Me, A Mom

3 kids and a dog

Archive for the month “July, 2015”

Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Book Reviews

It is not often I write about the books I read.  Though I have written about many

It is even less often that I feel the importance of sharing my review with my other blogs

This book review will find a place on all the pages.

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This book is one of those rare Gems, like…a shell found intact on the sea shore, that it must be shared.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s “Gift by the Sea”

Is a perfect analogy  for life.   Really most of it pertains to all humans, but being a woman, her focus is on how We(women) live so much for other’s (people and things) that we forget to take time for ourselves and what is really important.

The amazing thing about this book is it still stands firm today.

She died in 2001

This book was first published in 1955.

1955 a time when looking back…

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Rearranging….it’s all about the order

When people hear that my family contains several individuals with multiple food allergies I am asked “HOW DO YOU DO IT”

They mean…cook/bake/eat

Well they eat the same everyone else does…

their food goes on their plate they usually use their utensils and occasionally they use a napkin.

but

the cooking and baking

that’s different and often …rearranged

but not usually more time consuming…at least now that I’m used to it.

For example

we have to eliminate Dairy, Eggs and Nuts

Nuts is easy….for MOST recipes they are optional

in the few they are not you can try unsalted sunflower seeds or oats or another grain based product

Eggs are fairly simple as well

I tend to rely on either tofu, soy sour cream and creamcheese as substitute for egg or for ground flax seed

1 egg equals 1/4 cup soy product(if using tofu you have to puree it)

or

1 egg equals 1 tbsp flax meal mixed with 2 tbsp warm water

fine

got that?

Dairy substitutes are pretty easy as well

light flavored olive oil for butter(helps maintain that buttery touch for the tongue)

or

Fleischman’s no salt margarine(I check ingredients every time just in case)

or

Earth Balance baking sticks

for milk use soy or coconut milk (our allergist at children s hospital has said to us repeatedly  that coconuts are not technically a nut in the same way the other nuts are…of course if you are unsure stick with what your Dr. tells you.)

now I suppose you might like a recipe.

the biggest difference is the “order of operations”…. in other words…time to rearrange

when making muffins/cakes/ cookies/most bars

the easiest thing to do is mix all wet ingredients in one bowl

oils or butters

vanilla

soy products

vinegar/lemon juice

etc

then the dry in the next bowl

flour, baking soda, baking powder

sugar is the only exception

here we go

wet ingredients together

stir in sugar

then add the dry ingredients

pop into a hot oven

enjoy

Here is the recipe

(my grammas)

Apple Cranberry Muffins

1 cup oatmeal(dry)

1 cup plain yogurt

1 egg(I mean 1/4 cup egg substitute as mentioned earlier)

3/4 cup  brown sugar

2 tsp orange rind

1 1/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup chopped cranberries

2 tbsp sugar

1 tart apple chopped

Preheat oven to 375

Mix oats with yogurt

Add egg, brown sugar, oil, and orange rind.  Stir to combine

in  a separate bowl combine  flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt.  Sift over wet ingredients fold together,

mix together cranberries and sugar and apple

stir carefully into the muffins

spoon into muffin liners and bake for 20-25 minutes makes about 12 muffins

enjoy.

The Family Cookbook…on Allergies

Many years ago I created a family cookbook,

After getting married, before kids, I requested recipes from my family and my husbands family.  Those who submitted recipes (and stories about family foods/gatherings) got copies of the cookbook.

Now that book is mostly a memory thing.

Many of the recipes are difficult to recreate without peanuts, treenuts, eggs. and dairy

and quite frankly even though not everyone in my family is allergic to all those I try to make most of our food safe for everyone

I AM NOT A SHORT ORDER COOK!

ok…sometimes I am but usually they eat what I make …well except for the one that hates veggies and if he sees any in his sauce painstakingly picks them out…even minced onions

But really even with the allergies, and even though I have fond memories of family meals, and eating some of these high carb delights …it just isn’t the way we eat anymore

I buy products with very little chemicals and very little salt in them

so processed soups (think : french bean casserole,and all those old fashioned stove top-to-oven delights) are out(yeah I could take the time to make my own dairy free cream soup…but…well….meh)

Occasionally I use Duncan Hines cake mix …the yellow kind as that is still “safe” for the kids, that box plus a small can of soda has saved the day a few times when I needed a quick batch of cupcakes for a school treat.

back to casseroles

so many of them have cheese.

well now we serve it on the side so the one who can’t have dairy can at least try the casserole(even if he won’t eat much of it)

the rest of us sprinkle cheese on top at our plate…not quite the same effect as a crispy browned cheese topping.

but I’m really not complaining…just stating reality

things change, they have to and when they do we try to embrace that…though not always perfectly.

and

Every once in awhile I find an old family recipe that has no eggs or dairy in and that is what I’ll share with you now.

