Sunday, January 30, 2011

Go Meat! versus No Meat!

The current debate among my children is Go Meat! Versus No Meat!

You see Hilde has decided that she wants to be a vegetarian (actually a piscatarian, she will eat fish). In true Hilde fashion she has been thinking about it for months. I had noticed in the summer she would ask what animal she was eating. Then around Christmas she decided that she could no longer eat meat. She couldn't’t bear to eat an animal. Hilde really loves animals, so this is really a natural progression for her. She can’t stand the idea of baby animals dying for her to have food.

At first I was a little hesitant since her favorite foods are meatballs and bratwurst. I was not sure she would stick with it. It’s been a few weeks and Hilde is still going strong.

I was also hesitant because Hilde lives in house full of meat lovers. Maeve and I especially can’t imagine life without meat. Steak and a glass of red wine are my favorite foods ever, why on earth would anyone not want to eat meat?

Since Hilde’s decision to go vegetarian, Maeve has decided to be vociferously pro-meat. Not only does Maeve want to eat meat, she wants Hilde to know on a daily basis that meat should be eaten by everyone. Inevitably at meals there comes a point where Maeve proclaims, “Why would anyone not want to eat meat!”

I think that Maeve’s response is due to two things. First, it’s pure sibling rivalry. Sibling rivalry is the bane of my existence. It is the downside to having only two children. There is always competition. They either love of hate each other. Second, Maeve is a foodie. The idea of excluding any food item is unfathomable to her. The world is full of food to be explored and savored. She revels in the taste, smell and touch of any food she can get hands on.

So far Hilde is not fazed by Maeve’s outbursts. She is resolute. She has even refused bacon. Bacon! Bacon is the one meat that people usually cave for; bacon is a food that Maeve and I would walk 500 miles for; but not Hilde.

So while Hilde is eating beans and rice. Maeve is standing in front of the meat counter yelling, “I want meat!”

I have my work cut out for me.

I am proud of Hilde for making such a mature decision and sticking with it. Since Hilde is the “baby” of the family, she often goes along with what everyone else decides. She wants everyone to be happy, so she is the queen of compromise.

I love that Maeve is passionate about food. It’s amazing to watch your child develop a passion for something.

I love that both my girls love food and love to experiment with food.

I respect both of their eating lifestyles.

Now it’s my job to cultivate a little compassion between them.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog...

I was working on a blog about eating habits that was nearly finished, but I couldn't’t wait to tell you about the movie we watched tonight.

I know I am slow with my movie watching, this movie was out in the theatres a while ago but came out on DVD this week.

Tonight, we watched Secretariat.

Go watch Secretariat. I’ll wait for you to get back so we can chat about it.

I am mom who is a “housewife” (you’ll understand when you watch) and I have girls who love horses. This movie struck close to home for me. As we were watching I realized I had “a moment”, as Oprah likes to say.

I realized how important shared experiences are. Maeve, Hilde and I now firmly have the love of horse racing imprinted on our souls. We were halfway there after watching Jockeys but now we are all in.

I remembered how much fun it was to watch the Kentucky Derby with my mom. One day I would love to take the girls and my parents to the Derby. That would be one trip we would never forget.

I realized how much I love spending time with my kids. Okay this one isn’t new but sharing movies is such an awesome thing and it reminded me of all the movies I watched with my dad.

I realized how much I miss Virginia. The movie is laced with Virginia culture and I miss it. I hope Oklahoma can come close.

I realized that even if you know the story (You know the story of Secretariat, right?) a good movie still creates moments of suspense. I was on the edge of my seat through all the races.

I realized that family dramas are hard to come by these days, so I love this movie even more. So thank you Disney for a great family movie. (I can't believe I said that, we are such an anti-Disney family.)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Book Reviews Part One of Three

This Christmas, I received three books. All three books are cookbooks authored by women. They are so good I decided to do a book review for each of them. So, here is book one.

