It’s Tuesday and I have been contemplating this post for two days. Better, get to writing it out so that I can move on to the next thing.
My husband and my oldest son are both traveling around the world right now. My son is in the Caribbean and my husband is in Colorado. That leaves the Littles going it alone with me: Paleo style. This is very challenging, mostly for my youngest who is only part time Paleo at this point. I try to make appetizing meals, but when you eliminate sugar and wheat and introduce more veggies, he revolts. My challenge for myself for the week is to make kid friendly Paleo meals. Sunday’s dinner was my first try and it was a resounding success. My very picky 6-year-old ate three helpings. To me that’s as good as it gets, especially when scrounging around the kitchen looking for dinner. The recipe:
Chicken Bacon Bake:
2 chicken breasts
4 slices of bacon
Preheat oven to 350F. Cut chicken breast into small cubes. Cut bacon into small squares. Chop onion (I make the onion bits larger so that I can sort them out later because the kids don’t like them but I do). Mix and place in glass baking dish. Place fresh thyme on top. I used enough the top of the chicken bacon mixture. Cover and bake for 15-20 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 10 minutes or so.
It was Yummy. Did I mention that my 6 year old had three helpings? What’s better? He ate the veggies too! Green beans my way. Recipe:
Butter (I use 4 tablespoons)
Sliced almonds (about ½ cup)
Steam green beans. Melt butter in saucepan. Add almonds and cook for approx. 5 minutes, until the almonds are nice, soft, and a little brown. Place green beans in serving dish and pour almond butter sauce on top.
The almonds make the green beans a bit sweeter and you can never go wrong with butter. We ate to our heart’s content and then I used the leftovers today for a yummy new dish. I will post that recipe later
An acquaintance of mine at Motherhood and More wrote a post that I want to address. She is referring to MLK day and race issues in this country and she brings out several points that I often write about. I’ll start with a quote:
How easy would it be, even subconsciously, for “I’m glad I’m white” to gradually morph into “It’s better that I’m white” and eventually to “I’m better because I’m white” if there wasn’t a strong message to counter that?
It sounds like a person who really wants to educate their children and overcome the pitfall of racial prejudice. Here’s a question. Is it possible that a black person could feel the same way? “ I am better because I am black.” Well here’s another quote:
But maybe there’s another layer to it that I have – in my white ignorance, perhaps – never considered. If a white child thinks “I’m glad I’m white,” could a black child think, “It sucks that I’m black?”
The white kid feels superior while the black kid feels inferior? Yes I think some black kids come away with the message that black is inferior, but I also think that comes from the reinforcement of that idea that they get from society. The people who look at them and feel pity because they are buying into memes spread through the culture. I could take the same idea and apply it to women…should all women feel inferior because their history is littered with oppression? Should my daughter feel inferior because the 19th Amendment didn’t happen until 1920? I don’t think so.
My point is that if there is a black child who feels inferior the problem likely comes from teaching methods and societal reinforcement. If someone spent 50% of your day telling you that you had to fight for your rights and that you were a slave you might also feel inferior, but the problem with the picture is that the people telling these stories are not telling the whole story. They toss around the idea of the poor black slave, poor kids of black slaves…
This is exactly the sort of crap that pisses me off. The entire focus of the discussion is set up to reinforce negative notions of poor black kids whose ancestors were slaves.
The idea that the black kid would watch Dr. Kings speech and conclude that they do not want to be black, might be true to some extent, but it misses the big picture. There are many, many black people who grew up proud of who they were and where they came from. Kids who grew up in this time period with educated parents who focused on what all Americans at the time focused on; education and equality. These people, including my grandparents, never felt inferior and did not teach their kids the inferiority complex. Their children did not go to public schools and did not learn to the inferiority complex that you mention in your post. No one talks about this in schools, but as an educator you have more freedom to give your kids the truth. Give them a real education by providing information about these kids and parents who are forgotten by history because they do not fit the common narrative. Here is my suggestion: Next year instead of watching Dr. King and reinforcing an inaccurate, but mainstream meme, try listening to Extraordinary Ordinary People and give your kids a gift of real understanding instead of reinforcing an old and tired stereotype that is both inaccurate and offensive.
In the house we have some rather odd birthday traditions. Kyson, 6 as of today, spends the week before his birthday planning an elaborate birthday feast. He plans, breakfast, lunch and dinner and spends his day eating himself into birthday oblivion. Today he chose pancakes for breakfast (circumvented by Grandpa kidnapping him for birthday breakfast of burritos, coke and horchata ) followed by crepes for lunch, and rounding it off it paneer masala for dinner. For dessert he ordered chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting and chocolate chips inside. This basically translates to one, or both, of his parents spending the day in the kitchen with a five-year old overlord making impossible demands as we sweat, beg and plead for a break from the kitchen while he laughs and orders more food. He looks forward to his birthday, it his day to feast on power and food.
Lilith, on the other hand, usually orders a healthy (meaning lots of veggies in soup) dinner followed by an elaborate cake. Each year she spends countless hours planning a cake that is some combination of her favorite tastes for the year and her favorite color of the year. We get weird mixes like white cake with lemon frosting and blueberries and blackberries on top. One year she ordered a chocolate cake with lemon chocolate frosting and every year she refuses to eat the cake. She tastes it, dislikes it, and starts planning next year’s cake while we look on and figure out how to get rid of the cake that no one wants to eat.
