Monday, August 16, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow…..

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All in all, fairly well. I forgot to stake my tomatoes…and my Meyer lemon tree is throwing its baby lemons off, left and right. My basil flowered, and my hydrangeas look a little sunburnt. Still, for our first year in the space…I’m rather pleased!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Showing: Pretty


Still Showing. This time…Showing Pretty.

A new skirt (Nordstrom Rack) with a tank that’s several years old (Target), a shrug from a dress that makes me feel like a princess (Dress Barn), red shoes my daughter tried on and I fell in love with (clearance, Dress Barn) and jewelry my parents brought back from a cruise.

Being told you look like a Movie Star at church?


(Mamas, please play along! Do something that makes you feel pretty…and then let me know in the comments. I’m doing these posts to play along with another bloggy friend who is trying to show…she’s still Her, she’s still Hot, and she’s still Here, at home, waiting for her husband at the end of the day. You know, in case he forgets while he’s at work.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Food as Family History

This video is long (about 9 minutes, 45 seconds) but I really enjoyed it. In case you don't have 9 minutes ad 45 seconds to devote to watching YouTube...I'll break it down for you.

Miss Schenone had a deep rooted jealousy for people with old "family recipes", and she wished that she could unearth one. As it turns out, she could. Kind of. Miss Schenone had a grandmother, named Adelle Giza (I have no idea how to spell that, but it's pronoused Ah-dell Jee-zuh). Adelle used to make ravioli, using an enormous 3 foot rolling pin and a lot of elbow grease. By the time Miss Schenone developed an interest in things Family History related, Adelle Giza had already passed on, leaving behind only the memory of her ravioli...and an enormous rolling pin. Through three separate trips to the mountainous regions of Italy, Miss S. learned how to make ravioli using this enormous rolling pin, plus Grandma's ravioli cutter (unearthed by a kind cousin). She made ravioli every day for a month before she could say that she had mastered the recipe. And now? It's hers. She can make up that little bit of family history every day if she wants to.

It got me thinking - what foods have I got that could serve as Family History? My grandmother, on my mother's side, was a master at...well, I'm not sure what you call it. She's the lady that could throw together Jell-O salad like nobody's business...and a mean casserole....everything from a can or a box. My favorite recipe from her, though, would have to be her tuna sandwiches. She grew up on a sharecropping farm in Alabama. Cans of tuna were, relatively, expensive. Eggs, apples, pecans...those all grew, for nearly free, around the yard! Her tuna salad was about 1/3 tuna, and 2/3 chopped apple, nuts and boiled eggs. It's divine.

What recipes do you have, lurking in your grandmother or mother's recipe files?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Bit o' Thrifting Fun

(Whee!!!! Just found this post, that I started in APRIL. Thought I might as well get it out there. heh.)

Just a quick, fun idea for those of you with little "Princesses" at home. My little girl loves "tea parties." Fortunately, for me, she has a very loose definition of a Tea Party. Small slices of bread, cheese and lunch meat, placed on a cutting board with sliced voila! Tea Party.

I wanted to maker her very happy one afternoon, so I told her to grab her piggy bank and load into the car. We went off to our local thrift store, and headed for the housewares section. We found just what I was looking for - scads of mismatched teacups and other nice things. We found these pretty cups, half off, plus that lovely little creamer. (Have you guessed yet? It's her "teapot", and does its job nicely. Most teapots are simply too bulky and heavy for a three year old to safely use.) She spent about $3, I believe, and bought herself two tea cups, two saucers and one little creamer.

Nice things, and a lesson on Money, all in the same day? That's pretty good, my friends. 
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Monday, August 9, 2010

Getting Real About Food

Hi! I'm Liz, also known as "Ice Cream" over at my regular, and very neglected, blog: My Ice Cream Diary. I'm a tired mom to 5 awesome kids, I'm a bit kooky and I like to make messes, not clean them, I've been changing diapers without a break for the past 13 years, I'm a daydreamer, and I eat ice cream on an hourly basis. Aunt LoLo has asked me to guest post about a little food experiment I'm trying. I'm not good at long term commitments so I hope you will all encourage me and help me get through this.

