Archives for: August 2008
Wow. Both of my kids are off at college. Incredible. The time has flown by so fast. It seems like yesterday that I was bringing my babies home from the hospital.
People have been asking all week if I’m ok. Am I sad? Is the empty nest hard? I have to say I am not sad or depressed. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been too busy to be unhappy. Perhaps it’s because I have no regrets. I loved being a Mom. I totally threw myself into being a full time at home Mom for years. It wasn’t until DD started Middle School that I even considered going back to work. Then I was working part time at her school.
My goal has been to raise two productive, healthy, godly young adults. To hold them back from their dreams and plans for the future would be unnatural.
That having been said, I did pamper them a bit the last week that they were both at home. I fixed a lot of their favorite foods. Spinach with raisins and butternut squash for SS. Pumpkin with ginger and green beans with basil and garlic for DD. Watermelon and mango for SS. Papaya, kiwi, and nectarines for DD. Eye of round roast for SS. Fresh salmon for DD. It was fun to plan meals that I know they like, and that they won’t get when they are off at school.
The distance doesn’t seem as great as it did when I went off to college in the 70s. Long distance phone calls were expensive, and letters took 2-3 days to reach their destinations back then. I’ve talked with DD on the cell phone every day. She called me from the grocery store this afternoon asking my opinion about fruit juice and soy milk. It was fun to imagine her and her roommate loading up their shopping cart.
I heard this statement earlier in the summer, “When you are a mother, the days go by slowly, but the years go by quickly.” It’s hard to grasp that when you are struggling with a 2-year-old or negotiating with a 13-year-old. But when you hug your 18-year-old and your 23-year-old good-bye, you realize how true it is.
Our son is home for a break between summer and fall semesters. I wanted to fix a grain dish to go with cod for last night’s dinner.
I cooked the cod with Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning Blend. It is loaded with Type O beneficials. The next to the last ingredient is orange peel, but I can accept that tiny diviation. There is probably more pepper that in good for Type As, but the Type Os outnumbered the Type As for this meal, and my husband liked it.
I sauteed spinach in butter, and added a handful of currants. I’m still not totally confident about the currant rules. The GTD website described the beneficial currants as looking like tiny raisins. The BTD website says all currants are neutral, but that there are two varieties – the tiny raisin-like ones, and the gooseberry-like ones. It’s really a moot point because I can’t get the gooseberry-like ones in South Texas.
After I got the cod in the oven and the spinach wilting, I turned my attention to the grain dish. I had quinoa in mind, but there wasn’t a box in the pantry. However, I did have buckwheat groats. Usually I follow the directions for kasha, which has has a texture similar to rice. But other things were cooking and I didn’t want to take time to precook the kasha in egg. Instead I put the buckwheat in boiling water and turned to another pan where I was grilling an onion and some portabella mushrooms. I turned back to the buckwheat and it had already cooked to mush. So fast! I added the onions and mushrooms and tossed stirred them together. What else could I do? This close to dinner I wasn’t going to start over.
When the family came in I told them that I had taken a short cut and goofed on the pilaf. The texture was all wrong. But after we tasted it, we all agreed that buckwheat with onion and portabellas was a good idea. Next time if I prepare the kasha correctly, I will have a tasty side dish that I can be proud of.
I made one other goof. I didn’t prepare enough. At the end of the meal the buckwheat dish was empty. There was none left over for today’s lunches.
I love taco salad, and it has always been a favorite menu choice. Lately I’ve noticed that in many restaurants the meat portions are getting smaller and smaller, while the condiments (sour cream, colored corn chips, etc.) are taking up more and more room.
Today after church we hung around visiting with friends. I glanced at my watch and we had less than an hour to eat and get DD ready for work. There was no time for a relaxing meal in a nice restaurant. My husband suggested Taco Bell, and we all agreed.
Perhaps you’re surprised that I don’t mind eating at Taco Bell. When our son was in elementary school, he had very severe reactions to MSG. I spent hours researching ingredients in all kinds of restaurants – both elegant and fast food. I was impressed with Taco Bell. Not only did they not add any MSG to any of their food, they didn’t add potatoes, wheat, or masa as fillers either.
As I started writing this blog, I went to the Taco Bell website to see if they still have the high standards that they did 10 years ago. I see a few Type O avoids toward the end of the ingredient list - things I wouldn’t have known to look for them when I did my original research. My own taco meat is more Type O compliant, but I still think Taco Bell ingredients are acceptable for a fast food restaurant.
My concern was not the ingredients. My concern was that Taco Bell taco salad used to have a generous portion of meat, but now it is pretty meager. There was also the issue of pinto beans. If I order Mexican food and it comes with pinto beans, I eat them, but I when I have a choice I eat something else.
As I stood in line, I had a brainstorm. For the same price as a taco salad, I could get 5 crispy tacos. I would get about the same amount of lettuce, no pinto beans, and a lot more meat. This sounded like a good plan for me.
The plan nearly went awry when my husband went to pick up our order. He assumed that I had ordered a salad and nearly sent back the tray stacked high with tacos. “How many did you order?” he asked incredulously when he got to the table. I smiled and enjoyed my lunch, scooping the meat and lettuce out of the taco shells. It was better for me than a taco salad, and DD got to work on time.
I have had one of the most breathtakingly wonderful experiences of my life. It started with an ordinary event – exercise.
While I was at my parent’s house it was hard to exercise. The days were busy ones, with much to do to take care of my Dad. The days were also hot and humid. Nights were plesant, but it made my mother very nervous for me to be out walking by myself at dusk. Two days I went anyway, against her wishes. Some days I did T-Tapp in the living room after everyone was asleep. Some days I missed out on exercise.
The first day I was at home, DD and I went for a power walk with weights. It was wonderful to charge up and down the hills in the fresh air. Over the weekend we went for a bicycle ride. We pushed ourselves hard, riding for about an hour.
As we came back home, we startled four deer in our neighbor’s front yard. Two of them took off down our driveway, heading into the trees behind our house. The other two began to run down our street. They were running right beside me, neck and neck with my bicycle, perhaps four or five feet from me.
I could see their beautiful eyes and watch their graceful strides. We were side by side for several hundred feet, then they sped up, crossing the road in front of me. They leaped effortlessly across the bar ditch and disappeared into the trees.
It was a magical moment.
One quick followup to my blog about edamame. A stomach virus swept through the store where DD works. She had fever and cramping, and she felt pretty miserable. It was not caused by the edamame pods. A virus is a virus and it has to run its course. But I don’t think that the extra amount of fiber helped her recovery any. Even though she is able to swallow the whole edamame, she agrees that from now on, whe will just eat the beans, not the pods.