Sunday, July 15, 2012

Spinach-Banana Muffins {recipe}

So Sam needs a few extra leafy-greens.

They say that these are good for building up your blood production.
Which is exactly what Sam needs. I think.

Well, it never hurts to eat spinach, right?
Just ask Popeye.

Sam is a pretty good eater, he loves fruits and some vegetables. But he doesn't eat a lot of spinach or kale. So we're working on that. He'll eat spinach in a smoothie. But eventually that gets old...I hear kale chips are good. We'll try that next.

We had some great banana bread the other day, and I was about to make some more when I had the brain-flash to add spinach to it! Of course, I turned to Chef Google (sometimes confused with Rabbi Google or Dr. Google) and found this recipe, which I promptly adapted based on what I had in the house!

Spinach-Banana Build-Your-Blood-Count Muffins 
(adapted from Anja's Food4Thought)

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup yogurt
a splash of lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tablespoon flax seed meal (ground flaxseed)
1 tablespoon almond butter
1/4 cup mashed banana (1 medium banana)
1 cup packed baby spinach leaves

Yields 6ish - I actually got 9

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line muffin tin.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a food processor, blend the spinach leaves until finely chopped. In another bowl, whisk together, sugar and egg until creamy. Stir in yogurt, lemon juice, cinnamon, flax, almond butter spinach and banana. Fill batter into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Super-Green Muffins!

And they were a hit with the kid too!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Interesting times

Last night in a moment of homesick tears, Sam moaned "I have the most boringest life EVER!"

There's a Yiddish curse: "may you live in interesting times."

Boring is a blessing.
Ordinary is perfect.
Everyday is lovely.

There are a lot of writers out there who bless the ordinary and the daily and the boring. How right they are.

May his life be as boring as possible.
May he learn to find blessing in the ordinary pleasures of life.
May we never again take them for granted.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Off to Camp 2012

Today was David's first day at OSRUI. Last year, I wrote a prayer for him as he went off to camp. It still holds true, so I'm reposting it here today. My heart is now in so many places....

A prayer for my dear son embarking on his second third year at summer camp...

May you find learning and growth of all kinds.
May you gain independence and feel comfort in your Jewish identity.
May the mosquitoes be guided away from you, and may the raindrops not fall into your tent (too much).
May the food be delicious and the pool the right temperature.
May you seek out new experiences and try new things (vegetables would be nice but I'm doubtful).
May you smile brilliantly for the camp photographer and show up daily in the online photo albums.
May you avoid the camp crud and may you never lose your socks.
May you take a shower and brush your teeth every day.
May you not send wet towels to the laundry, because the laundry is charged by weight.
May your arrows fly straight, your fishing line never get tangled, and your tetherball not whack you in the nose.
May you not fall off the top bunk.
May you not spend your whole canteen account on silly junk.
May you not lose your hat and water bottle in the first week.
May you not lose your way in the night to the outdoor bathroom.
May you write me at least one letter besides the mandatory first-day-letter.
May you create a life-long friendship (at least one, if not many).
May you  renew old friendships, since they are the most precious. (Are 9 year olds allowed to have "old friends"?)
May you learn more and more about yourself and your spirit and being.

May you return home in one piece with all your belongings,
and may you ever yearn to return to the land of summer camp.

His shirt says a lot about what is on our mind...
 We also left behind the little girl...just for a few days. But already she wants to stay longer. Which is exactly how I feel about camp....

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Change in Routine

There are so many changes in our routine these days.
We notice a lot of things.
But this one is pretty big...
Our family isn't going to camp.

Don't worry, my kids are.
Camp is still one of the most important things in my life, one of my inspirations and my passions.

But this year I have a different place to be.

Today was one of the hardest days.
Because today was the day that we were supposed to all be at camp.
With our friends.
And yes, I know how blessedly lucky we are to spend the time together at camp each summer.

So we had to find a way to mark the occasion anyway. Tomorrow is the first day!

It's not quite the same.
But perhaps a new family ritual has been born....

See all the posts I've written about camp in previous years.

Owie Owie Owie...Ding!

We tend to follow to the school of parenting that minimalizes things:
Did you bump your head? We'll give it a nice gentle rub and a big kiss.
Is there an owie? Here's a bandaid. Are you sure you need a bandaid? Is it bleeding? Can I just give it a kiss and it will be all better? Okay.

Michael heard a comedian, Alex Cole, do a routine many years ago.
He explained that a magic way to cure any "owie" is to rub it three times and say "owie owie owie DING!" And we still use that wisdom. There's a hand motion to the "ding" part, by the way. It's all in the showmanship.

We're not callous. We dole out kisses and gentle pats and caresses. We hug and we wipe tears.
But we tend not to make a big deal of things.
"Are you bleeding?" is frequently how we start a conversation with children who come downstairs after bedtime shema and kisses.

Today, Solly got a little bump - I don't even remember what he was doing, it wasn't that big of a deal -- and I gave his little kepele (Yiddish for "little head") a little kiss. "It's okay," I said. And he waddled off...

And as I breathed in his baby scent, I realized that leukemia just doesn't work that way.

There's no owie owie owie ding.
It would be much easier if there was...

Sometimes a hat and a visit from Dad seem quite curative, though.