Here’s one of the secrets about children that nobody tells you…kids are like computers. No really, hear me out.
You bring one home, set it up, and start to learn how to use it. You have some stumbles at first as you get your feet wet with the operating system, programs, and apps. But as days go by your confidence grows and you become more proficient with Baby 0.0. You settle into a routine and even set up some shortcuts and reoccurring tasks to run automatically. What’s all the fuss about, you wonder.
Then things get a little buggy. Random little things. The Nap program stops running for no reason. Or you forget the password for a Safe Mode reboot after a hard drive shutdown. No matter how many times you go into the Task Manager and attempt to force close the Pull Momma’s Hair program, it continues to run in the background…taking up valuable parental system resources as you attempt to redirect your child’s attention to less frustrating programs such as The Quiet Game or Go See What Your Father is Doing.
Your child did not come with a Technical Support option so you are left to your own devices…mainly the Google…to troubleshoot. You’ll find forums and blogs that reassure you that other users are experiencing similar issues. They won’t have tested and certified solutions but at least you’ll know that you’re not imagining these things. But you’ll also find sites that insist that every single system failure must be the result of user error since they never experienced any of these problems with their child. Feel free to ignore those sites.
And then, just when you’ve gotten to the point where you feel confident that you’ve mastered Baby 0.0, a software update automatically downloads and you’ve got an entirely new Operating System on your hands. Baby 0.0 is gone and no amount of hard drive restores will get it back. In its place is Toddler 1.0. You had no warning and no beta testing to get you used to a new OS.
Oh sure, you had heard rumors that a new OS was in the works. But you figured that you had plenty of time to do some reading on the topic and get ready for what would have to be only minor changes. Sadly, you were wrong. And it’s back to square one.
My friends, I’ve been there. And if it is any consolation, I know I’ll be back there again. Just as soon as I get to feeling comfortable with the parenting thing, it changes. And that’s exactly how it is supposed to be.
While I can’t help you unravel the programming language that is your child, I can give you a meal that you can enjoy regardless of how many times you found yourself hitting Ctrl+Alt+Del that day.
Israeli Couscous with Preserved Lemon and Butternut Squash
Adapted from David Lebovitz
BAH Note: There is something about the distinct tang of preserved meyer lemon that you just can’t get from any other ingredient. So if you don’t have any in your fridge, do yourself a favor and head over to the Google for a bit of online shopping. Don’t try and make do with a bit of lemon zest and sea salt…it will only bring bitter disappointment.
- 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, cubed (I leave the skin on but you can peel it if you like)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 3/4 cup israeli couscous
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 preserved lemon
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
Heat your oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.
Toss the squash and onion with the olive oil and roast on the prepared sheet pan for 40 to 60 minutes or until tender. Transfer the squash and onion to a large bowl and add the raisins.
Boil a large pot of water and cook the couscous, along with the cinnamon stick, for about 10 minutes or until done. Drain the couscous, discard the cinnamon stick, and add the couscous to the bowl of roasted vegetables.
While the couscous cooks, take your preserved lemon and cut it into quarters. Using the back of a knife, scoop away the pulp from the rind. Cut the rind thinly into a fine dice and add it to vegetables. Take the pulp and press it in a small mesh strainer to extract the liquid. Add the liquid to the bowl of vegetables.
Stir everything to completely combine and taste for seasoning. Season to taste with a bit of kosher salt and black pepper.