Thursday, July 3, 2008 are you guys getting along?

I love this question. It is usually accompanied by this priceless facial expression - a mixture of curiosity, humor, concern, and just the tiniest dash of dread at what I'm about to say. It's as if they are half-way expecting me to say, "We love it! We're never moving out! We're gonna start a colony!" and half-way expecting, "Yeah, we pretty much hate each other by now. I weilded a knife during an argument the other day." They don't know what to expect, I guess because this is a very unexpected living arrangement.

The short answer is we're getting along just fine. We have had tense moments and disagreements and arguments and awkwardness, in some small measure. We have also had laughter and familiarity and inside jokes and sharing, in heaping amounts. It's real life, you know, and we are taking the good with the bad. I guess it's that authenticity everyone talks so much about. I would hope, anyway. None of us were very sure of what to expect when we moved in, either, just like people aren't sure of what I'll say when they ask about what's going on. I think we all had a fair amount of trepidation along with our willingness, if we are honest. It makes me think of this Groucho Marx quote I saw the other day...

"I would never join a group that would accept someone like me as a member."

It made me smile when I read it, but there's also some truth hidden in the humor, isn't there? You see, I need to tell you something about myself. I am a Judger. Plain and simple. I am a decision-maker, and I don't enjoy suspense a great deal thank-you-very-much. The up side of this trait is that I'm good at making quick decisions, and not looking back once I have. The down side is that sometimes I apply this quickness to decide to people. And a person isn't a very static subject, like deciding what to have for dinner. Spaghetti will always be spaghetti, but people have this amazing capacity to change from day to day.

So what I've learned mostly from living in the Cove (our address), what has become my mantra really, is, "Acceptance, acceptance, acceptance." I'm not there (wherever "there" is), but it has helped.

Another thing I think we have done pretty well is that we talk when we have problems. I know...good thing you're not paying for this, right? :) But given the family-of-origin issues for most of us in the house, that IS pretty significant. If something is awkward, we say, "Wow, that was awkward. What just happened there?" If I am offended, or I suspect I may be the offender, I approach the other person within a reasonable amount of time to work it out. By the grace of God, this has always ended in a positive way.

So. We're doing fine, thanks for asking. And I want to leave you with a recipe. All of us Cove dwellers LOVE Mexican food, but it seems that whenever we make it, we have these random leftovers, and Kim and I formulated this recipe to deal with some of that (with some help from a "Good Eats" episode I saw a couple years ago).

Mexican Lasagna

12 six inch corn tortillas (flour would work, too, but corn tortillas are cheaper)
2 cups or so of enchilada sauce, taco sauce, salsa, or ro-tel
1 lb. cooked and cubed chicken, or taco meat, or shredded pork, or plain ground beef (just not raw)
1 can black beans, pinto beans, or kidney beans
A lot of shredded cheese (cheddar, monterey jack, whatever)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2-qt. casserole dish with Pam. Dump the sauce, beans and meat into a skillet and heat over medium heat just until bubbly. To make sure the lasagna is moist enough, it should be pretty saucy, so add more ro-tel, etc. (even a can of plain diced tomatoes would work here) if needed. Layer your lasagna in this order until you run out of ingredients: 3 corn tortillas (to as closely resemble a single layer as possible), meat mixture (a couple of scooper-fuls per layer), and cheese. Your top layer should be cheese.

Cover and heat in the oven for about 30 minutes, then remove the lid and heat for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese on top is kind of brown. Garnish with fresh salsa and sour cream. This makes 8 big servings and is really good with those leftover chips and cheese dip.


leah said...

I love your recipes. I'm definitely going to try this one...

bjonesnboston said...

looking forward to more. :)

here's a question--how many bathrooms do you have?!