Have you ever had one of those days you just wish hadn’t happened? Not a wish to start it over, but a wish that it just disappeared and never repeated itself.
Yeah. me too. Today was such a day.
I’m sure some of you have read me talking about (writing about?) my kids. I have six children, five boys and one girl, ranging in age from 25 on down to 3. I also have 5 grandchildren. As I’ve said before, I started having kids at age six… honest.
One of my kids more frequently mentioned, if not here, on my FB page, is my son Jordan. Jordan is sixteen but is always going to be my baby. He is the sweetest boy you could ever know. But he is also Autistic, mildly intellectually challenged, has a severe case of ADHD, some OCD, and other things falling into the emotional/mental disabilities spectrum. He has the emotional and intellectual abilities of about an 8 year old. He is sweet, funny, loving & enjoys helping people. He loves to work with tools though that can end up with broken gadgets and bikes and what have you lol. He loves to “invent” things cooking but rarely does anything of it turn out to be edible. Heck, we all know what THAT’S like though huh? He loves our cats and adores his siblings. He worries about me and wants to take care of me forever.
He also can get overwhelmed when stressed out, discouraged, angry or pushed too hard. He doesn’t like rules and will rebel if he thinks that one is unfair. He wishes he could do everything but frequently tells me that he feels like he can’t do anything right, is stupid and doesn’t fit in anywhere. Those are the days that I feel my heart crack into little pieces. When he is upset and something (usually chaos or being pushed too hard) triggers him, he can also become violent and aggressive. Not in the bullying sort of way. When he is aware of himself and his surrounding, he wouldn’t hurt a flea and has been known to carry flies outside so that they wouldn’t die. But when he gets upset, he is no longer cognizant of how he is acting. he is pure adrenaline. Today was one of those bad days. He has been doing poorly in school, in part, in my opinion, because they are expecting too much academically from him. He is a sophomore who should have extreme modifications in his work but doesn’t. So when he feels like a failure, he doesn’t try and acts up to get out of working.
Today, something happened that made him lose control. From what I have been told, he sat in the wrong chair in class and rather than say the obvious “oh well, what does it matter? and let him sit there (it was a chair for petes sake!), it was turned into a control issue by the teacher and others were brought in to “help”. It ended with him being restrained (way bad move with an autistic child who doesn’t like being touched other than to be hugged), his biting and spitting on a teacher (again; think young child and temper tantrum) and him being suspended. Now, I agree with the suspension. He can’t be allowed to do that and there have to be consequences. But it didn’t end there. The school is pressing charges of assault against my 16 year old Autistic, mildly retarded, IQ of around 75 boy.
I want someone to explain to me what they think will happen to an extremely vulnerable mentally challenged boy in jail or juvenile detention. He isn’t the type to be able to fend off someone who wanted to hurt him or do other things to him. He would cry, he would beg for me to help him though I wouldn’t be there, he would fight as well as he could but ultimately he would lose. The problems he has also have led to poorer than usual muscle tone and strength. But they want him in jail. They want to take him and put him with men or boys who have REALLY committed assault, have raped, have committed armed robbery, have done drugs, abused parents or siblings and God knows what else.
I want this day to disappear. I want to hug my children and hide them in a cave so no one can ever harm them. I want him to be whole.
There is no subtle way to lead into a recipe today so I won’t try. I’ll just post it.
As Scarlett O Hara said, “After all, tomorrow IS another day”. Dear God, I hope so.
Savory, Onion, Swiss & Sausage Bread Pudding
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 9 cups thinly sliced onions (about 4 to 5 onions depending on size)
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 1/3 cup dry red or white wine (I prefer to use a Cabernet in this)
- 1 loaf (about 12 ounces) French or Italian bread, cubed (I use the garlic/Parmesan loaf that many stores carry in their bakery section.)
- 4 cups shredded Swiss cheese
- 1 cup grated fresh (not the dry nasty kind) Parmesan cheese
- 1 10 ounce package Tyson Italian Sausage Crumbles (or just use regular Italian sausage that you have cooked and crumbled)
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups heavy cream or a mix of cream and half & half
- 1 cup whole milk (you could try this with low fat milk and even use that instead of the cream too, but this isn’t supposed to be a diet dish lol)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt 5 tablespoons butter with the oil in a large pan. Add in the sliced onions and the shallots. Cover and cook over low heat until the onions are tender and limp.
- Uncover, turn heat to medium and cook the onions until golden brown and nicely caramelized. About five minutes before they look done, add in the garlic. Stir well and continue cooking.
- When browned and cooked, pour in the wine. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid is gone.
- Butter a 13×9 inch baking dish, preferably a glass one.
- In a large bowl, combine the bread, sausage and the onions.
- Melt the last 5 tablespoons of butter and pour it over the bread mixture.
- Add the cheeses.
- In a small bowl, mix the cream, milk, salt and eggs.
- Pour the egg mixture over the bread and mix well. Stir this well for about 2 to 3 minutes to make sure all the bread has a chance to start soaking up the cream mixture
- Pour mixture into the prepared pan and bake at 350 until it is golden brown and cooked through, about 50 to 60 minutes. To check doneness, poke a butter knife into the middle. If it comes out wet or dripping, it’s not done. It should be the consistency of a cooked cheesecake. Firm and yet still creamy.
- Let cool for about ten minute before you cut this.
- This is an awesome side dish for a company dinner or a great light meal with a salad for the family. It’s also great for a weekend breakfast. It’s gooey, crispy at the edges because of all the butter used in it and cheesy and oniony and oh my, it’s SO good. One of my favorite side dishes in fact.