1. Here's the link to the recipe for those granola bars, along with my ruminations on, and memories of, the back-to-school season.
2. How come Blogger is messing with all the paragraph breaks in my posts? And why won't it let me move photos around? Is it just me?
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Look how grown-up this Furious B is, all ready for her first day of grade one. Although I was expecting major freak-outs, all shades of anxiety and nervousness like last year, she was perfectly cheerful on her way to the bus stop this morning. She slept fine last night, with her outfit folded on her chair and me packing her lunch and eight zillion school supplies downstairs. She ate her breakfast and brushed her teeth without a fight, and she even ate almost all of her lunch, even though she has to eat in the noisy lunch room now. Miss B is very sensitive to sound, and so the roar of kids talking and eating and the echoes of the very acoustically beautiful lunch room (which is the auditorium) and the squeaking of chair legs all distract her. But she made it through and she ate her lunch and she might just be able to do it all year, instead of having to eat in another room away from all her friends. Yay for being kind of normal!
Here, she is discovering that she somehow managed to get blueberry jam on her shoulder. (Note the torn screen in the door, courtesy of Baby Bear, who made a daring attempt at escape about a month ago. No injuries, though. )
School lunches are bound to be a major hassle in this post-peanut-butter world, and when you add a gluten issue onto that it takes a bit of dedication to get something nutritious that Miss B is actually going to want to eat into the lunch bag. Today she had white kidney bean salad with chicken and tomatoes, of which she ate most (it is pretty filling), some sunflower-sorghum bread with butter (from this recipe), a fruit leather thingy, apple juice, and a homemade granola bar.
One of these, to be precise. I can't give you the recipe right now, but I can link to it tomorrow.
And, speaking of linking recipes, I made Nigella Lawson's macaroni (and) cheese this evening, from her recipe in Nigella Express. It worked brilliantly. Since we had to stop cooking with wheat flour we've had the worst time with white sauces. Pretty much every starch we've used had turned out either glommy or useless or just gross. We tried chickpea flour once and I actually had to chuck it because the combination of chickpea flour and milk created an ungodly smell that I couldn't stand. And we're a macaroni-loving family.
Anyway, I was looking at Nigella's recipe and she doesn't make a roux, she thickens the sauce with eggs and tinned milk and a load of cheese. Oh sweet heavens. I left out the nutmeg and added some mustard and Worchestershire sauce, and I put bacon on top, but other than that I followed the instructions and it turned out gorgeous. Now there's none left. Definitely a good sign.
Friday, September 4, 2009
I've been doing a bit of running around over the last few days, dealing with deadlines, school supplies, dressmaking, and such. So here's a rundown:
- Miss B is now outfitted with new glasses. For anyone out there who doesn't know: the optical centre at Dominion (Loblaw's) is excellent. And guess what band the frames are. Just guess. Barbie. Seriously. Miss B swooned, and I was just happy that they looked half-sensible. Unlike the Shrek frames, which were pink and sparkly (I haven't seen Shrek past the first bit - there's a princess in it, right?). So right now I would like to thank the people at Mattel for licensing the Barbie name to tasteful glasses frames. Thanks, folks. Brand loyalty can cause otherwise half-sensible children to want to wear very embarrassing things. Thank you for thinking of us parents. For the record, I was looking at frames for myself while I was there, and three of the ones I really liked were from the Hilary Duff collection. Just sayin'.
- Also: having observed that B is sporting the perfect pageboy haircut, I explained to her who and what a page is, and told her that in the olden days, if a princess was particularly adventurous and wanted to escape the castle, she would give herself this haircut so that she could go do fun stuff. Miss B now considers herself a princess in disguise.
- I wrote a rather long and rambling essay for Berlin "The Ethical Butcher" Reed, who is now based in Portland, Oregon and who is one of the coolest people I haven't actually met yet. Berlin ran a call for submissions of essays by people who were once vegetarians and who now are decidedly not. It was a great piece to write. I've been thinking a lot about my relationship with meat lately, and looking for ways to eat more local meat and less dodgy feedlot junk, but the fact is that there is only the smallest meat industry here, and the meat that is produced is very expensive. I'm looking for ways to cut the costs (Hubby C is planning to get his moose hunting license next year, and a friend of ours wants to go halves on a lamb this spring), but it's not easy. Also, I'm really beginning to love pork. Like, I really, really love it. Anyone in the St. John's area want to raise a pig for me next year? I'm serious. I'll cover the related costs, and I'll pay you for your love and nurturing in homemade bacon (if Berlin will give me a few hints).
- On the same topic - well, local food, not pork in particular - I was the guest on our provincial CBC Radio call-in show yesterday, talking about this thing called the Eat Atlantic Challenge. You can download the show as an mp3 thanks to the wonderful people at The Scope (who also gave me a bag of gorgeous tomatoes from their greenhouse in Portugal Cove yesterday). It's the second time I've done the call-in on Radio Noon and it's a lot of fun, although the hour always goes by too quickly. The gist of the discussion was that it is very difficult for many of us in Newfoundland to get the local foods that we want to eat, because almost everything in the grocery stores is imported from Canada or the US or further afield. But you know who is eating local food all year round? People around the bay (which is local language for pretty much any community other than St. John's, Mount Pearl, Gander, Corner Brook, and Deer Lake), in the small fishing and farming communities who are still growing, gathering, hunting, and preserving all their own food. One gentleman who called in was talking about how cheap and good mackeral is in his community, when here in the city we can hardly even get local fish, and it costs a fortune when we can find it. Another caller had a cellar full of potatoes, peas, carrots, beets, cabbage, turnips, bottled rabbit, bottled and frozen moose, fresh fish (which means, confusingly enough, frozen fish, and "fish" always means cod), salt fish, frozen berries, plums, jams of all description, pickles. This guy is living my dream! And the thing about it is, for many people in this province to this day, this is absolutely normal. You don't have to form a committee or answer to a board of directors or start a Facebook group, you just grow your veggies and bottle your meat and eat well all year. Root vegetables in the fall and winter, dandelions and turnip tops in the spring. All this local knowledge is not lost, it's just outside of town. We urbanites can't see past the ends of our noses, and expect a medal every time we grow a salad's worth of lettuce. How did it come to this?
- In other news, I'm working on the muslin for my wedding dress. What a relief it was, as I went through the pattern pieces, to find that I really only needed a few of the bits that were there - no train, no lace overlay, no skirt facings or bows or piping or bands, just four skirt pieces, four pieces for the bodice, some straps, and we're off! I'll post photos when I have some; so far it's just a pile of cut-out tissue. Sizing it up is going to be a bit of a brain-teaser - foolish me to think that a size 14 in 1964 would be the same as a size 14 in 2009! Why ever would that be? A lesson to you all: when you're buying vintage patterns, disregard the size entirely. It's useless information. Only the measuring tape will tell you the truth.