I have been grandmother-in-residence here for a full week now. Still a couple of days to go before I head home. I am in awe of how Mommy gets it all done. And I am in awe of all the mommies everywhere. The ones who stay at home. The ones who work outside the home. It is a 24/7 kind of world where one never stops, never sits down for more than a minute or two.
I have watched Mommy eat dinner (more or less) while jumping up from the table a dozen times during the meal. I've watched her wrangling those wiggly, squirming little bodies into car seats multiple times a day as they head off to school, dance lessons, choir practice, etc. I have watched her calmly take one to the after hours urgent care for a silly emergency—but still one that needed attention.
I have watched her be referee, peacemaker, chauffeur, nurse, counselor, costume designer, librarian, chef, busboy, and teacher. I have watched her firmly send one or the other to time out and lovingly welcome them back after a few minutes of quiet time. I have watched her patiently listen to a teenager who is navigating high school.
And I have watched her manage a meal schedule that might have killed me. (In reality, I did this, too, but have blocked it from my memory.) Eating healthy foods is important in this household, so supper from a drive-thru doesn't happen. That means Mommy has tried to figured out a plan that gets supper on the table even on the days when they walk back in the door at 6:30 pm. She relies on slow cooker meals, make ahead meals, and meals like this one that can be done in about 30 minutes.
When she married, Mommy barely cooked, but goodness how she's learned. I smile when I see her working confidently in her kitchen. All while monitoring the little ones who are playing and possibly squabbling. She has come a long way.
Last night I was home while she took the littles to choir practice and could help a little with the prep. (I sliced the veggies and preheated the oven.) But whether you have a grandmother helper or not, this is an incrediably easy meal to prepare. It is delicious. It is healthy. And it is beautiful. You may have seen it here on the blog before but it's worthy of another post.
GRILLED CHICKEN w/ROASTED TOMATOES & ONIONS
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 medium red onion, sliced (white works, too)
4 large garlic cloves, minced (or 2 tsp. of jarred minced garlic)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
salt & pepper, to taste
olive oil for coating pan
about 4 thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken cutlets (we had 5)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Combine tomatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, herbs de Provence and salt & pepper in a medium bowl. Stir to coat veggies. Spread onto a lightly oiled sheet pan. Roast at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until tomatoes have softened and onion is a little brown.
Meanwhile, season both sides of chicken with salt & pepper. Cook in oiled grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat until done. (Or, grill them outside.)
To serve, spoon vegetables over cooked chicken. Garnish with fresh basil.
We decided last night that the roasted tomato topping would also be delicious spooned over grilled and sliced flank steak. Or, I think I would be happy to spoon the tomatoes onto my baked potato along with a little cheese for a meatless meal.
You know....while it doesn't feel like it now, those long mommy days will be over in a blink. All of the endless days and nights will be a memory. And then the grandmother days start.