I used to write a blog called Dainty Cate. It was all about my adventures homeschooling my young girls and included a pretty personal look at my life through several health crises. My girls are growing up (tweenager in the house… please pass the Shiner!), we made the decision to move them into a local Catholic school, I started working a part time, and I found that some stories were no longer mine to tell. I saved all the stories and pictures from the early years of our family and shuttered the blog. My identity as a full time mom, a homeschooler, a blogger, was suddenly gone. The transition out of our home and into a brick and mortar school was a bumpy one. Tears were shed, teeth were gnashed, but we now have two happy children who love their friends, teachers, and new adventures. We are in the homestretch of their first year, and only now have I finally had a chance to take a deep breath, have a good look around, and decide which direction I want to explore.
My husband, meanwhile, has been so supportive as the girls and I up-end everything in our world. No matter how chaotic things get these days, one thing we can always count on is coming home at the end of a crazy day and sharing an amazing dinner. My bearded chef discovered years ago that cooking was relaxing for him, and with tears of gratitude in my eyes I handed over the dish towel that I had probably been using to fan smoke out of the house, and he swung it jauntily over his shoulder and started dividing ingredients into more tiny glass ramekins than the Cooking Network uses in a week of programing. The man is a veritable marvel. He has an innate sense of flavor combinations and rarely uses a recipe when concocting his latest creation. However, he has been a long time musician right here in the Live Music Capital of the World, and now that the girls are getting older, he is beginning to put more time and energy back into that life. I’m thrilled for him and love the chance to get out and enjoy any of his current bands in our beautiful city, but this also means that solo nights are becoming more frequent.
While the girls delight in the nights that Mom cooks (“Yay! Mac ‘n cheese, again!”), I’ve decided now that I’m on the downward slope of my thirties it might MIGHT just be time for me to attempt to cook something for my family beyond the same five fallbacks I’ve been throwing together since college (beans and rotel, mac n cheese from a box, chicken fajitas, chili, and cereal– just in case you’re keeping score). This is a big leap of faith for me (and everyone planning to gather around our table for that matter), as nearly every time during our early married life that I attempted to open a (wedding gifted) cookbook and branch out from the five old faithfuls, things ended with the smoke detectors shrilling, me in a puddle of disappointment on the kitchen floor, and an emergency call to pizza delivery.
I’ve got a few new cookbooks, a burnt orange apron (Hook ‘Em!), and blog to document the fallout. What could possibly go wrong?