Thursday, August 30, 2007

Technically, I do work outside the home

Today we went down to our Nebraska bank to add me to the account. When we first moved here Jim got the account here, and then we just kept using our California bank account so we could use up our checks. Anyway, when the banker asked me if I work outside the home, I said no, but Joseph had a different answer. He enthusiastically told the banker "Memmy makes plants." I guess my recent involvement in our container garden really impressed him.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Thinker

Once again Joseph amazed me this evening. Just as I was getting him ready for bed he said he wanted to go to the store to buy a candy cane (this was completely out of the blue.) I actually have a few candy canes left from last Christmas in the cupboard, but Joseph didn't know about these. I told him that I have some and that he can have one tomorrow. That seemed to satisfy him. Then about an hour later, as I was putting him to bed he said "I want some soy sauce.' So as a joke I said 'You want soy sauce with your molke? Molke is our word for nursing. He laughed and said, "No, with rice and beans." (For some reason, he really likes to eat Mexican Rice and Beans with Soy Sauce. I guess he is truly global.) Anyway, I told him that he can have that tomorrow for lunch if he likes. He smiled and said " I want soy sauce with rice and beans for lunch and a candy cane after." He is always surprising me with how much he thinks about things, since he is only two. In reality though, I think mostly it is because he speaks so well that I am so aware of all the connections he makes; when kids don't speak too well it is impossible to know what is going on in their heads. I feel fortunate that Joseph expresses himself so well because not only does it help to solve problems, but it is just so fun to hear all of these amazing things from him.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Pursuit of Perfection

Joseph is such a perfectionist, both in actually doing things as well as in speaking. A couple of days ago one of the buckles from my shoe broke off, and then the next morning he was thinking about it and said something about it. I said "Yes, my shoes are broken, so I can't wear them today." He responded, "No, only one shoe is broken!" and then he looked at me like 'don't you know anything?' How could I be so sloppy?

Another example of his linguistic perfection occurred last night when I was reading him a bedtime story. We were reading Fabian Escapes, a story about a cat who escapes from the house for a day. At one point the cat goes into the flower garden and eats the flowers. The illustration shows the cat surrounded my many bushes of flowers. Joseph interrupted me to tell me that "He doesn't eat all the flowers, only a little bit of them."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tamales and Indian food

It has been a while since I wrote anything here, so I thought I would give an update. For some reason our website with our photos has been down the last couple of days, so I can't narrate any of our photos for you.

The last couple of weeks I have mostly been really busy at home cooking and baking. I decided to try to make everything we eat myself, such as breads (including pita bread and hamburger buns,) cereals, and baked goods, and also using only dried beans. My goal is to only buy the raw ingredients to make all of our food. The tofu burgers that I talked about last time were delicious; much better than the ones we were getting at the store. The buns were somewhat tough the first time, but I made them last night again and they were lighter this time. I think next time I will use egg in the dough.

Last weekend I made Indian food, specifically Dal, Palak Paneer (with tofu substituted for the cheese,) and Naan. It was truly delicious. I made enough for us to have four dinners from it total. I love Indian food so much, but we can never go to an Indian restaurant because they use so much dairy. I have made it before, and always with great results but lately it just never occurred to me to make it. Once I ran across this Naan recipe on the Internet, I had to do it again. It turned out to be a fabulous recipe.

Another fun thing is that I bought a tamale steamer. I used to love to eat tamales when we lived in southern California. I have plans to make some tofu mole tamales this weekend. Some other things I have been making are soy milk pudding, Pan Dulce (more on this later,) and falafal.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


At the moment we are in the midst of a big Thunderstorm. This is one thing about Midwest weather that I like so far. Somehow the crashing booms and flickering lights fill the night with a certain liveliness.

This past week I am back to my old self concerning cooking and baking. I wasn't doing a whole lot of either because of both the heat and just not feeling up to it. We were reviewing our food bills this last weekend, and it really motivated me to start doing most things from scratch again. Last winter I was making most things we ate from scratch, so those months are my comparison. It seems that if we bake our own bread, use dried beans instead of canned, eat hot cereal for breakfast instead of cold, and finally if I bake all of our baked goods myself we can save somewhere around $100-$150 a month. It really doesn't seem like that much of a change, especially since it tastes better to cook this way anyway. A couple of days ago I found a recipe for veggie burgers, and I mixed that up tonight. We'll see tomorrow how the recipe is. I also made some whole wheat hamburger buns using our bread maker to mix the dough, and prepared it in into buns after the last punch down. They are rising as I write, and so far they look pretty good.

I am currently almost half way through The Fellowship of the Ring. I have read it before, but I am amazed at how many details I forgot. I am having much more fun with it this time because as I am reading it I am using The Atlas of Middle-Earth by Karen Wynn Fonstad. This atlas is absolutely fantastic! I have found everyplace mentioned so far in The Fellowship of the Ring, and since I am a visual person it has somehow made me more attentive to the story.

Yesterday I began The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. After reading yet another passionate comment about this novel, I finally started reading it. I've only read about 30 pages, but I'm already hooked. It is described as the first sensationalist Victorian novel. It is quite long, about 750 pages I think, so it was probably not the best thing to start while reading the Lord of the Rings, but oh well. Sometimes you just have to follow your passions.