I'm a worrier by nature. My mind inevitably races through all the different outcomes to an event and fixates on the potential issues. Because I'm also a planner, I next launch into figuring out plans A, B, and C. Given that the Air Force is often involved in the potential issues I have learned that it's best to make plans D, E and F as well. Rarely do we need anything beyond Plan A, but it gives me comfort to work out all the different possibilities just in case.
Motherhood has exacerbated this habit in me. I spend a huge chunk of each day making sure the boys are taken care of. Did we remember everyone's winter hat? Are they eating enough lunch at school? Are they getting enough sleep?
I had an epiphany while reading Ginger's blog a few weeks ago. She started a series called a "Happier Healthier Us" and in her first post on the subject equated the way we as mothers neglect to take of ourselves to how we take care of our children. I would never let the boys stay up too late every night or not exercise but I'm full of excuses for why I let myself do this.
I also find myself more likely to make life easier for all of us if I can justify it as good for the kids too. We'll be moving sometime this year (who knows where or when), my youngest started some new therapies and life in general is changing faster than I can blink. I found myself talking to my husband this weekend about how much the kids like it when we do pizza on Fridays consistently and how it would be good to start more routines like this as we navigate all these changes. It hit me a few hours later that it would be really good for me too. That's one meal every week that I know the whole family will eat. I make the dough in big batches so it's always in the freezer. We always have cheese. Why is it so hard to pursue things that make my life easier but so easy to do it when it's on behalf of someone else?
It might seem counterintuitive that I follow up a declaration to simplify my life with a recipe for homemade pizza sauce. After all, that's one of the few organic things I can find here regularly. Why make it?
Well, just like pizza dough, it's a lot easier to make than it sounds. Start to finish it took about 20 minutes and the most complicated thing was chopping an onion. It also made a good amount of sauce, so now I have several pizza's worth of sauce in my freezer.
And of course, it tastes better. This is one of those recipes that every family is going to make slightly differently. I took the basic flavors and played around until I had a combination that was just right for us. You might like it a little sweeter-add a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. In summer, use fresh herbs and tomatoes. Add some pureed veggies to sneak in extra nutrients. Make it work for you.
I feel better already :)
What can you do this week to take care of yourself and add a little comfort to your life?
2 tbsp olive oil
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and black pepper
Pour the olive oil into a saucepan and then add the diced onion and garlic. When the onion has softened, add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, tomato paste. Stir until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste (I used 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper). Simmer for 7-10 minutes until slightly reduced and remove from heat. Use immediately or store in fridge or freezer for use later.
*If you prefer a totally smooth pizza sauce or have a picky eater who doesn't like to see onions you can use an immersion blender at the end.