Eat Well: Pineapple Express

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, mom!
WWW's famous Maui Veggie Burger!

I woke up in a cold sweat this morning and it hit me. “Rice and Beans” are coming SOON and although this sounds ridiculous, I haven’t really let myself think about that until now. I am going to be moving in with Rebecca and her family for a MONTH. I haven’t been away from home for that long since I went to France the summer after my freshman year in college. I have to be ready at a moment’s notice, but what do I pack? And HOW do I pack for that long?

I have been focused on getting all of my work done, composing and recording the music for our theater company’s new play, Monsters in the Closet, which I will put on a CD so my partners can rehearse the songs without me. I am almost done with this project and I think that is why I am suddenly realizing all of the other stuff I need to do to get ready—plan and plant my fall vegetable garden, finish umpteen sewing projects I have piled in the closet, start and finish some house projects and PACK!!! We live two hours from Rebecca so when we get the call, I want to be able to throw everything into the car quickly so that we can make it there in time. Rebecca lovingly invited Rachel and me to the actual birth…sent us the sweetest invitation that made both of us cry. Now Rachel is in Ohio so the chances of her being at the birth are slim but I soooooo want to make it. And I don’t want to let packing for a month get in my way.

And also, what do I bring? Do I tote along my sewing machine in case, on an off chance, there’s time to sew? Am I kidding myself? Because I am as much in the dark about what to expect as is Rebecca. I had 3 kids, all single births. I didn’t have anyone except Larry helping me when Rachel was born, but she was one baby. I don’t have a clue what it will be like to take care of twins, and I think that’s why I haven’t let myself think about any of this until right now. My mother would tell me “make a list!” which I am unfortunately not good at, but I think as soon as I finish writing this, I will do just that. Maybe even get out the suitcase and put it on one of the kids’ beds. Put a few things in it. I don’t have a baby’s room to take my mind off of the question marks but I do have a suitcase—my nesting box for the next few weeks.

In other news, Rice and Beans each weigh as much as a pineapple this week (er, they did three weeks ago?) Regardless, aloha lovely girls!

I am a HUGE fan of fresh ripe pineapple, but I’m not really into the canned stuff. Last month I stumbled upon the most amazing pineapple I have ever eaten, sold at our local Jimbo’s market. When I went back to get another, they were gone and I almost cried. The produce man told me that I had bought a Maui Gold pineapple and that they are only available for a few weeks in the summer. Eating that pineapple was like taking a trip to Hawaii. Larry and I ate the entire thing by ourselves and I felt a little guilty that we hadn’t shared it with anyone else. You can order Maui Golds online, but look for them in your markets in July and Early August. I’m telling you, you haven’t had a pineapple until you have tasted one of these…really otherworldly.

Maui Gold pineapples are always ripe, so you don’t have to worry about how to pick them out at the grocery store. But most pineapples are picked green so knowing how to pick out a ripe one is important. The pineapple should be yellow on the bottom half and should give when you press it. It should also have a sweet pineapple smell. If it is dark green and hard, don’t buy it.

Preparing the pineapple isn’t hard but requires a very sharp knife. First, cut off the leaves:
Next, stand the pineapple up on its end and saw off the skin from top to bottom, turning as you go:
If you still have some prickly eyes left, take them out with a small sharp knife or the end of a potato peeler. Cut the pineapple into ½ inch slices. If you have a Maui Gold pineapple, you don’t have to take out the core because it is also edible, but otherwise, you want to cut out the hard core by cutting around it. You will end up with beautiful doughnut shaped slices of pineapple.
At this stage, you can serve the pineapple raw (the ONLY way to serve Maui Golds). Or, you can grill the slices for a lovely end to a summer meal or accompaniment for your favorite veggie burgers.


Grilled Pineapple

2 T brown sugar, agave nectar, or honey
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 T lime juice
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced into ½ inch slices

Mix the first three ingredients together and set aside. Heat grill and lightly coat rack with oil. Brush the pineapple slices with marinade and grill for 3-5 minutes.
Turn and baste. Cook until tender and golden, turning several times to cook evenly.
Serve plain or with vanilla ice cream and a little orange liqueur on top for a very special treat!


