A lot goes on in my kitchen between the hour of 5:00PM and 6:00PM, and it seems fitting to describe it as ‘the kitchen dance.’
See, I slide the high chair to the center of my kitchen, and B goes in around 5:00. Coincidentally, that is precisely when I pour myself my first (half) glass of wine. Back and forth a few times between the fridge and high chair to get B enough to keep him occupied till at least 5:03.
Then I bounce over to the ipad – let’s get some tunes going. B is still set on Mumford & Sons ‘I Will Wait’ so on it goes. Now we’re jamming.
Back to B, he dropped his spoon, pick it up. Back to the ipad – what am I making for dinner tonight again? I really don’t know what I would do without C’s picks documenting everything. My memory is still iffy since the bebe. Alright, spring risotto, let’s do this.
Over to the fridge to grab ingredients and onto the cutting board they go. B dropped 90% of his dinner on the floor, pick it up – back on the tray it goes. No judging here. The cleaning crew was here last week.
Back to the cutting board, chop chop chop, boil boil boil. Music is off – over to the ipad. Sorry B, my pick this time. On goes ‘Mercy’ from Duffy. Have you cooked to this song yet? Try it.
Back to the cutting board. L runs in muddy from head to toe. Gross. Into the sink go his arms, head, feet – pretty much anything I can wash without leaving the kitchen. A scrubbed up L heads to the couch to relax a bit before dinner.
I head back to the cutting board when I hear ‘mom, I’m thirsty.’ To the fridge, get some OJ, over to L. Back to the cutting board.
B is whining for something – probably hummus. Over to him to give a few bites. Now ‘Like a G6’ is playing on the ipad (boom boom?). Huh, I’m not so sure about this one. I’m standing in my kitchen, not a club. Alright, let’s go with ‘Bittersweet Symphony.’ An oldie but a goodie.
Back to the cutting board to check in on dinner. Ok, things seem prepped well for after B’s bed time. Over to the sink, bottles need to be washed and prepped. Scrub scrub scrub, measure measure measure.
The floor doesn’t look much better. Sigh. Take off anything remotely cute I might be wearing. I’m going in.
The floor is clean. B is clean. Balancing him on one hip the Goo Goo Dolls ‘Iris’ comes on (gosh this is so high school, how fun) and I prep L’s dinner as he is just starving. Onto the counter it goes, order up! B goes down on the floor for a bit more play time before bed and it’s now time to polish off that other half glass of wine.
Bath and bedtimes are just around the corner. Good thing, because I’m quite beat. I love my kids but sometimes 6:30 can’t come soon enough. It’s a signal of calm and quiet to come.
And that, my friends, is how dinner is prepped. It all then comes together after B is (hopefully!) blissfully asleep and I can enjoy the lovely process of slowly stirring a risotto and throwing in the fresh spring ingredients. For me, it’s soothing. Bonus that tonight I get to chat with my seriously awesome sister.
- 1 cup fresh peas
- 1/2 cup chopped asparagus
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parm, plus more for serving
- 2 TBS butter
- 2 TBS freshly chopped parsley
- salt & pepper to taste
- Bring two cups of water to a boil. Drop in the peas and asparagus and cook for 1 minute. Drain and immediately put into an ice bath to stop the cooking. Set aside.
- Bring your chicken stock to a simmer and heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, roughly 4-5 minutes. Add the rice and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes stirring frequently with 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the white wine and stir until evaporated. Begin adding the warm stock, 1 ladle at a time until the stock is absorbed before adding more. Continue adding more stock and stirring slowly until it is all gone. This process will take roughly 18 minutes and a 1/2 glass of wine (to consume).
- The rice should look creamy at this point. Stir in your veggies, lemon zest and juice, cheese, butter, parsley, salt & pepper. Cover and let rest at low heat for a few minutes.
- Stir immediately, in deep bowls, with more grated parm on top.
Eat (and dance!) up,