I just finished a book that reminded me in many ways of Gone With the Wind. Love triangle involving a scoundrel and a wimpy do-gooder. Orphaned daughter who refuses to take care of herself. The only thing missing was a dress made out of curtains. The main character frustrated me at times with her bad choices, her willful refusal to acknowledge her situation, her excessive laziness in the midst of productivity… and then it hit me. My children are the same way.
I have given birth to Scarlett O’Haras! They have adopted many of her mantras as guidelines:
- They are always putting things off: “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.”
- They are melodramatic: “My life is over. Nothing will ever happen to me anymore.”
- They are masters at being bored: “Fiddle-dee-dee! I get so bored I could scream.”
Ungrateful. Pouting. Lazy. Yep… I’m going to start calling my kids Scarlett.
I don’t know how other families celebrate Father’s/Mother’s Days. In our house it’s taken us a few years to get into a rhythm and realize that no major gifts are necessary. No breakfasts in bed. No ties and aftershave. Nothing over the top. In our house, these days are intended to be a break for that respective parent. They get to call the shots that day.
So on Mother’s Day I got my hike and lunch at a yummy restaurant. And for Father’s Day, my husband got to sit in his basement all day and watch the U.S. Open uninterrupted. I’m going to be honest and admit that as far as Sundays go – his pick wasn’t that much different than the norm. But we made his favorite dinner and the kids did a pretty remarkable job of not bickering or interrupting him.
He deserved the break yesterday (and yes, most Sundays) because he’s the one that works all day during the week to make sure his family has a comfortable home and can take those crazy road trips I plan. He’s the one that makes sure the finances are balanced each month so we know we can buy the boy new shoes when he outgrows them every 10 weeks. He’s the one that gives the biggest hugs in the house.
A week or so ago I received an email from Food & Wine magazine with a recipe that sounded so delicious I actually printed it off. I waited for my next grocery trip but I knew I was making this for dinner. Marinated flank steak… chilaquiles (fried tortilla strips lightly cooked in salsa – or in this case Fritos cooked in salsa, yes Fritos!)… the whole thing sprinkled with cotija cheese… I couldn’t resist!
It tasted just as good as I thought it might. Delicious! I love it when that happens. And I love serving dinner with a fancy sounding name on a platter. I was going to share a different recipe this week but after posting it on Instagram, decided this was the one to share now.
Marinated Flank Steak over Chilaquiles
- 4 cups cola, preferably made with cane sugar (I used Pepsi, the only one I could find with actual sugar in the ingredients)
- 2 teaspoons jarred Thai green curry paste
- 2 Fresno chiles or jalapeños, thinly sliced crosswise
- 3 pounds flank steak
- 1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for brushing
- Kosher salt & Freshly ground black pepper
- One 16-ounce jar salsa verde
- 8 ounces Fritos
- 2 Hass avocados, diced
- grated Cotija cheese
- Lime wedges, for serving if desired
1. In a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish, whisk the cola with the green curry paste and sliced pepper. Add the flank steaks and turn to coat thoroughly. Let the steaks stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
2. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan and oil the grate. Remove the flank steaks from the marinade and pat them dry. Brush the steaks with canola oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until the steaks are medium-rare, about 8 minutes total. Transfer the steaks to a work surface and let rest for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Add the salsa verde and bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until slightly reduced and thickened, about 4 minutes. Add the Fritos to the salsa and cook, stirring, until the chips are soft with some crunchy bits but not falling apart, about 2 minutes. Transfer the chilaquiles to a platter.
4. Thinly slice the steaks across the grain. Top the chilaquiles with the sliced steak and any accumulated meat juices. Scatter the avocados and Cotija cheese on top and serve immediately with lime wedges.
I had a lot on my schedule yesterday. I finished one small project before my workout. Which was good because I had kids and their schedules taking up all my time from 9am until just after noon. And then I selfishly ate lunch before sitting down at my desk. So when the kids wanted to go swimming, I really didn’t have time.
Then I reminded myself that when I am old and gray I will never look back fondly on hours at my desk writing projects and updating websites. I will however, cherish the memories of my kids splashing and playing. And so I made time.