Brilliant nonstop chat and research with the most interesting human on planet Earth

Every day starts at around 5:45 a.m. It’s nonstop talking unless he’s eating or sleeping.

“Grandma?” Which really sounds more like “Grand-maw” if you’re sounding it out.

“I’m hungry. Let’s go in the kitchen and I’ll sit on the big stool and watch you make my breakfast.”

Grandma? Why is it still dark out? Why do you love seashells so much? Can I have this rock? Why do you cut up my apple like that? Why do you make me oatmeal? Why is the stove hot? I burned myself one time and Mommy put ice on it. Why do you put cinnamon in it? I wish I was in a rocket ship and could fly off to space.I didn’t wet my bed last night. I’m wearing my Batman undies. Look, Grandma, look at me. Why do you love me so much? I’m your first little boy, Daddy is your second little boy. Right, Grandma? Right? Grandma, are you making coffee now? Why do you do that? That’s the same kind of coffee you get at MY house. We have a Trader Joe’s there, too. Is this safe, Grandma? (As he jumps from the chair to the sofa, and back.)

“Be ever so careful, my favorite boy!”

Silence as he’s eating his breakfast. But not for long…

“I’m really smart, ammnt I, Grandma?”

“Grandma?”

“Yes, T?”
“Is that a TV screen? I only get to watch it for special. When do you watch it, Grandma? Why are you so small, Grandma? Daddy’s big and you’re small. You’re my little Grandma. I’m going to be bigger than my Daddy soon. Like when I’m six or twelve. I will, I really will. I’m not kidding. For reals. My Dad is SO strong, right, Grandma? Why did your little boy grow up, Grandma?

That one got me.
“Hmmm”, I said.
“I think about that too, T. Sometimes I wish Daddy was still a little boy and then I think that he grew up so he could have a little boy like you and make me so happy. What do you think?”

“I think….I think that I want a breakfast burrito now. I’m still hungry.”

Yup, he’s his Daddy’s little boy, that’s for sure. No doubt about it.

The questions have been coming fast and furious as soon as he turned three.

It started with ” where do sloths live?” and I said, “Let’s go to the library tomorrow and do some research.”

The next day we went to the library and checked out a few book about sloths.

After that it was “let’s do research” about everything that had been cooking in his brilliant little mind.

“I love the solar system, my favorite planet is Neptune, I love Neptune because it has rings. We live on planet Earth. I want to know about astronauts.”

Another trip to the library; more books. When he learned that astronauts wear diapers in space, he had to repeat that fact at least a hundred times.

“What happened to dinosaurs?” “Why aren’t there dinosaurs anymore? Why are they only in museums? Why are they just skeletons now?”

“What’s lightening?”
“How does electricity work?”
“How does a volcano erupt?”
“How do bees make honey?”

That question couldn’t be answered very easily with a book, so we did something really special: computer research. We found a video that explained it in a way a toddler could understand. I have to admit that I didn’t know exactly how bees made honey and what we learned made me appreciate the importance of bees even more than I did before. For example, did you know that forager bees have two stomachs, one just to capture the pollen that will eventually turn into honey? Or that some of the jobs that other bees in the colony have is to vomit the contents of their stomach into a succession of about twenty other bees’ stomachs so that certain chemical changes can take place? Or that all the bees work together to flap their wings and evaporate the liquid when first placed in the comb and that when the liquid becomes thickened—well, that’s the end product—honey. In order to produce just one pound of honey, 2 million flowers must be visited. A hive of bees must fly 55,000 miles to produce a pound of honey. One bee colony can produce 60 to 100 pounds of honey per year. An average worker bee makes only about 1/12 teaspoon of honey in its lifetime. I’m THIS MANY YEARS old and never knew all of that. It took a brilliant 3.5 year old child to teach me!

Finally, my very observant little grandson said this…
“Why don’t you eat meat, Grandma?”
When I gave him a simple answer about how I love animals and don’t like to eat them, he said he didn’t like to eat animals either. His mom told me that later that afternoon, he asked her why Grandma doesn’t like to eat animals.

I’m so grateful to be able to generate a thought process like that. We are in desperate need of his generation to make the world a better place. Kinder, more compassionate. More empathy for all living creatures with whom we co-exist on this planet and learn to become better stewards of our oceans and the air we all breathe.

He’s so adorably exuberantly awkward in his joie de vivre. But me? I’m beyond exhausted with so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.

Inside camping nap because it’s so rainy today.

More brilliant convo with a human

Angel Boy 2.0 had a cold so he stayed home from preschool.

“I’m a little snotty today, Grandma!”
He was feeling much better after a long morning nap. We were in the living room looking at the windy day while he enjoyed a protein smoothie popsicle (see recipe below).

