Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weekend Warriors

Thatboy and I spent all weekend at a Childbirth prep class. It was like camp. Except instead of singing fun songs and doing arts and crafts, we sat around watching babies being born, pulled out of uteruses (uteri?), and suckling at breasts. Which is probably the exact opposite of what camp was like for most of us. Unless you went to some bizarro camp, in which case WHO ARE YOU SICKOS?

Of course, now Thatboy is convinced that every move I make is a sign of early labor. I went to the bathroom earlier this evening and Thatboy got nervous. "If you start having an urge to clean the house I'm calling my parents." (Although the plus side of class is Thatboy finally decided I may be right in not having his parents come down and sit around our house waiting for me to go into labor, so they don't miss anything).

It was a long weekend. And in truth, I picked up a lot of good information to digest. Important things like "pack otter pops in a cooler to bring to Labor and Delivery because you can use them instead of ice chips." Otter pops? I love otter pops! We never had them growing up because I'm fairly certain they're just frozen sugar water. I asked Thatboy if I could have an otter pop every time I got through a contraction and he told me that was not going to happen. Although we'll see if he changes his tune when he has a woman in labor squeezing his closest nipple and demanding a pop when the time comes. (And by the way, the nipple squeezing thing was not recommended in class, but I personally feel like it should be a fairly effective way to make sure my needs are met.)

One of the things I think is most important to take away from any childbirth class is flexibility. Of course I'm referring to the ability to bend, stretch, and spread, but also the ability to realize there are going to be twists, turns, and unexpected events throughout the entire journey. And as someone with an anxiety disorder to begin with, I need to be prepared. This jambalaya is a fantastic practice for making due with the unexpected.

Jambalaya in my world usually means a fabulous spicy rice dish, filled with chicken, andouille sausage, and shrimp. (Not to be confused with paella which is a fabulous spicy rice dish, filled with chicken, Spanish sausage, and shrimp.) Except we used up our shrimp when I made shrimp and grits Friday night. And the closest thing I have to sausage of any kind are some nitrate-free hotdogs. Which sound less than appealing in a jambalaya. So what's a girl to do? Flexibility. Is this the best jambalaya I've ever made? No. I really do like it better with the sausage and shrimp. But if you don't like one or the other, or if you're ever stuck in the house with only chicken this is a good flexible way to use it.

Just Chicken Jambalaya
1 chicken, quartered
2 Tbsp canola oil
6 slices bacon
salt and pepper
cayenne pepper
1/2 green pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
5 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup parsley, chopped fine
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 cups uncooked rice
  1. Preheat the oven to 325. Cook the bacon in a dutch oven and remove to cool, but don't drain! Add the canola oil to the bacon fat.
  2. Brown the chicken pieces in the oil and bacon drippings. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cayenne.
  3. Remove chicken to cool. Chop the bacon and add it to the dutch oven along with the green pepper, celery, onion, and garlic. Cook 5 minutes or so until all the veggies are tender.
  4. Add chicken broth, parsley, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil and cook until the broth is reduced to 4 cups.
  5. By this time the chicken should be cool enough to touch. Remove the chicken meat from the chicken bone.
  6. Place chicken, dutch oven contents, tomatoes and rice into a casserole dish.
  7. Cover and bake for 1 hour. (If your oven is like mine, you may need to add more liquid during cooking as the rice starts soaking that stuff up.)


  1. I like this version which uses everything I would readily have available.

  2. Nipple twisting isn't a normal part of childbirth? Could have fooled me.

  3. Flexibility at child birth is just the beginning. The birth of my son did not go at all how I planned but, in the end it was the same fantastic result. You have a great outlook and a great bowl of jambalaya!