Archive for October, 2010

October 21, 2010

(mis)adventures in baking

i’m a terrible baker and i always have been. it’s not that i can’t do it, i just don’t do it that well. i suppose this might change if i actually tried to improve but, i don’t. it’s not that i’m lazy, i just don’t enjoy the act of baking… it’s complicated and i feel bogged down by the details and i also can’t help but feel a bit pressured by all the guidelines to get it right and all that. i’m just not a precise person and baking does not appreciate my ‘flow’.

oddly, i want to be a good baker. really, i do. i like the idea of being a good baker and think it suits me, or some version of me i haven’t quite blossomed into yet (?). i even want to wear a cute apron and have the house smell yummy like my latest creation. i want to be cute like that- just like how i want to knit and play acoustic guitar- but, it’s a fantasy self. i don’t pursue any of it with any conviction. it’s more of a crush i have on the idea. more romance that then any kinda concrete goal. maybe i am lazy, after all…

anyhow, the point is, the moo has decided that he only wants finger food, most of the time anyhow, and he is not quite mature enough to appreciate handfuls of cooked veggie deliciousness nor can he appreciate or even manage raw veggies. here in lies the problem… this calls for some creative solutions and veggie baking seems like my best bet. luckily, i can get over me to get veggies into him. i mean, if there is one thing parenting teaches you (over and over and over) it’s that you gotta put yourself aside and do what you gotta do to meet your children’s needs. so, some research was done, some planning occurred, a much less spontaneous grocery shop was completed, and me and baking made friends this morning. the kitchen hasn’t forgiven me yet but, overall, recipe number 1 worked out. the moo loved today’s final product and i did too so, i thought i should share the recipe. enjoy!

Zucchini-Carrot Spice Bread by Jennifer Wickes

1 1/2 cups zucchini — shredded
1/2 cup carrot — shredded
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups unbleached flour — sifted
1/4 cup soy flour
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
3 large eggs
1 cup applesauce
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon peel
1 cup walnuts — chopped (optional)
1 cup raisins — optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (for a glass loaf pan, reduce the heat to 325°). Grease and flour two 8×4 inch loaf pans.

Clean the zucchini, cut off the ends, and shred using a grater. Peel the carrots, trim off the ends and shred with a grater. Mix the zucchini and the carrot with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Place in a colander with a heavy pot on top. Allow to sit for 20 minutes. This will help rid the vegetables of excess water.

Sift together the flour, soy flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices. Mix thoroughly. Set aside.

Beat the eggs until frothy. Add the applesauce a little at a time and beat well. Then, add the sugar. While still beating, add the pumpkin.

Mix in the vanilla and the lemon peel. When thoroughly mixed, add the carrot and zucchini.

Add the dry ingredients a little at a time. Be careful not to over mix. Slowly mix in the nut and raisins.

Pour into prepared pans.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a rack to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pans and cool completely.

Store in a refrigerator wrapped in waxed paper, then in foil.

Yield: 2 loaves (20 servings)

October 10, 2010

momma knows best

mother’s intuition exists. mother’s intuition is informed by an intimate connection with babe, one like no other. mother’s intuition is a kind of deep knowing- of the child, his needs, and the truth about it all. mother’s intuition should be trusted, honoured, and validated (first by momma herself and hopefully others too).

p.s.- one more thing… today is thanksgiving and, beyond all the obvious reasons for which i am beyond thankful, i would like to express deep appreciation and gratitude for children’s hospital. how fortunate we are to have access to such a wow resource full of  awesome people shining with expertise and, as integral, kindness.

October 6, 2010

transition transmission

ironically, on the eve of national breast-feeding week, my son decided he was no longer interested in nursing. as sudden as anything could be it was just over- no signals, no warning, no hesitancy or disinterest previously communicated, no prep, no nothing.  just, done.  and, though the breastfeeding lifestyle was at times suffocating in its exclusive responsibility, it was also one my most favorite mothering opportunities for which i have always been grateful. the sudden termination of my role of provider, in this capacity anyhow, brought with it a surge of sadness.

my husband, as gracious and supportive as ever, offered to put our son to sleep and i kissed my moo’s maturing face and escaped with my broken heart. it wasn’t but seconds after i left his room that i was overcome with sobs… i couldn’t believe that our physical union was officially over. i couldn’t believe he was now, in full, apart from me and of his own self in the world.

it took awhile for my body to realise what had occurred and it wasn’t until hours after he was asleep that, confused, i ached in pain. it  brings my mind ease knowing that my body was surprised too and even that it remains conflicted, as my body, like my mind, continues to process his absence.  though my heart is a bit better off, the body remembers and the physical aches have not yet resolved. at many moments in the day, my body reminds me that it is still operational and, as if anticipating him, swells.  my biology misses him (CT).

i can rationalize all that is normal, good, and healthy about his decision. i can celebrate that my partner can now take part in the ever-special-putting-the-child-to-sleep-routine and share that sleepy bliss love exchange.  i can make space for the awareness that my moo and i are both fortunate that this was led by him as opposed to something i would have had to impose on him, at one time or another. i can be wowed by his mental, emotional, and physical developmental gains. i can be impressed with his confidence and agency.  i can laugh knowing that the only surprise is that i was surprised. i mean, i have had my breath taken away on more than one occasion lately by what a little man he is becoming and how much intention, purpose, and personhood seems to be behind all of his actions. i can trust that he is doing what he needs to do to become who he is going to be. one day soon i know my body will catch up.

so, overall, the ache is improving but, even now, writing this, both my mind and body ache for the intimacy that we shared and it remains hard knowing that now, our physical connection will become more and more distant and less and less important in either of our lives. the silly grief filled parts of me can’t help but feel some hyper sensitive curiosity about what this means now about me as his mother and of our relationship. you know, in what ways we will become new versions of ourselves?  i also can’t help but ask myself if i somehow brought this on by wishing for a bit of space, or if the universe (?) caught up with my efforts to assist my moo in preparation for my return to work, or if some all knowing breastfeeding rule maker (!) noticed that i’d packed away all of my nursing bras, tanks, and clothes and decided that it was clearly time.  it is most likely, thankfully, some reality based combination of moo himself perceiving a shift in me, in us, as i gradually engaged in some stepping back, along with some elements of his own readiness to individuate. it is quite possible that his perfect growing self just grew into his own and there was no longer enough space for my body in his body’s efforts to explore. whatever led us here though, and however we arrived here, soon there will be no going back.

i keep hearing the voice of a dear mama friend and can’t help but see her in my now pained face when she shared that her daughter had decided to stop and commented: “i didn’t know it was going to be the last time”. i can so appreciate her tears now, in a way that i couldn’t fully before, and, though i too didn’t know our last time was upon us, i was fortunately able to capture the way he looked and felt in that last exchange…

like he clearly is, i know that i am maturing too. i can feel the next journey approaching and i trust that as he begins anew, i do too. we begin again…