Sunday, July 19, 2009

Veggie Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells

It turns out to be true—we do turn into our mothers.

Or maybe just me.

In the last two weeks I have gained just enough energy to start getting everything ready for baby two. The house has vacillated between organized and disarray. Our assessment of our readiness ebbs and flows accordingly. Luckily, we have plenty of help. We have a handy-man helping with things like putting up curtain rods, removing any poisons from the garage, etc.

The other day, I asked him to come by in two weeks to disassemble Belle’s crib. This piece of furniture is something that I never cared for as a child. I learned the skill of breaking out early and never looked back. Belle on the other hand, who was able to break into child gates before turning one, has never made any overture to leave the confines of her wooden sleeping quarters. Instead, she has made her crib her sanctuary, taking blankets, animals, books in with her at every nap and every bedtime.

Last night, J—was putting Belle down to sleep. I could hear them trekking up the stairs singing the classic medley of abcd-itsybitsyspider-hushlittlebaby. (Or is that choral pastiche only classic at my house?) I could hear them discuss how many books would be read at bedtime. I could hear the laughter. Then there was a moment of silence. I wouldn’t have noticed it except that it was followed by “Mommy.” First from J—and then from Belle. I couldn’t place their tone. It wasn’t quite happy. It wasn’t angry. But there was definitely an underlying sense of urgency.
I waddled upstairs as fast as I could, both hands clasped under my sizeable, 9 months pregnant girth. When I got upstairs, J—was standing silhouetted in the door looking at me— face paled. I walked into the room. The space where the beloved crib once stood was now a square of dust bunnies punctuated by a couple long forgotten chew toys.

Belle asked, “Where is my bed?” It might have been obvious to J—what had happened but for a two-year old the question was full of earnestness.

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And at that moment, the shock—I am blaming the shock—turned me into my mother. When I was Belle’s age and my mother had a hard time weaning from my bottle, she told me a bird came in and flew away with the whole cabinet of glass bottles. And, that is what I told me daughter. The bird came in and borrowed her crib. It sounded stupid coming out of my mouth. It sounds stupid as I type it now.

Luckily we had set up the toddler bed. So we got it all ready with Belle’s menagerie. Then we read every book on her shelf. We tucked her in. And, closed the door.

The rattle and pleading coming from the other side of the door were disquieting to say the least. J—just stood and watched the door for a while. Still stunned from the emptiness of the room and the fact that I was turning into my mother, I went downstairs and drowned my sorrows in some carb-based leftovers.

We had some delicious shells in the fridge stuffed with Ohio ricotta, fresh Ohio mozzarella, Swiss chard from our garden, local peas that I had frozen, local mushrooms and sweet onions from the Farmer’s market, and shredded carrots from our garden. Top with a cream sauce or with tomato sauce (as we did.)

When my mother heard of the whole story, she was fairly unfazed. She reminded me that I didn’t join the bird hunting society of America or have a deep-seated desire baby bottles. I guess turning into your mother isn’t the worst thing in life.

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Recipe
Veggie Stuffed Shells

For ½ a box of medium shells, use the following filling:

Sautee:
½ sweet onion
1 small head of chard
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup sliced mushrooms

When cool add sautéed veggies to:
1 cup ricotta
½ cup grated parmesan
½ cup fresh mozzarella pearls (quartered)
½ cup frozen peas

Stuff into shells and place in butter lined baking pan. Top with tomato sauce or cream sauce and more parmesan.

Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes until cheese looks bubbly.

This recipe is my entry for One Local Summer for this week. This week the parmesan and pasta continue not to be local—but as the chard and carrots are from the porch, I feel it was an okay trade-off. And, finally our CSA has given us a share, so this week we should have too much zucchini localness to speak off.

This is also my entry for Presto Pasta Nights started by Ruth of Once Upon A Feast and hosted by Pam of Sidewalk Shoes.

Stuffed Shells

28 comments:

Fran Z said...

Recipe looks delicious- story is priceless!

Indigo said...

'A bird flew away with your crib' - HAHAHA. Best excuse ever!
I could turn into my mum but she doesn't come up with hilarious excuses like that; she just gets our names mixed up constantly (and I mean *all* our names - not just my brothers and sisters, also distant relatives, the dog... I'm not kidding).

This sounds so good, especially with the mozzerella!

Dhanggit said...

this is so beautiful!! love the colors!!

OhioMom said...

It turns out to be true—we do turn into our mothers.