You know the book is going to be good when it contains a chapter entitled “The Assurance of Caramel Cake”. You know you will love it when you see recipes for spoon bread, next to veal medallions next to √©clairs. You know that when you settle down to read it and you decide instead to read it aloud to your children that you have surpassed the terms “cook” “book”.

And so it is with Maya Angelou’s Hallelujah! The Welcome Table. I don’t really think any more recommendations are necessary once you can see who wrote the book. Maya Angelou has a way of making words come together in a rhythm that has a top note and melody that sings sweetly of the deeper meaning under her phrases. Her words simply sing. They transport you into whatever world she is spinning. Lucky for you in this book the world she is taking you is her own. It is her memoir of life with food. Each vignette entwines food, family and friends and ends with a recipe. What could be better than that? It is the timeline of Maya Angelou’s life in recipes. Her childhood, stories from her community, her first love, her finding her voice as a writer, even the recounting of her first meeting Oprah finds its way into the book.

My favorite chapter is “The Assurance of Caramel Cake”. It is story of her grandmother’s caramel cake and it is a story of her grandmother’s love. It is unconditional love in cake form. (The best kind in my opinion) I read the story and the recipe aloud to Maeve and Hilde. They loved it. Maeve promptly requested this caramel cake for her birthday. The story makes a point of saying that the cake takes five hours to make. Five hours of baking for a birthday cake. I toyed with the idea of saying yes to Maeve and hoping that she would forget but then it occurred to me that Maeve never forgets. Accuracy is her middle name. Then I wondered what would happen if I said no to making the cake after reading the story, which so clearly explains that caramel cake is the equivalent of love and I couldn’t do that either.

So, this year for her birthday Maeve will be getting Maya Angelou’s Grandmother’s Caramel Cake (Or my best interpretation of it.) Because just like in the story, I will go to any length to show my children how much I love them and cake is a good place to start.

If you don’t cook, you still need this book because of the stories. If you cook you need this book because it transforms the genre of the cookbook into a literary masterpiece. I would also encourage teachers to use this with your students. I think it would be great while studying Ms. Angelou to actually cook some of the recipes.

As for me, I need to cracking; I have three months to get this cake right.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

That Other Blog......

The Pioneer Woman

How is she not 500lbs!?

How does she manage to publish 3 books, home school, cook and blog?

There is a dark underbelly here I tell you. She MUST have help. I want to know how she does it.

Is MM really the one who does school? Does she keep Missy locked in a room sleeping in ashes, forcing her to do housework? Is Cowboy Josh really her live in IT support?

It's not fair. It makes the rest of us feel sub par.

I am going to start another kind of blog.

One where mothers are encouraged to savor every moment no matter how mundane because productivity isn't the point.

The point is that whether or not you cook, publish or homeschool, motherhood is sacred.

Oh wait….

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sacramental photography

I have no idea who this woman is.

But she takes awesome photographs. I stumbled upon her blog while browsing tonight and I just LOVE it.

It is very sacramental.

Is it wrong to look at other people's wedding photos? I hope not. The Walla Walla wedding she has posted is beautiful. I love the actual wedding and Julie Harrell captures it perfectly.

My two favorites are the photo of the three older men in church and then photo of the bride's father giving a speech.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Better than the Wii

This evening I attended a performance at the Montreal School of Dance (located in our basement). Four dance numbers capped off an exciting season at the school.

Miss Clarisse Radone’ and Miss Harmony Radone’ (pronounced Ray-Don-eh) were delightful.

The first number was Beginning Ballet students dancing to a classical tune. This was followed by the Advanced Ballet group dancing to Tchaikovsky, simply breathtaking. An Irish dance number and very acrobatic jazz piece rounded out the night.

Class awards were handed out and now everyone is relaxing waiting for the new season to begin.

Kudos to the light and sounds crew for a flawless performance and the parent booster club for providing intermission refreshments.

It is nights like tonight I am glad we don’t have a Wii.