The Night Shift

What I am about to write might be a little provocative (get your minds out of the gutter!). Fiancé has been on the night shift for awhile now – 20:30 (aka 8:30pm) to 08:30 (am). I leave for the office, usually, before he gets home. There really is no “polite” way to express my feelings on how sleeping alone some nights came to be. We were strolling along singing our “we are loving this time together” song and then sexism won out. A female soldier required to fulfill her obligation to the Navy by having a family plan in order failed to execute that plan. She wanted equal treatment then pulled the female/mom card and her gender trumped my fiancé’s original assignment.

I know. I know. Some might ask, “Heather, how petty can you be?!” or perhaps my favorite, “Heather, you are not a biological mom, you don’t get it.” I should be grateful, right? He is not under way. He is not deployed again. He is HERE, in San Diego with me. For those readers who are in the “getting to know me” phase (and thanks for that, by the way) though I hesitate to admit this, I am my father’s daughter. This is the guy who was in the military 28 years. Who told us to be home by 18:00 hours (that’s 6pm) and if it was 18:02 (6:02pm) and we weren’t, he was out on base looking for us. I kid you not, dear readers! Order of operation is still in my blood. Back then, gender didn’t pull rank. I know how the military works and times, they are a changin’. Yet while they want to project images of parity for and to all, they’re not quite there yet. I am all for equality, however, if you demand and expect it – than worthy of it you should be.

That brings me to my little saying, “Build a bridge and get over it…” and while I’m not quite over my rickety excuse for a conduit (did I write that I tend to hold grudges?), I have channeled my energy into something else. Becoming more of a Pinterest addict, of course!

The idea of my fiancé coming home to some baked goods and something to eat makes me feel like a hot 1950’s housewife. Try not to gag too much.

After all of the baking and preparation is done, I do dishes. I put said dishes away. I clean a bit and I go to bed missing him and wishing those fabulous arms were around me. But with a grin upon my lips, and happiness in my heart I know that from such small gestures I’ll get the great gift of him walking into our home from that night shift and smiling that smile that melts my heart. I may not be home to see it, but I don’t have to be. I feel it no matter where I am.
Here are a few super easy recipes of late. Blueberry muffins are his favorite, but I change it up from time to time:

Pot roast for later, blue berry muffins for now.
Blueberry Muffins

3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 10 tablespoons butter, softened, 1 3/4 cups sugar, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 cup plain yogurt (I substituted 1 1/4 cup Greek yogurt + 1/4 cup milk with success)
Save these for later: 8 oz blueberries (fresh or frozen, I use fresh)
1/2 tsp lemon zest (I actually skip the zest)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 12-cup jumbo muffin tin with cooking spray or line with jumbo muffin liners.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes) (I actually use a regular hand miser). For blueberry muffins, add lemon zest and beat to combine. Add eggs one at a time and beat until each is incorporated into batter.
On low speed, add yogurt in 3 additions alternating with adding dry ingredients in 2 additions, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. For blueberry muffins, stir in blueberries by hand just until distributed.
Use a large spoon to distribute batter evenly among cups. Bake until tops of muffins are golden brown and a cake tester comes out with just a few crumbs attached, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool in muffin tins about 5 minutes then cool on wire rack.
Pot Roast
Here’s a secret. I cheat on this one!
I add vegetables we like (carrots, potatoes, broccoli, green beans) and then McCormick Slow Cooker seasoning is my “recipe”. Here is the link:

Bisquick Strawberry Muffins
Mix together the following: 1 egg-lightly beaten, 2 cups Bisquick, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, 2/3 cup milk, 1/3 cup strawberries-I used fresh, frozen works too (or other fruit), 1 tsp vanilla extract optional – gently fold in fruit last. Fill muffin pan – I use muffin liners, otherwise lightly spray with PAM. Bake @ 400°F for 13-18 minutes (I baked for 14 minutes and they’re perfect) Take out of oven & let cool. Eat!

Banana Walnut Bread
I don’t know how to make coffee since I have never had a cup of it in my life, but I always put his Harley mug out since he does drink it LOL.
1 1/3 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 2 large bananas), 2/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup milk, 3 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 3 eggs, 2 2/3 cups Bisquick baking mix, 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 350. Grease bottom only of loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches.
2) In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except Bisquick and nuts; stir until blended. Stir in Bisquick and nuts. 
3) Pour into prepared loaf pan.
4) Bake banana bread for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick in center comes out clean.
5) Cool 10 minutes Loosen sides of loaf from pan and remove to wire rack to cool completely.