump, as I have learned that the anticipation is half of the misery.

If we wait the three months, then we will start to TTC too close to Bryce's estimated due date for my emotional comfort. I will want to put it off longer as to avoid that milestone, and I'm afraid that I will not want to try again. On the other hand, I am terrified that I am fooling myself into believing that I can emotionally handle another pregnancy loss this soon. Yet, I don't know if I'll ever be able to handle another one. I'm not really "handling" this one. I am just living. I no longer have the same trust in fate/the universe that everything will be fine. I know that it is possible that I will be miserable for the rest of my life, that I will always be in physical, emotional, and spiritual pain. I'm not ready to give up on the possibility of my dreams coming true, and I want to make the right choice in doing what I can to make them a reality.

Hopefully my friend will have some insight. My husband and I are too close to the subject, and having an outside empathetic outlook can only help.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dinner

My husband has been out of town for the last few days, so I haven't been cooking that much. I did however, snag some gorgeous fall produce at Whole Foods on Monday, so I am going to make Honey Roasted Root Vegetables tonight. I came across this recipe years ago in an issue of Cooking Light magazine, and have made it every fall since. It is a delicious, filling, guilt-free recipe that celebrates the flavors of fall.



I used golden turnips and what I thought were Japanese sweet potatoes, thinking to see if the different veggies gave this dish a better flavor. Halfway through chopping the vegetable three fingers on my left hand went numb. I immediately panicked a bit, and then put a pair of latex gloves on and went back to work. As it turns out, my fingers had gone numb due to the fact that our fridge had turned the vegetables into popsicles. I rarely prepare that many vegetables at once, so it makes sense that it has never happened before!




I made two batches of the recipe so that we would have a healthy side dish on hand during the week. I was planning on making broiled portobello mushrooms for a main dish, but I ended up just eating a big bowl of the veggies.




I missed the American sweet potato in the dish, but I loved the golden turnips. regular turnips can be a bit sour, which when added to parsnips, creates a weird dichotomy to this dish. The golden turnips were only a little tart, which worked perfectly. I can't wait to make this again with a different type of sweet potato; it will be absolutely perfect!

Welcome!

I decided to create a place to document my life as a want-to-be mother, a Westie owner, and a so-so Martha emulator. I am working on celebrating my life and the things I love about it.

The last few years have changed me dramatically. My husband and I were married in July of 2005, and our puppy Duke joined our family in October of that year. In 2006 I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, and have been struggling to control my symptoms. I have been on a journey to find my career path, and have stumbled a few times along the way. My dream is to teach Theatrical History on the collegiate level, but my grad school career has been put on hold until my husband and I can make it work with our lifestyle.

I enjoy cooking and crafting, but I hate to clean. My family lives a few states away, so my husband gets to taste my concoctions while eating around my craft projects.

Right now my challenges are dealing with our son Bryce's death in September, losing 75 pounds, and getting our house ready to be put on the market next spring. Obviously the worst issue is getting through the grief process, and both my husband and I are trying to do that by remembering him and living our lives in a way that he would have been proud of.

So here's to life!