Posts Tagged ‘Feeding’

Confession: I’ve been making butter in mason jars.

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Who does that, right?

Me!

I’ve kept this secret for a few weeks. I can’t stop making small batches of butter. Cinnamon sugar, salted, unsalted, strawberry, and honey butter. Each ball of butter more delicious than the last. I’m sick. I know.

The obsession started when I read one of Meagan’s blog posts which linked to a how to make butter at home tutorial (that is now missing). I *had* to try it. No way could it be this easy. WHY am I just finding this out now? Who conspired to keep this tidbit away from me? A pox on thee. Jerk.

I cook often and wish I could share my creations on my blog more often but if you haven’t noticed my food photography is horrendous. Improving is a goal of mine but I can only do so much in a day and when I’ve got a hungry family to feed pulling out my camera is far from my mind.

BUT I do have time to stand in my kitchen like a deranged butter addicted lunatic shaking a mason jar like there’s no tomorrow. The kids don’t interrupt out of sheer fear I suspect (what on earth is mom doing?) and I get a decent work out at the same time (wear a sports bra).

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Start with some room temperature heavy cream. I like to use local cream when possible. In Vermont we would buy it in the prettiest and chubbiest glass bottles.

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The cream thickens fairly quickly.

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Boom. Whipped cream.

Oh, I’ve also been making whipped cream this way. *Insert shameful looking emoticon* You can judge me but I’ve lost five pounds this month so I’m not doing too shabby.

Maybe eating large amounts of homemade whipped cream and butter IS good for me. 

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Shake it like a Polaroid picture ladies. Shake until you feel completely ridiculous. Open the lid. Your cream is whipping. Whipping good (let’s see how many cheesy song references I can make). 

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This is not a pretty picture but I wanted you to see what the mixture looks like when the butter forms.

Separate the butter from the buttermilk. Save your buttermilk for future use. I saved mine in a jar for pancakes. It kept for a little over a week.

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Carefully rinse the milk solids from your butter ball under cold water until there is no milky reside left.

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How pretty is that? Well, It’d be prettier if I wasn’t awful at this food photography thing but you get the idea.

Mix in some salt. Or not. Or mix in some cinnamon and brown sugar. Maybe some vanilla beans? Or some garlic and dill for a steak butter? The possibilities are endless.

Form your butter into a ball or log then cover in plastic wrap. I think it keeps for a week or two but can’t tell you for sure because it gets consumed pretty much immediately.

Have you ever made butter or whipped cream in a mason jar? Why didn’t you tell me it was so easy?

Singing Dog Vanilla. Like a baker’s dream come true.

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

I use vanilla bean paste almost daily. It tastes great and can be used as a vanilla extract substitute. We use it in oatmeal, milk, and cupcakes. You name it and I will find a way to add some pretty vanilla flecks to it.

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Sick of Sippy Cups. My EIO Kids Cup Review.

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

I’ve been working on this review for a few months. That may seem excessive but I have a good reason. When I was contacted by EIO to review this cup I was really excited. The timing was perfect. Pweezy seemed ready to give up sippy cups and I was ready to give up washing them. Seriously is there anything worse? Those valves? Ugh.

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Lunch Wars Book Review

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

lunch warsPweezy and Cmoney are nowhere near school aged but I do wonder about what their school experiences will be like. Will the like their teachers? Will Pweezy a golf superstar? Will my husband and I be able to make sure that they eat nutritiously. I know I am crazy to think about these things when my children are still in diapers but it’s hard not to. As parents we relinquish some control once our children attend school, it can be stressful and for good reason. There is a lot to worry about.

Author Amy Kalafa explores nutrition issues in our public schools. I read her book Lunch Wars for the Blogher book club and I began to worry more. I know. I am a crazy worrier but once you read this you will too. The caffeine, the sugar, the use of food as a reward, and the temptation young children face in the lunch room is outright ludicrous.

Food should be basic and simple. Somehow our children’s lunchrooms have been tainted by ridiculous politics and bureaucracy. *This* is a true bipartisan issue. We all have a vested interest in ensuring that our littlest citizens are well nourished and healthy enough to learn and succeed.

An excellent read and highly recommended for parents. We can change things and Amy Kalafa has provided the framework. Check out her book and visit Blogher to participate in discussions.

This was a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own

Make Breakfast Better with Land O Lakes® Cinnamon Sugar Butter

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Autumn is right around the corner and I could not be happier. It is my favorite season. Fall in New England is a marvelous thing. Every Sunday morning last fall my husband and I would pack up the babies early in the morning and drive to Shelburne Farms to buy the first batch of cider donuts. We are looking forward to exploring the orchards here at Cornell this year and are sure our new memories will be as lovely.

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Mommy Wars: Tales From The Front Lines

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

I bet you had no idea that something as seemingly innocent as ketchup could be intensely divisive.
I learned the hard way that it can be.

