Friday, August 8, 2008

So Great a Cloud of Witnesses

It's almost impossible to overestimate the value of the people who surround us. The people whom we elect to populate our "village." Prior to having children, Tool Guy and I were pretty free-wheeling. We picked up and moved at the drop of a hat and at the beck and call of his employer. Which was frequent. We moved, more often than not once every year and a half, sometime staying longer in a place, sometimes less. We always left behind precious and unique people...I'm just sorry that I didn't treasure them more while I had the chance. Since beginning to have children, however, we've only moved once. And every year, I find deeper reasons to value these people who touch our lives.

One of the first people to significantly touch us after we began the first steps of our Breatharian journey was Dog's Sunday School teacher. At that time, snacks were de rigour for class and it was the first social food hurdle we faced. I bought a box of Pamela's cookies that I've yet to see any child refuse and equipped him with it. I'll never forget the gracious words as she greeted Dog at the door, thanking him for bringing snacks to share with the class. I'm fully convinced that she set the tone for the level of compliance that we've had from him all of these years, making his food differences feel like a unique contribution to the group rather than causing him to stand out. Our further sensitivities pushed us farther off the food grid, but the initial experiences, the warm understanding and acceptance laid some important foundational attitudes for us.

Along the way, we're deepened relationships with the people who touch our children's lives. People who care enough to recognize and accept what contamination does to us and take such simple steps as washing their hands after eating and before sharing an activity with us. Who come to me with their plans for art projects to make sure that the paint or glue or food item included in the supply list is safe for us or brainstorm with me ways to make it safe. Some of our people don't know or understand or fully appreciate the difficulty of all of this, but blessedly, I've never, as one online friend shared her experience, had anyone deliberately sabotage our efforts and tempt any of my children into infracting just to prove a point. Gratefully, I'm surrounded with people who are at the very least sympathetic, if uncomprehending.

One of the most recent blessings came during a high stress time in my summer. As the scheduling dieties would have it, the whole foods cooperative we buy from changed our delivery week to one that fell right in the middle of Vacation Bible School. Either of these morning activities wipe me out for the rest of the day and the thought of both falling on the same day had me hyperventilating. My food buddy came to my rescue with an offer to make lunch for me. What a respite! In a particularly trying week, in the middle of a I-hate-my-own-cooking funk, to have someone make lunch for me! Does it get any better than that? While the Hobbits had the opportunity to apply their newly acquired swimming skills in her pool, she laid out a veritable feast for me out on her deck. The centerpiece of this celebration of friendship was Tortilla de Patata. Her recipe was even vetted out by their Spanish exchange student, whose only remark was that her onions weren't chopped finely enough. (I'm with her, though...I like the big onions!) Being totally new to the delights of Spanish cuisine, I was intrigued to hear that this is a big comfort food there. Kind of like macaroni and cheese to the American palate. It certainly was comforting to have it made for me in the middle of a very demanding week!

Tortilla de Patata as shared by my foodie friend

Potatoes 6-10 (enough to fill the skillet 3/4 full)
Onion, sliced into rings
8-12 eggs, beaten and salted/peppered to taste
Enough lard to fry potatoes plus 2 T for frying onion rings

Slice potatoes and soak 8 hours or overnight. (Soaking and removing excess starch reduces the acrylamide load in the potatoes.) Drain and set aside. In large skillet, melt 2 T lard and carmelize onion rings over medium to high heat. Meanwhile, over high heat in cast iron dutch oven, deep fry potato slices until tender, but before becoming crisp. When the onions are browned to taste, layer in the potato slices and cover with beaten eggs. Over medium low heat, cook until the egg mixture sets. Do not stir. Covering skillet with plate, invert skillet, flipping out contents to the plate. Slide the contents with browned side up back into the skillet to finish cooking the eggs.

This was a big hit at the Hobbit house and not surprisingly, there were no leftovers, though I understand this is a dish that re-serves well. Every time I make this dish, I'll remember the support and encouragement in continuing this marathon.

"Seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses (examples)...let us run with patience the race that is set before us..." Hebrews 12:1


Anonymous said...

Looks and sounds like a tasty dish that would fill up growing Hobbits. LOL!

Loztnausten said...

It's one of the major appeals of the dish, actually. ;) It breaks my food rule of "good, cheap, easy, pick two." It actually fits all three into the same many foods can you say that about! LOL!

Anonymous said...

That looks delicious and so simple.

Loztnausten said...

It is! This is one that now has a permanent spot on our routine menu!