Daniel eats the same meal every year on his birthday. Kyle started making it when he was six and he is still making it 10 years later. Same dinner, same cake, chocolate with chocolate icing. He spends twice as much time planning and plotting gifts. He never asks for anything, but around this time of year he starts dropping hints about the coolest “x” or how he needs a little more money and he will be able to afford “y”. We generally respond by getting ‘z’, which he always loves and is never expecting.
I love celebrating birthdays because they are a time when we get to celebrate the person. I love spending the day appreciating and focusing on the beauty and individuality of each person in this house. I think my kids are pretty cool, and I love taking time to celebrate their individuality.
Sick people in the house today, sore throats and stuffy noses all around. I am the only person who feels great and I am really excited because I get to feed sick people! I love feeding sick people, probably the nurturing side of me rearing its ugly head. I have a standard chicken soup recipe that I use whenever anyone in the house gets sick. It starts with making a good chicken broth. My chicken broth recipe is pretty easy, it involves taking a chicken (whole chicken including livers and hearts) and placing it in a pot along with onion, garlic, carrots and celery and cooking it on low for 6 to 8 hours. I like to cook for 24 hours, but since I usually make the soup when someone in the house is sick 8 hours is the max cooking time. While the broth was cooking I had the challenge of feeding a very picky sick 5 year old lunch. He skipped breakfast because he did not want eggs and I can understand. So I had to make something for lunch that he could not resist. I made turkey, avocado, bacon rolls and he loved it. His dad and sister also thought they were pretty yummy so I thought I would share the recipe.
Turkey avocado rolls
3 slices bacon
Cheddar Cheese (for Lilith)
Take turkey slice, place avocado, tomato and bacon in center. Roll turkey slice with yummy ingredients inside . Serve with mustard.
How easy is that! Paleo lunch everyone is happy and I am done!
So we have been dabbling in Paleo for the better part of the past five years. We inconsistently followed the principles, but had a hard time committing. Partly because I hate being bossed and for some reason following one specific way of eating translated into someone telling me how to eat which translates into someone telling me how to live my life. I would not say that I have overcome this weird idiosyncrasy; it’s more that I have noticed what happens when I follow the Paleo diet for a few weeks and then stop. I don’t feel good. I am going to take this as my body communicating that it likes the Paleo lifestyle and that I should stick with it. My husband does not have the same quirk about following a sound diet plan, but he LOVES bread and sweets. This has been our struggle and the thing that prevented us from moving forward and following the Paleo diet.
About 6 months ago both of us became pretty fed up with the current state of our health so we decided to commit to being 100% Paleo this year. We are 15 days into it and I love it. My favorite part is trying new recipes. The food is yummy and I love the challenge of making meals that fit the Paleo lifestyle and also fit our various tastes. A family of five is hard to feed, and eliminating sugar, grain, and wheat is a huge challenge, but so far so good. I am going to chronicle this journey and share recipes while I’m at it. I made this today, for brunch. It is super easy to make pretty tasty to.
4 teaspoons minced Shallots
3 or four slices of uncured Ham (not lunchmeat, real ham)
4 custard cups
Preheat oven to 350
Spread butter around custard cup. Place remaining butter on bottom of casserole. Place scallions, followed by ham on the bottom of the casserole. Break an egg on top of the ham. Place the custard cups on baking sheet in oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and flip contents onto a plate.
I remember the day that Lil got a favorite color. Someone asked her what her favorite color was. She replied that she likes several different colors and did not have a favorite. The very opinionated person explained that everyone has to have a favorite. It’s part of being human. Lilith was wearing pink that day so she decided that her favorite color was pink. I was very annoyed with the person for pressing her and for presenting opinion as fact. The fact that Lil chose pink only added insult to injury since it was obviously gender stereotyping that I did not appreciate. Lilith was happy to be a participant in a social custom that was new to her, she was also happy with pink. We both survived the moment and over the next year Lilith learned to appreciate several different shades of pink. She settled on a vibrant hot pink as her absolute favorite. I thought I was stuck with this color for the next ten years. I was quite surprised the next when she announced her new favorite color. Red. Over the next year, we spent time discovering and noticing shades of red everywhere in the world around us. Maroon, bright red, brick red, by the end of the year a very dark maroon won out as the color of the year. This year started out blue. The color of clouds. It has evolved to teal, more closely related to green than blue, but in the same family. I love the journey into color exploration and I have taken a serious lesson away from this experience.
When the person presented the idea of favorite color to Lilith I was annoyed with their creating a social box for her to live in. I did not realize what was actually happening. The person was displaying a box for me to step out of. My perspective was stuck in a set of ideas that I have. I assumed that Lil would live in the same box, but in actuality the person only presented a more in-depth exploration of color for her and for me. I don’t think the person did it on purpose. I think that unschooling creates a system for receiving information and interpreting in a way that leads to more exploration. Instead of receiving information and assimilating it into your being (this process ends when you become an adult or finish your “education”), unschooling means receiving information and exploring the details, unencumbered by a prerequisite set of rules given by a teacher or parent.