I was out to dinner with a large group recently. P was sitting on my mother’s lap and she was feeding him french fries. She asked me if it was okay to give him one that had ketchup on it. I responded that I prefer to give him plain french fries and that he does not consume ketchup. I was asked why. I responded that there is no reason to since it is primarily comprised of sugar and it isn’t good for one’s teeth.

I accidentally hit a nerve.

Another young mother was a member of our dinner party. I heard her mutter under her breath “His teeth are going to fall out anyway”.

WHAT?!?

Since I was not well acquainted with this woman I chose to let the comment drift into the background of the surrounding dinner time chatter but I was annoyed. I am still annoyed. I did not judge this woman. I did not attack her or her parenting style. I was not even addressing her. I was merely answering a question and monitoring MY son’s food intake. Why did she immediately become defensive and hostile upon hearing about my personal parenting choice?

Sure his baby teeth will fall out. Perhaps I should teach him how to chew tobacco too. Are you serious?

I then decided to put on the sancti-mommy act just to passive aggressively annoy her. I mentioned how I (attempt to) brush Ps teeth twice a day, and how he has his first dentist appointment at 13 months in a few weeks,  and on and on. I could tell she was annoyed and throughout dinner I caught tidbits of the woman’s conversation with her husband and I heard him remark “Hmm maybe we shouldn’t be giving our daughter so much ketchup”. She replied “Hmph ya well good luck with that”.

She seemed like a completely sweet woman and I am sure she is but I am curious to know why she (and other women like her I have previously encountered) felt the need to be rude and offended by my personal parenting choice.

Did I inadvertently make her feel inferior as a mother? If so then perhaps she shouldn’t give her kid ketchup if she is not entirely comfortable with her choice. Did she think I was obnoxious because I am thoughtful about the food choices I provide for my child? That is okay because I think she is obnoxious for not being thoughtful about her choices. The difference is I am polite enough to keep my opinions to myself…at dinner anyway :)

Crunchy people get stereotyped as annoying holier-than-thou know-it-alls but (putting my bias aside for a second of course) I find many mainstream mothers to be extremely combative when faced with any parenting alternative that they did not choose to partake in.

I look at it this way: If my thoughtfulness as a mother makes you feel so uncomfortable that you have to make snarky comments then I must be doing something right. Try it. Educate yourself and go the extra mile like I attempt to (no one is perfect). You might find that it works out well for you or you may validate that it does not but then at the very least you will feel secure enough in YOUR choices to not make bitchy comments about mine.

Our Babies Our Choices?

Sunday, July 11th, 2010
I recently came across an interesting blog post on BabyCenter:

Recently on Twitter I have engaged in conversations with several mothers that are having disagreements with their parents and in-laws over a variety of parenting topics. Food seems to be a hot topic. Disagreements range from whether to give an infant drinking water to starting solids as soon as humanly possible. 
There is tradition and there is research. Modern mothers tend to err on the side of research and modern science which in many cases tends to be in direct contradiction of our parent’s generational wisdom. Many grandparents are offended when their children choose to raise their kids differently than the way they were raised. They see it as an attack on their parenting choices. This is not the intention of any parents I know.
I am very fortunate that my mother is thoughtful enough to never give my child anything without checking with me first but even she made a statement once. She remarked “I did not have access to organic food or the time to make homemade baby food for you guys and you turned out ok”. I told her that while that is completely true I do have the ability and time to purchase and prepare local organic food and since current research has shown the benefits of avoiding pesticides and preservatives why not give it a try. She agreed and continues to be a fabulous grandmother. 
I wanted to make sure that she knew that I was aware of the fact that she did everything within her power to keep me healthy as a child. She was a single mother with two children with no outside support. My mother struggled so that I would not have to. I have support and I have the means. I chose to feed my child what I do because I can. This is in no way a judgement of anyone else’s choices. Unless you give your baby soda or juice in a bottle or sippy cup. That is just gross :)
I know I am more of a hard ass than most people most likely due to the fact that secretly I wish I was a hermit so I do not therefore care whether anyone ever speaks to me again with few exceptions. I keep it simple. If you attempt to feed my child anything without checking with me first you will never be alone with my child again. Ever. I do not care who you are. 
If someone is going to be sneaky with something as important as your child’s health and your parenting choices should you trust them to be alone with your children? It is a tough question to ask oneself but it is necessary. In a worst case scenario a child may have severe allergic reactions to certain foods. If a person chooses to ignore parental direction it could mean the difference between life or death of the child (not to be alarmist). 
Grandparents had their opportunity to be parents and make parenting decisions without input from us. In fact most of us probably got told to shut the hell up if we told our parents what to serve us for dinner :). 
It is our turn. Do things our way or not at all. Simple as that.
My Mother & My Son