Tag Archives: Food

Big Apple Firsts

At the beginning of the month I whisked myself away to experience New York City. Whisking allowed me to see the city as an adult, not as a mom with 4 precious children in tow. It wasn’t better, per se, just very very different. I think I needed both to really begin to start to think about possibly maybe someday understanding such a place. It was a trip filled with firsts. Most of them were small and mundane but it was an amazing adventure. First off: first canceled flight of my life.

Me and my boots waiting and then eating and then calling my husband and kids to turn around and re-drive an hour to pick me up after my flight was canceled due to weather. First time eating Five Guys fries. All. By. Myself. I’ve had them before but its a whole new level of bliss to not have to share even one.

Me and my boots on our very first Amtrak train bound for a destination more than an hour away. I’d ridden the train with my Dad (We went to San Juan Capistrano and saw “Zorro.” Could not have been more perfect atmosphere) but this was 11 hours of pure uninterrupted reading time. I finished the two books (Homeschooling books, of course) that I’d brought. They changed my life and that right there was worth the canceled flight drama. Naomi was gracious enough to loan me her lunch box.

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Saying goodbye to Mommy, take two. For the record, I married an amazing man. He single handedly took over the farm and the homeschooling and the bathing and the hair brushing and not only merely survived, but out did himself as a dad. He’s my favorite.

The rest of the trip will be related in three parts, Food, Art, My Mom and Sisters.  Things I can not possibly love any more than I do. Ahem.

My Mom and my sisters are locals now and they knew the places to go. We did Colombian, and Mexican, and Thai. I got to ruin bacon for my sisters…store bought will never live up to my homegrown cured and smoked stuff. We hit up the commercial bakery down the street from my mom’s that has tasty and dirt cheap baked goods…chocolate swirl cheesecake with a healthy dollop of apple butter and a side of madeleines (another first). There is a bakery in Manhattan called “Magnolias.” Their chocolate banana pudding made me seriously consider licking the inside of the cup (dignity and class be danged) and I need their lemon bars in my life daily. Huzzah for good food!

Art must be seen in person. Full stop. No other way to really “get it.” For the first time I had a chance to really see these iconic masterpieces. Did you know that One: Number 31 by Jackson Pollock has places where the paint is shiny??? Did you know that there are places on the canvas where the paint was absorbed at different rates creating a whole new level of depth and complexity??? Turns out Salvador Dali’s Persistence of Memory is super tiny…what?! and I saw the real Starry Night. People. There are maroon strokes in that cypress tree that I have never really seen because I’ve only seen glossy reproductions. I saw the edge of the paining, where Van Gogh decided to stop painting. I saw paintings from an artist I studied in high school and loved but forgot about. Art. I loves it. I also got to experience other forms of art. Daffodils in the middle of the city, stone steps on an early morning walk by myself just because I could, and a cold frosty sunrise because spring hadn’t totally started up north. Sigh.

I love this woman and these weirdos. This was the first time we had a chance to start to get to know each other as adults. Usually I’m in full out mom mode while they are working magic in aunt mode. Doesn’t leave lots of time for deep conversation. Laughing and fun, of course, but not deep “who are you really under all that” discussion. They make me so happy. And I’m pretty sure my mom is the coolest mom out there. True story.

Mom said this kind of sister/mom trip needs to be an annual thing. Not just because I came home with my proverbial batteries fully charged and ready to turn life upside down (in a good way) but because we all need to get to know the many sides of the people we love. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that there is a unique, autonomous person under all the hats we wear. Sigh. I might just learn to love New York after all.

 

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Filed under Food stuffs, Holidays, life the universe and everything

Circle of Life: first part

These next three posts really could have come in any order. So I’ll go in the order in which we got excited about them. Our last circle of life experiment (Aquaponics system) kind of succumbed to the horrible desert rock situation. Highly alkaline rocks = no plants that would grow = dead fish. Funny thing though…The whole system has been dismantled and repurposed except the fish tank. Turns out gold fish like the flavor of abuse we’ve been dishing out and they are happily living in their tank (which looks a lot like a pond now).

I digress. I forget now how the idea popped into our heads again. We had considered it before but thought… “no, not worth it.” And now it’s back and makes perfect and complete sense. Weird. Rabbits are going to be a regular addition to our farm. After researching like mad for about two days (because that’s how we work) we settled on two different breeds and got in touch with some breeders. Our circle will start with rabbits and their poop.

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Bunnies need places to live, and kids need worth while holes to dig. Win-Win.

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The run is right outside the kid’s window in a spot by our house that is mostly shaded during the day. We were planning on splitting the yard in half (Now the plan might be different but nothing for sure yet) so we bought a dog kennel and my brilliant husband rigged up an extra door. There will be a tarp over the top of the whole thing to help with shade and rain and more dens and play things to come with the additional rabbits. Right now we only have Trix.

