Thursday, November 26, 2009

Advent Recipe 3 - Lentil Burgers

Okay, so last week was a bust for Advent recipes -car problems, Thanksgiving, traveling, whatnot. Today I thought my mom's lentil-potato cakes sounded good, but didn't have enough room or time to cook both lentils and potatoes, so I just did lentils. What we finally ended up with turned out yummy - and that's coming from a household of carnivores.

Refried Lentil Burgers

About two cups of lentils, boiled until done (little over an hour, if you keep it rolling), drained, mixed with finely diced onion and whatever spices you would put on a hamburger. I mashed them up and tried to fry the resulting paste - not good, too much moisture. Stirred in half a cup of potato flakes, still too much moisture. Dumped the whole bowl in the pan and stirred it around (like making refried beans), then pulled it out and dropped a scoopful back in at a time.
Kittyboy recognized his sandwich as burgery, and requested "ke'up!" I put hot sauce on mine. Husband deemed them "surprisingly good for lentils". So it was (eventually) a hit!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Kicking Kittyboy

Our Kittyboy, as athletic as he is (he can climb the rock wall at Washington Park - it's intended for five-year-olds), has never been one for kicking. We got one kick out of him at some eval this year, he sorta kicked, wobbled, and sat. He wasn't that motivated to keep trying either, when throwing is easier, does the job admirably, and keeps both feet under control on terra firma.
His neighbor buddy, "Bobby", on the other hand, has been toddling about kicking a ball since March, at 21 months. Kittyboy's six months older, and was just starting to maybe run. They like chasing each other, but both spent most of summer in the Mine stage - if there was a toy, there had to be two, they had to be the SAME toy, etc - which makes playing difficult.
So today they saw each other, pointed, shrieked, and Kittyboy ran over to play. Bobby's mom quickly found THREE balls, and Bobby kicked one over to Kittyboy, who threw it back. After a couple throws, I told him to try kicking like his friend was, and he put the ball down and carefully tried. It went backwards! Haha, how very funny, he thought! Giggling and squealing, he had to try that again, and that time it went sideways! Oh, how funny! Every time he kicked, he squealed in excitement, waved his fists happily, and ran over to tell me about it. Sometimes it went forwards, sometimes sideways, sometimes backwards, sometimes up in the air, and no matter the result, Kittyboy was absolutely delighted!! Bobby looked confused that his friend wasn't kicking it to HIM, but between us two mommies, we kept it moving back and forth.
They've both started outgrowing the Mine stage, because one of the balls had ELMO, and there wasn't really a problem with it. Some whining maybe if one had it for too long, but not a problem.
Now we need to find some soccer on YouTube! (no, we don't have cable). Viva futbol!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Advent Recipe 2 - Corned Cabbage

Nice way to have a St. Patrick's day flavor without the beef.
All you need is a cabbage, a pot, and the spices that come in those little flavoring packets when you buy corned beef - allspice, bay leaves, thyme, and if you're me, a LOT of peppercorns! Boil the spices for a bit before adding the cabbage, so your kitchen smells like corned beef, then just cook cabbage like normal.
Wouldn't fool anyone into thinking a brisket was actually involved at any point, but tastes good!
Next I am trying an Advent coleslaw. Yes, I have more cabbage to use up!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Christmas Rush - When Classics Sell Out

This is just way too funny. We were thinking of getting Kittyboy a Mr. Potato Head, and fortuitously, we got a Toys R Us flyer about some sale this weekend, with the Potato Head couple being part of it. Sweet!
There are toys that sell out FAST, and there are toys that don't. We live in an era of digital this and artificial intelligence that, and what sells out usually does something and makes noise. Mr. Potato Head - basic, classic, simple, even requires actual participation from the child (imagine!), and is not in short supply or "limited edition" - should be fine waiting a few hours for Husband to get off work to go get one. Right?
In six and a half hours, there is not a basic Potato Head of either gender left in the store. The other kinds that weren't on sale are still there, but the basic ones are sold out. WOW. Three shelves worth of empty space, Husband said.
Somehow, that gives you hope for the youngest generation. At least a couple hundred are still playing with Mr. Potato Head. That has to count for something.
We got Kittyboy one at Walmart instead, it's not like there's a shortage. I just thought it was funny. And cool.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Advent Recipe 1 - Fried Cabbage

Since cabbage is currently fifty cents a pound at County Market, I bought a head to try out fried cabbage, which I've never cooked before. Husband is not a huge fan of cabbage, but thanks to this experiment, it is now on the regular shopping list. I did NOT make enough!!

