I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Babies are filthy disease spreaders. Adorably, snuggly, delicious, filthy disease spreaders. Like squirrels, only unable to gather their own nuts. Well, he definitely gets his nuts during his diaper changes, if you know what I’m saying, so I guess “unable to get his own acorns” would be a more accurate description.
In Fort Collins, the squirrels have become dependent on college students, and as a result they eat more Panda Express orange chicken than nuts. The orange chicken may or may not be made of squirrel flesh.
It probably is.
Anyway, I’m now battling my first of many colds of the season that has incubated into a super-virus in the body of my very small son. There’s no amount of washing my hands that can prevent me from getting sick when he does. Mucus comes flying out of his body at a volume and velocity that blows my mind. And he wipes his nose with his fat little fists, and then grabs his toys and tries to put them in my mouth, then caresses my eyes, then hugs me and wipes his snot on my face. It’s seriously disgusting. But what am I supposed to say to him? “Hey, 14 month old baby. Could you be less affectionate with your mother? K THX BAI!”
And when he’s sick, he can’t breathe with a pacifier in his mouth, which means that every time he has to spit it out to gasp for air, he ends up waking himself up and wailing like an orphan left alone to die in the desert, rather than a spoiled WASP baby in a beautifully furnished nursery with plush Steiff golden retrievers and hand-woven Beatrix Potter bumper pads.
So then, after about 15 trips to his nursery to comfort him and patiently explain that we’re seriously only 50 feet away, and can see him on his video monitor, I end up saying, “f*ck it” and bringing him to my own bed. He sprawls out on my pillow, snot dribbling everywhere, and then falls asleep soundly. His breath smells like boogers and Cheerios.
And then I can’t sleep at all, because I’m certain I’m going to crush him like that Indian lady who smothered her baby when she fell asleep breastfeeding on a flight to America.
So we’re tired folk around here. And tired folk means lazy dinners. But lazy dinners don’t have to suck, honestly. They don’t have to be made out of frozen pizza and canned cream of whatnot soup. I present to you an excellent, delicious option for a quick dinner that can be made out of whatever you have defrosted (or mostly defrosted).
Mexican Stir Fry. Not traditionally Mexican, sure. But rife with Mexican flavors, and certainly more Mexican than anything Paula Deen calls “Mexican,” usually anything that involves corn and ground beef.
Just slice up an onion, a zucchini, and some leftover shards of beef (I think this was 1/2 of a strip steak that I had leftover from making Philly cheesesteaks). We never eat a whole steak at a time, even between the two of us, so we use up a lot of meat in recipes like this. It keeps our budget reasonable, even while eating grass-fed meats.
-2 T Chili powder
-1 T Ancho chili powder
-2 t ground cumin
-1t ground coriander
-1 T kosher salt
-1 T granulated garlic (or minced fresh garlic)
-1 jalapeno, minced (more or less to taste–deseed if you can’t handle heat)
|Rub your pieces with your spice mixture and then leave them in the fridge for a few hours to marinate|
Then heat up a large skillet on high heat with a bit of olive oil. Toss in everything all at once, and cook just until the meat browns. The veggies will stay nice and crisp. At the very end, toss in a about a tablespoon of red wine vinegar and let it cook for another 10 seconds to burn off. Serve over garlicky white rice. Squirt with fresh lime wedge. Fin.
The whole “stir fry” method is so cross-applicable to other foods, and is the fastest way to get healthy meat/veggies into your belly with minimal effort. All you need is a sharp knife, a cutting board, and a hot skillet. And someone to comfort your congested little nugget of a baby while you stir fry, because the oil splatters.
Also, stir fry is CHEAP because you only need a little bit of meat and whatever vegetables you have lying around the house. Let nobody say that it costs a lot to eat organic, humane foods.
The veggies are coming in handy, too, because my immune system needs all the help it can get, what with Typhoid Emmett running the show around here, and with 6 more months of winter to get through before I can rest knowing that sure, there is tons of cat fur on my pillow, but no visible human secretions. That’s as classy as we get around here these days.