Yesterday was technically Archer's last day of preschool and I sat all day at my desk with poopy-stomach trying to wrap my head around what it means to see him off at a new school, introduce him to a new world with new friends and strangers, teachers... parents.
We've been discussing the changes afoot for weeks now. The new school which Archer says he "can't wait for!" even if it means a whole new set of students, teachers, friends... But when I picked him up from school yesterday, Archer looked angry.
"Ready to go?" I asked.
Archer glared at me and crossed his arms.
"Are you bummed school's over?" I asked.
"No!" he crossed his arms tighter. "I'm glad it's over!"
"It's normal to be a little sad. Saying goodbye to people and places and things is the hardest part of being a human."
"I'm not sad!" he said, sniffling. "I just want the picture off my cubby!"
"But you'll be back at school in two weeks so you don't need to take your picture...We're doing summer school three days a..."
"YES I DO! I NEED MY PICTURE!"
Moments later we were in full on won't-get-into-the-car won't-get-out-of-the-car "no! no! no!" meltdown mode.
Part of me wanted to join him. Instead, I drove home saying nothing, parked the car, went to the freezer and retrieved a box of ice-cream sandwiches, which we then proceeded to dine on, silently brooding...
So what do you do if you want to eat eggs from chickens that haven’t been confined to concentration camp conditions? Well, you can raise your own chickens. Many cities and almost all suburbs now allow chickens. Check your city ordinances to see if you are allowed chickens. There are some awesome chicken coups available online if you are seeking this adventure. This is my favorite one. If I hadn’t converted my backyard lawn to a vegetable garden, I would probably be buying one of these!
Otherwise, check out your farmer’s market and talk to the stand owner about how their chickens are raised. You can look at this website to find a farm that has been approved as a humane farm in your state. If you have CSA’s in your area (Community Supported Agriculture), contact them and ask where to get your eggs. Eating eggs from humanely raised chickens not only is the ethical choice, the eggs taste better and are better for you. The difference in price is only a couple of dollars and it is well worth it. Eggs are still the cheapest meal you can make. One dozen eggs can make, when extended, anywhere from 8-12 servings!
I get my eggs from a friend who has chickens. She treats them like pets (chickens actually can be quite sweet when treated properly). The yolks are bright orange and the white doesn’t run all over the pan. And they are unbelievably delicious.
My favorite egg recipe is a Persian dish given to me by a lovely Iranian woman I met while on the train. I was on my way home from visiting Rebecca and her family right after Fable was born. We sat next to each other and became fast friends. She had been an obstetrician in Iran and was brimming with interesting stories. Somehow we got on the topic of cooking and she shared this recipe with me—a staple of the Iranian diet.
I like to pick recipes that extend the eggs to minimize the amount of animal protein we are getting. Mirza Ghassemi does that perfectly! And the eggplant is disguised for fussy eaters. This is a great summer dish, especially if you have your own vegetable garden or frequent a farmer’s market. The tomatoes, onions, and eggplant are fresh from my garden.
1 onion, cut in half and sliced
2 cloves garlic, smashed, chopped, and smashed again
4 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon turmeric (or to taste)
3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
1. Prick an eggplant and roast on a foil lined pan in the oven at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until soft.
For vegans, substitute for the eggs a block of tofu, pressed, drained, and crumbled. Don’t cook too much after adding the tofu. Just warm it through.
1. Precook the crust for 10 minutes at 400.
2. Grate or crumble about a quarter pound of your favorite cheese. I like to use goat cheddar. It’s YUMMY!
3. Sauté your vegetables first so the water evaporates. Favorite combos are leeks (or onions) and spinach or chard…or really any vegetable you want. I use whatever is in my garden. Don’t cook too long. (If you have leftover veggies, you can use those. I usually roast a lot of vegetables and often use the leftovers for quiche).
4. To make the custard: use 4 eggs, beaten (depending on the size) to 2 cups of half and half, or substitute buttermilk or my FAVORITE, whole goat milk. You will get the same consistency as half and half. Add salt, and pepper to taste.
5. Cool the crust for 5-10 minutes before assembling. Put the veggies on the bottom, add cheese on top, and pour the egg mixture evenly between the two pans.
6. Cook for 40 minutes at 350, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve with a big salad and crusty bread for a perfect dinner.
1. Mary’s Greek scramble (ED: Mary is my mom's BFF)
2. Huevos rancheros (fried eggs on warmed tortillas with salsa and cheese.)
3. Poached eggs over polenta.
I dozen eggs can make Persian eggs for 6 people and 2 quiches which feeds 6 people generously. At $4 a dozen for humanely raised eggs, this means the animal protein for each serving costs 33 cents. Quite a good deal!!!
