Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Great Crumble . . .

My life lately has been like a store-bought chocolate chip cookie. It's sweet at times and it peps me up and keeps me motivated. But sometimes, when I hold onto aspects of it too tightly, it crumbles in my hands.

The sweet things have been Hun and my friends and family. I am looking to traveling back to the homestead in a week. I even got lucky enough to see one of my best friend and her new cabbage a few weeks ago as well.

Hun performed well on a test for grad school. It opens a lot of doors for us, which helps all of us breathe a little easier. It is a bit stressful to consider what is next. But having too many doors to find out what is behind is a far better position than having doors slammed in our faces.

Work, however, has been better. I have discharged my whole caseload back to family. One set of kids were discharged home after a long stint in care. The family is getting extensive services after they returned home. I am keeping my fingers crossed that everyone does their bit and the kids aren't in a position to go back into care in a year. I advised a set of extended relatives to apply as kinship-care foster parents for the second set. The kids are flying out of state to live with them tomorrow. (We won't mention the circumstances surrounding how they got yanked out of their foster home. It was a sour deal, and I hate to say it--it was the right thing to do.)

It's strange, how tight I held onto those cases. I spent so much time holding those cases together, that I sometimes didn't allow myself to step back and see as much as I wanted to. On one case, I saw a lot of what was going on. On the other case, I saw what I wanted to see.

Now I have a caseload of zero. Summer is traditionally a slow month for kids being referred. We usually get more as the school year progresses and as the winter rolls in. I expect to have a new kid on my caseload tomorrow. Life changes, as do the seasons.

One of my coworkers said that we have these children for a season, and we do what we can to help them on their way to the next. I can safely say I did everything I could for one set of kids. I hope I did everything I could for the other.

Well, that's just how the cookie crumbles.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Condiment of the Month: Cholula Sauce

Ahhh the spicy zest of it. Ahhh the flavor. My favorite haute sauce to lather my scrambled eggs and bacon on a Saturday is Cholula, hands down. As much as I enjoy Tobasco Sauce, especially with macaroni and cheese, Cholula hold my heart (not heartburn). What makes Cholula such a superior condiment? The answer: too many hot sauces out will only scorch your tongue-not revive it with a full array of palatable flavor. It has a touch of sweetness to it, and a creamy (yes, I said creamy) fullness to it. Cholula is the Grande Dame of hot sauces. From a tiny town outside of Guadalajara Mexico, the recipe has been in the same family for over a hundred years.

I first discovered Cholula in grad school. I just finished my third bottle of Tabasco in my adult life, and I needed to buy another. Unfortunately, no Tobasco was to be found, so I tried something different. I used it to garnish my famous omelets the next morning, and fell in love.

I was surprised. At the time, I was living in Boulder, which is well known for organic farmer's markets, professional mountain biking and climbing, tree huggers, and pot smokers. Although there was a plethora of sushi restaurants and microbrews--Boulder is a bit lacking in truly genius Mexican food.

I am a bit of a snob when it comes to the arena of Mexican food. Only excellent will do. Although Boulder has amazing margaritas at the Rio, and Chipotle and Illegal Pete's make killer burritos, it isn't in the same caliber as the local joints nestled along Federal Blvd in Denver.

Cholula helped me expand my mind about the realm of other hot sauces out there. Granted, Tabasco has it's place (try Tobasco Cheese Nips). But to compare Cholula with other Tex Mex hot sauces, is like comparing Crystale with Boone's Farms. It isn't as spicy as Tabasco. But it does have more flavor. I will probably be receiving tons of hate mail from this post, but a cowgirl has to take a stand sometime. If you want to reach for a hot sauce, go for Cholula