I’m not good with kids. That sounds funny coming from someone who just had a kid, but it’s true.
It wasn’t always this way, growing up I was Queen of the Kids. They would flock to me like squirrels to Ace Ventura, and I loved it. I even wanted to be an elementary school teacher for quite a while.
I’m not sure when exactly it changed. Whether they sensed I was getting less fun and backed off, or I got awkward around them first they sensed my reluctance. Regardless, somewhere around 18-20, my talent for ‘children’ disappeared.
This didn’t dampen my desire to eventually have children of my own, oddly enough. I knew I would be okay when it came to my own kid.
Still, now that I’m a parent myself, I’m finding it a little awkward joining the ‘Mommy Mafia,’ so to speak. You know, the Pinterest Mums. The women you meet at Mommy & Me fitness classes. I still feel like a square peg in a round hole.
Maybe it’s just how mothers small talk, but I don’t want to hear about how glorious and magical motherhood is. I get it, we all love our children more than anything, we all feel like we invented love.
Nah, I want to meet people I would be friends with- with or without children- the mothers who shoot from the hip. Down-to-earth, sassy mums who love their kids to the ends of the earth, but can also admit, “Ahhh, I love [baby] so much. They can be such a**holes, sometimes, but I love them.”
Now, that’s a mum I can call my friend. Because, honestly, that’s what motherhood is. It’s glowing and magical and glorious, and disgusting and frustrating and unglamorous, and possibly the greatest thing you will ever accomplish, but also the most thankless thing on the planet.
Which begs the question, why do I even crave mum friends? Why do women seek their own Mommy Mafias?
For the same reason soldiers find it difficult to relate to civilians. Yikes, am I comparing motherhood to war? Ehhhh, sort of. Not really. But I am in the sense that no one really, truly understands what you are going through, or have gone through, unless they have gone through the same.
When Evie was born, my step-mum told me that every time I was awake with her at 3am, I could find comfort in knowing that there were so many parents awake with me, staring into that same dark night. So many parents, near and far, throughout time, who reached the end of what they thought was possible… and then kept going- over and over and over again. A quiet camaraderie during the darkest hours of the day.
Before I had my daughter, people could tell me this- that I would reach the very outer limits of love and happiness and exhaustion and frustration, all at once, high and low, more than I ever could have thought possible- but I didn’t get it. I couldn’t fully understand until I was there myself.
This doesn’t make me love my non-parent friends any less. Not by a long shot. But it would be nice to have a kindred parent-friend, too. Someone who could share the good days, understand my over-the-top jubilation at hearing Evie laugh for the first time, but also see me on the bad and just know. See my eyes as empty, sleepless holes and give me a knowing look… and a large coffee.
Sooooo… what does all this have to do with today’s recipe? A classic Spanish tapa, served with chewy red wine. This is the perfect treat for the end of a long week, and one I dream of sharing with that kindred parent-friend.
Salty chorizo, smoky, sweet charred pepper and soft, warm goat cheese, all wrapped in a flaky, buttery layer of phyllo. Wine, obviously. Toasting to one more day conquered. Now that’s a Friday sentiment anyone can get on board with, parent or not, amirite?
|Spanish Phyllo Cigars|| || |
- 300 g goat cheese
- 3 large links cured chorizo, diced
- 3 roasted red peppers, sliced into strips
- 1 package of phyllo pastry
- ⅓ cup melted butter
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper.
- Lay out one sheet of phyllo pastry and brush with melted butter. Top with two more sheets of pastry, brushing each with butter. Slice the sheets into 6 equal sized rectangles.
- Crumble a line of goat cheese, chorizo and red peppers lengthwise along a phyllo rectangle, roughly ½ inch from the bottom edge and sides. Fold in the sides of the pastry and then roll it up nice and secure into a little burrito shape with the seam facing down against the pan. Repeat with all 6 rolls. Brush each roll with butter.
- Repeat process two more times to give you a total of 18 rolls. Bake for 10 minutes, until golden. Serve with a chewy red wine.