Thursday, September 12, 2013

How I'm spending my non-sewing time

Sewing has been somewhat of a back burner issue for me as we settle into a new school year and enjoy spending ALL THE TIME WE WANT with our daughter who recently moved back to this area after living in Hawaii for 9 years. She left right out of high school and while we had regular phone calls, it's just not the same as sitting in the same room with her and talking for hours. To say this is a blessing is an understatement, and I do recognize the value of the word blessing. I'm guessing, after the birth of our daughter, this is the 2nd best thing to happen to us. She's been here for 5 months now, and it still seems too good to be true. Not only are we loving having her around, and of course her husband and kids, but we're loving the fact that our daughter and her kids are playing so very well together and getting to know each other. Since the moment I found out I was pregnant, I was even more regretful of the distance between us, knowing that Mandy would be an only child and wanting her to at least have her nephew (the niece had not yet been born) to play with and consider a cousin.

Here they are playing in a blow up pool on Labor Day:

Yes, yes they are playing right next to the garbage can. And can you see the white, furry head poking out from behind? That's our husky who loves water as much as the kids and requires his own pool. Fun dog:) And the gentleman in the far back is our son-in-law, a computer genius with a great sense of humor.

Another time consuming issue for me has been food. At my age, I remember when virtually all packaged food was less appealing at best, and downright unpleasant at times. It was a last resort option when "real" food just was not available for whatever reason. But times have changed, and flavors have improved, and over the years I developed an attitude of almost inferiority, despite having perfectly acceptable cooking skills. Why should I compete with Betty Crocker and Pillsbury? They were the experts, weren't they? I heard some chatter - a friend told me one time that if I'd just watch Food, Inc., I'd never want to buy pre-packaged again. My thought process at the time was that I just wouldn't watch it then. I'd grown pretty comfortable with my quick and easy meals and wasn't eager for that to change. Even when I watched some of Jamie Oliver's shows - somehow I pigeonholed that information as relating to school lunches. That didn't mean there was anything wrong with the bag of chicken nuggets I had in my freezer. I'm not sure what made me buy the book Salt, Sugar, Fat last fall - I think it was on sale or something, but it started a revolution in our house that is still ongoing. I've learned the impact of artificial dyes on kid's behaviors, at a time when my daughter's teacher was encouraging me to get her tested since she just couldn't pay attention. I've learned not only what a GMO is, but just how prevalent they are in our food supply. I've learned more about the addictive properties of sugar, and just how much of that is in our pre-packaged foods. I knew her favorite cereal was high in sugar, but after you learn that it is 75% sugar, you just can't give it to her anymore. You would never pour a literal bowl of sugar for your child to eat, but we are doing the equivalent without even realizing it.

But the important thing, the really important thing I've learned is that we can survive without pre-packaged foods. I am a good cook, as anyone can be who cares about it, and preparing all your own food can still be done by a working mother. I'm actually quite shocked at the things I didn't think I had the time or skills for. Perhaps I just fell prey to marketing? Take pancakes for example. What is the time consuming part of making pancakes? It's the wet batter on the griddle, cook, flip, then cook some more. It is not the mixing together of about 7 ingredients. The same with cookies or biscuits. I'm not sure just how I came to the point of thinking I couldn't possibly do these things without a mix. A mix that I still have to add 2 or 3 measured ingredients to. Seems crazy to me now. And I'm just as shocked at the things I didn't even know I could make - like granola bars. Somehow, I had gotten to the grandparent stage in life not even aware that these could be made from home.

So I am spending more time in the kitchen. I don't at all mind. I am enjoying some new recipes. I feel very good about what my daughter is eating. What we're all eating. The downfall, the only negative really, is dishes. Oh my word at the dishes! I'm so sick of doing dishes that I dreamed about disposable pots & pans one night.

I'll have something sewing related to show you soon, or eventually. In the meantime, I'm loving seeing all the things you have made!

1 comment:

  1. I cook most of our food from scratch too, though more because that's how my mom cooked than any real aversion to packaged foods...mine just taste better!