By Wendy Monro
"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."
Cod poached in miso soup.
I have had a whirlwind of a week with all of the kids. I still cannot believe how quickly they are growing up. It seems like only yesterday when I was tucking them all in bed at 7:30 each night with their favorite blanket and a glass of water. Claud and I told them a bedtime story each night.
I just had to go ask Daphne exactly how the story went because I have already forgotten a bit of it. It was the same story every night, "One night, Daphne (or Jack or Archie or Ella) was going to bed and she/he said, I don't want to go night night, but I got to. I know what, if you close your eyes and think of your favorite toy. What's your favorite toy? (The child answers with their favorite toy). Close your eyes and think of your favorite toy and go on a big big adventure and in the morning you will tell mom and dad, Archie, Ella, Daphne and Jack, grandma and grandpa, Muzzy, Manny, and Blizz Blizz about it." This was the first year we stopped telling this story. I was already forgetting how it went. What's happening?
I remember clearly how Daphne used to sing in front of anyone who would listen and waved and said hello to each and every stranger. Now, she is singing in a band and has a boyfriend who is a drummer.
Miso Poached Cod
Time: 45 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 scallions, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
5 baby carrots, julienned
4 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons daikon, julienned
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Spanish saffron
1 pod vanilla bean, seeded
1 package dried miso soup mix
(enough for 3 cups soup)
5 pieces of cod
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Saute scallions, onions, celery and carrots for ten minutes. Add mushrooms and daikon and saut another ten minutes. Add garlic and saut another five minutes. Add saffron and vanilla beans. Mix miso soup mix in with three cups of the water from the mashed potatoes. Pour into the vegetables. Add the cod and poach for fifteen minutes (until fish is cooked through). Add fresh thyme. Place mashed potatoes on the plate. Put cod and vegetables on top. Place polenta on the side. Pour on the miso sauce.
I remember how I used to tell Ella she couldn't get into a restaurant or a store without her hat on. She looked so cute in a hat that I was forced to trick her into wearing it. She was so shy. People used to come up to her and take pictures of her because she is so beautiful. Now, she is in college and is getting ready to drive a car.
I remember how Jack always wanted to sit with me and hold my hand. In fact, many times I had to drive with one hand on the wheel and one hand stretched behind me in the back seat holding his hand across the car. He always had to sit in the seat diagonally behind me so he could see me. Now, he flinches if I hug him. He never holds my hand any more. I remember when Archie picked arguments with everyone. He used to hide Ella's favorite toys behind his bed. Now, he is the most compassionate sweet and charming boy I have ever been around. He always cares about everyone and is so nice and helpful all of the time.
Thank goodness I have been writing most of this down as I go because I would hate to forget any of this. It's all moving so quickly. Time is flying by. Claud and I just had our 14-year wedding anniversary. I can't believe it has been 15 years since our first meeting in a pub in England. I constantly take pictures of the kids and of Claud. Sometimes they get irritated with me because I am always snapping pictures. I just don't want to miss a single thing. I don't want to forget anything. I don't want anything to go undocumented. I really want to savor every second of my time with these people. They are so precious to me. Every once in a while that means putting the camera down and just letting it all soak in. Enjoying every second while it happens without distraction.
Tonight, Claud and I cooked dinner together for Jack, Daphne and her boyfriend, CJ. I love watching Claud work in the kitchen. It's rare when he decides to lend a hand with dinner but when he does; I love to watch him in action.
Tonight, we cooked cod poached in miso. I made mashed potatoes and polenta to go with it. Claud julienned, sauted, and poached everything into an amazing treat. I snapped pictures of him working his magic. He is so much better at preparing a meal than I am. It's like watching an artist at work.
When we finished, we all sat down at the table together. I am so happy we have kept up this tradition of eating at the table together as often as possible. It's such a great time to get caught up on what is happening with everyone, especially as they are getting older. I love how the conversation inevitably leads to something interesting. Tonight we discussed farm-raised fish vs. wild caught. We also talked about the Jewish religion and touched on white supremacy a bit. I didn't do a whole lot of talking because I really wanted to listen and watch and remember. I don't want life to be what happens while I am busy making other plans. I want life to be what is happening while I am busy paying attention.