I’m looking forward to a busy holiday where planning — other than what I am going to eat and when I am going to walk — is the name of the game. Thanksgiving is the ultimate list holiday: travel plans with packing lists (for some, not us), menus, shopping lists, to-do lists and timelines.
Today, tomorrow’s to-do timeline will be set. The entire day will be spent cooking because that’s how I like it; prepping and cooking beforehand when there is only the three of us seems a bit over the top. I’m looking forward to our vegetarian feast (The turkeys from “Free Birds” would love us.) and having A. serve as the sous chef. (He’s a whiz at removing kale from the stems!)
While the rest of the world is scurrying to destinations, I’m happy to be home carrying out my to-do list with my family.
Apples are the perfect food. In one convenient package you can consume fiber, photochemical as well as vitamins and minerals that can keep your body humming.
Alone, each variety has it’s own personality: Gala is sweet; Honey Crisp is sharp, Red Delicious is no-nonsense nutrition, while a Granny Smith is tart and bites back. (A little bit like my Aunt Jo. ) This makes apples the perfect friend for whatever your mood.
My favorite meals involves apples: apples with peanut butter, apples with extra sharp cheddar, apples with romaine and avocado, even apples cooked into jam as shown here. Excuse me while I drool.
As the mother of a toddler, I’m happy when Baby A puts aside the bottle of milk and eats real food. I started out as most mothers, wanting my son’s diet to consist of mainly fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. Considering that his favorite foods are artichokes, Brussels sprouts and whole-grain toast I really can’t complain. The problem is when he doesn’t eat, which is lately.
Today he fell asleep in the car right before reaching our building so I decided to take him for a drive to In and Out Burger. He could nap and we could get some lunch and satisfy my burger craving. I used to be a vegetarian but after becoming severely anemic I decided that having meat every once in awhile was better than what iron supplementation would do to my already sensitive digestive system. That’s why once a month or so I usually have a hamburger. Since Baby A usually eats the French fries, we’d both win—so I thought.
Once we got our order, I cooled down some fries and gave them to him then took out my burger (a plain cheeseburger with grilled onions). He ate the three fries then pointed at my sandwich. I gave it to him and he ate nearly the whole thing on the way home. Sure, my son could be eating better but he hasn’t been eating until today. Of course, I wish my son would gobble up the berries on cut up for breakfast and share my salad with me, but right now I want him to eat something more than whole milk and whole grain toast. If that means he partakes in my hamburger fix every once in awhile then so be it.
I have a dream that every city had fruit and vegetable carts on every corner. Well, every other corner would do. Right now, I’m living in it.
As I rush from appointment to appointment in New York, carts of fruits and vegetables nourish me— basket of blueberries sold for $2 and a pear for 25 cents. Yesterday was the first time in a long while that I ate my seven servings of fruits and vegetable without strategic planning.
By having these purveyors out on the street where traffic is flowing makes it easy to associate whole foods with satisfying the hunger that is occurring. And those hunger pangs aren’t the crazy, ravenous kind either since noshing on these natural fibrous fillers has kept my blood sugar steady.
Imagine a world where each city had the same availability of fruits and vegetables. My hope that it would mean a healthier population.
Last night we celebrated dos de mayo—a precursor to the Mexican holiday that in this country is marked by the copious consumption of margaritas, beer and tequila. Ya-ya, M., Baby A and I were joined by Cy and cousin J to gobble up Ancho Chile Chicken Soft Tacos and Green Rice (recipes courtesy of Rachael Ray). Besides the good food and drink (yes, we had the before-mentioned libations), it was really wonderful to have a house full of people.
When we lived in Phoenix, Sunday night dinners with another J was standard. Together we would watch either baseball or football and eat. I always cooked. It was the highlight of my week and since moving to LA the tradition hasn’t continued. But it should and it may. We have plans to get together on Friday. I have a sangria recipe I want to try.
When I was a teenager, my dad used to go down to Bolsa Chica state beach—about a mile from his home in Huntington Beach, California—at 6 AM to claim a fire pit. This was a tradition when I was in town with my friends. We would join him later (about noon) and in the afternoon, he would return to the house to get the food for that night’s bonfire. Girlfriends from high school remember the police coming to make sure that we weren’t drinking; an old boyfriend remembers watching the Queen Mary fireworks from one of those fire pits. The whole thing is a very Southern California summer picture.
So you can imagine my disappointment at the news that the city of Huntington Beach will possibly remove nearly half of the 165 fire pits on the beach. Unfortunately the state of the economy is having its way with these memory makers. And the city council will vote on the fire pits’ fate next month. I hope that for the residents there, they remain untouched.
If it isn’t written down, forget it. It won’t get done. I live by my to-do list. It keeps me focused in a I-don’t-need-to-think-about-what-needs-to-be-done way, because everything is written on my trusty pad.
Without my pad, my days would be chaos. I wander around the house doing things halfway and then get distracted by Baby A or something else I see that I should do, only to come back to the first thing a half hour later and say, “Oh, yeah. That’s what I was doing.” Instead, my time sans child has purpose and is productive.
Without my pad, I would go to Trader Joe’s, CVS, Ralphs, Whole Foods, and even, the farmer’s market and walk away without whatever it was that drove me to go there in the first place.
Without my pad, I won’t have a growing list of books that I want to read, websites that I want to check out, or songs that I want to download.
And without my pad, article ideas, leads, and blog posts that come to me in the strangest places would get lost in the ether of my brain, possibly forever.