Wednesday, April 14, 2010

School Lunches

With so much attention going to school lunches this year (Jamie Oliver, the Fed Up with Lunch blog) and 2 kids new to school this year I thought it was time to re-access my lunch technique.

Back when E. first started school he took a pbj with dried fruit, a few chips, and maybe a vegetable. He quickly acclimated and began doing the school lunches except by special request. With a preschooler, toddler, and baby I really didn't mind.

Now that the older 3 are in school for the first time I'm going back to my lunch technique.

I really hate to do sandwiches. While it wasn't so bad with 1 it's much harder with 2 (or 3). Plus they often get thrown away my school lunch collective memory reminds me.

So then I bought individual yogurts. But the boys are getting bored and I'm thinking of how much sugar is in them and hoping they didn't throw away their spoons.

So reading around I decided to follow the idea of some unknown blog writer. This is the first week.

I make a somewhat healthy muffin (applesauce oatmeal, blueberry, etc.), an ounce or so of nuts (cashews, almonds), a fruit (dried fruit, apples, etc.), and maybe a vegetable (usually carrots).

So far it's working. J., the 7 year old, loves it. I., the 9 year old, doesn't say much about lunch. He's an 'okay Mom!' kind of kid no matter what I do (every Mom should have one of those).

There's no telling how long this will last so any suggestions are welcome.

Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins

1 cup oatmeal
1 1/4 cup flour
heaping 1 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup natural applesauce
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 Tbsps oil (or a few less)
1 egg

Mix the dry ingredients (column 1). Then the wet ingredients (column 2). Fold together. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool.

Spring bustin' out all over

Tomatoes are coming up! A little earlier then usual because of the mat. Powers Heirloom were the earliest (again) I believe. 

I had to re-seed @ 8 (All Powers Heirloom and Principe Borghese, and 1 each of Livingston Gold Ball, Guernsey Island Pink Blush, San Marzano, and Tonderia Maremmaro). This heating mat is a learning process. I'm not sure how much water I should use. I generally water from the bottom and replace as it dries. I wasn't sure if that was okay so after I lightly watered and placed the cover I left it alone. While the seedlings on the side got watered by the terrarium effect, the centers did not. Oops. Guess I learned something. :)

And these little guys. 

I have this spot by the driveway. I planted a bunch of bulbs there last year, so to cover the late summer I tossed some old herb seeds all over the ground. Lots and lots of whatever I had left over ( mostly marigold and parsley and other things). The thickest mat of parsley grew up. I left it all through the fall and what do I parsley!!! It seeded itself!

I'm so proud. 

Despite the short snow and the sometimes frosty nights the peas are loving it. 

J. said, "look Mom, my flowers...uh I mean my things grew up!" 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Cat has a Mustache and Other Reasons I'm glad my Husband Twitters

I don't Twitter, so don't ask to follow me. 

Dean does, and all the little ideas, questions, and silly jokes that go with it. I'm happy for him. Even at 9pm when he's getting children out of their beds so they can hunt the cat. Even when he uses me to lull her into a false sense of security before he nabs her. 

I don't Twitter or text, just more anacronisms of my personality. I don't Twitter, but I'm not afraid to steal a cute picture when I see one. Even when it has nothing to do with my post. I'm luring you in with a false sense of security. BAM! Gotcha. ;)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Seed Starting Adventures & another belated Happy Blogoversary

So after all that whining on Saturday my husband helped me find an extension cord and I got started installing my new heating mat (bottom cord) for the tomatoes and peppers.

Timing the start of tomatoes is a very individual thing. I must admit that every year I think I'm late. (I also admit that now I'm humming the song "I'm Late" from the Disney move Alice in Wonderland.  I know every word. This is what happens when almost 30 years ago you are in the 5th grade chorus for that show and your fall off the risers into the dark. It sticks with you.)

One of the few ill consequences of random garden blog reading (no matter how I focus on the upper Midwest) is that  people with regrettably early seasons sneak in. People who are asking things it too late to plant peppers now when it was 100 degrees yesterday? People who plant their tomatoes in January or February when I am still trying to remember where I left the snow shovel.

But I'm not that late. I looked it up. The first year I seeded so early. I was so excited. Some time in mid-March. Last year I seeded around this time late March/early April. And while I was searching around I came across my first post: April 1, 2008. So a very happy blogoversary to me! Two years ago I was whining about the snow and tapping my first maple. This year its how busy I am and my baking obsession.

Oh, and the tomatoes are:
Power's Heirloom (paste)
San Marzano (paste)
Principe Borghese
Black Cherry (cherry)
Guernsey Island Pink Blush (cherry)
Yellow Pear (cherry)
Aunt Ruby's German Green
Livingston's Gold Ball
And an Italian variety with the initials TM that slips my mind

L. planted some Roma because they were red. 

Also a few:
Early Jalapeno


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Watching it all from the Windows

Lots going on. Lots of beautiful weather. Not a lot of gardening happening just now.

I'm spending more time watching it from the window then being in it.

Birthdays, in-laws, sickness, doctor's appointments, homework, long-term projects, moving furniture, Spring break, new medications, keeping things on-track around the house.

I should have more done then I have done. Know how that feels?
I woke up this morning wishing I had nothing to do.

So I could do 'fun' things like gardening, fiction reading, and baking.

So today we invited some friends over (oh! that means I have to clean the house!) and once I stop hyperventilating about everything I'm not getting done I'll unwind a little.

Soon I'll post about:

*my new heating mat for seed-starting
*the broccoli and lettuce sprouting
*the tomatoes and peppers I need to get seeded this week (gulp)
*the electrical rerouting I have to do to get this many things plugged in
*maple syrup review
*chocolate cakelets with ganache review
*my new garage sale search list, including krumkake iron, aebleskiver iron, and cake molds