Welp.. not much has changed around here. Meaning I’m still pregnant. Extremely, actually. 40 weeks to be exact. All of my complaining and whining and making deals with the universe to become a better person has not resulted in the delivery of my baby, and here I sit still gestating my giant son. Before you give me a list of your own at-home remedies for inducing labor, just know I have tried them all. The spicy food, the foot reflexology (hey spas: all that bullshit you tout about foot massages being bad for pregnant ladies is just cruel hearsay and if anything, we should be getting foot massages for FREE. I don’t care if this is wrong/dangerous, figure out a way to massage our feet, it’s 2015), eating so much pineapple my mouth is physically sore, evening primrose oil down and even up the hatch (don’t ask for elaboration), raspberry tea, and yes, good ol’ hair of the dog in the way of having sex. And let me tell you: NONE of it works. The baby will come when he wants. Or when my body kicks him out, which knowing my luck will be about two weeks late and right around the corner from Christmas when I have people to see and presents to open.
So know what? I’m going to try something new. I’m going to embrace this whole pregnancy thing and act like it’s just the best. I’m going to beam at the well-meaning idiots who tell me I’m glowing, laugh and laugh when I’m asked if I’m sure “there’s only one in there”, offer a thumbs up when someone says, “whoa lady, you’re about to pop!” instead of an elbow into the solar plexus and basically just enjoy the hell out of myself in all my planet-sized glory. Because maybe then my rebel son (he is mine, after all) will decide enough is enough since I’m clearly having the time of my life, and finally take his sweet fucking leave.
So here is the new me! I’m spending my days enjoying mid-afternoon naps since everyone tells me to catch up on my sleep now and we all know that our bodies have a sleep-storage compartment we can refer back to when we’re lacking in sleep later. I’m getting massages and acupuncture and facials and just pissing money down the drain because hey, why not? It’s not like kids cost anything! I’m reading people’s memoirs who all have crazy-exciting un-pregnant lives and watching some great TV like The Affair where a guy leaves his wife and family of four for a pretty waitress. I’m having long lunches with friends where I order things like grilled cheese sandwiches with extra cheese and chocolate waffles because I figure my time is limited on treating my body like a garbage can if I ever want to do another acting job again, so why not eat my way through the city and have a pizza appetizer before the Chinese food delivery gets here? I’m just so happy being pregnant, I could do this for forever, and good thing too, because it looks like I will never have this baby! Today I might get my nails done and paint them pink just to spite my selfish son, because get it? He’s never coming! Hahahaha I love this!
I’m also cooking like a psycho, for my pleasure and also yours, so here’s a lovely penne using seasonal chanterelle mushrooms, which are a delicious and much less cruel gift from nature than 18 months of pregnancy. This penne is so easy, you can probably do it while crying and eating a Snickers, and your company will still be super impressed. Feel free to sub different kinds of mushrooms once chanterelles are hard to find again, because let’s face it: cooking any kind of mushroom in a boatload of butter and salt is going to taste divine.
Chicken Penne with Chanterelles
1 box or bag of penne
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite sized chunks
2 cups chopped chanterelle mushrooms
1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced thick
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups spinach
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup grana padano or parmigiano reggiano cheese, freshly grated
2 tbsp unsalted butter
extra virgin olive oil for sautéing
truffle oil for drizzling if you like that sort of thing. If you don’t, you’re a weirdo.
salt and pepper
Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Cook it according to package directions. Reserve a little bit of the pasta water just in case your sauce needs beefing up, about a cup.
Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a large pan over high heat. Salt and pepper the chicken and cook until just cooked through, about 6 minutes. Remove to a plate and add another tbsp of olive oil as well as the butter to the pan, lowering the heat to medium-high. Add the chanterelles and cremini mushrooms and let them brown for 4 or 5 minutes, then add the garlic and onion and a bit more oil if the pan is dry and salt and pepper. Cook for a few more minutes until the onion is translucent, then add the spinach and let it wilt down for a couple more minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring the heat up a bit so it comes to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and let it simmer and cook down until the liquid is reduced and thickened up a bit, about 5 minutes. If it reduces too much, add a little bit of that pasta water. It’s a good trick to make your sauce a little thicker and starchier. Add the chicken and the cooked penne back into the pan, and stir it all up. Turn off the heat and add the cheese and a drizzle of truffle oil and eat the entire thing yourself if you’re me, or it can serve 2 if your baby-daddy remembered to vacuum today.