40 Weeks Nutella, anyone?

 

     My husband and I often tell a joke about how we “almost got divorced over a poker game.” It sounds silly now, and when we talk about it, we both laugh so hard. But, there was a time when the sight of a deck of cards would throw us into a full-on word-slamming, hand-waving, grunt and groan war, all because of an incident that happened out of 2 clashing
personalities.

It was a beautiful December night, and his parents were babysitting our new baby boy so we could have a night out at a friendly poker tournament. I was a self-proclaimed professional, and he…well, he’s intelligent in far too many other ways to crowd his mind with poker rules and strategies. I was ready to win the $200 pot and get a couple of last-minute Christmas gifts, and he was excited to wear sunglasses and shout “All in!” I was serious, and he wanted to have fun. The night ended in a heated argument with us sleeping in separate beds. I laugh about it even now as I type it, because it sounds so stupid! Bless my little heart for flipping out over poker chips! You couldn’t tell me that back then though…oh no. I knew it all, and no one was going to change my perspective.

     I took the boys to the park yesterday, and while I was lounging in my chair and smiling at my boys running wildly through the wood-chips, I was interrupted by a young Chinese Mom with an extremely thick accent. She walked over to me with her waddling 1 year old and asked, “Are you married?” I was a little taken back by the question, but realized I still had my wedding ring around my neck from a rash on my ring finger.

     “Yes, almost 8 years now,” I answered with a smile.

     “Does your husband chew tobacco?” she quickly asked. I replayed the question a few times, in my head. Surely, there’s some confusion in her accent, I thought to myself. But, after asking her again, she repeated, “Does your husband chew tobacco?” What a weird question to ask a stranger.

     “No,” I answered with my eyebrow raised, but trying to keep on smiling.

     “Does he smoke tobacco?”

     “No…no my husband does not smoke either.”

     “What bad habit do he have?” She asked. I thought about that one for a while, and I couldn’t really think of any “bad habits”. He drinks energy drinks, and that’s unhealthy, but it’s not a bad habit. He exercises a lot…but that’s not bad either. That’s actually a good thing. He likes bread! No…wait, that wouldn’t be good if he was a Celiac…which, he isn’t. Oh gosh…I can’t think of any bad habits. Oh my…quick, think of something fast or else it’ll sound like you’re a fake Stepford Wife!

     “He works too much!” I blurted out. As if he has a choice. He works too much? Such a stupid answer. That’s not a bad habit either. That’s a man providing for his family, even to a civilian household. I didn’t have to worry too much about it though, because she began to complain about her husband’s chewing tobacco habit (so that’s where that came from…still totally random to share with a stranger, but she must know I’m totally open to random) and his grumpy attitude in the mornings. I tried to speak some sense into this young bride about how his habit isn’t a deal breaker for their marriage, and grumpy mornings don’t necessarily make a person a horrible human being. The man loves her, loves their baby, and works hard to provide so she can be a stay-at-home-mom. She should just work through the tough integrating of lives through these first few years of marriage, and then worry about the tobacco. I tried to explain how the more she loves him and embraces his grumpiness, the less his 6am-crank-face will offend her. Just like my 1-year-seasoned-wife self from poker night, she was absolutely not open to any of it. How could love and tenderness and compassion be the wrong answer? How could I have not seen all of this back then? Selfishness. That’s the answer right there. I wish I could go back in time and flick 19-year-old Me in the nose and say,

     “Shut up, you stupid, selfish, and whiny girl,” and then walk away into the time portal, flashing a peace sign.

Activity #40: Homemade Butter and a “Nutel-latte”

     For the past couple of months, I’ve been getting raw milk from a farmer down the street. I get it on a weekly rotation, in glass jars. Cole made butter in his class this week, and I remember doing it as a kid with a container of heavy whipping cream, so I thought…I wonder if I can do it with the cream that rises to the top of the raw milk? Well, I tried it, because I tend to do that sort of thing, and it worked! I can’t wait to get my weekly milk tomorrow and make more! I hope I don’t ever have to go back!

1.) Let the milk sit in the fridge for a day to let the cream rise to the top.

2.) Scoop the cream out, carefully, and put it into a blender or food processor.

3) Blend until chunky on the sides and bottom of blender.

4.) Pour out the buttermilk. (I used mine for pancakes the next morning)

5.) Using a wooden spoon, break up and smash the butter to get all of the buttermilk out.

6.) Pour ice-cold water over the butter, and continue working with the wooden spoon to break up and “wash” the butter. Do this a lot until the water is running clear. If you leave buttermilk in it, the butter will spoil from the milk.

7.) Add a few sprinkles of salt, and work it into the butter.

8.) Store in a closed container in the fridge.

 

  Like many other women (and the men who aren’t ashamed to admit it), I am in love with Nutella. It’s a delicious food that must be from Narnia, produced by tiny droplets, poured from the magical flask of the White Witch…except not in a creepy ice-queen of evil sort of way. I had a craving for coffee and a craving for Nutella, so I blended the two worlds, because that’s what people in interracial marriages do. Well, at least that’s what I do…and my friend Stephanie M, who had the same idea, but with hot chocolate instead of coffee.

1.)   Start with 2tbs of Hazelnut coffee grounds in a  stove-top espresso maker  filled with water.

2.) Add 1 heaping spoonful of cocoa powder , not mixing.

3.)While it heats on the stove,  mix together 1tbs sugar and 1tsp nutella.

4.) Slowly, pour coffee over sugar and nutella, stirring gently.

5.) Pour over a half-mug of steamed milk.

6.) Take pics, post it on facebook, and taga all of your girlfriends to make them all drool!

Please leave your love in the comments section below, and if you have a suggestions for my next weekly activity, leave it in the suggestion box to the right.

My girlfriend, Meagan, convinced me to create a facebook page for this blog to help me connect with my readers. Please, take a moment to “like” my page by clicking the picture below. Thanks! Can’t wait to see you on there!

Like Me!As always…until next week, send your crazy to me, since I’m going there anyway!

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