For the past couple of days, we had noticed a big truck parked in front of his house, taking up more than its fair share of the street. No one knew who it belonged to but we speculated that it possibly was a contractor’s vehicle working at a neighbor’s house.

Recently, Theo has been noticing different cars and trucks and asking for them to be identified. “I said, that’s a Dodge Ram truck. He is so rude to park there every day. He needs to park somewhere else.”

Theo repeated, “Yeah, he needs to park somewhere else. He’s so RUDE.”

All day long we would check to see if the truck was still there and it was, so it became an ongoing joke about how RUDE it was to park in front of Theo’s house so there wasn’t enough room for HIS car.

At dinnertime, we were sharing interesting stories about our day and in a moment of silence, Theo said, “Mommy and Daddy, that Dodge Ram truck is so RUDE!”

There was such a shocked expression on Mom and Dad’s faces, I really wish I had a photo to capture it because this is what it SOUNDED like Theo said…

That goddamn fuck is so RUDE!”

Dodge Ram truck = goddam fuck —a very expressive three-year-old with a mouth stuffed full of lasagna and a stuffy nose.

For a brief moment, I had a feeling they thought I had taught him how to swear like a merchant mariner. However, when I hastened to translate, we couldn’t stop laughing.

Until the mysterious man drove away, Theo kept saying, “He’s so RUDE with his Dodge Ram truck!”

Just another brilliant slice of conversation with this always enchanting human.

____________________________________________________________________

Fruit and Protein Smoothie Popsicles

Cherries (any frozen or fresh fruit)
Banana – one
100% fruit juice — 8oz
Kale and/or spinach — handful
Vegan Protein Powder–one scoop
Cinnamon to taste

Combine kale and juice. Blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend to desired thickness. Pour into popsicle freezer containers, the ones with the little sticks. Freeze until firm.They are so healthy and delicious!

You heard right…I did say Vegan Lentil Kale Cookies

BF607BA9-C66F-4599-B127-A6B2A94341DFAnd they are DELICIOUS, much to even my surprise, haha.

I was playing around in the kitchen this morning and thought I’d challenge myself to experiment baking with only the ingredients I have in my pantry.

There’s not much food here, but that’s a sad story for another day. (I can pinpoint the exact date and time that my love for cooking and baking was destroyed like an atom bomb.)

Anyway…

I thought these cookies were going to be making the short journey from oven to compost BUT they surprised me, so I thought I should share the recipe before I forget. If you try them, let me know what you think.

Vegan Lentil Kale Cookies

Lentils (cooked)-one cup
Kale-1/2 cup raw (freshly picked from the garden.)
Banana-one, mashed
Oil-1/3 cup
1/3 cup agave plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Chia seeds-2 tablespoons
Raisins-1/2 cup
Oats-1//2 cup (oat flour, I make my own, so easy. 1/2 cup oats in the blender or Bullet or food processor, takes just a few seconds.)
Whole wheat flour-1 cup
Baking powder-1/2 teaspoon
Pinch salt
Cinnamon-1 teaspoon
Vanilla-1 teaspoon

If you don’t already have some leftover cooked lentils like I did, cook 1 cup of lentils with 2 cups of water until soft, about 20-30 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.)
Let cool.

Place one cup cooked lentils in bowl.
Combine the kale and the oil in a blender/Bullet/food processor. Blend until a smooth slurry.
Add to lentils.
Add agave/maple syrup, vanilla, raisins, chia, and all other ingredients.
Mix until flours are well incorporated.
Let chill in refrigerator a few minutes until the oven is heated to 375 degrees.

Using a teaspoon, place about two inches apart on baking sheet. Flatten with a fork coated in flour so it won’t stick.

Bake for about 17 minutes until bottom is golden brown and the top is firm.
Let cool on wire rack.
YUM!

***Options: Of course if your pantry is more well stocked than mine, you can def add grated apples, coconut, and other dried fruit and nuts.

 

 

 

 

Garden Treasures. Winter Gratitude.

Freshly picked gifts from Mother Earth in all the brilliant colors of the season.

Red leaf lettuce, peppery arugula, baby romaine, and baby kale fill a pristine white bowl.

Accompanied by steamed brown rice and a glass of crisp chardonnay, it’s a purely simple and fulfilling dinner.

75D502DE-62EA-439C-A21B-0E48D0830406

GoMacro Thrive Bars: A Giveaway!!!

When I was went on my solo hike last week and was ALMOST LOST FOREVER, I was smart enough to have the foresight to pack not only a bottle of water, but a couple of delicious and nutritious THRIVE bars.

How lucky am I that GoMacro sent me a box of assorted Thrive bars to sample!

Almond Apricot, Blueberry Lavender, Caramel Coconut, Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip, Chocolate, Nuts & Sea Salt, and Ginger Lemon.

