Cloudy days can be bright. Sick days are sometimes nice. Change is hard but also exciting. Messy food can be delicious.
These are things I’m thinking about today. A day that started out gray and rainy but has the sun peeking out. One with two of my kids home sick which was enjoyable just because they were with me. When my youngest is finishing preschool tomorrow (gasp!) and my oldest is finishing elementary in 2 weeks (yes, I am now officially blubbering). Where is the time going and can someone please make it stop?
Lately, I find myself tearing up at the littlest things. The kids are playing outside and I am sitting and watching them. They are actually playing nicely and not trying to kill each other or screaming about something one did to the other. [Full disclosure: my headphones are on and I am listening to music while watching them play and sometimes yell at each other but I am able to block it out and pretend they are getting along perfectly]. Either way, it’s adorable and it makes me well up because I am afraid it’s going to end. I know it’s going to end. They are growing too fast.
I know this time is precious. That when I look back at my life, these are going to be the years I want back, always. The ones when we were all together. When I had them mostly to myself and didn’t have to share the time with so many other priorities they will have including; hectic school schedules, intense sports, friends, girlfriends (cringe!), work, college (cue waterfall).
Funny thing is, when I was in the weeds with toddlers, not too long ago, I just wanted them to grow. To be honest, I couldn’t wait to get away at times. Going back to school was not only an opportunity for me to find a healthy way to manage our food allergies but also a way for me to find myself outside of the role of being a stay at home mom and in some ways a huge break from the day to day with young kids.
Now, just a few years later, I am feeling exactly the opposite. The need to hold on tightly. To cancel a couple of weeks of camp so I can just be with them in the summer. To spend time enjoying every minute I can before they become even more independent than they already are. To experience their excitement as they enter each new exciting phase, temper their fears and cheer them on even though I am a little scared too. It’s messy and wonderful, sort of like this dish!
I roasted tomatoes with garlic, red onions and bacon fat early in the day yesterday thinking I would toss it with some pasta, fresh mozzarella and basil, as in this recipe. I had a piece of red snapper and wasn’t sure how I was going to prepare it. I thought of Veracruz style snapper recipes with baked snapper and tomatoes and decided to put my tomatoes on top of the fish. The snapper broke up a little bit as I sautéed it so I just went with the whole messy look and broke it up with a fork before serving. Delicious, even if a bit unkempt. Some of the best things are, don’t you think?
- 1 lb grape tomatoes, halved or campari tomatoes, quartered
- ½ medium red onion, sliced thinly, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tbsp melted bacon fat or olive oil, divided
- Salt, pepper and sugar to taste (I always add a pinch of sugar to tomatoes to reduce acidity)
- 1 lb red snapper fillet
- Preheat oven to 425, lay tomatoes and red onion in a baking dish and toss with minced garlic. Season with salt, pepper and sugar to taste and drizzle with 2 tbsp melted bacon fat or olive oil. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until tomatoes are burst and browned in spots and red onion slices are caramelized. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Wash fish fillet and pat down with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper and heat remaining tablespoon of bacon fat or olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Lay fish in pan when hot and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden-brown on the outside but not cooked through. Add roasted tomatoes and onions to the pan, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 4-5 minutes, until fish is cooked through.