Friday, February 21, 2014


There has been a lot going on, please forgive what I suspect will become an unwieldy blog post.

But first, because I know this issue must be forefront in your mind.
Friday LD and I left the kids with my parents and skied the first day of (our) season on our own. Rain earlier in the morning had frozen on top of a foot of powder. My new boots felt great, so much so that when my skis (purchased used ten years ago) chattered along the ice and fell into the powder below, a thought started to percolate through my brain. Man. New skis would be nice. Maybe next year.

We celebrated Valentine's day with drive-thru Dairy Queen blizzards on the way home. Sunday we went back up with Munch and Wow.

Wow and I spent the morning in the lodge, eating cheese sticks and watching Munch ski the slope outside our window.
Munch was, like, totally stoked about finally getting out there.

She did great, but I was actually more proud of LD, who wisely chose not to push too hard on the opening day of her ski season. They came in for lunch, after which she and I skied together for the remainder of the afternoon.
 And this, folks, is what winning parenthood looks like.

Truthfully, my first reaction to this
was to laugh. I bought that lamp at Target twelve years ago. It's been in the kids' room for the last few years, a time during which it has been peed on, knocked over, and dressed up - just like any other member of the family. And I love Munch's cartoons. But Munch and Wow have both been more destructive lately and I felt the need to come down on her for defacing (probably not the most appropriate word in this context) yet another piece of furniture. Last week Wow took a permanent marker to the parents' dog and Munch carved heavy lines into their dining room table with her fork. My mom didn't get nearly as angry at Munch as I think she should have, and so it was left to me to try to articulate Exactly How Much Trouble she would find herself in if she EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT doing the same to the dining room table that is scheduled to be delivered to our house next month. I think I went with something like I will seriously F-UP this dessert situation you've got going with your grandmother. So, in the interest of consistency (and the preservation the aforementioned furniture purchases), I had to call her out on this too. But.. it's still kinda cute.


If you read any blog about motherhood, the issue of food and the overwhelming prospect of feeding offspring comes up a lot. I try not to write about it too much because, and I am just being honest here, I don't find reading about other people's food that interesting. I'm not that into food blogs and have never once followed a recipe I saw on a blog or been inspired to feed myself or my children differently because of a posting. And if you tell me you are a "food person" I will smile politely and immediately think less of you. Again, honesty.

This is not to say we don't dedicate an exhausting quantity of intellectual and financial resources towards the recurring, gaping question What Are We Making For Dinner Tonight? because, although I don't want to spend a huge amount of time making dinner, it's important to me that my children eat home cooked food. (for context, please recall I've also referenced Dairy Queen in this post) I remember as a medical student interviewing a patient with roaring diabetes.  He was in his forties, morbidly obese, and running a Hgb A1C in the low teens (for you non medical people think VERY BAD). We were in the endocrinology clinic and I was seeing him for his routine DM check up. I didn't know where to start, so opened with the question "So. What's your vice? Why do you think your sugars are so high?". He thought for a minute and replied that he really liked candy bars and averaged one a day.

Now a candy bar a day is probably not great for general health, but it's not going to make most of us into a morbidly obese diabetic. I gently suggested that this was not likely the reason for his current situation and, after a few more minutes of questioning, he shared that he ate 90% of his meals from AM/PM.

It was definitely one of those "aaahhh" moments for me, not just for understanding this patient better, but for understanding the enormity of the problem that faces health care in this county and the coming generation that doesn't know how to, or value, home cooked food. Because the truth is you can't control your blood sugar (or lose weight or prevent advancing atherosclerosis) when 90% of your meals come from a convenience store. But he blamed the candy bar.

It's also a daunting problem to try to fix. I've tried telling patients with heart failure that they can't eat anything from a box or a can, only to have the resultant expression of incredulity convey that I might as well advise they eat nothing but stardust and sunray.

This patient didn't have a wife and came from culture where men don't cook. His was a problem for which all the insulin in the world was not going to help. You have to cook your food. It doesn't have to be fancy, but you should be doing it yourself. It's something I hope my children learn by watching us prioritize it for our family.