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Trix is a Harlequin. They are a smaller breed (6-8 lbs) that has smaller litters (5-9 kits at a time) but have excellent temperaments, are great mothers and have super cool coloring to boot. Sometime the end of May we will hopefully be getting another Harley doe and buck and can start breeding them the end of June. We have really enjoyed her and she seems to be adapting really well to her new, bigger (if dirtier) home.

In mid June / July we will be adding a breeding trio of Silver Fox rabbits. They are bigger (10-12 lbs.) and have bigger litters (9-12 kits). They are supposed to be great in the heat, good temperaments and just great all around rabbits. More on them when they get here.

So just to be clear, all you tender hearted readers. We will be naming (after cereal mascots) the bucks and does that will be with us for a few years as our breeders. They will be pets, however, at some point they too will be eaten. The litters will be raised for 12-16 weeks and then butchered for our own private consumption. (And just so you know it is way, way easier to go from bunny to dinner than it is to go from chicken to dinner). All our rabbits will be pedigreed, and so can be easily sold as pets and any of superior quality can be shown in fairs or rabbit shows. I’m kind of excited about that, and hopefully my kids will be too.

Why, you ask? Why kill a cute furry creature for something so base as eating? Here are some stats for you (and I just found out the going local rate for a dressed rabbit is $22 for a 3-4 lb. rabbit…glad we are doing it ourselves) : found here

  • Rabbit has the lowest cholesterol value of any meat product. Compared to the next two lowest, chicken and pork (both with a value of 230 mg per serving), rabbit has a mere 164 mg of cholesterol.
  • Rabbit is the lowest calorie meat per serving at 795 calories per pound vs. 810 for chicken, 840 for veal, 1190 for turkey, and 1440 for beef. Pork weighs in at a whopping 2050 calories per pound
  • Rabbit meat is the HIGHEST in protein compared to chicken, fish, lamb, pork and even beef
  • Rabbit meat is highly digestible and recommended by the USDA for children and the elderly.
  • The USDA also proclaims rabbit meat “the most nutritious meat known to man”
  •  Rabbits are one of the most productive domestic livestock animal there is. Rabbits can produce 6 pounds of meat on the same feed and water as the cow will produce 1 pound of meat on the same feed and water.
  • Rabbit meat makes fantastic jerky because it is so lean. One of these days, I’ll write about my love affair with my dehydrator, and I have big plans for super yummy jerky.

So that’s that. I’m excited and will of course be posting more on our Rabbitry as it gets up and running. Next up…What eats the rabbit poop?

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I miss cereal.

What is a gluten/grain-free pregnant hippie to do!? Psshh. Make granola, of course.

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My lovely assistant and her awesome new hairstyle! I figured since she was screaming and needed her hair braided anyways, we’d try a French braid. It was cuter two nights ago, but I love it.

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So this is my new favorite grain-free granola recipe. I’m slowly but surely working my way through her paleo recipes, and she is awesome. Yay for the internet! Layna made it very clear what she needed to have happen with this granola. As. Soon. As. Possible.

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It made quite a lot when I doubled the recipe, and I’m hoping it lasts for at least two breakfasts between the five of us. Layna also made it clear what she thought of my cooking while not holding her. She is a champion whiner.

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Here is the best part about making granola instead of buying it. There is about a 15 minute window when it hasn’t cooled all the way from baking. It’s gooey and melty and when you eat it with cold milk, it might just be the most perfect thing ever. Think apple crisp without the actual apples. And you also get to drink cinnamon milk at the end. Mmmmmm…Cinnamon milk.

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Fourth of July: Food

Because really this holiday is about two things, once of course you get past the reading of the Declaration of Independance and having a nice long chat with the kids about how our country rocks hardcore and how hard men and women have worked to make it so awesome, but I digress. Two things…Food and Fireworks.

 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about using holidays as an excuse to eat food that is ridiculously bad for you, goodness knows I ususally do. However, since we were on our own this year (all of our in-town relations were…uh..well…out of town), I thought we’d shoot for a bit healthier than normal. Goat milk yogurt with berries and cool whip. I did say a bit healthier.

 

We don’t have a barebeque, plus is was raining anyways (I know. The one day in June or July that it will rain and it was on the Fourth), so I did Sloppy Joes for dinner.  It was a big hit and watermelon is like candy so no questions there.

 

I’m sorry. Did I say it was a big hit? Wow, what an understatment. I knew I’d have to clean her and her chair whether I fed her or not so I thought I’d let her have a go at feeding herself. We laughed for about 5 minutes straight just watching her. Best Mom choice of the day! And the sink was closer than the tub. Best Dad choice of the day! I love it when my husband has awesome ideas like bath-ing the baby in the kitchen sink.

 

In the name of journalistic integrity or something, here is what our apple pie really looked like. I wish it looked prettier, and it probably would have had I listened to Neil and waited the correct amount of time for it to set up and cool. But meh. It was going to be eaten and no one else was ever going to see it so I gave in and we ate warm gooey falling apart pie.

I hope your day was also filled with delicious food and cute people to eat it with. Happy Independance Day!

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