Or maybe just me.

....fortunately and unfortunately we do :) I knew it the first time my mother's words came out of my mouth. Love the pasta shells!

Pam said...

Lovely post and gorgeous shells! Thank you for entering this week!

Soma said...

Beautiful Pictures & recipe!! So fresh & colorful & summery. I had told my daughter that a stranger came a took her bottles, as someone more in need needed them..as she was used to seeing us donating things we did not need anymore.. not a good story.. she perhaps believed but never went back to drinking/liking milk as she would :-(

Sophie said...

Aww, I like the story of the little bird :)! I think my grandma told me similar stories. She'd have to tell me stories to get me to sit still in my high chair because I was always an on-the-go (running around) eater :)! I'm sure your daughter loved hearing about the little bird!

I hope you have a smooth and peaceful delivery. You're still making such amazing food, it's great! Don't know if I could do that at 9 months pregnant!

Zoe said...

What a lovely post. These shells look so good!

Reeni♥ said...

These sound wonderful with the fresh veggies in them. A lighter way to enjoy stuffed shells! Hope Belle settled in and is enjoying her new bed!

Karine said...

I love stuffed shells and yours looks yummy! :)

Helene said...

That story is so cute. You must be so excited now that you are close to your date.

Beautiful dish you made :)

chou said...

Oh! I still remember my parents taking away my baby blanket, and I was not very old at all. But there is no harm done, just a strange moment from a generally forgotten time occasionally surfacing to remind me that I was once too short to reach the sink, and that I thought all me had pot bellies when they grew up.

girlichef said...

Wow, these sound amazing. I constantly find little bits of my mother in me...and I'm okay with that :D

Navita (Gupta) Hakim said...

he he loved reading the post,,,n oh i so love those pasta shells :)

maybelle's mom said...

thanks all.

Ellie said...

This looks delicious! I am not a vegetarian but your recipes have always made me drool.

glamah16 said...

Love that photo of the red springonion. And yes, we do become our mothers!

ejm said...

Oh my, but those shells sound fabulous.

-Elizabeth

I LOVE the bird story!!

Bellini Valli said...

I'd have to say that turning into mom would nto be the worst thing that ever happened, I would become vegetarian, be hiking at 80...you know the drill.

Joanne said...

These look truly amazing - the best kind of comfort food. I sucked on a pacifier when I was little and after a while my mom took me to Toys R Us and made me trade it in for a toy. I wasn't scarred for life, so I'm sure you did the right thing!

Kristin said...

This looks wonderful! i have said some things that sound exactly like my mother too- and usually I stop & gasp- did I just say that! Stopping by from PPN, and I'm going over to check out one local summer, that sounds very interesting!

Sweet Kitchen said...

Glad I'm not the only one who seems to be turning into her mother! The pasta shells are yummy!

The Food Hunter said...

great post. Those shells look really good.

tigerfish said...

I would try that some time. At what temperature did you bake this?

maybelle's mom said...

Fran Z: thanks.

Indigo: my mom does the mixing up of names too.

Dhanggit: thanks

OhioMom: yup.

Pam: thanks.

Soma: oh It really is hard to be a mom.

Sophie : glad to hear I wasn’t the only one who heard such stories as a kid. And, I bet you could do it too at 9 mos.

Zoe: thanks.

Reeni♥ : She is finally settled.

Karine: thanks.

Helene: thanks and I am so excited its true.

Chou: isn’t it interesting what memories pop up.

Girlichef: yeah I am okay with it too now.

Navita (Gupta) Hakim: thanks.

Ellie: thanks.

glamah16: thanks and there are worse things.

ejm : thanks. Thanks.

Bellini Valli: Wow good genes.

Joanne: thanks and thanks.

Kristin, Sweet Kitchen: it sure does happen to a lot of us, huh. Thanks for stopping by.

The Food Hunter : thanks.

Tigerfish: 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Aparna said...

Really wouldn't mind this for lunch today.

I guess most of us do turn into our mothers at some point or the other, though many wouldn't admit to it! :)

Didn't have to wean my daughter off the bottle, 'cos she refused to drink out of a bottle. Had to feed her everything with a spoon!

But I remember spelling our thwe words we didn't want her to know ( as she could understand all the languages we speak), but that lasted only till she learnt how to spell!!

Palidor said...

Mmmm, I love ricotta-stuffed pasta. Looks great!

MeetaK said...

this looks amazing! so now i know what to serve this weekend! lol!