On the move…

Since adopting Todd, our movements are very pack-like.  Here we are above, flying to Chicago.  If John goes, we all go.  We like it best that way.

Now, we are tucked into a condo that is literally across the street from my brother (Matt), sister-in-law (Megan) and niece (Sophie’s) house.  Can you believe the good fortune?  Matt & Megan had neighboring friends who needed to sublet at the exact time we were going to be living in Chicago for John’s work.  Thank you unseen weaver of amazing webs.

The first two days felt a little bit lonely up here, even with the blessing of our new neighbors.  You see, our lives have several exciting unknowns right now, namely the potential farm project.  However despite all the excitement, it’s looking like a long time before we’re settled in a more permanent dwelling.  The recent temporary move exposed that reality.

That being said, I was conveniently graced with the gift of being able to set up shop just about anywhere.  It came from mom.  Every vacation house of my childhood felt like a home because she’d make it one before the first setting sun.  Now Day 4 in our temporary Chicago space, it’s business as usual.  I’ve found the Green Grocer, a stone’s throw away with grass-fed meats from places like Mint Creek Farm.  As I write, my new jeans (Farrah Fawcett style!) are being altered at a local shop (crossing my fingers), we’ve found a cute pet shop that carries Todd’s favorite dog food and a coffee shop that carries John’s favorite brand of coffee.  In our little world, that’s about all we need.

Dinners have been spent at home, which creates routine, stability and warmth.  All in all, life’s back to normal.  Same song, different city.

Our first night here, John was working late, and I made a familiar dish known to us as Ground Beef with Peas & Carrots, except I sub’d out red pepper for peas, because that’s what I had.  Hearing that John needed to stay late and would eat out, I took the leftovers to Matt & Megan.  I’m glad I happened to sub out the peas because Matt hates peas; hate, in this unfortunate case, is not at all an exaggeration. I topped the dish with a fried egg per person and chopped avocados.  I also often serve this dish with a hunk of sauerkraut, as in the picture above, which nicely compliments the flavors of the beef.

Well, Matt texted later, “That meal you made was unreal. Seriously.”  Since my brother often tells-it-like-it-is and in as few words as possible, I take that as a huge compliment and a recommendation that you may want to try this dish one day!  Super easy, flavorful and comforting, I probably make variations on this basic dish at least twice a month.

Click HERE for the Ground Beef with Peas & Carrots recipe…


  • Can you bring your dog on the plane like that?

    How long will you be away? Will you be back for Shirley’s birth?


    March 27, 2011
    • Molly Chester

      Hi Ann Marie! We will be back end of April for just a weekend, then back officially May 22. I’m not sure if I will be back for Shirley’s birth! Do you know off hand when she is due? So exciting… xoxo

      March 29, 2011
  • Mom

    Thank you for such a tender “make it a home” comment. That was so affirming for a lady who sometimes believes she is too “persnickety”. And what mom wouldn’t give an arm to hear her son praise her daughter’s cooking as Matt praised yours. Music to my ears. XO

    March 28, 2011
    • Molly Chester

      You are so welcome Mom! You deserve every bit of it. Don’t let anyone convince you that you aren’t super special and persnickety is a part of the wonderful package!

      March 29, 2011
  • I don’t know what I loved more… this post or your moms comment! Heartwarming.

    March 30, 2011
  • Megan Schrecengost

    Matt was right, it was delicious. I loved the sunny-side-up egg on top! So warm and soothing. I am so glad you’re here. And I loved cooking with you tonight. I can’t wait to do it again!

    March 30, 2011
  • Joann

    I was really touched by your tribute to your mom especially: “Every vacation house of my childhood felt like a home because she’d make it one before the first setting sun.” So, Molly, I want to know what kinds of things she did? What did you do to make it so besides finding places that sell familiar and necessary items like food?

    (Your mom mentions you regularly on our local WAPF list. She loves you very much I can tell.)

    Enjoy the adventure of your new, though temporary, home and being near family!

    March 31, 2011
    • Molly Chester

      Let’s see… she creates a “place for everything,” if that makes any sense! She really unpacks and sets up shop. I think that is probably the biggest thing. She doesn’t treat it as temporary. She really moves in for whatever length of stay we would be there. And just fyi, my mom really loves her WAPF local list! So, it is nice to meet you virtually Joann!

      April 8, 2011

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