My oldest boy goes off to school almost every morning with an obstinate case of bed head. Sometimes I try to wet it down and comb it smooth, but his hair will have none of it. We stand there together looking in the bathroom mirror, his hair gone only from bed head to wet bed head, and shrug our shoulders. It's actually quite impressive, really, that a kid with such straight, fine hair can get that kind of volume. Some people pay a lot of money for that. I've grown to kind of love that whimsical rooster tail shooting out above his ear, not just for the relief of letting small things slide to get out the door on time, but because when life says "I have certain expectations for you, little boy," his head simply says, "I have a better idea."
Nurturing what truly matters, and letting go of what does not, is kind of my theory at home. My days are filled with preparing meals, school runs, conversations with my younger son, age 4, about monsters and trains and whatever else he's daydreaming about. Sometimes we sing together and dance to the kitchen radio. Sometimes we read books or watch TV. Sometimes we bake. Whatever it is, it's simple and cozy. We live, as they say, in the moment, and I'm conscious every day of how lucky I am to have this time together and how it won't last forever.
Since I made enough Sausage Cannellini Bean Soup yesterday to serve as dinner again tonight, today we are baking Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Muffins and crafting. My son put markers to paper for a lovely drawing of our house, complete with a table of coconuts (what that's about, I don't know), while I put together a simple Valentines paper heart bunting for above the fireplace. It looks pretty cute for one sheet of construction paper and some twine.
Scroll down for my recipe for Sausage Cannellini Bean Soup. It's so simple to make and so rich in flavour. Serve with some bread and dinner is done. Which means there's more time in the day to smile at the way bed head bounces when it's skipping down the sidewalk.
Sausage Cannellini Bean Soup
Makes 4 to 5 servings
a splash of olive oil
1 lb (450 g) sausages such as mild Italian or bratwurst, casings removed
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) thinly sliced leeks, well rinsed
2 cans (540 mL/19 oz) cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped fresh parsley
3 cups (750 mL) chicken stock
2 cups (500 mL) water
2 tsp (10 mL) prepared horseradish
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
Warm the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage meat and cook until browned, breaking it up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon while it cooks. Transfer the cooked sausage to a heat-proof bowl and set aside.
Add the leeks to the pot and reduce the heat to medium. Cook 4 to 5 minutes to soften, stirring often. Add the cannellini beans and parsley to the pot. Return the sausage to the pot. Pour in the stock and water. Stir in the horseradish and salt.
Bring to a bubble over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with fresh bread.
STORAGE TIP: This works as a handy make-ahead meal. Store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days, or freeze in containers for up to 6 months.
Do you battle the daily bed head, or just let it slide? What truly matters in your home?