WWW* for GGC
Anyway, this post was supposed to be about pubes not phobias so let's take it down a notch. Lighten the mood with a little discussion about the hair down yonder square. Real talk.
July 5. 2000
i faxed you the thing twice, i hope it went through, it should of, maybe call just to make sure... god, you will not believe the extent of marks every day surprises, dont worry, i sent him the email, there is nothing... god, no... i really do care about him, and think that i could love him... i get that feeling when im with him, like no one else is in the room, and ive only ever felt that with jason, but i havent thought about jason since ive been in london, and i guess mark is good for that... ill explain all the juicy-holy hells- later.... so after mark and i hung out...he had to go be with his pregnant girlfriend, shes pregnant with the previous boyfriend, and then hes a bit f-ed because he impregnanted a co worker a few weeks back, and just found yesterday, his girlfriend doesnt know.... but he got his hiv test back, and hes negative which is such a huge relief becuase he already has genital warts and ghonerea... i swear, god....but at least he's honest with me, i mean i have never touched him... sooooooooo, ahhhhhhh... okay, wellllll, tomorrow im going to the tate with sonia and her friend... i met anthea tonight, and i was like, huh.... really, are you real.... and we had had a bit of wine, and she kept bringing in more, and before we knew it we couldn't even see each other becuase their was so much wine in our midst, i told them all my quirky stories, and sonia and her friend just laughed... they love americans, they say... love you. i tried calling, anyways, goodnight ol chap.... im a bit pissed.... heeheee, that means drunk in the british toungue... but in agood way, because i drank good french wine, and a bit of white wine with mark, because i was so shocked at his news of being pregnant with diseases that my glass kinda flipped up in the air, and suddenly i was laughing about it, instead of being totally perplexed.... well, im still perplexed, but you know, its all sort of..... wait. i should not be emailing you, pissed and drunk because tomorrow you will email me back very worried about my health, but im fine, and so are my breasts, everything is working beautifully, and im still rockin da mic.... love and kisses on your nose and your toes, i suppose............peace mate.***
June 14, 2000
i am writing you from a sidewalk cafe on the venetian street... there is an orchestra playing before me... they are on a quick cigar break, and then they will play again in a minute... well, i was just thinkingabout how much i love you, and it makes me want to cry when i think about how amazing you are, i was telling nana how perfect i think you are, and she says, nobody is, and i said youre right, but i think my mom is as close as they come.... and you are, i love you more than anything.... and i am thinking of you right now, at this cafe in the most beautiful place in the world...
"She's getting old for that bottle," people tell me. "Might be time to call it quits. Trade the bottle for a sippy cup. She's going to be two soon..."
"Yeah. I know. You're right," I hear myself say but to myself I'm saying, "No! You're actually not right at all. Yes, she's going to be two soon. Two. TWO. Let the baby be a baby, please. I mean, sheesh louishe. What's the rush?"
Up until the eve of his fifth birthday, Archer slept with a pacifier. A "nunu" as he called it. He had no need for it outside of his bed, but when it came time to say goodnight, he reached onto the bedstand, plucked the pacifier from its place beside the stereo and stuck it in his mouth, his eyes closing, closing... BAM. Asleep.
We figured, it wasn't hurting anyone letting him sleep with it so we let it go. Until he turned four and we sat him down to discuss that the time had come to say goodbye to his nunu.
"You're getting older, dude. Maybe it's time you think about giving up the nunu at bedtime. What do you say?"
"I'm not ready," he said. "But when I'm five? When I'm five I won't need it anymore."
Pretty soon "five" became the age when everything was possible.
"I'll try pasta salad when I'm five."
"I'll eat brocolli when I'm five."
"I'll do swimming lessons when I'm five."
"I'll be a better listener.."
He had decided that "age five" was when everything would change for him. It was his "grown-up" age and we went with it. We went with it because he had us and himself convinced.
I never understood the push. It's not our style as parents, I guess and although we think it's important to set rules and boundaries, our focus is on raising kind, confident, independent humans, with or without bottles and pacifiers before bed. AKA, we pick our battles.
Archer needed some extra time to say goodbye to his nunu. So? He got it. And if Fable needs some extra time with her baba? That's okay, too. Because letting go is one of life's most important lessons. Every day a part us dies and giving a child the opportunity to "quit" their first (harmless) "vices" is an important lesson in self-discipline me thinks.