Balabusta Cred.

The minute the weather cools off, I go into balabusta mode. Do you know this word, balabusta? I’ve heard it before, in the little snippets of Yiddish swirling around, but didn’t know what it meant. I looked it up after reading about a cookbook from the restaurant of the same name.

Balabusta is a Yiddish expression describing a good homemaker

 Yup. Except maybe I would be a passable homemaker, not always a good one! I’ve been in the kitchen a lot lately, making soups and baking bread. I started making my own chicken soup a few years ago, relying on my memory of various chicken soups I ate growing up, between my mom, my stepmom and my grandma. But this weekend, I think I made my best one yet. The husband and 5 year old agree that it is delicious!

Chicken Soup 

Serves a crowd. 
  • Two chicken breasts, bone-in, skin on (please!) 
  • Two carrots
  • Two stalks celery
  • One onion
  • Bay Leaf
  • Sprigs of thyme
  • Dill, dried or fresh
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Place the chicken in a roasting pan or baking sheet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, coat with oil and add a few sprigs of thyme to the roasting pan. Roast at 425 for 30-45 minutes, depending on size of chicken. The juice should run clear, and the skin should be golden and crispy. 
  2. While chicken is roasting, heat oil in a soup pot, chop veggies and add to the pot, along with salt and pepper. Cook until veggies are soft, then add bay leaf and thyme sprigs. 
  3. Let the chicken cool enough for handle, then remove skin and pull meat off the bones. Chop or pull the meat and set aside. Tie the bones up in a cheesecloth. 
  4. Add cheesecloth-wrapped bones to the soup pot and cover with water. 
  5. Bring soup to a boil, then lower to a simmer and partially cover. 
  6. Simmer soup until color turns deep golden. Add more water as necessary, to keep bones covered. 
  7. Remove bones from soup and discard. 
  8. Add  chicken and dill; continue to simmer until ready to serve. 
  9. Serve with fresh bread or crackers. The bread in the photograph is my new go-to recipe from King Arthur Flour, which can be found here:
Also, this: 

Two Weeks Exactly.

Another birth story to share, again from Documenting Delight. The video is beautiful but the written birth story made me tear up, so read that first:

{Some people have asked if I’m planning a home birth. The answer is no. But I like these home birth videos because I labored at home with Stella, and she was born an hour after I arrived at the hospital. It was the best of both worlds, for me.}

When I had Stella, I had no idea what to expect. Though she is my second child, she was my first vaginal birth. I never went into labor with Alice.

I remember my labor with Stella starting out very gradually, with lower back discomfort starting sometime on Friday, then everything increasing over the course of Saturday. Around 7pm, my contractions seemed to be pretty intense so we went into the hospital. After a check, it turned out that I was only 1 cm, so I opted to go back home. But we were back again 4 hours later, and this time, I was 9 cm. My water broke in one big gush while the nurse was trying to strap on a fetal monitor, so they gave up on the monitor and told me that I could push if I felt like it. And boy, did I feel like it. Around midnight, Stella made her entrance, one day before her due date.

This time, I know how uncomfortable labor is, and what to expect in that regard. But will my labor progress the same way? Will I be pregnant right up until my due date or will I go a little early? Or a little late? Will my water break in one big gush again? Will it break early on or right before the birth? Every little twinge I get in my back these days makes me wonder if it’s starting.

These questions are driving me nuts, and so I’ve forced myself to just let it go. I have my bag packed, I have a cover on my mattress, I have a chux pad in the car. That’s all I can do. Now, I just have to carry on until showtime. Let go and let God.

Three Weeks (or Two Weeks and 6 Days).

First, here is the trailer for the Ina May Gaskin documentary, Birth Story:

{You can buy a digital download for $12.99 but I’m holding off on that until they provide English subtitles for the hearing-impaired (right now, they only offer Spanish subtitles.)}

With three weeks to go, I’m in full-on nesting mode. My strategy has been to tackle one project first thing in the morning. So far, I have:

  • cleaned up and reorganized the pantry (which also doubles  triples as the laundry room/utility closet), 
  • degreased and scrubbed the vent filters for the stovetop (majorly gross and clearly something I should more often), 
  • attempted to deep-clean the stovetop and backsplash, with moderate success, 
  • cleaned out, lined and reorganized the cutlery drawer, 
  • cleaned and organized the top shelf of our living room closet, so that I could make room for things that were living on top of our Expedit shelving unit, which in turn created room for other things that needed a new home. 
I’ve also become a stickler for keeping the kitchen clean at all times, and staying on top of the laundry because, boy, it would really suck to go into labor at any minute, then come home to a messy house. 
Next up, 
  • cleaning the fridge (my least favorite task)
  • stripping and cleaning the vinyl floors in the kitchen (it’s a rental… why does anyone put down vinyl? I don’t know. Yuck.)
  • weeding through the girls’ overgrown collection of books
  • attempting to create some sort of order to their room
  • making meals and snacks for the freezer (pinning ideas, naturally!) 
Or maybe next is a baby. Who the hell knows…? 

A Month To Go.

I like reading and watching birth stories in the weeks leading up to birth. Here’s another one from Documenting Delight, one of my favorite blogs.

I have four weeks to go, and I have some things crossed off my “Nesting To Do” list. The summer is flying by.


My favorite thing to do while waiting for a baby (9 weeks to go!) is to read birth stories and watch birth videos. I watched this one yesterday, shot by Georgia of Documenting Delight. I love the mother’s poise but I won’t pretend that’ll be me. I was a wild animal when I was pushing Stella out. 🙂