Tuesday, January 20, 2015

what comes next

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The other day I was leaving my yoga class and I heard my instructor in her sweet Tennessee drawl saying to the receptionist “Did Jess leave yet?” when the woman didn’t know who she was talking about she said “you know Very Pregnant Jess? Did she leave yet?” I chuckled and tapped her on the shoulder. She simply wanted to say goodbye and wish me well seeing as this was the last class I would be able to make it to before the baby is born. Or maybe she was hoping this is the last class I’m going to waddle into before the baby is born. I have watched over the last few weeks everyone in the beginning of class peeking at me with a mix of sweetness and horror as I toddle to the mat and heavy breathe my way through the postures with a lot of support from props.

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I am so pregnant it is almost outrageous. At 38 weeks looking like I’m a month overdue because I have nourished myself so thoroughly (aka eaten like a wolverine) this whole pregnancy. At the point where every single person just kind of chuckles at you and is like “are you SO done?” to which I smile through gritted teeth and have the same conversation I have already had seven times that day and will have at least four more. Of course I’m ready and in another sense- holy shit totally NOT READY. I mean, this situation is kind of a big deal. Because it’s not like this situation ends with labor- then we have to be parents.

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It’s funny how much people want to talk to pregnant ladies. Strange middle aged men I don’t know asking if it’s my first child, sweet Irish grandmothers lilting in their brogue “when is the blessed event?”, and then of course the clueless asshat that tells me “yikes, are you sure it’s not twins?!” or “whoa. You are gonna have a BIG baby.” Let me just clue those folks into something, when the only exit route is a smallish, albeit elastic area the last thing a lady wants to hear is how “omg HUGE” their baby is going to be. This includes you mom. You can stop saying “I think you got biggah” every time you see me.

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Because Very Pregnant Jess might become Very Violent Jess if you don’t tone it down with the size comments. I know that I am comically enormous and I know deep down that this is a gift of a healthy, full term pregnancy. I also know that my current physical truth is that I need a touch of momentum to get out of the couch and every day I resemble Tony Soprano just a bit more. As in: my favorite leisure activities include heavy breathing and eating cold pasta lying down. It’s an identity I’m embracing right now and, to be quite honest, I’m also counting the minutes til it’s over because it is gonna be so frickin’ sweet to put shoes on without getting winded. I simply can’t wait. Oh and the magic of motherhood blah blah blah. That’ll be sweet too, I’m sure.

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But being Very Pregnant and working a demanding physical job during the holidays was freaking hard, yo. I’ve been determined to keep moving, stay active and keep on cooking until the end of my pregnancy and for the most part, I have been able to do that. But stamina is an issue and you do end up only getting to one or two out of the four things you had planned to accomplish on any given day. So I apologize for all the silence the past two months, blog wise, but I’ve just been doing what I can. The one day of the week where I completely recoup has always and will always be Sundays. Sundays are a sacred day in the Benson household and I hope Baby Benson gets this whenever he or she gets here. Sundays are for no alarms and staying in sweatpants, they are for a big pot of coffee and the geeky mugs we bought on our honeymoon that say I HEART MY HUSBAND and I HEART MY WIFE and more than anything they are for a simple, rib-sticking, comforting breakfast, a good conversation, and usually some sort of late 1970s R&B. This is how we do and we will continue to do in some way, shape or form when our party of two becomes a party of three. Let's just we're excited for what comes next.

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5-6 red bliss potatoes, diced
1 ½ tbsp. butter
2-3 tbs. olive oil
½ white onion, minced
1 shallot
3 cloves garlic
Smoked paprika
Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
2-3 cups baby spinach leaves
4 eggs

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Quarter and dice potatoes into equal-sized chunks and cover with cold water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cook until just tender, easily pricked with a knife. While the potatoes cook, prepare all other ingredients. Set a cast iron skillet over medium heat and melt butter and olive oil together. Add onion and shallot and sauté until fragrant and slightly caramelized (about 7-8 minutes). Mince garlic and add, along with about 1-2 tsp. smoked paprika, a healthy shake of Lawry’s and Old Bay and a tiny pinch of cayenne. Drain potatoes and add to skillet- add a touch more oil or butter if the skillet seems dry. Fry potatoes until completely cooked through and starting to crisp a bit on the edges, about another 8 minutes or so.

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Scatter spinach leaves into potatoes and fold together to wilt spinach. Add a pinch of kosher salt and a crank of pepper. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, carve out four little pockets within the potato and spinach mixture and carefully crack one egg into each pocket. If the pan looks dry at all before you do this, add just a touch more oil to the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat a touch to medium-low and cover the skillet for about 4 minutes.

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Lift cover and check progress on eggs. You want the whites completely firm but the yolks still a bit liquid. My heat was particularly low and I think it took about 6 minutes or so to finish the eggs to a nice over-easy. Sprinkle a touch more salt and some fresh cracked pepper over. Serve immediately.

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