Tequila Lime Grilled Pineapple
(from July/August Vegetarian Times)

Whisk together: 3 T tequila, 1 ½ T agave nectar, 1 T lime juice, and 1/8 t cayenne pepper in bowl. Add 4 fresh pineapple rings and marinate 2 hours. Grill 7 minutes on each side. Serve with reserved marinade.


Wendy’s Maui burgers
Veggie burgers (I like Dr. Praegers)
Pineapple rings
Teriyaki sauce
1 sweet onion, sliced
olive oil

In a large pan, cook onions on medium heat in olive oil until brown and caramelized. Marinate pineapple slices in teriyaki sauce for at least an hour.
Grill pineapple slices brushing with teriyaki sauce until soft and brown on both sides.
Grill veggie burgers according to directions. Assemble burgers in buns with pineapple slices, onions, and more teriyaki sauce on top.
These are AMAZING! A delicious veggie option for Labor Day grilling!



when I grow up I want to be advanced


Pink Lining (Twin Pocket) Diaper Bags, Etc

Pink Lining bags


More on these and other diaper bags here, when Desperately Seeking Diaper Bag... goes to GERMANY! (Cue House Hunters International theme.)


Thirty-Three Weeks

If you hadn't noticed I am suddenly feeling... DONE. Breathless and claustrophobic as if I'm wearing one of those insane multiples carriers on my inner-uterus-area and I can't. get. it. off. It started at last week's Perintologist appointment when the doctor measured the babies and was like, "You have over ten pounds of fetus in there! Congratulations!" which was awesome and I cheered, "Hooray!" and then promptly felt like I might pass out... because, wait, what?
The babies are A. 5lbs and B. 5lbs 2oz respectively (doc can ballpark weight, give or take 10% by measuring the length of their bones and head circumfrence) which means they are still growing three weeks ahead of schedule. Which means I am thirty-three weeks pregnant with two thirty-six-week-sized womb-mates. The doctors thought they would have slowed down by now but not these chickadees.

These babies seem to think this womb is some kind of Equinox Fitness club. I keep picturing them spotting each other like, "COME ON! TWO MORE BENCH PRESSES!" YOU CAN DO THIS, RUAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!"

I do not birth big babies (Archer and Fable were both seven-pounders full-term) so having jumbo-twins is a complete mystery to the doctors and myself. Especially when twins usually run small for obvious reasons. Ahem, THERE ARE TWO OF THEM IN ONE BODY!

Apparently, these girls are super-pros at finding ways to move around my uterus to best utilize space and even though, in the ultrasound they looked like one giant two-headed mass, I am told there is still plenty of amniotic fluid for them to keep growing as they have been thus far. Hence the excitement/panic... It's overwhelming to think these babies are STILL growing. That I am still growing with them, and that they could come at any time. Now! Or... Now!

I definitely dropped this week but I think it's because there is nowhere else for my abdomen to go but down... it's so heavy with human and such, that it has no choice but to fall between my legs like a swollen appendage.
I'm dropping off my hospital paperwork this week and have my bag packed and ready. Full of newborn clothes and mama clothes, but most of all, neurosis, which take up at least half of my suitcase.

R&B are in Yin Yang formation right now, heads in the middle of my belly, bodies forming an S shape. C-secto is definitely the name of this game with Baby "A" breach and Baby "B" transverse, which was bumming me out at first but now I'm over it. I've already had two vaginal births, might as well give a C-section a try, no? Party on.

The last few weeks of pregnancy are some of the toughest weeks that exist - it's limbo like nothing else and one lives in a state of bipolar... ness. I go back and forth between being excited and terrified. Am I ready? HELL YES! Am I ready? HELL NO! Am I ready? HELL MAYBESO!

More like, hell, I don't know.

