When people say that being a mother is the hardest job in the world, I always assumed they meant it was physically challenging; washing clothes, cleaning rooms, cleaning kids, cooking meals, shopping, trips to the park, carpooling, packing lunches, and so on. After more than a decade in this profession I know now that it's the mental aspect of parenting that is the most taxing, not the manual.
Yesterday was a testament to this. Five minutes after the school day started, I was at the local coffee shop waiting for a friend. For the first time ever, the high-back plush chairs were vacant (you know the ones I mean), and I curled up with a cup of warm vanilla spice tea. Then my phone rang. It seems that in that short time between school drop off and total relaxation, Ben, had managed to have an accident on the playground. One that saw his mouth collide with the hard skull of another boy, rendering his front adult teeth bloody and loose. Not the phone call I wanted to get.
Thankfully, the school is only two minutes away, and the dentist just another three. And in less than an hour we were home with his teeth glued and splinted, and fingers crossed for a perfect recovery. Food will be a challenge for Ben this week. It needs to be soft and tender, and require little chewing. Like soup and yogurt, and vanilla ice cream topped with a little homemade caramel sauce. Because if a fleur de sel infused dessert isn't good for the emotional nerves, than I don't know what is.
Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 teaspoon fleur de sel
Stir together the sugar, corn syrup and water in a small saucepan. Set it over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Allow it to boil until it's amber in colour, swishing the mixture around the pan every minute or so.
Remove the sauce from the heat, and add the heavy cream. It will bubble and steam so add the liquid carefully. Once the cream has been incorporated, add the butter and fleur de sel. Stir until the butter is melted. Transfer to a glass jar and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.