Thursday, September 3, 2009

pot roasts and playgroups...

so my mom laughed at me for snapping some images of my pot roast maiden voyage.

people, i'm 30.
and apparently very naive when it comes to cooking a roast.
and it wasn't even for MY FAMILY!

a few close friends of a previous coworker decided to make dinner for her since she just brought home her brand new baby!

i've spent alot of time 'reconsidering' my go-to chicken recipe that i make for such occasions. i mean, i love chicken! i love comfort food! but i was kinda getting tired of making it and with a brand new cookbook, i figured i should diversify.

last wednesday evening (it's a blur, i could be wrong on the date), after isaac was in bed, i ventured out to the grocery store with a very specific list of ingredients. and i've recently learned to place the meat/fish/eggs/diary in my cart LAST, as it takes me SO GOSH DARN LONG to rummage through the aisles. it's a miracle nothing's gone bad during the three hours it used to sit in my cart as i aimlessly wandered for random ingredients, etc.

well, after filling my cart with ingredients SPECIFIC to the pot roast, i wandered over to the very quiet meat counter and told them that i needed a 3lb chuck roast.

i think i'm still recovering from sticker shock. it's SO EXPENSIVE?!
i would have reconsidered and gone for a less expensive ordeal, cart was full and i had no cookbook on hand to flip through AT the grocery store.

pot roast it is.
and it did NOT disappoint!!!
given it had to sit in the crock pot (does that mean i cheated?) for TEN+ hours, i got to work when i got home, so it would cook all night!



i would like to assure you that three pounds of meat is....alot.
the above photos were of half of it! we were able to eat roast ourselves for dinner, while sending it off for a friend!
it was to die for....garlic, onions, mushrooms, carrots, etc!
i will happily send you the recipe if you're interested!!!

BUT it reminds me, that once again, sometimes it's CHEAPER and EASIER to eat out! chinese takeout is $17. no cooking. no clean up. no thinking.

pizza is $14 dollars.
but i know -- it's not healthy -- and health is paramount.
...or so we try!


my kitchen was demolished.
i need to learn to cook more cleanly.

so clap for me.
i did it.
and.....i'd do it again! ....that's saying alot.

moving on.


also, last week, there was our monthly general meeting for M.O.M.S. group. we meet once a month ALL together to go over calendar events, fundraisers, diaper drives, babysitting coop plans, etc. isaac loves it!

there are a million kids, a million toys and unlimited crawling space -- i set him down and he's off! i joined this group back in march and it's been great! we've made many new friends and have shared ideas and weathered this first year of parenthood together -- what a neat venture!

now that i'm on the subject, i'm not quite sure why people ridicule playgroups.
i've overheard, read about and been privy to conversations where people make fun of playgroups and are downright mean in their discussions -- and frankly -- completely wrong.

before you make another snide comment about playgroups, you should probably ask yourself:
have you ever moved to a city where you knew nobody?

have you ever started a job where you knew nobody?

have you left everything familiar, ever, in your life?

are your parents hours from you and your children?

are your siblings, cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc, all living in a different state?

do you know what it's like to step out of your comfort zone, without the support of ANY family, and start a family of your own?

can you find it in your heart to be thankful for a vast network of family and life-long friends, rather than critical of the only network somebody else may have?

have you ever had an emergency and left your child with anybody other than family, when necessary? imagine not having that...

playgroups are equally important for me, as the mother, as they are fun for isaac.
to build a circle of friends who understands where you are in life.
to create an urban family that emulates, as much as can be possible, the stability of the normal family that you have at your disposal.
it's the intentional invitation to allow others into your home, your life...and the invitation to offer and give support.

i'm not sure why some people want to tear that down...?
i'm not sure why i constantly hear people making fun of that?
i just have to smile....and walk away.

i just hope it means that you have MUCH to be grateful for -- and that you will recognize that your unfamiliarity with playgroups doesn't justify negative commentary.

and frankly, EVEN IF I DID have extensive family support -- i'd still be immensely thankful for the playgroups! i've thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people (maybe you would too), and having new experiences and giving isaac a well-rounded year with many new friends for him to grow with....

we are also thankful for our 'urban family' at church! they've been a great support to us, as well. seeing those friends 2-3 times a week and being able to rely on them for last-minute sitting needs, nursery/childcare needs, dinners, bible studies, and plain, fun get-togethers has been one of the biggest blessings i've ever experienced.

the last ten years of my life have been the fullest years.
though i don't have the convenience of family, and haven't for over a decade -- my 'family' has expanded immensely.
i have 'family' in illinois (kris+ky!!!), and i have family in DC, and i have family in VA, i have family in MD, i have family in PA....maybe not family by birth....

...but family by choice.

and i feel SO blessed.
and i certainly wouldn't have it any other way....


chrissy said...

you know I AM proud that you made a pot roast. i think i need the recipe. i need to try it. it's time.

and, i love that you have a 'family' down there. it's necessary. definitely. love it.

come visit me.

Glenna Marshall said...

that pot roast looks amazing. post the recipe if you ever DARE to purchase a roast again. i mean, not that i'm going to buy one, know. i'd like to have the recipe "just in case".

i would looooove to find a playgroup, but don't even know how to go about finding one. even more i'd love an adoption playgroup so i can chat with some other adoptive moms, particularly who've entered the world of interracial adoption.

my son has exactly 3 friends from church and that's it. he only plays with them at church, so...yeah. no scorn from me on the playgroup subject.

Julie Nickerson said...

Wow the pot roast looks to DIE FOR!!!

WHO WOULD MAKE FUN OF PLAYGROUP??? I have NEVER heard ANYONE being nasty about playgroup?!?

WE LOVE OUR PLAYGROUP! Meets once a week (and I even have family around). I love meeting new moms and sharing ideas, etc.

And Abel loves running around the gym.


The Babcock Family said...

I need that pot roast recipe! I recently found an Ina Garten (love her) one but I'm a die-hard crock pot fan so want to try yours first.

Playgroups are the best. And I'm glad you're in mine!

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