Wednesday, February 5, 2014

These boots were made for splashin'

During the day, we have a rule: if you want a grown-up to read to you, you have to sit in their lap. This solves - what I affectionately refer to as - the Wiggly Toddler Conundrum. (The issue being, wiggly toddlers snuggle less, and that's sad.)

At night, Genevieve has the option of snuggling up next to her reader (usually, but not always, me), or sitting in the "Mommy Seat". The Mommy Seat is created by [me] sitting cross-legged, and Genevieve sitting in the space, leaning against me, her legs over my legs. I love the Mommy Seat.

We have a regular stack of books that Genevieve likes to read at bedtime. Among them is I Love You, Good Night. I mostly bought it because it was a bedtime book with mice in it, but it quickly became one of my favorite bedtime books.

It's short, sweet, and gives lots of opportunities for extra kisses and hugs at bedtime. (Pro-tip from Gramzie: If there are kisses and/or hugs in the book, there are kisses and/or hugs to illustrate the point in person.) The book employs simile, which I love, and it just gives me all the oxytocin-filled warm fuzzies to read it with Genevieve.

There's a page in the book, showing the little mouse wearing boots and a raincoat, and enthusiastically splashing in puddles. The text reads, "I love you like boots love splashing in puddles." Genevieve has been OBSESSED with this page.

As it happens, in preparation for rainy weather - which has yet to *really* make its debut - we bought her a yellow raincoat and matching rain boots.

In October.

Genevieve LOVED the boots- she could put them on and take them off easily, by herself, and stomp around in them. What's not to love?

She has been DYING to wear them out and splash in puddles. So when the weather teased us with the promise of a thunderstorm, I told Genevieve that we would go splashing in puddles after her nap.

Our "storm" lasted maybe fifteen minutes. But, a promise is a promise, so when she woke up, we suited up in our raincoats and rainboots, and went on the hunt for puddles to splash in.

It's not the size of the puddles that matters.
You can see in the photo that the street isn't even wet. We found four "puddles" in gutters- which were likely to be more mud, antifreeze, and motor oil (given the color). But, I didn't split hairs and I let Genevieve splash away. She was THRILLED.

Of course, I wore my boots, and raincoat, too.

These are Skacel Peek-a-Boots. I got mine at Purlescence.
(Obviously, a photo from a much wetter day.)

Genevieve also loves playing in *my* rain boots.
Rainboots and flannel. She pulls it off.
[The boots don't come with the green Superfeet insoles, though I'll likely replace them with the black ones at some point. (What can I say? I'm a woman who likes - nay -  requires good arch support.)]

"What do you MEAN these don't come in my size?!"

"I'll just borrow yours. We'll wear the same size soon enough."
We've been promised more rain, and I'm hoping the weather delivers. I'm not looking forward to another drought (soooooo cliché, California!). 
What *am* I looking forward to? Some epic puddle splashing with my favorite Mouse.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How I beat kale

Once upon a time, we were part of a CSA. Week after week, we would get a glut of strange greens (like kale or chard) and week after week, it would end up feeding the earthworms in our compost. The worms were thrilled; I was not.

I looked for recipes in my usual places, but I wasn't a very accomplished cook at that point, and my shelf of cookbooks was anemic, at best. The internet yielded a number of unsuccessful attempts, and really, how nutritious are kale chips, really? (Compared to ice cream, probably very nutritious. But still.)

What we ended up with was - what I estimate - was about $200 in wasted kale.

... and then came Pinterest.

Recipes! Parenting ideas! Arts and crafts! Is there anything this miraculous site *doesn't* have? (Answer: no.)

While on one of my initial pinning binges, I tripped across this recipe for Kale salad. Ever the optimist, I added the ingredients to my shopping list, and enthusiastically told SuperAndrew about this miraculous kale salad that I just *knew* we were going to love, and we would finally *get* why everyone but us thought kale was so great.

SuperAndrew didn't share my enthusiasm.

"So this is Sunk Cost Kale salad?" he asked me, SMIRKILY. (I know "smirkily" isn't a word. IT SHOULD BE.)

"Yes. And it is going to make all that wasted kale WORTH IT."

It was. We've had it (about) once a week for the last couple of years, and I have a few regulars over for dinner who specifically request it. And my variations on the recipe. Which I will now share with you.


"Sunk Cost" Kale Salad, from originally from Melomeals, with my adaptations.

Mix in a REALLY big bowl (I use a 9 qt. stainless steel mixing bowl):

    •    4 cups kale (baby kale is my preference, but you use the stems, the leaves, all of it)
    •    1/2 a green cabbage
    •    2 cups shredded carrots
    •    1/2 a red onion, diced
    •    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    •   a generous splash of lemon juice
    •   a generous splash of olive oil

Massage together for 5 minutes or until the veggies start to break down. (Set a timer, five minutes feels much longer than it should. If you don't do the full five minutes and/or skimp on the lemon juice and olive oil, the kale will not chemically cook, and it will taste weird.)

Post massage,  I add *another* good splash of olive oil and lemon juice at this stage. Then, add:
    •    1/4 cup roasted sesame seeds
    •    3/4 cup sunflower seeds
    •    1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    •    3/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds

Salt to taste.

    •    Make sure your hands are VERY clean before making this salad. I also wear vinyl gloves for the “massage” portion of the salad.
    •    This will keep (as long as you NEVER double dip or use the same tasting spoon) for up to 4 days in the fridge. KidBrother Sam thinks it improves by sitting overnight in the fridge, SuperAndrew prefers it fresh.

Bon apétit!