Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Confessions From The Kitchen Or "Bloopers" May Sum It Up Best!

As most of you know I am trying to feed my family all organic, whole food.  We are also trying to eliminate genetically modified food (GMOs) from our diet.  So far my husband and I have lost quite a bit of weight and I for sure feel so much better and energetic.  It has been tricky to cut GMOs out of the diet.  Very few processed foods are a must and it usually means eating at home.  So I cook A LOT!  Sometime I cook 3 times a day.  When you're cooking that often there are bound to be bloopers.  I thought it would be fun to share some of them with you.  So here goes.

We just got a Vitamix and it came with a variety of smoothie recipes.  Sunday, 1 of 3 begged for one.  Why not?  I was going to make the ultimate healthy smoothie by sneaking in veggies.   It worked for the man at Costco when he was doing his demonstrations.  I remember!  He hid all sorts of veggies in his concoctions and my kids drank/ate all of his up.  I could do it too!  I made smoothies with blueberries, black grapes, spinach, celery, milk and ice.  Who wouldn't want that?  Apparently two little girls that live in my house.  After one taste the girls made horrid faces and ran screaming from the room.  I begged them to try just on more sip.  I didn't want the ingredients to go to waste.  They said, "No way!" and again ran away from me screaming.  2 of 3 covered her mouth with her hands, like she so often does, as if to say, "You won't posion me again!"  Nick however was trapped in his highchair.  He ate his!  He actually liked it but he's a baby and probably doesn't know any better.

Last night 1 of 3 begged for a smoothie again.  Won't she ever learn?  I want to be able to trick her like the Costco man!  I want to put hidden veggies in the smoothies.  Really I DO!!!  But alas I didn't.  I made blueberry smoothies with milk, yogurt, blueberries and honey.  I did put a teaspoon of flax meal in there too.  Just couldn't help it.  I still got a negative response from the little ladies of the house.  However, the response was a bit different from the night before, there were tears.  Big tears.  Tears of disappointment.  Huge DISAPPOINTMENT!  I'm thinking it was the organic wild blueberries.  Hummmm.  I am determined to right this wrong for my sweeties!

Then there was the time I tried to serve my little ones frozen food.  This was not really on purpose if you're wondering.  I often put their hot food in the freezer to cool quickly, and I left their dinner in the freezer cooling way too long.  That meal was now semi-frozen.  It had to reheated in the microwave before it could head to their plates.  One may think I'd learn but one would be wrong.  Yesterday morning I opened the freezer to get something and saw SUNDAY NIGHT'S corn and peas.  Frozen rock solid.  It was at this moment I realized I served them no veggies Sunday night.  No wonder they were telling me they were hungry at bedtime.  And I didn't believe them.  Half of their meal was refreezing in the freezer.  Getting a good laugh yet?  It gets better. 

I can still taste my almost yummy meal.  The lentil stuffed tomatoes that were stuffed with the undercooked and a few slightly burnt pieces of rice.  Yum.  I followed the recipe directions.  Cook the rice and lentils together for 10 minutes.  Okay I did make one small change.  I used brown rice instead of white rice.  That can't make that big of a difference huh?  Apparently it makes a VERY big difference.  Another lesson learned, use organic frozen rice as a quick alternative.  Burn me (and the crunchy rice) once but not again!

How about squash for our dessert two Sundays in a row.  The lovely meal I cooked was fabulous with one exception: the squash, or better yet, me forgetting about the squash.  The first week I pulled it out of the oven to serve only to then realize I never turned on the oven.  That squash was great 30 minutes later for dessert.  Then, the next week I was all about making sure the squash was done on time.  I TURNED ON the oven and cooked for 30 minutes.  Finally I checked the squash and it seemed tender.  WOOO HOOOO!  I did it.  I took it out of the oven where it sat on a counter for 15 minutes.  When it was time to serve it for our meal I again realized it was not done cooking.  I must have poked the thinnest part of the squash.  Boy there were some parts that were hard as a rock.  Really, I think I could have broken a window had I thrown it.  The thought did cross my mind.  BOOO HOOOO!  I didn't do it, again.  That crazy squash would have been ready to serve if I had tested the thickest part too.  It sat out for 15 minutes!  Again, it was yummy for dessert.   Oh well!

Oh I can't forget the first time I cooked a grass fed whole chicken.  I blogged about the super, skinny grass fed chicken if you remember.  It failed to feed my family of five.  Really it would have failed to feed a single person.  Probably even the baby, 3 of 3.  And I might add that the meat that was on the chicken could have bounced it was so rubbery due to over cooking.  Lesson learned: grass fed meats don't cook as long or at as high a temperature.  Interesting.

And the best of all was on Thanksgiving when I made a turkey for a fairly large crew.  I always make the turkey and it is always good.  Not this time, baby!  This turkey was grass fed and the directions stressed not to over cook the meat or it would be too tough.  I followed the instructions, placed a meat thermometer in the meat and took it out when it reached a certain temperature.  I was definitely going to do exactly what the recipe said!  I remember tough grass fed meat is GROSS!!!  I watched that turkey like a hawk.  I hardly left the oven that last hour.  Well that's not entirely true.  Both babies refused to nap, screamed non stop and constantly needed something.  So I watched when I could.  When I finally got the turkey it was 10 degress hotter than the instructions said.  I just knew it was ruined.  I took it out and it look just perfect!  It wasn't ruined.  I did it!  I conquered cooking grass fed meat!!!  I felt like superwoman.  Just a few minutes before we were set to leave for our party I realized that ONLY the top was cooked. Are you kidding me?????  Apparently the pan I used to cook the turkey was too small and the air didn't circulate.  I was right, it was ruined.  But it was ruined for being RAW on the bottom.  Next time I'll opt for tough as opposed to raw.  Wouldn't you?  So for dinner we microwaved the meat from the top of the bird.  I was almost in tears.  The meat tasted pretty good in spite of the drama.

The list goes on and on.  A few times I have been on the verge of a melt down (Thanksgiving), then I realized that I'm just beginning my journey.  I have such a long way to go, but I've come so far.  Once upon a time I loved to cook and was very good at it.  Then I had my second baby, moved twice in a six month period, had my third baby and became the EAT OUT QUEEN!  I'm relearning my old skill.  It's like riding a bike, you never forget but sometimes you fall down. 

My little people are my priority.  Often when I'm in the kitchen, one little person is holding my legs and walking on my feet as I'm preparing this or that, another little person is pulling out every plate in a cabinet and still another one is forever working on a craft project and in need of just a bit of help.  Sometimes that means I don't get it just right.  I just do the best I can and move on.  I know one day I will look back and be so grateful for this journey and this time with my family.  1 of 3 melted my heart when she said, "Mommy, I am so glad you started feeding us organic food.  It is so yummy.  I just love it!  Thank you!"  Then she hugged me.  2 of 3 and 3 of 3 have loved it too.  I can tell!  They have gained quite a bit of weight, which is good because they were a little on the small side.  The baby, 3 of 3, has gaind about 4 or so pounds and I would say about the same for 2 of 3.  I have even joked with my husband about writing a blog titled "Organic Food Is Hurting My Back" as those two jokers haved gained so much weight they are HEAVY!!!

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