♦ Enabling…I’m All For It!

Dear Shaina,

Thanks for the compliment (?) on my photography.  I got photography lessons for my birthday, so watch out! I still don’t get what you have against naked birds.

Speaking of photography, thank you for enabling this new pursuit of mine.  Per the ongoing family discussion, I think the concept of “enabling” has been given a bad rap. Enabling isn’t all bad.  Sure it can be crippling and disabling and undermining, but it can also facilitate growth and independence and self-pride.

My first blog pictures sucked and you let me know it…and you told me how I could make them better.

Kale Salad with Feta

Kale Salad with Feta

You enabled me to not only acquire a new skill, but also to think in a new way about the possibilities of what I might yet learn. You told me I could figure out how to do my own posting on the blog.  I didn’t think so, but you signed me up anyway, gave me a few tips and some encouragement and told me you didn’t have time to post my letter and I would have to do it myself. You empowered me! It took me six hours and I had to get some help from the trainers at the Apple store, but I did it…and I was proud…and now I own it!

Too much enabling?

Too much enabling?

It could have gone differently.  You could have said to me, “Mom, I’ll take care of it…I’ll do all the pictures and the posting…you just write.”  I might have felt supported, but I never would have found my own abilities.

You believed in me and you facilitated my growth. Enabling, the good or the bad kind, requires a willing partner…and I did my part, too.

I would like to think that we were enabling parents…that we enabled you to think for yourself, to see yourself honestly and to fully engage in the pursuit of meaning and happiness in your life, despite the angst.  In truth, you were a willing partner to our enabling.  You used what we gave you to fuel possibilities that we didn’t even know existed. You took advantage of opportunities without ever taking advantage of us or taking for granted what you had. And you always let us know when we were stepping over the line. Even at 4 years old, you let us know, sitting down in the middle of the soccer field during a game to let me know, unequivocally, no matter how much I pushed, that you were NOT playing soccer…and I never tried to make you do anything again (you may feel differently about that, but I did try to stay out of your way…really!).

You OWN your life…and that is the best that any parent can wish for their child… even with the burdens and obligations that live with that ownership.

Garlic Roasted Smashed Turnips

Garlic Roasted Smashed Turnips

So, maybe our definitions of support/enabling differ slightly.

I can live with that. I do, however, take issue with your representation of the paralyzing turnip noose.

I cop to the overbearing love, but that’s old news…deal with it.

But the turnips?…that was self defense.

More Greens!

More Greens!

Your father brought home another huge black garbage bag full of kale and assorted unnamed greens and yet another bag filled with dozens of very dirt laden turnips.

There are only so many ways to fix turnips and to eat kale and turnip greens, despite the number of recipes you come up with.

I have had turnips …and greens…raw, cooked, fried, mashed, roasted, boiled and mixed with any number of edible any-things-I-can-think-of…every night this week!

Now that's a TURNIP!

Now that’s a TURNIP!

Dad is obsessed with turnips and greens!

He loves them, especially when I make the recipe below.

And he’s talking about picking more this weekend!!!  HELP!! If I thought I could mail you a crateful, I would…and it would have NOTHING to do with overbearing love or my womb!

Can’t wait to see you in a few weeks!




This is my all-time favorite turnip recipe (and Dad’s).


(With or without the greens)

  • 1 large onion cut up in small chunks
  • 3-4 turnips cut into ½ inch chunks (peeled or unpeeled)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped or garlic powder
  • A large bowl of Greens, washed, stems removed and torn in large pieces (kale, turnip, beet, any greens will do)
  • 1 T Olive oil
  • 1 T Butter (more if you like)
  • Salt and Pepper

    We ate them all!

    We ate them all!

Saute the chopped onion in a large frying pan with olive oil until translucent.  Add the garlic and saute until onions and garlic are lightly browned.  Add the cut-up turnips to the frying pan and continue cooking for a minute or two. Add the butter and continue cooking the onion and turnip mixture until tender. Add salt, pepper and additional garlic to taste.

If you don’t like greens, the turnips and onions cooked until tender are delicious and can be served without adding the greens.

This dish is also delicious with the added greens.  While the onions and turnips are cooking, massage the washed greens with a little sea salt and let sit until the turnips are just tender.  Add the greens to the frying pan, stirring the greens into the turnip-onion mixture and continue cooking over medium heat until the greens are wilted and desired tenderness.  Adjust seasonings to taste.

3 thoughts on “♦ Enabling…I’m All For It!

  1. Pingback: Passover Ideas From Both of Us | cross counter exchange

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