We're having a heat-wave which is only adding to my anxiety. I'm having hot flashes several times a day and have to repeatedly change my clothes because I've literally soaked through them. I can't sit in a chair to work anymore because even with legs spread eagle, my belly is rubbing against the chair. And I'm just... ugh, you know? UGH. Sore and bleck and ergh and ugh and huge and heavy and ouch. I actually feel exactly like I look in this photo:
I'm trying to think of something funny to say but I'm too exhausted to feel clever or interesting. I'm grateful I was able to go this many weeks before collapsing in a pile of WompWompWomps, but now I feel as though I'm DEAD MOM WALKING. I'm completely wiped. I slept zero last night thanks to sporadic contractions and electro-nerve-torture of the crotch. My appetite is waning c/o R&B acting as a sort of Belly Band and everything is just feeling increasingly difficult. Like this post for instance. This post feels like I'm typing in slow-motion with my eyes crossed.
The good news? I'm the only one who seems to be suffering. Everyone else is kicking dat ass and that's what's most important right now. Besides, having been through this twice before, I know that once the babies arrive and we're all settled into our new lives, I'll totally miss this. ALL OF THIS. Just like I did after Archer and Fable were born and I was like, "Aw! Pregnancy! I love being pregnant! Pregnancy is the best" I'll forget the reflux and the cramping and the waddling and the fact that I resembled Shrek...
... and I'll cry. Because uncomfortable as I am now, I'll soon miss how it feels to carry life around on my person so nonchalantly. I'll miss the weekly ultrasounds, making friends in the waiting rooms of doctors offices, getting foot rubs while reading September issues on the couch. I'll miss watching the kids watch their sisters move my belly around like it's their bitch. And my belly is INDEED their bitch:
...But most of all, I'll miss the anticipation of knowing that something huge is coming, and in this case, something DOUBLE-huge. Something so huge I still don't quite believe it's ACTUALLY happening.

Minus the discomfort and the hot flashes and the cramps, the last few weeks (days?) of pregnancy are like Christmas Eve on steroids. Except, I'm the one dressed up like Santa Claus.
Ho, ho ho! Merrrry Almostbabymas!



Postcards from Prepregnancy

I found these photos last week when searching for a picture of an unmade bed and was struck by how different life looked, how different Hal and I looked as a couple, dressing up for one another, touching in elevators... snaps of intimacy that seem almost foreign now.
Pregnancy is weird because it takes on a sort of temporary identity. One becomes the "pregnant wife" in her marriage, the pregnant mother, "the pregnant chick" at the restaurant and bachelorette party, Trader Joes...

"Do you need help with your groceries, ma'am?"

"No thank you," you say. Except you know you should say yes because your doctor told you to say yes and your husband and every stranger who passes as you groan while loading groceries into your trunk.

I keep reminding myself that when this pregnancy is over, I will no longer be pregnant. A seemingly obvious concept and yet one hard to grasp from where I stand, looking down, unable to see feet that for months have been too swollen to wear anything that isn't related to a flip-flop. When I'm pregnant I become disgusted by bodies and touch, prudish and claustrophobic, not myself. I need space and alone and don't even think about touching me while I'm trying to sleep. I remind myself that (soon?) that will change. That I'll be BACK! Touch me! Oh, baby! That I'll once again be able to fit fingers through rings, feet into shoes, bodies into bodies.... things one takes for granted when she isn't harvesting human beings in her person.

I'm incredibly grateful for the saneness of this pregnancy, for two healthy growing babies who every day become more miraculous, real, adored, but I'm also looking forward to being out of this body for selfish reasons. It's getting extremely crowded in here. I miss dancing. And fucking. And walking more than a block without getting winded, crossing my legs under the table. I miss stacked-heels and being able to see them when I look down.


