In case you missed it, we’re having a babes. A babes!
After years of wanting this, we’re excited, of course. But we — or maybe I should just say I — am also a little…lost with how to feel. And that, in itself, feels more than a little confusing. Chris is full of pure elation and joy and anticipation, his eyes literally alight in a way they’ve never been before as he imagines our new little life with this new little love and all the overwhelming emotion that will surely accompany the growth of our family.
And while I have warm-fuzzies just seeing that look on his face, I’m still stuck somewhere between When Is This Going To Feel Real and No Seriously, All Those Nurturing Hormones I Read About Can Make An Appearance Any Day Now. Which kind of settles out into a place of quiet panic. I mean, I do already sense a bubbling up of love for this crazy, tiny, weirdo within, but at the same time, I’m harboring some guilt for not being one of those women who is completely and utterly natural at being pregnant. And it’s not that I’m nervous or scared that this baby won’t be everything we ever dreamed, or that we won’t excel at parenthood in all the ways we planned (ha), or even of the delivery, itself. I just expected to feel…different by now.
Like, at what point do I start thinking every baby that I see everywhere is, like, thecutestthingeverohmygosh? Because let me tell you. I’ve been to a few malls lately, and ugly babies are still looking ugly to me. Real ugly.
Please send help.
Throughout the past (almost 22!) weeks, the one thing that has provided me with a tremendous sense of calm satisfaction (bordering on giddyness) is relishing the small traditions that Chris and I have always enjoyed, just the two of us, before they evolve into something that — while equally special — neither of us can predict with much certainty.
Lots of dinners out with friends. Late-night screenings of Pacific Rim with the bass turned way up.
And long, leisurely mornings followed by even longer and more leisurely breakfasts.
It also means taking an extra moment to appreciate our little family-of-two celebrations. The mini-Thanksgiving we enjoyed at home this year before we traveled home for the holiday. Or the stockings we’ll open together on Friday — to the tune of a crackling yule log, no less. (Thank you, Netflix.)
Or birthdays!!! Like today: Chris’ last birthday before the idea of birthdays begin to mean something else to him — to us — entirely. You can’t not go big with that one.
Read: birthday breakfast all the way.
Unfortunately, real life kicked in last night when a water main broke a few blocks over, which turned this morning’s grand breakfast affair into a couple of quick smoothies before Chris took off for work. (No one likes to wash dishes under a rusty tap.) But my intentions, I promise you, were good.
Like, turkey and bacon and all the essential breakfast sausage spices (hello, fennel…) partying it up in one elegant patty good. Basted, like you a would a ribeye, it its own pan drippings good. And with a heap of cheesy potatoes alongside, of course, because my obsession continues.
I mean, Chris likes potatoes, too.
Who’s birthday is it, again?
While we’re on the subject of celebrations, this is the kind of recipe that’s just about perfect for the holiday season. Mix up the sausage and form the patties a couple of days in advance and then quickly fry them up on Christmas morning. Or stack a single patty onto a soft Hawaiian roll with a bit of mayo, some honey-mustard and a sunny quail egg for an elegant New Year’s Eve slider. You can even freeze larger batches of the (pre-cooked) patties, separated by wax paper, and just defrost as many as you need in the fridge the night before you plan to cook them off. Homemade sausages all winter long — hurrah!
As described in the recipe below, I served these with a variation of the potatoes employed in this salad — swapping out the duck fat for olive oil (though the duck fat version would be even more decadently delicious) and pumping up the parm at the end. And because all things are improved with too much sour cream and hot sauce — the latter of which Chris has been known to shoot straight from the bottle — I loaded ’em up with the stuff. And no one was sorry. Least of all me.
I mean Chris. 🙂
Happiest of birthdays to you, Chris! The only guy I ever want to do everything and nothing alongside. Who constantly seeks — and succeeds — in filling our days with joy. Who supports my ambitions even when they’re wholly undefined and constantly challenges me with your smart and silly brain. Even despite all my misplaced motherly emotions, you’re the reason I’m so very confident that this next journey together is right in every way.
Also, you laugh at my jokes.
And for that, I love you more than you may ever know. <3
- 1 lb ground turkey (recommend not extra-lean)
- rough ⅓ lb good (nitrate-free, if possible) bacon, finely chopped
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp ground fennel seed
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- ¼ tsp ground sage
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- dash nutmeg
- neutral cooking oil, such as avocado oil, for pan-frying
- Crispy Parmesan Home Fries (see note)
- sour cream and/or hot sauce (optional)
- Combine all ingredients turkey through nutmeg in a large bowl and form into 8-9 small (think slider-sized) patties. Do not overwork meat.
- In large skillet, heat a drizzle of neutral cooking oil over high heat until shimmering.
- Add patties and brown on first side, about 5 mins; then flip and brown second side, another 4-5 mins. While second side is browning, tilt pan and spoon drippings over patties, basting them in all those glistening, pork-fatty juices. Allow sausages to rest off the heat 5-10 mins before serving.
- Serve with Crispy Parmesan Home Fries (see note) -- if you're anything like us, preferably smothered with sour cream and hot sauce -- or other potatoey side of your choosing (these latkes would also make an excellent choice). Enjoy!
These sausages can also be formed and frozen in advance (ensure patties are separated with wax paper to prevent sticking) and thawed in the fridge overnight before cooking. So easy! They'd also make an elegant appetizer tucked into a soft Hawaiian roll with a little mayo, a dab of sweet-hot mustard and a runny-yolked quail egg. Sausage sliders -- whaaat?! 😉