Fussy Hour(s)

When Max cries these days, I’m at the point now where I can sometimes tell why.  I think the latest cry we’ve stumbled into is the 7-9:30 pm, “I will cry for no real reason” cry. 

Tonight we introduced a new CD into the routine, hoping to create some nighttime rituals.  It’s a CD of U2 songs turned into lullybye songs.  This makes me happy because I’m a huge fan. 

In a few weeks, he’ll be more interactive and I can show him pictures of the band members.  In a few months I can teach him the words.  In a few years I can teach him the stories behind the songs — the band’s stories and some of my own!

Anyway, he fell asleep tonight before the end of the first song.  Thus, I give you a sleep montage below.

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Dark Days Challenge or Awesome Prison Food?

My prison sentence with the pump has been extended — another bout of  103 temps, so I’ll have to wait to wean and am confined to the house again. 

Meanwhile, my mom came over and offered to cook for us.  It’s towards the tail end of the week, so our cooking supplies were running low.  I also hadn’t had a chance to pick up anything at the local market.  This would certainly be a challenge.

My mom made this amazing dish.  All local.  Polish Sausages from the farmer’s market.  A neat looking squash, and an onion from the market.  The squash was cooked with a little bit of homemade chicken stock I had in the fridge. 

If mom wasn’t here, I’d surely have ordered a pizza.  Thanks, mom!

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THIS close to chucking the credit cards

Over the last 12 months, I’ve had no less than 6 occasions where one of my credit cards has informed me that it was changing my account info because someone hacked into some merchant’s system.  This results in the nightmare of having to track down every merchant that I have on automatic payment on the various cards and dealing with transfering it over.  This is totally rediculous!  If these companies can’t figure out how to work securely, they shouldn’t be in business.  It’s bad enough that they are likely responsible for our financial crisis in this country, but now they are screwing with my finances and it’s a repeated pain in the ass.

I’m considering going with a system of envelopes and automatic payments straight from the bank and only using one credit card for big purchases.   It will also likely have the added effect of having me spend less.

Mayo in Action

Last night we had a great dinner.  We picked up some snapper at the farmer’s market.  I coated them in a dressing of :

  • 1/2 cup homemade mayo
  • 1/2 cup green onions
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp of dijon
  • 1 tbsp of fresh dill
  • 1/2 tsp of salt

Then sprinkle breadcrumbs and paprika on top.   Bake the fish in 425 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. 

I used the extra dressing  that didn’t go on the fish to spread on a few pieces of bread, with some parmesan on top and baked in the oven till brown on top.  This was my favorite part of the meal!

We ate this with local, organic rice and salads leftover from previous meals.

Check out the bizzare looking lemon!

Purple Cauliflower Soup

I bought purple cauliflower once before.  As soon as I cooked it turned white.  I expected the same out of this one that I picked up at the farmer’s market, but it stayed purple all the way through.  It was pretty good, though my favorite part is the cheese toast that accompanies it.

Throwing in the Burpie Towel

I have decided to start phasing out the pumping.  Following double mastitis and a very bad reaction to the antibiotics for the mastitis — rendering me unable to care for Max — the choice was not really a hard one. 

Some of my research has indicated that one natural approach is to use cabbage leaves as compresses.  They don’t know why, but there’s some chemical in cabbage that encourages a drying up of the supply when applied to the skin.  So, last week I bought a nice big cabbage.  That same day I was speaking to the advice nurse at my hospital and I raised the cabbage issue.  She acted like I was totally crazy and had never heard of such a thing.  So, I chickened out and made cole slaw instead. (Yummy, by the way).

This week, I got up the balls to try it and bought another cabbage.  This time I went through with it, and I can’t put my finger on it but it made me feel better.  Maybe it actually has an effect, or maybe, psychologically, I needed to feel like I was doing something.  In either case, I will keep it up — when no one is around.

White House Organic Garden

My firm just announced major layoffs.  I am not on the chopping block this time around, but it really brings it close to home — we live in different  times and frugality needs to return as an American value.

While I still have no means to create my own food garden, I am glad to contribute my tax dollars towards improved food security and emphasis on growing the local foodshed.  One such project would return a victory garden to the White House.  Yes, in WWII, the White House grew its own produce, and I’d like to see it happen again. Oh, and excess food will go to local shelters who very much need it.

That’s why I signed this petition and hope you do, too!

History

What a day to be an American!

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Making Mayo

For the last 5 or so years, my mom basically stopped buying mayo at the store but has instead made her own.   I’ve have taken my cue from her and started making my own over the last few years.  I missed it terribly during my pregnancy, but now I’m back in full force.

It sounds a lot more daunting than it is.  It’s easy, tastes better than store bought mayo, and you know exactly what’s in it!

Here’s how you do it:

Take the yolks of 2 eggs and put it in your kitchen mixer.  (you can save the whites for some other dish, they freeze pretty well).  Then I add to the same bowl about a tablespoon of yellow mustard.  I never measure this but usually try to squirt out the size of an egg yolk.  Then I add a little pepper (but leave out the salt till the end).  Mix the egg and mustard together till incorporated.  Then slowly add capfuls of vegetable oil.  This part is really important!  If you plop in too much oil at once, the mixture will separate into oil and eggs and there is no fixing this — that’s why I drizzle in by the capful.  When all is said and done, I’m not quite sure how much oil I use.  Maybe a cup.  Keep mixing it till you get to a consistency you like.  I usually go for some soft peaks. 

Then I micrograte in 2-3 cloves of garlic and the juice of half a lemon and salt.  Mix to incorporate.  Taste for flavor and adjust salt/pepper/garlic/lemon as needed.

J. loves this and he doesn’t even like Mayo!

If you don’t have a kitchen mixer, you can whip this by hand with a wisk — I’ve done it and it doesn’t take that long.

Last night I added some wasabi to this mayo and mixed it up with fresh Ahi Tuna straight from the market place.

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A Go-To Comfort Foods Meal

I know I’ve had a high concentration of crazy-new-mom posts, so here’s a recipe to vary stuff up a bit.  This meal is one of my go-to comfort foods because it’s quick, easy, and the ingredients are fairly interchangeable.

img_2404The general idea is pasta with a white sauce that is a combination of leek, sausage, mushroom and cheese.  In this picture you see a giant leek that looked too good to pass up at the farmer’s market.  If there are no good looking leeks, I also use green onions.  One could also go for spring onions.  As for sausage, I use all kinds.  Chorizo, or italian sausage, or even pre-cooked polish sausage.  Here I use dehydrated mushrooms because I bought a vat of them in a strange pregnancy nesting ritual (that’s why I use them in everything now).  Obviously, any fresh mushrooms would work nicely, too.  (Except portabella — they leak a bad color that mucks up the dish, in my opinion)

I usually cook up the leeks, and the sausage in a large skillet.  Then, on top of that mixture, I make a rue and use milk (or add cream if I have it).  Add the mushrooms.  If sauce needs more liquid, I add the mushroom water from the rehydration process — or the pasta water.  I usually add some sort of cheese towards the end — whatever I have on hand.  Parmesan? Fontina? A little white cheddar?

I cook some sort of short pasta al dente and then add the noodles into the sauce for the last minute or two of cooking.  (Add more pasta water to loosen up the mixture if it looks tight)

Then I love putting something green on top at the end.  Either parsley or green onions.  The dish is very forgiving, and that’s what I love about it.

In this case, the ingredients are all local save for the mushrooms and pasta.

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