During my favorite yoga classes, the instructor asks us to set an intention for our practice. At the end we pause to be thankful for things like the time, money, and ability to be there.
It seems to me that this is the best way to begin and end anything. It could be as small as a dreary Monday, or as all-encompassing as parenthood.
I have yoga teacher training one full weekend of every month. This was my weekend. I’m sore from my intercostals to my gluteus minimus.
My house is dirtier than usual, and my parents took Colby to a soccer tournament (one which I really wanted to see). My intention, though, for this training is to learn and grow; breathe and think. I shrugged off the guilt of neglected domestic duty. I enjoyed my time, I explored the range of my ability, I learned a lot, and I spent time with good, like-minded people.
I also met this little lady:
And a few of her doggy friends.
I came home to see one of my own puppies walking around with a beet she fished out of the vegetable crate:
I let her keep it just because she was having so much fun and, well, because she’s cute. Eventually it looked like a mass homicide occurred and I had to take it away. Parts of her muzzle and paws are still pink.
I had a rowdy pizza date with my husband, friends, and their kids.
I came home tonight famished and exhausted, but I had been thinking about supper for approximately two hours prior to arriving. I wanted chard gratin, sweet potatoes, and deviled eggs. It took about an hour to get together, but it was worth the wait.
Here’s the tweaked swiss chard gratin recipe. It’s simpler and much, much better!
If you have a large dutch oven or oven-proof pot you can do this in one pan. Otherwise get out a large pot and grease a 9×12 pan. All instructions here are for an oven-proof dutch oven.
One to two pounds of swiss chard, cleaned and stalks removed. You can chop it or not. I just throw it all in the pan.
Milk or cream
Salt & Pepper
one tablespoon butter
whole grain mustard
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a bit of olive oil in the pan or dutch oven. Saute chard until wilted and fragrant. While chard is cooking whisk mustard into milk. Take off heat and swirl a pat or two of butter through the greens. Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of flour over the greens and add milk or cream. I use about one cup of milk to two pounds of chard. It depends on how saucy you want your gratin. Salt, pepper, and stir. Add a bunch of grated parmesan (1/2-1 cup) and stir.
If using an oven-proof dutch oven or pot, place the entire thing in the oven. If not, pour mixture into a greased baking dish. Place in oven for 30-40 minutes. It’s done when it’s bubbly, brown and crisp on the top. At best, this gratin has a crunchy top, deeply roasted flavor, and tender texture. It’s comfort food for grown ups.
So I’m ending my practice for today with thanks. Thanks for the opportunity and support to take part in the training, thanks for a still-rockin’ garden to create supper with, and thanks for a day off tomorrow.