Current Fears: Having a baby
Fears I have recently overcome: Listening to old voicemails from my dad & eating olives
First let me talk about my fear. The baby topic has been circulating between Andrew and I for the last few months and as the days pass the more scared I get because it means we are getting closer to actually trying to have a baby instead of just talking about it. Scared shitless would be the correct description of how I am feeling. A solid 9 months of having to make sure I am not eating the wrong thing and that I don’t trip and fall. And then, what if my child is the devil. I mean I can be pretty dramatic and mean, so what if karma rears its ugly tail. Granted I am also a super thoughtful and angelic (when I am sleeping obviously), so maybe they won’t be so bad. Either way, I am petrified. I know it does not help the whole baby making process, but I get this panic in my stomach and it feels like someone is sitting on my chest. When Andrew picked up what I thought was a pre-natal vitamin bottle, I could feel myself getting the start of a panic attack and I was looking for my nearest escape route out of the room. To be fair, I feel like this when I have to meet new people, talk in public, play in a tennis tournament or call the dentist. I am a chicken most days. Now I am just a big fat chicken….or will be….
Now something I have been struggling with...
For the first time in six months I heard my dad’s voice again. I am a hoarder of voicemails and so I have a plethora from my father since I was never sure when he would stop talking to me again. Granted most of them are asking me to just call him back or that he needs me to get him something, but I have one saved from January 13, 2014 where my dad is talking in his regular voice, no lagging, no sounding sick or tired, but his normal voice when he would be telling me a joke. He is wishing me a happy birthday. He says he is calling me right about the time I was born into this world and wishing be the best with lots of positive thoughts. I broke when I heard it. I have had a difficult relationship with my dad pretty much for as long as I can remember. Evidenced even more so by some of the not so nice voicemails also saved. But this 12 second voicemail is my everything. It was the 1st happy birthday I had heard in six years and I would only get one more after it. I miss and cry about the loss of my dad on a regular basis, usually with no warning. So the other day as I was cooking I was in a mind frame where I felt ready. I knew it was fleeting as I have felt ready plenty of times but managed to chicken out as my finger would hover over the play icon. So, now that I have passed this hurdle, I can now listen to the voicemails as much as I want and I can feel happy or sad. But, I am no longer afraid to hear his voice. I know I will never hear it again in present day, but I will forever have him wishing me happy birthday. Thankfully he doesn’t say my age, so for a few seconds once a year I can think it is a present day voicemail and not from the past.
And now for the perfect segue...
Olives were never my jam. Like many food items that I am not a fan of, I claim that the reason I dislike it is due to an age thing. As in: I am not old enough to like this gross thing that only adults do. Same story with Coffee. I am still waiting on this to be something I add to my rituals like I see all the cool people do on TV. I try sips of Andrews but I guess I am just not old enough to appreciate the bland taste of grossly flavored water. So now olives. My first memory is from about half a year ago when Andrew got a chocolate dessert with olive tapenade (after reading the definition I only now realized it probably had anchovies in it). Andrew loved the chocolate, but was not really a fan of the tapenade. I was still hungry so I ate it and kind of liked it. A couple of weeks ago we went to a roof top spot that has pretty much nothing for us to eat. My options: fennel salad and olives. Since I hadn’t eaten dinner I asked for both. I also asked for bread on the side so I had something for my olives as I wasn't convinced I would really like them but was desperate. The food came out, sans bread. Being impatient and hungry, I ate two thirds of the olives before the bread finally came. Andrew looked at me and asked/stated “you really like them?”….which I said, "yeah I guess they're not that bad".
So, as luck would have it I saw a delicious looking recipe in an old vegetarian times with tomatoes, red onion, capers and….olives! So I made it, tried it, loved it! And now I will share it with you, because you too can put the fear of gross tasting olives in your past. Remember this is olives in moderation as Andrew still does not love them. But, between the tomatoes and onions sweet flavors and the olives salty and meaty texture, it was yummy. I guess I am officially old enough for Olives.
Puttanesca Sauce with Fried Capers over Linguine courtesy of Vegetarian Times
- 12oz fettuccini or linguini Pasta ( I used fettuccini because they did not have organic linguini. Plus I mixed spinach and whole grain because I can and it adds some color)
- 2 teaspoons of Olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons of capers .... what are capers?
- 1 red onion, diced (about a cup)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced (you like garlic? add some more)
- 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 2-3 cups of colorful small cherry size tomatoes…the more the merrier
- 1 cup of loosely packed basil, thinly sliced
- 2/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
- Cook your pasta. Remember to break you pasta in half so you don’t really have to pay attention to it while it cooks and so it does not burn, especially if they stick out of the pot.
- In the meantime, grab your red onion, dice it and set aside
- Mince your three cloves of garlic. Three solid cloves should do the trick. Set aside.
- Chop your olives. If you don’t mind them you can keep them in bigger chunks. If you are a new olive lover, cut it up similar to your garlic.
- Tomatoes, wash them and cut them in half
- Your capers are probably sitting in some sort of liquid, so grab 2-3 tablespoons and drain them of the excess liquid. I like capers so I added some more.
- On a pan add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and cook your capers for 3 minutes. Grab them with something that will allow the excess oil to stay on the pan and set them on a plate with a paper towel to soak up the olive oil
- On your pan add the onions and cook for two minutes. Add the garlic & red pepper flakes, toss and cook for another two minutes. Add the tomatoes let them cook for five or so minutes, or once you see them falling apart.
- While your tomatoes are cooking your pasta should be done so you can drain and set it to the side until your tomatoes are ready. Try to hold on to half a cup of pasta water.
- Once the tomatoes are soft add 3/4 of your basil and olives and toss for a minute. Add the pasta and toss until combined well (30 seconds) and turn off heat. If it is hard to toss add some pasta water or olive oil.
- Serve your pasta on a plate and add the capers as a topping and fresh basil.
- Add salt & pepper at your discretion
Tada! Now eat and be a grown-up .