I’m so happy to be able to share some of these yummy treats with my wonderful and loyal readers! 
GoMacro is a family owned vegan company that was started by a mother-daughter team on their organic farm in Southwest Wisconsin.
While you may be familiar with their original MacroBars, they have launched a delicious new line of plant-based bars called Thrive.
Thrive are made up of a superfood ancient grain blend, are all less than 200 calories, and provide plant-based protein, essential fatty acids, and prebiotic fiber to fuel your body and mind.
Like all GoMacro products, Thrive are USDA-Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Kosher, Gluten-Free certified, 100% Vegan, and soy-free. Thrive is currently available to purchase online and will become available to Whole Foods in October 2016.
All you have to do to win a box of GoMacro Thrive is to LIKE  them on social media (and of course LIKE this post so I know whom to choose! (US residents only, please.)
Twitter:@gomacro
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gomacro/
Instagram:@gomacro
(I was provided product for sample and review. Opinions are my own.I have not received any compensation for writing this post.)

Super Baby Food Cookbook: Review

In the summer of 1981 when my Angel Boy was about four months old and just starting solid foods (in addition to breast milk), I thought seriously about imitating animals who pre-digest their food.

From Wiki:

Premastication, pre-chewing, or kiss feeding is the act of chewing food for the purpose of physically breaking it down in order to feed another that is incapable of masticating the food by themselves. This is often done by the mother to produce baby food capable of being consumed by the child during the weaning process. 

The behaviour was common throughout human history and societies and observed in non-human animals. While premastication is less common in present-day Western societies it was commonly practiced, and is still done in more traditional cultures. Although the health benefits of premastication is still being actively studied the practice appears to confer certain nutritional and immunological benefits to the infant.

I didn’t actually go to those lengths, but I did make all of his baby food from scratch. I don’t think I bought those little Gerber jars except when I had a sick kitty that needed to be nursed back to health.

Now that I’m going to be a first-time grandma, I’ve learned just how much things have changed in thirty-plus years.

I was sent this amazing book to read and review by Ruth Yaron,  Super Baby Food Cookbook.

When Ruth Yaron’s twin boys were born premature and very sick, she knew the most important thing she could do for them was to feed them the healthiest diet possible.
Unhappy with the information that was available to her, Ruth decided to do her own exhaustive research on nutrition and health food.

Although she was a whiz at programming satellites for NASA, Ruth was an inexperienced cook. She utilized her skills, developed writing technical manuals, to diligently record her research of homemade, mostly organic, whole grain cereals, fruits, and vegetables, as well as the best storing and freezing methods.

The results of her phenomenal efforts are found in her remarkable first book, Super Baby Food, which has sold over half a million copies and is now in its 3rd edition.  Fans have asked Ruth for a cookbook with pictures of their favorite recipes and in the Super Baby Food Cookbook she has delivered.

The Super Baby Food Cookbook is fully illustrated in color and includes Ruth’s easy and complete system of baby and toddler food preparation.

The “Super Baby Food Diet” is an extremely healthy diet composed of only whole, natural foods.

It is based on these major components: whole grain cereals, vegetables and fruits, yogurt and other dairy products, eggs, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Pediatricians and nutritionists agree that a semi-vegetarian diet (a lacto-ovo diet containing milk products and eggs) fulfills all of a growing baby’s nutritional requirements.

While I’m  a vegan, I understand the need for calcium and really like how these recipes include breast milk as an ingredient.

As an aside, if anyone has ever made cheese from breast milk, I’d be interested in chatting.

Yaron provides the essentials for preparing all sorts of foods for babies and young children.

The book includes baby favorites such as avocado, carrots, peaches, and pears.

Discover a bonus of “healthy extra” tips and how to use them in recipes, including chia seeds, wheat germ sprinkles, hemp seeds, flax seeds, and more so that every bite counts.

Here’s a small sampling of the dozens of kid-pleasing recipes contained in the Super Baby Food Cookbook:

Displaying Displaying Blueberry Purée

 2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup water

Put water in a pan and bring to boil.
Add blueberries and reduce heat.
Simmer for 15-20 minutes; blueberries should be soft and tender.Remove blueberries from pan using a slotted spoon and transfer directly to a blender or processor. Purée away.Freeze any leftovers.

Apple Smiley Face

1 apple (peeled and cored)
1 tablespoon peanut or other butter
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup or blackstrap molasses (optional)
1 pinch ground cinnamon or nutmeg

Grate the apple in a food processor.
Mix with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter or other nut butter.
Add 1 teaspoon honey, maple syrup or blackstrap molasses and a pinch of cinnamon and/or nutmeg, if desired.
Add Healthy Extras —grated carrots are good.
Place on small plate and form into pancake-shaped face. Use berries or other fruit for your own decorative touches to create eyes, nose, hair, etc.

For more information visit www.superbabyfood.com or www.ruthyaron.com