Gone Style: Moccs that Rock

Last week these amazing pink Jem & the Holograms-esque metallic moccasins (rockassins as I hereby deem them) arrived in the mail for the babies:
They were a generous gift from Susan of Freshly Picked who made a pair for Fable, too, which was totally rad of her. Fable promptly put them on and ran around the house whooping it up without pants. (Moccs are a little big, but she'll grow into them.)
If you're not familiar with Susan's blog, you should be. Her store is full of amazing things. Like these pillows for instance and I'm kind of obsessed with her velcro wallets and bowtie-totes. Not to mention her gorgeous handmade moccs, made with love, as all things should be. Thank you, Susan. You rock extremely hard.


Eat Well: ...with a side of Jicama

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, mom!
I've been enjoying everyone’s guesses as to the names of the twins. I cracked up at the thought of granddaughters named "Rice" and "Beans". Ideal pseudonyms when posting about food so I will hereby refer to them as such.

"Rice and Beans” weigh as much as large jícamas this week, although they are a heck of a lot prettier. (I can’t imagine a more homely looking vegetable than a jícama). I have never really cooked with jícama …only cut it up in a salad or sliced on a veggie tray to accompany dips. But this week I wanted to stretch my jícama prowess and try some new ways of using it.
Jícama (pronounced HE-ca-ma) is a Latin American tuber and is related to the sweet potato. It is mostly made of water but because of that, is very refreshing and a crunchy and juicy addition to salads or slaws. Jícama doesn’t have a lot of flavor but is very sweet so kids love to snack on it. I used to cut up a big bowl of it and put it out for the kids when they came home from school.

When buying jícama, pick out small ones as the big ones aren’t as sweet and are starchier. Jícama has a lot of nutritional benefits including a significant amount of vitamin C, a lot of fiber and practically no calories, so it is one of those foods that you can snack on all day. Since it is a root vegetable, you can roast it for a low carb alternative to potatoes, and it holds its crunchiness much more than its potato cousins. The roasting, as usual, brings out the flavor. You can juice it (add it to carrot juice or other veggie juices) and put it in stir-fries.

My dear friend, Mary gave me a wonderful book for my birthday called Culinary Artistry. The authors provide lists of ingredients to combine with foods to enhance and complement their flavors. For jícama the book suggests cayenne, chiles, cilantro, citrus (especially lime), cucumbers, mangoes, salt and vinaigrette. Here is a wonderful salad that utilizes many of these ingredients. (AND—features last week’s neglected fruit, the ORANGE!)

Jícama salad with Orange and Cilantro
(From The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters)

Peel and cut in half lengthwise 1 small jicama (about ¼ lb):
Cut into ¼-inch-thick slices Cut the slices into ¼-inch-wide sticks. Peel with a sharp knife down to the flesh, removing all the rind and membrane:
Slice 2 oranges into ¼-inch-thick rounds and remove the seeds.
Arrange the jícama and orange slices on a plate. Sprinkle with:
A pinch of paprika or spicy chile powder (ancho or guajillo)
Make a dressing by whisking together:
Juice of 1 lime
2 T olive oil (I used orange infused)
Pour over the jícama and oranges. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro:


A favorite way of preparing jícama in Mexico is to toss it in lime juice and chili powder. Either cut the jícama into cubes or for fun, try cutting it up into the shape of French fries. I found this recipe which uses nutritional yeast as “cheese flavoring” for a raw vegan variation of “chili cheese fries”:

To make: Cut up a jícama into fry shaped pieces, sprinkle with chile powder, olive oil, salt, and nutritional yeast and toss.
You can add some lime, too, for a little twang.
These are delicious. The nutritional yeast tastes like powdered cheese when mixed with the salt.
three types of jicama fries, chilli "cheez" fries on left

Or, you can bake the jícama tossed in a little olive oil at 375 and when brown, sprinkle the fries with salt, chile powder, and nutritional yeast, or Parmesan cheese.
You can also slice thinly and make “jícama chips.” The baking makes them super sweet and scrumptious.
baked fries, plain
baked fries tossed with chile powder, salt & lime
chilli fries (with nutritional yeast)