26 February 2010

Flashback

[7 months pregnant]

About a year ago, I put up this post. About a year ago I was 7 months pregnant.

Today that little person is a little bigger and celebrating her 10-month-iversary.


That's 10 months of drinking breastmilk straight from the source.


Ten months of wearing boy clothes on occasion.


Ten months of nomming everything in sight.


Ten months of not getting shots.


Ten months of watching too much TV.


Ten months of being a people person.


Ten months of sleeping with Mommy (for naps and otherwise).


Ten months of being a complete handful and a total wondrous joy at the same time.


Now she's talking (she knows several sign language words, and she has her own word for "baby"), standing up by herself, and on Wednesday she took her first step! And today she took another one so her daddy could see. Cool.


19 February 2010

... Wedded To ...

[Norman's and mine, photographed on our wedding day]

There's a tradition in my extended family. My great-grandmother (we all called her Grams) made a wedding needlepoint sampler similar to the one above for her two daughters, and she made a pretty good run at making one for every one of her grandchildren. She was quite old and ill when my mom's youngest brother got married, but I remember my mom working on it for her.

When I was engaged, my mom asked if I wanted one, too. Of course I did! I grew up seeing my mom and dad's hanging in our house, and my grandma and grandpa's hanging in theirs. As you can see, the names, dates, and colors are all subject to change to fit the couple. The colors in my mom's are the colors she planned on having in her house. The colors in mine are my wedding colors.

[My mom and dad's]

I love this tradition. Love. Of course I do! It's crafty and nostalgic and a multi-generational tradition. I love multi-generational traditions.

Norman's and mine hangs above my dresser in our bedroom. The other day I was looking at it, and I suddenly got very, very sad. You see, my mom's youngest brother was recently divorced. That's the first time someone who had one of these... didn't need it anymore. Everyone else is either still together, or separated by death.

I started to wonder -- what had happened to it? I imagine most likely it was thrown away or donated to a thrift store. If it was really lucky, someone decided it was worth keeping and hiding away. If it was really unlucky, someone burned it in a fit of rage! (Unlikely, but totally possible.)

So, so sad. So here I'll offer a prayer that no one else who has one of these lovely things will stop needing theirs prematurely.

[Our one-minute-versary.]

16 February 2010

Bagels!

I made these the other evening. Lucy goes to bed and I can do anything I want. And I decided to do some more cooking. Hmm. But I just couldn't take another day without bagels.


I made bagels once before. They didn't turn out so great. I'm just now learning what it means to do things like knead. Or let rise.


I followed the recipe here. (Yep, this is the same lady whose sourdough recipe I follow.)

Soooo tasty. Totally hit the spot. The bagel spot.

13 February 2010

09 February 2010

Homemade Peanut Butter, Take 1


Oy. Do I ever do something right the first time anymore? Well, OK, besides this.

Here's an account of my first attempt at making my own peanut butter.

Now, it should be stated right up front that:

1.) We eat A LOT of peanut butter. A lot.

2.) We love the store-bought variety that we've settled on. Skippy Natural (creamy, of course). Made with peanuts, non-hydrogenated palm oil, sugar, and salt. A little pricey, but worth it for the non-trans-fat nature of it, considering how much of it we eat.

However. Peanuts have phytic acid in them. We've talked about this before. Seeds have this stuff in them called phytic acid, which hinders you from absorbing nutrients from your food. But when you soak your seeds (nuts, beans, grains) before you eat them, they become more like a plant, less like a seed, reduce their phytic acid content, and are better for you.

So, peanuts being seeds, store-bought peanut butter has a lot of phytic acid. Which I wouldn't worry too much about except that we eat so much peanut butter.

The obvious solution to me is not to stop eating so much peanut butter (never!), but instead, to make my own peanut butter using soaked peanuts.

This is not nearly as time-consuming as it sounds, given the right equipment.

The recipe is in the cookbook/nutrition tome Nourishing Traditions. It basically involves the following:

1.) Soak raw peanuts in room-temperature salt water for at least 8 hours.

2.) Dehydrate said peanuts in a food dehydrator (or gas oven, turned off) until they're crispy.

[My newly-perfected method is to start soaking the nuts in the morning, and then dehydrate them overnight.]

3.) Grind said peanuts with sea salt in a food processor.

4.) Add raw honey and coconut oil.

[My 5-gallon tub of coconut oil. Isn't it beautiful?]

5.) Blend until smooth.

Except that I don't have a food processor. (On that note, does anyone have any food processor brand recommendations? I'm in the market...)

So I ground my peanuts a little at a time in my coffee grinder. (Yes, I hear you: "That, you have??")


But they were only crumbly, not pasty.

Then I put them in a bowl with the salt, honey, and coconut oil. And mushed it all up with my hands.


So now my peanut butter is completely indistiguishable from my sourdough starter.

Which is why I gave it a happy little label!

It is very tasty. Very sweet and nutty (weird!). But it would be even better if it were smooth.

05 February 2010

You'll Thank Me Later

I made this tonight. Rachael Ray's BLT Mac 'n Cheese. Om. Nom.

[Taking photos of food is so difficult to do well, don't you find?]

You should cook this for yourself or someone you love (preferably both) sometime very soon. It's amazingly tasty.

(I left off the weird part at the end about putting a salad on top of the casserole.)

I am so, so, so excited that some sad Monday in about a month, I'll get to pull the leftovers out of the freezer for dinner!