I miss the CSA we had in Davis. It arrived in a sticky, beat-up box that we were expected to return empty the following week. Because so many of our neighbors subscribed to the same farm, it delivered the boxes to our neighbor's carport, where they had erected a large shelf specifically to receive the boxes, distribute them to the neighbors, and collect the previous week's empty boxes. In truth we became tired of winter greens and squash, but got in the habit of chopping everything up and roast it together. We all ate a lot more vegetables, albeit with what I will euphemistically refer to as "coaxing". We wanted to find a similar CSA here and subscribed to one based on a friend's recommendation. The one we subscribe to here isn't farm based and feels more a like an organic delivery service than a true CSA. But it keeps us eating vegetables.

Feel free to interject But wait. You just knocked food bloggers and now you are blogging about food.

True. Consider it my snarky b way of saying it's important. Not just what we feed our children, but how we do it. And I've been thinking about it a lot.

So, without further ado, I present my blogging recipe debut (that rhymes if you say it aloud, and I do encourage all of you to read my drivel aloud)

weekday vegetable bubble and squeak
1.  get out a large cast iron oven (or, like whatever you cook in)
2.  heat up some olive oil on low temperature
3.  chop up an onion
4.  or two onions. yeah, make it two
5.  rummage around for some vegetables. cut those up too
6.  put it all together in the pot
7.  salt
8.  pepper? cardamon? cinnamon? go nuts
9.  what's in the freezer? FROZEN PEAS! Yes. Put those in too
10. veggie broth
11.  ........
12.  .......
13.  .......
14. I am now bored with my own recipe
15. .....
16. left over rice? couscous? quinoa? lentils? whatever will absorb some of the broth
17. cheese. we eat a lot of cheese. grate it on top? serve on the side? your choice
18. bread. we also eat a lot of bread. it taste good with cheese. And olive oil

Serve it to your kids, sit down, and eat with them. If you aren't yelling by the end of the meal, you didn't do it right.


I've now run out of time, which is too bad because I haven't actually gotten to what it is that's been keeping us so busy. For future posts (1) LD joined a squash league (2) I've been running with Tia's friends (3) Kindergarten. Holy hell, what are we going to do about kindergarten.


  1. LOL! The lamp, the recipe, this post was awesome! That face...and that smile! TOO ADORABLE!!! "cheese, we eat a lot of cheese. "Bread, we eat a lot of bread" and if it you aren't yelling by the end of your meal, you didn't do it right! LOL. t will admit, you did inspire me to roast veggies I had no idea what to do with. I remember you telling me you used it as a way to get rid of veggies from your CSA box that you just didn't know what to do with. Now, if I don't know what to do with them I just pop them in the oven in a dish and call it a night! :)

    1. that is exactly what we do. more salt please...

  2. Hmmm.... that whole chopping thing you did looks like a lot of work. (I don't like food blogs either. You are awesome.)

  3. That is basically my go-to food plan. Some kind of mixed up set of veggies on top of some kind of grain. Sometimes I remember to add salt. Usually I forget. Eat.

    And if you have any recommendation for a CSA, PLEASE let me know. I found a co-op here that I like, but I'm not sure if I'm actually getting a good deal, foodwise. And, co-op automatically means hippie dippie ;)

    1. I wish I did. We subscribe to Organics To You, which is great and all, but not a real CSA. What Co-op do you like?

    2. Oh... I should check back on responses every so often...

      I really like Food Front, mostly because of all of the bakeries surrounding it.

  4. Food blogs are the worst. I don't want to see pictures and recaps of every morsel that went into someone's mouth (usually someone that seems to have no functional tastebuds…gross).
    There would be SO MUCH YELLING in our house if I tried to make the kids eat such a vegetable-laden meal. They can easily recite how healthy vegetables are, and how delicious. But put them in their mouth? Hells to the no. Bread and cheese…that we can get behind.

  5. This whole epidemic like problem with Americans not cooking their own food is the reason I became interested in food blogs. I didn't learn how to cook before I moved out of my parents house (my fault not theirs, I was a grouchy teen who didn't care to learn), I was determined to figure it out so I wouldn't be one of those people who depends on Velveeta and Hamburger Helper. I admit though, some blogs are better than others--and above all those blogs I hold the book "Kitchen Counter Cooking School" By Kathleen Flinn to a higher regard than all of them.

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