1 lb. cabbage (it was half of a two-pound head)
Veg oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pan
1/2 onion
1/4 cup sesame seeds (yes, I just happened to have sesame seeds, but they could be optional)
1/4 cup teriyaki (I used Sweet Baby Ray's)

Slice cabbage in thin strips, heat oil, stirfry with onions until cabbage is softening, mix in teriyaki and sesame seeds and cook on medium until cabbage is the desired consistency. For me, this took a little over half an hour, start to finish. Husband and I cleaned our plates - looked at them longingly - and pouted. I should have fried the whole head. I should have bought a bigger one, too.
So THAT recipe is a success!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone (giving this app a try)

Advent Recipes

As maybe half a dozen people who read my blog know, yesterday started Advent. Advent is the forty-day period of fasting which precedes Christmas - fasting meaning, no meat or dairy. We in this house are not big fans of lentils or rice. In theory, the rest of the year we already don't eat meat or dairy on Wednesdays and Fridays, which was easy when I lived at home and someone else planned the menus. In practice, our family hasn't quite managed that. Now, I could blame our budget for restricting our options, the difficulty of fixing TWO menus (Kittyboy doesn't fast, he's about five years too young) and the fact that I often forget what day it is. But being honest, the main issue is LAZINESS. And the lentil/rice thing.
So this Advent, I have a project. I am posting at least three recipes a week which confirm to the Church's guidelines. Husband and I USED to fast, before I became pregnant and couldn't, then I was pumping milk and couldn't, and it just fell apart from then on. But now I'm going to be a godmother for the second time around! Time to buckle down!
Wish me luck!
Prayers would be great too!

Friday, November 13, 2009

An Eye Exam, and Other Oddness

Monday, we had Kittyboy's BIG long evaluation with the school district. Since then, I have been pooped. So I'm writing it down now.
I suspect that when he has his first IEP (individual education plan, or words to that effect) December third, they are going to say, "Oh BOY does he qualify!" I'm actually kind of laughing and shaking my head about it. I've said for at least a year that he is a distilled, purified collection of all the quirks in my family. When you put them all together, you get the social worker who talked to us saying, "I don't know, some of this is pretty well 'on the spectrum'," but if she met everyone whose genetics he shares who's said, "Hey, I did such-and-such", she would see it as more coincidental than alarming.
One of her concerns was my answer to whether he plays with a group, or by himself, when with peers. I'd already said he gets along GREAT with older kids. I pictured the preschool crowd after church, and said he'd be wherever the toy he wanted was - but playing with it solo, not partnering with anyone else. Unless it's a chasing and squealing game, of course (duh). Her forehead looked concerned at that, so I explained that it's not that he doesn't like the other kids, he interacts happily with anything chasey-squealy, it's that he knows how HE wants to play with that dollhouse (yes, dollhouse) and he'd rather just be the one playing with it than have to work it out with another kid. He arranges stuff, points to it and says stuff, then lays down on his tummy to survey his work. It got to be a long and clumsy explanation, because I kept avoiding phrases like, "He has all the 'play' laid out in his head" and other such terms that might REALLY imply something wrong. But that's what it is, and I know, because I did that. I DO that. She didn't see that explanation as comforting. Isn't she glad I didn't mention his phase of assaulting other toddlers that Misty theorized had something to do with eye contact and a first-strike approach to making sure the other kids kept their distance (but he smiled big and wide the whole time, because he wanted to be friendly, which was actually more disturbing from a horror movie standpoint than if he'd looked mad)? I mean, I could have told her some really weird stuff. She should thank me for not having done so.
She described him using our favorite adjective, "scattered", meaning that no one told him you're supposed to learn things in a certain order, and so he isn't, or perhaps someone did tell him and he just laughed, which is actually more likely. She also said his definition of sharing ("I give you this, you give me that thing you have that I want!") is not sharing. It's bribery. We laughed and said that's why we call it the Sharing GAME. He's two, seriously. Sharing is a game, and it's how you get what you want! She didn't have much of a sense of humor. We, on the other hand, kept finding things to laugh at. Like she asked about his temper - we said he will go along quite amiably and pleasantly so long as he wishes to, and when he no longer wishes to, he doesn't. And then I started giggling again. "So is he stubborn?" We said, "When he wants to be!" and of course I giggled at that too. Had she never met a Boss Child before? (the phenomenon of Boss Children will be its own post at some point)
When the three therapists who had been following Kittyboy came back, I described the odd clumsiness we see sometimes, that I thought they wouldn't see because it seems to be more of a problem in places he knows better (where he then pays less attention), and they said they had definitely been wondering about that. They also said they wanted us to have his vision tested. They couldn't get him properly "conditioned" for the test, so they can't really say if he failed or not, but he didn't do well, he blinked and squinted a lot and then did better when they brought the card up much closer to his face. Considering that when Grandma was in the hospital in Missouri, Kittyboy was playing "Where's Waldo?" with crosses - there would be a crucifix by a reception desk across a large lobby and he would see it - and his scalpel-sharp vision for anything church related or anything that interests him (anything Veggie Tales, anything Winnie the Pooh), I attribute it to processing, not mechanics. I'm sure his eyes are just fine, just like all his hearing tests that showed him hearing better than I do, back when he was playing deaf in therapy. But we've got an appointment for him New Year's Eve to rule out a very early need for glasses. The more we rule out, the clearer the real issues become.
Monday, we had five people besides ourselves - nurse, social worker, OT, ST, and psychologist. December third, we will have eight. It just gets curiouser and curiouser!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Fall!

We are having gorgeous weather, and have been outside raking leaves, running through leaves, jumping in leaves, and of course, throwing leaves! Here is Kittyboy looking all handsome and outdoorsy.

His bestest pal Puppygirl was over Tuesday, and great loads of leafy fun were had by all. We even made progress on my project of raking all the leaves into the garden. My idea is that the little fence around it will hold them there until such time as we get around to burning the whole 12'x12' plot, thus eliminating both the need to rake and rake and rerake, AND the need to haul the ashes over to the garden after burning. Yeah, I'm pretty excited!