Josh and I had the pleasure of taking care of our dear friends’ two daughters last week. We don’t babysit often, or ever really, except I did have a nannying job right after college but that was a newborn baby. So, we were excited to be the quirky aunt and uncle for a few days.
Let me just tell you that these two girls are not your average 7th and 2nd graders. They are brilliant, beautiful, and thoughtful. They made their own lunches, woke themselves up in the morning and could even tell us how to get to their schools. Obviously, our work was pretty hard.
Being around kids can be kind of enlightening. Sometimes your mind is opened up to the simpler things. In our case, we started to see something deeper because of the girls.
One of the evenings the younger sister kept getting up from the dinner table and running to a stool in the kitchen then coming back to finish her meal. She did this several times and finally I asked, “What’s goin’ on over there?” Then I realized that she kept going back to check out the sunset and look at the changes in the clouds, which she could only see if she stood on the stool in the kitchen. All the while, she wasn’t mentioning what she was doing, she just quietly enjoyed the view.
That’s when I realized these girls taking in so much more than I know. They are both pretty reserved but more aware than most kids their age. And what a beautiful thing, she just couldn’t stand to miss a good sunset so she kept interrupting her meal to catch a glimpse.
I hope I can be more aware of my surroundings, finding the good views, not missing a good sunset, taking in the smells of a good meal, and enjoying the time I have with dear friends, their kids and our family.
What do you hope to be more aware of?
On another note, their mom is one of the best cooks I know. I will leave you with her mouth watering chicken chili recipe.
White Bean Chicken Chili
adapted by my friend Carol from epicurious.com and Bon Appetit
2 tablespoons corn oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper or chili powder
1 lb of boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-in pieces
2 15oz cans of cannellini beans (white kidney beans)
1%2B cup chicken broth (might need a bit more than a cup)
1 7oz can diced green chilies
1/4 cup whipping cream
grated cheddar cheese
chopped fresh cilantro
Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, aniseed and dried red pepper. Sauté 5 minutes. Push onion to 1 side of pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pan. Sauté chicken approximately 5 minutes.
Drain beans; reserve 1/2 cup bean liquid. Add beans, broth, chilies, cream and reserved bean liquid to chicken. Simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Reheat before using.) Ladle chili into bowls. Top with cheese and sprinkle with cilantro.