Sometimes I am a b*&%h.
I was recently having a conversation with D in which I got little heated. Not at him, at someone else. A situation that I was describing to him was really getting to me. He was telling me that I was being a real b#%*h. His accusation was dead on. I was being a b@&*h. I told him that I was totally ok with it. I was completely and totally accepting of my own bitchiness. I think that it makes me a more balanced individual. In fact, I will go out on a seriously politically incorrect limb here and say that I think there are situations which demand some serious and heartfelt bitchiness.
At the time I was describing a situation in which an acquaintance was discussing his wife's shopping habits to a large group of people. This person publically implied that he let his wife off the leash to go crazy shopping. The sub-text being that these are the things that men must put up with to keep (and to reward) a happy marriage. Now while I whole-heartedly applaud this individual's desire for a happy marriage, I can't even begin to express how offended and revolted, disgusted and angry I was with the comment. I was so 'moved' that in discussing this whole thing with D I used some pretty choice words... and the kids were around.
I apologized to them afterwards because I wasn't exactly proud of my vocabulary but it did give me a chance to talk to Kid #1 about why my reaction was so strong. Being the Mom to this wonderful daughter of mine means that I have a responsibility to tell her about the root of my anger and bitchiness. We ended up having a serious discussion about how important I feel it is that no matter how wonderful her partner is that she remain confident and empowered in the relationship. Equitability to me means that I don't need to ask for permission to spend money either because I make my own or it's not something that either one of us do frivolously and we both trust each other in that. I know that if D spends money he's doing it for a damn good reason. I also know that he feels the same way about me. I have never been questioned about a purchase.
However, I also made it clear to Kid #1 that if she had money available to her and wished to 'live large' with that money that she had every right to do so. We have a cousin who is a highly respected and recognized lawyer in the UK. She has worked hard. Damn hard. She gives her time not just at her job but with numerous organizations that help educate and empower women. She makes a lot of money and she spends it. Done. She gets a lot of flack for her spending habits. Many in the family will talk about it, pass judgement even. I made it clear to Kid #1 that I have no problem with how our cousin spends her money. If our cousin were a man no one would say a word. In fact, they might very well pat him on the back for being so successful ... and most certainly they would never question it. Because our cousin is a woman her spending is treated differently. The wonderful thing about our cousin is that she doesn't care. She does what she does and she's proud. She is generous to a fault and enjoys herself freely and openly.
I guess what really got my goat about this whole thing was that rather than people jumping on this guy for being so down right patriarchal and condescending towards women, he was applauded. Applauded. That was the shocker. I'm still speechless about it.
I cook. I clean. I work both in the home and out of it. Because I have to and because I want to. I'm not the craziest feminist out there for sure but I want my daughter to live in a world where she can be herself. Where she can get paid the same salary as a man for the job she does. Where she has access to jobs that even now are limited for women. Where she can wear a head scarf if she wishes or knee high boots without fear. I also want her to be able to stay home to parent, cook and clean if she wishes. It's important.
This bread is an homage to my past. To Women's collective past. To kneading and baking bread whilst fully appreciating all the choices that I now enjoy as a woman. So yeah, this is definitely one those situations in which I am proud to be bitchy.
Pumpkin Cloverleaf Buns adapted from Gourmet Magazine 'Comfort Food'
makes about a dozen
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp warm milk
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour (a little more for kneading)
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp each nutmeg, cardamom
1/3 cup pumpkin/squash puree (canned is fine)
1 lg egg + 1 egg yolk
1 tbsp water
Combine the yeast, warm milk and brown sugar together and set aside in a draft free spot to proof for about 10 minutes.
Combine the flour, salt, nutmeg and cardamom together in a bowl and set aside.
Once the yeast has proofed and is all bubbly and doubled in size then add in the pumpkin, 1 egg + 1 yolk and the butter. Mix until incorporated.
Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a soft dough ball.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 8 minutes or until the dough is silky smooth and almost feels light when working through it.
Oil or grease a large bowl. Place the dough in the greased bowl and turn the dough so that all side are greased. Cover with a clean cloth and place in draft free spot to rise for 1 1/2 - 2 hrs or until doubled in size.
Punch down the dough (do not knead). Divide the dough in half. On a lightly flour surface roll half of the dough out into a long log. Cut the log into 6 pieces.
Cut each piece into 3 small pieces. Form each piece into a ball shape.
Repeat with the other half of the dough.
Grease a 12 cup muffin tin. Place 3 balls into each muffin cup. Cover with a clean cloth and place in a draft free spot to rise for 1 - 1 1/2 hrs (until the dough is about an inch above the rim of each muffin cup.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine the remaining egg and water. Brush the egg wash over the top of each bun.
Bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Best consumed the same day. Otherwise cool and freeze. Just warm them up as you want to each them.
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- Wanda Thorne
- St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.
My Favourite Cookbooks
- Wanda Thorne
- bok choy
- coconut milk
- cream cheese
- goat cheese
- green peas
- ice cream
- main course
- maple syrup
- peanut butter
- poppy seeds
- quick bread
- root vegetable
- side dish
- smoked salmon
- sour cream
- split peas
- stir fry
- sustainable living
- vanilla bean
- white chocolate