Welcome to the Gnomes House of Madness. I’m your host, The Mommy. In this episode, we feature the Stomach Flu, as well as lament the audacity of small children.
Admit it, it’d make for a great show. A glimpse into the true nature of those small feet parents-to-be crave. Poop. Puke. Audacious comments. Witty sarcasm. The beginnings of brotherly love. A craving for uninterrupted sleep. Ridiculous visits to the hospital because everything you ever read ever suggests that your child’s red, feverish cheeks means his brain is going to fry. How to get your preschooler to eat vegetables. An unholy addiction to coffee.
And towards the end of an episode, you can feature a little moment that will keep your viewers coming back for more, as real parents do. The hugs in the middle of the night. The whispered “MOMMY ARE YOU AWAKE”‘s. The back rubs for sick, tired children. The “lishus trees!” shouted in glee after discovering that broccoli is indeed as delicious as you suggested it would be. The funny little murmlings children do when they’re by themselves. The sleeping faces. The giggles that suggest something really unethical is happening, but is still funny enough to make even you smile.
It’d probably be the longest airing show in existence. Either that or no one would watch it, because by the time you’re done with the real stuff, I’m not sure you’d want to watch it for fun.
Given that we’ve all been getting over a stomach flu, I’m not going to bore you with the details. Suffice it to say that there was enough bodily fluids to sink a ship, and enough hot air coming out of my children’s cranky mouths to float it again.
On that note, I thought I’d tell you about an experiment I’m working on instead. I find it really ridiculous to keep up with all the food fads and diet changes everyone keeps coming up with. I mean, really, a friend of mine recently got diagnosed with Diabetes, and looked up some diet ideas. The consensus was lettuce and water. Personally, I can eat pretty much anything, but I don’t remember to. I’m lucky to remember to eat a banana, never mind the recommended 10 servings of fruits and vegetables. Heck, most of the time I’m lucky everyone gets fed anything at all. So, I did some looking around to see how I could fit nutrients into stuff that we already eat.
Cue my sister. She’s a scientist type, in the middle of completing her Botany degree, and she has a particular interest in growing organic, non GMO food products. Top that off with her experiments in Leave-It-Alone soil, and she had an easy audience. Leave-It-Alone soil, by the way, is based on the idea that soil regenerates and sustains it’s own nutritional balance with the right combination of bacteria and composition. I’m starting a container garden with her assistance, mainly some beans for drying, and some of the vegetables I find hard to keep from rotting in the fridge. I also went grocery shopping on Friday, and picked up some interesting items that I can add to my baking. We eat a lot of baking in this house, and baking is a prime candidate for squirreling in some extra nutrition without anyone, including you, noticing. Check it out!
Applesauce – is an easy addition, as it adds moisture and sweetness, while still maintaining a bland enough texture and taste that you won’t notice it in most recipes.
Plain Yogurt – has the same tendencies as applesauce, and can be used in place of many different wet ingredients to add a boost.
Black Bean Flour – contains dietary fibre, iron, phosphorous and magnesium. It’s supposed to have an earthy flavour, so I’ll probably use it in chocolate or peanut butter baking, since they generally have a strong taste to begin with.
Stablilized Rice Bran – contains 60% of the nutrients found in rice, and most of those nutrients are lost if you eat white rice, as the part of the plant rice bran is made out of gets hulled off. Brown rice is high in B vitamins, as well as a source of a couple other minerals, including iron.
Coconut Sugar – need to be careful, as they have all sorts of look-a-likes that aren’t much better for you than regular sugar. The one I found is 100% pure coconut sap. It’s got B vitamins, amino acids, and minerals, and also has the added benefit of a low glycemic index (35).
I’m planning on using little bits of these at the bottom of my regular measurements, keeping in mind that they are a bit more pricey, and I already use whole wheat flour and brown sugar instead of white flour and white sugar. I’m also experimenting with ice. Yes. Ice. Given that many vegetables lose most of their vitamin content if you boil them, and given that many vegetables have textures that can be difficult to get around, I started with Kale and broccoli stems, boiled the heck out of both, and am using the water as ice cubes. I can use those ice cubes either in juice or as a small replacement for liquids found in baking. I’m using the broccoli stems, overcooked as they are, and freezing them for addition to mashed potatoes at a later date. The mild taste of the stems should be well hidden in garlic I usually add, and being overcooked, they should be mushy enough to be of a similar texture to the taters. I also took the liberty of chopping up the broccoli tops and carrots for raw snacking, as both of them seem to be a favorite with either Biggest (who has developed a propensity for dipping them in Thousand Island dressing) or Hubby, who apparently and much to my surprise, has a fondness for chewing on raw carrot sticks. Lastly, I picked up bulk quantities of both carrots and zucchini for baking Chocolate Zucchini Loaf and Carrot Cake, both of which are a popular commodity here at the Gnomie Household. Grating and freezing both of them beforehand in appropriate baking quantities should give me a leg up on the preparation. I’m also preparing Biggest and Littlest’s lunches and snacks the night before so I’m not grabbing convenience foods.
And that, my friends, is where I stop. Lunch is ready, the child is getting restless (the Littlest is asleep), and my coffee is running low.