I’ve been hesitant to jump back into the blog because I have been a total hypocrite and I knew I’d have to fess up. I have some ‘splainin’ to do about the not so homemade meals we came to rely on when I went back to work. You see, when you start your first year teaching, work a part time job as well, buy a house, and plan a wedding in the same year, there is very little time to think about anything other than the task at hand and how very, very exhausted you are. I’m totally making excuses here.
When I read back through old posts and see sentences like “it only takes an extra couple of minutes,” I cringe. Please girl! Extra twenty minutes?! Those words were clearly written by a lady who has too much time on her hands. Those couple of extra minutes it takes to make stuff by hand is just not happening on a week night because that’s an extra couple of minutes that I could be getting my never ending work done (or giving thought to exercising but then crashing on the sofa instead.)
I don’t have any radical ideas on finding balance between my domestic and professional life. While it’s something that I think most women struggle with at some point or another, everyone is in a different situation. When my professional life was on hold, I threw my energy into the domestic life–exploring cool, new food, testing my skills in the kitchen, putting a house together–as a form of self preservation. Look, see, I accomplished something today. Even if it only benefited my boyfriend/fiance/husband, I created something I can be proud of.
Then, quite suddenly, I had other work to do. I couldn’t concentrate on that stuff any more for far more pressing matters like teaching kids that mac and cheese wasn’t a vegetable. Zane always bragged about the variety of dinners I made, that he never got bored because I was always coming up with something new and I took a lot of pride in that. However between meal planning, grocery list making, grocery shopping, and cooking, I couldn’t keep up. I felt like I was letting not only him, but you guys down as well if I couldn’t keep the fresh new dishes flowing. So I stopped blogging…
…and life went on. Our priorities shifted and we started to find that balance. Zane cooked more. We discovered the wonders of utilizing our freezer. We started working smarter, not harder. We ate good food.
But I’ve missed sharing it with you guys and hearing and learning from you…
Like that time we tried Blue Apron, I wanted to talk about it. To chat about the awesome recipes and abhorring amount of packaging. (Seriously, what are you supposed to do with 4 huge icepacks every week?!)
Or those times when the event company our venue used couldn’t keep a wedding planner so we had 4 different wedding planners over the course of a year. (How do you stay organized through that?!)
Or that time we threw a bonfire the night before our wedding complete with a s’mores bar and things were crazy but it ended up being almost as much fun as the wedding itself.
Or each of those times we figured out how to get dinner on the table in under 30 minutes, when you know you’ve nailed it, and you feel like “We are the Champions” should be playing in the background.
I’ve missed chatting with you guys.
So I’m just going to leave this here for you. Have you ever done a low country boil? There was a sorority at uni that hosted a big low country boil every year as one of their fundraisers. It was always a huge hit, but I had never thought to try and make it myself. I tried it for the first time earlier this summer after seeing Joy the Baker’s post and it has become one of our favorites. There is next to no prep. You just throw things in and 30 min later you have dinner. It’s messy to eat, but that’s half the fun. It’s also super easy to scale up or down if you want to make some to eat on for lunched during the week or if you’re having folks over.
Low Country Boil
4 cups chicken stock
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 of a red onion
juice of 1 lemon
3 sprigs of thyme
1/4 cup creole spice or any cajun spice
3 tbsp salt
1 pound baby potatoes
2 ears of corn
1/2 pound of raw shrimp
2 links of andouille sausage
2 Tbsp melted butter
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
salt, pepper, and paprika for sprinkling
In a large pot bring the stock, garlic, red onion, lemon juice, thyme, salt and spice to a boil. Add the potatoes then reduce to a simmer. Cook 15 minutes then add the corn. Cook 5 more minutes. Add the shrimp and sausage and cook 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the potatoes, corn, shrimp and sausage to a serving bowl along with about a 1/2 cup of the broth. Pour the melted butter over the top and sprinkle with the parsley, paprika, salt, and pepper.
Turn on “We are the Champions” and serve.