Tonight at a Relief Society Meeting, we talked about 72 hour kits. The teacher stressed putting in things that your family likes to eat and do. A bit of something reliable, when really a 72 hour kit is all about planning for the uncertain. And while there were lots of ideas and suggestions for packaged and processed food that many people are happy with, I can’t say that those would be my first choices.
The thing is, you do get to eat what you put in. Most likely, you may never be stranded on your roof with your bucket or backpack waiting out a flash flood, you probably won’t see a tornado take down your neighborhood like a house of cards, or be displaced from your home for fear of horse fever with nothing but what you can carry on your back. Yes, you have your 72 hour kit for if and when any of those happen, but there is no guarantee you will need those 5000 calorie lemon pudding flavored energy bars for those desperate moments.
Chances are, you will remember every now and again to check those things, to see that they are there and haven’t become the life sustenance for a rodent colony in your garage. Then when you check, realizing that everything is still in fact just the way you left it, you realize it is time to rotate it all out. You need to eat the food, or throw it out. Few things last forever, and the last thing you want when horse fever comes trotting into town, is to discover all of the food is bad and you are left to forage in the suburbs. (No, hatred to foraging, you know I love it.)
The point is, pack the bag, pack it with things you actually do want to eat, since you do need to change it out regularly, and no one wants to waste it. Continue Reading →
So I started grad school this fall, and things have been a-changin’ around here. Suddenly I’m reading mountains of literary theory instead of a several cookbooks at a time with a side of delicious novel. While it seems like the book trade off is hardly worth it- I am really happy. I’ve wanted to get back to school for sometime, and that sometime is finally here. So with new responsibilities and a much wackier weekday schedule, I’ve been shuffling how mid-week food around here looks like. I am doing fewer big meals and a lot more ready-to-eat items that I’ve made ahead and tossed into the fridge or freezer. I’m also big on snacks. I’ve found that everyone is much happier if I have something to munch on already set out prior to dinner or ready to pack out the door, and especially to school. (Since my class is 3! hours long, during dinner time.) Enter these crackers. I’ve been making them every week for the last month. We are hooked. I’ve varied the toppings numerous ways from lemon zest and sesame seeds to sumac with thyme, peccorino and parmesean cheese to nothing but sea salt and pepper. We have loved them all with ricotta cheese and fruit butter, hummus, almond butter, pumpkin soup or roasted tomatoes. I’m finding plenty of occasions to serve them. They were the darling of the dinner table at a family dinner following my son’s baptism this week. Meet your new all-occasion cracker. Continue Reading →
Traditionally, most religious or spiritual people offer thanks prior to eating each meal. Many mormons call it “asking a blessing” on the food. Personally, I’ve never favored that term preferring to place the emphasis on the thanksgiving part, and because of the utter irony of “asking a blessing to nourish and strengthen our bodies” on refreshments of cookies and punch the color of finger paint. Not that that always happens, but it does. I’ve stood witness to it.
Typically we say a prayer over each meal, or three times daily. Sometimes with one person speaking for the group, and sometimes silently to ourselves. Other people in other cultures and faiths recite a set prayer together. My daughter does this at her Baptist preschool. She loves praying together, and in song- which from what information I can get out of her- they also do. Some people join hands to pray, and others do not. However you pray, most typically for two reasons: 1. to remember and thank God for what we have before us 2. to ask health for our bodies from the food we are to eat. Many also add in thanks to those who have cooked the meal. However, in recent years I have been adding in another component. Continue Reading →
Don’t judge me, but I don’t eat raw carrots. I used to, but I don’t anymore.
Dial back six years, and I had an addiction for them. A juicy novel and a bag of carrot sticks, were one of my most favorite ways to luxuriate my way through my son’s afternoon nap. The wet, juicy carrot sticks were my favorite; even better with a handful of raisins thrown in the bag to plump from them moisture. Healthy, crunchy, and satisfying snack heaven. And then one sad day my carrot nirvana ended. Continue Reading →
Lucy, my ever enthusiastic assistant, posing with her batter.
Science Daily posted an article earlier this summer confirming that if you want to teach kids to appreciate good food they are more likely to do so if they are invested in the production. While most children like fruit, vegetables can be a tougher sell. However, the study shows that kids that are frequently involved in preparing them have a greater taste for them. Hooray! That means all those kitchen chores really are for their own good- right?
Honestly, though do what works for you and little people that you hang out with. I am still working on getting them involved in cooking regularly, since they are still a bit young for many tasks, but I willingly delegate things that they can do like slicing or grating cheese, washing produce or assembling sandwiches. Another thing that works for us, and often also born of necessity, I pack mine in the car to the farmer’s market regularly and ask them to help select our weekly produce, knowing that when they have a say and hand in what is selected and prepared, they feel more invested and are more likely to try it. Plus, it is so fantastic when I make a good sell on something and then announce to my seven year old that he has to try it, then he concurs and inisists on his dad and sister trying the same. I’m all about the positive peer pressure. And while I don’t always have everyone on my side, it is nice to be reminded how to work things in my favor.
Has this rung true for you also? What has worked for you?