Happiness is…

Taking a random tram ride to the outskirts of Bern, serendipitously finding a playground, climbing in a huge swing with the boys, looking up at the sky as the sun pokes through the clouds.

Jman shouting: “Higher! Higher!” as I pump my legs awkwardly while lying on my back. 

Mpants squirms onto my belly and gives me a kiss: “Me love you Mommy!”

“Me love you too.” And I kiss the tops of each of their heads. We lay back in the swing and watch the clouds.

Who is your person?

One night I was talking to Jman before he went to sleep. I was telling him how his brother is really important. And how he is (or will be) his best friend and they will have a lot of great adventures together. And they will need to support each other and confide in one another. And look out for one another.

I said: “He will be your person.”

And Johnny digested that for a moment and replied: “He already is my person. He is my assistant!”

Boom!

Raspberry purée

The moment you realize you are of a different generation:

We are driving home in the afternoon. “What would you like for goûter? (Snack)?”

“Cookies!!” Mpants exclaims right off the bat.

“Chocolate eggs!” Exclaims Jman (on a chocolate high from Easter.

“Raspberry purée?” I offer as a solution. 

Something between the two demands. 

Exactly like their mother, they looooovvvveee all things raspberry. I have been hiding these small pots of raspberry sauce (you know..apple sauce, but with raspberries). I planned to eat them surreptitiously… Myself. But, I hadn’t shopped for quite a few days and was out of alternatives. 

“Yayaaaaay! Raspberry purée!” They shout. Excited at the thought.

And I start singing: “Raspberry purée”… To the tune of Prince’s “Raspberry Beret”. And the boys are singing it with me:

“Rasp-berry purée!” We sing at the top of our lungs. 

“Rasp-berry purée!” 

Me: “Haha. Let’s find that song on the Youtube and play it on the radio. You’ll love it!” Thinking that I can stream it to the sound system in the car when I do find it.

Jman: “What’s a radio?”

Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle

Mpants stands in the doorway when we get inside. He always wants me to help him get undressed. I have started to get him to do it himself.

“You can do it Mpants. Take off your jacket.”
“Nooooo. You help me.”
“I think you can do it. Here, I will unzip your zipper….zip…now you take it off.”

“Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle,” he says as he shrugs off his jacket and lets it fall to the floor.

I smile. And pick up the jacket.

One thing at a time I suppose.

Kale, tuna, and white bean salad

Sicilian kale, tuna, and white bean salad. Perfect winter salad. #foodlover

A tasty, hearty winter salad for #foodlovers

I stayed with some friends in Ottawa for a bit during the summer of 1999. Glenn was doing his kayak-outfitting thing thenand was also the stay-at-home parent. He would make lunch for us (his daughter Rachel and myself). One day, he made this super-tasty, warm, dark green dish with white beans and tuna. I thought he had just magically thrown some ingredients together in a fry pan on the stove. It was so tasty. I remember that dish because I think it was the first time I had tried kale.

I tried to make that dish for over 10 years, but was never very successful. And here in Switzerland, I can rarely find kale (it took me awhile to figure out here–where I live–kale is called “chou pommée”). One day last year, I saw it in the produce section of Migros and I snatched it up. My mouth started watering with the memory of that lunch my friend had made over a decade before. I brought it home and googled: “kale, tuna, white bean recipe.”

I finally found a recipe that works! Here it is:

Ingredients

1 bunch of kale (approximately .5 kg or 1 pound)
45 ml (3 tblsp) olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, pressed
60 g (1/4 cup) olives, chopped
60 g (1/4 cup) capers, drained
a dash of red pepper flakes
5 ml (1 tsp) sugar
1 can tuna in water, drained and flaked
250 ml or 1 can of cannellini or white beans, drained and rinsed
Salt & pepper

Directions

Bring 500 ml (2 cups) of water to boil in a large fry pan (I use my wok) and stuff in the chopped-up kale. Cover, and reduce the heat a bit. Boil for 5-8 minutes to cook the kale. Drain, and set aside.

Heat the olive oil (in the wok) on medium heat and add the onion for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute.

Add olives, capers and pepper flakes, cook and stir for 2 minutes.

Finally, add the tuna and white beans and mix it up to warm them up.

Gently press out the water from the kale. Turn onto a cutting board and roughly chop it up some more. Add the cooked kale and the teaspoon of sugar (the sugar really reduces the bitterness of the kale). Toss gently to mix it up. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Voilà! Ready to eat. We opened a bottle of Païen from Caprice du Temps.

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original recipe from a teaspoon of spice#Swisswine #winelover : Caprice du Temps | why kale is a great friend with benefits