I know it’s not winter but save this recipe…you won’t regret it

mix:

1/3 cup shortening(I use dairy free butter)

1 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cups dark molasses

then

stir in 1/2 cup cold water

in another bowl sift together

6 cups sifted flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp cinnamon

add the flour mixture to the wet mixture

in a small dish mix together 2 tsp baking soda with 3 tbsp cold water and add that to the bowl

mix it all together

chill

roll out to 1/2 inch thick(I roll thinner) cut out shapes

bake at 350 for 15 minutes or so until no imprint when touched.

enjoy…

As I open up the betty crocker as an allergy mom…

Yes that is the one I have…but it no longer has its covers attached.

I remember when my second child then my first child were diagnosed with food allergies

My second child was 6 months old or so, and my first was around 4 years.

I wasn’t told “he can’t have dairy” or “NO NUTS” between the two they are allergic to eggs, peanuts, treenuts, and then to boot the second child is allergic to dairy as well.

To say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement

then, as someone who likes to cook I knew I had to figure it out.

and it took awhile

hits and misses

winners and garbage can left overs

it has become manageable

(thankfully they can still have wheat…that would be  a whole nuther ballgame)

1.  We learned that soy sour cream works really good as an egg substitiute(1/4 cup per egg called for in recipe)

2.  We learned that there is nothing that works well as an beaten egg white substitute(think meringue)

3.  We learned that ground flax seed also works ok for egg(better for quick breads and cakes) use 1 tbsp ground flax seed and 3 tablespoons water  stir, do for each egg called for.

4. We learned to read labelsevery product, everytime, you never know when a company may change their formula, or which line they make the food on(cross contamination)

5. We learned it is very difficult to eat out in our town…places often have signs saying they cannot guarantee any food is safe.

6.  We learned that some people get it…and some just don’t  it is only important that we know who we can trust.

7.  As soon as the kids learned to read(even the one without any allergies) that they help double check labels.

8.  We learned homemade picnic lunches are just as good as going out on trips..plus healthier

9.  We learned to check ahead before going to parties, or playtimes, and regardless of what they say, bring food from home just in case.

10. We learned life goes on. Everyone has something to deal with, many times those things are invisible and though not necessarily as potentially deadly as food allergies. Life goes on you live, you adapt, you learn what works and doesn’t work and then if you are cool…you share some of that with those that want/need to know.

Pacing

My Child with High Functioning Autism/Aspergers

PACES

AROUND OUR TABLE

FOR HOURS

the older he gets

the bigger his feet get

it is loud

it is constant

he walks so fast I have to put on a sweater if I’m typing at the computer

and

this morning

1 am this morning

I wake up to hear him pacing around a card table in his room

full of energy

looking like he is no where near ready for bed

(doesn’t help that the teenager doesn’t wake up till noon)

so I’m left with a dilemma

his pacing does not hurt himself or anyone else

until it’s waking me up at night

it does drive me craze sometimes

he says it helps him think

plan his next coding or composing project(of which he does a lot and he is very good)

however….

sometimes

I just can’t stand it for another minute

I don’t understand what it does for him

and

quite frankly after conversations, short of saying it helps him think…neither does he.

he is just driven to walk, to pace, sometimes we have fun with it

I’ll sit a the piano and play something to the beat he is walking then he’ll stop suddenly and usually I catch him and stop playing

sometimes I’ll follow him around the table.

then he smiles even though it annoys him

that is all

thank you for letting me vent.

summer summer summertime

It doesn’t seem to matter the age of the kid

from the second day of school they are looking forward to summer break

and then summer break comes

and they after a couple days

are bored

As parents we have choices

some schedule every second of their child’s life

giving them “choices” of this sport or that class

but in doing that they neglect the need of the child for downtime

for creative play

homemade obstacle courses

just sitting and reading a book or magazine

even perhaps a little extra screen time

So many over book their kids all year long

feeling it is the right thing to do

and in doing that

they forget to schedule in quality time for interaction with their parents, and friends, and just being kids

As adults we are so over scheduled

please….

let your kids be kids

while they still can

soon enough

they will grow up and

have full enough schedules

let them live

in the moment

learn creativity

let them learn how to occupy their own time

let them

be kids.

Cherish this summertime

Lists, lists, and more lists

While I do my best to stay on top of everything

I keep a wall calendar,

a “purse sized” calendar

and then I make lists sometimes daily/sometimes weekly

lists to do

lists for groceries, I use “buy me a pie” simple easy and if I add something this week it will still pop up as a possibility next week

and post it notes….lots of post it notes

I especially like the 4×6 sized \lined post it notes I put several in my planner for things I think of through out the day that need to be done.

With 3 kids, a dog, a husband, extended family that sometimes needs my help, taking a class,  plus several parttimeish jobs I find  it is the only way to stay on top of the most important stuff.

I also find as I’m getting older my brain does not automatically hold or recall short term stuff as fast….

so the lists are important on multiple fronts

can’t sleep?

(add it to the list to think about for tomorrow and then let it go tonight)

constant interruptions?

Image result for constant interruptions

if it’s on the list you’ll get back to what you were doing faster

what are your priorities?

Spending quality time with kids should trump washing dishes at least once in  a while

Make your list in pencil

and don’t be afraid to rearrange or erase unnecessary things

and now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to erase “blog post”

off my list for today

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