I love Cheetos. Man, do I love Cheetos. I love high sodium, multi-sugared, overly processed, chemically treated, junk foods. I'm just that kind of girl. The other night, though, while grocery shopping with my husband (during date night, which is something I swore I would never do...) we found ourselves in the snack isle debating whether or not to get a box of Hostess Ding Dongs. Mr. Hotness, that's my husband, was saying that he used to love Ding Dongs but that the older he got the more chemical and processed they tasted. I told him that I solved that problem by freezing them. When eaten cold they taste more "real." We both laughed about how gross that was and walked on, leaving the "chocolate" and "cream" filled goodness on the shelf.

Last Saturday I was buying yogurt, a dairy product naturally thickened by the live cultures that live in it. I had to spend an extra two minutes reading the labels in order to find a brand that didn't contain gelatin. Gelatin is powdered bone, you know, the stuff used to make Jello and fruit snacks? Cheater companies use gelatin to thicken yogurt so that they don't have to wait as long for the natural cultures to mature. But if you aren't getting the good-for-you cultures then why even bother eating the gloppy stuff?

Why am I rambling on about all this weird food stuff? Because Aunt LoLo asked me to, that's why. Actually, these two events made me think about all the random chemicals I've been eating lately and led me to try a little experiment. I've decided that for one month I will only eat real food. If I don't know what it is, or if I can't buy the individual ingredients in my grocery store, then I won't eat it.

For instance, I made homemade chocolate chip cookies for dessert tonight. The only thing preventing me from eating one is the soy lecithin in the chocolate chips. Soy lecithin is a chemically refined byproduct of soybean oil manufacturing that works as an emulsifier. I've read varied opinions about it but because I can't just buy it in the grocery store I'm choosing not to eat it. Baking soda is a chemical leavening agent that can also be used as a deodorizer and an abrasive cleaner, but I can buy it at the store so I'm letting it pass. Hypocritical? Maybe, but this is my experiment so I get to make the rules.

Will I loose lots of weight doing this? That depends on how cheap and lazy I am. I can eat doughnuts, cookies, buttered popcorn, ice cream, and even candy bars, but I have to make them from scratch, or pay the ridiculous high prices for commercially produced pure foods (which rarely taste that good). This isn't about weight loss, though. This is about eating real food. And it shouldn't be that hard to do.

Now I'm off to watch Charlton Heston in Soylent Green for motivation. "People! It's made out of people!"

And check it out! Mr. Hotness made me a few chocolate chip free cookies! I love that guy.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Introducing: Liz, of My Ice Cream Diaries

Everybody, meet Liz - The Ice Cream Diarista. Liz, meet everybody.

There. Now, don't you feel better?

Liz spreads her fabulous brand of Mommy And General Life Wisdom over at My Ice Cream Diaries. I first met Liz when her family moved away from my Hometown, into my New Town. (Hehe...leeeetle joke. My church met in Newtown. heh.) Small world, right? To make the world even smaller, it turns out that Liz and her crew lived within a mile of my grandfather, back in my hometown. Add to that the fact that her two youngest children were the same age as my two children, AND that they played Really Really Well together...and you've got the basis of our friendship. The additional treat of finding a friend who both blogged AND was a crafter? dear, dear just doesn't get much better than that. Oh, the hours we spent huddled on my couch trying to teach ourselves how to make granny squares.....or the middle-of-the-night sewing playdates where we tore old clothes apart and put them back together, Frankenstein-style, to make clothes for our daughters....or the time she showed up hours after the sun went down to help me clean my house after the movers had taken all of our belongings away...good times, y'all. Very, Very Good Times.

 And now I've moved away from that New Town, back to my Hometown, and she's moved away as well, on to bigger (and beachier) adventures in North Carolina. I'm seeing a North Carolina vacation in my future.....but that is neither here nor there. Right now, we are introducing Liz!

This morning, on Facebook, I saw that Liz had announced a month-long Real Food Experiment. I begged her to come on over to Suburban Housewife Uprising and share her journey with us. I'll let her explain her experiment...but I'm really excited to see how this month goes. I told my husband about it, and while he was really happy for our friend, he responded, "That's going to be EXPENSIVE. The more processed the food is, the cheaper it is." I think that, right there, is why Cheez Doodles are considered a starch, and ketchup is counted as "fruit and/or vegetable" in our school lunches.

Please help me make Liz feel welcome!