Sunday, February 28, 2010

Adios Barbie!

I knew this moment would come; one that I have loathed since the day she was born. It was just a matter of time before it happened...before Barbie came into our household. Yes, Babs is in our house right now as I write, and I cringe at the thought of it!

That is right I DESPISE Barbie! For many of you this may seem preposterous, but it's not really. I mean think about her; Barbie that is. Her torpedo tits, her #2 pencil legs, her tiny feet in their stilettos, her big hair and porn star make-up and her never-ending supply of clothing and accessories. So why wouldn't I want my daughter to play with Barbie?

Maybe because I don't want her to think that this is the "typical" way a womun should look.

Maybe because there is NO WAY a womun could ever achieve the Barbie body-type.

Maybe because I want her to value her mind and have a healthy body image.

Maybe because I want her to understand there is more to life than acquiring material things.

Maybe because I want to shelter her as long as possible from the harsh, cruel world and all of it's pressures and expectations of gurls and womyn to fit into an unattainable "perfect" Barbie-like clone. I know this is unavoidable, that she is going to feel these pressures and expectations at some point in her life but if I do my job right, she will be armed with the tools to fight back. So this is why I say no to Barbie and Disney Princesses and Bratz and the such. I believe it is MY job as her mother and primary educator to instill in her at this very young age a foundation based on love and respect for herself and all people and living things around her. It is my job to teach her that beauty comes in many shapes, sizes, colors and forms. And until Mattel or Disney embrace this same philosophy they will not be welcome in my home.

I have not kicked Barbie out yet. I have let her be attached to my gurl's hip for a few days and I am letting this run it's course. But I have also taken this opportunity as a way to talk to her and teach her about womyn's bodies and about the important things to value in this world. Yes, I knew this day would come, but never in my wildest dreams imagined it would be when she was only five.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Menus

Monday: Spanish rice and groundnut stew

Tuesday: Baked potato bar, kale sauteed w/pine nuts and golden raisins & salad

Wednesday: Taco night

Thursday: pasta, w/homemade sauce, spinach & pinenuts

Friday: Veggie paella

Saturday: left-overs

Sunday: Curried carrot & parsnip soup, salad & fresh bread

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Menus

Monday: Curried Vegetables w/dahl & coconut basmati rice

Tuesday: left-overs

Wednesday: Farmstand casserole

Thursday: Vegetable soup & fresh bread

Friday: left-overs

Saturday: Sweet potato enchiladas & Mexican salad

Sunday: Groundnut stew & Ethiopian take-out

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Monday Menus

Monday: Spinach & pea risotto & fresh salad

Tuesday: Italian Squash & Bean Soup, Panzanella salad & fresh bread

Wednesday: left-overs

Thursday: Egg Noodles w/tofu, broccoli & red peppers & a peanut sauce

Friday: Veggie Tamale Pie

Saturday: Veggie Soup

Sunday: Spinach & artichoke pesto w/ whole wheat pasta, tapenade & fresh bread

Okay I posted this super was a crazy week and I never got a chance to get to this, but here it is. I am going to post two recipes this week. The first is the Spinach & Artichoke pesto.
I found this recipe on the Food Network website while looking for a healthy & fast recipe to use up a lot of spinach that I have, so this is what I decided to try. I have to say right now that I am not a big fan of Rachel Ray so I have never tried any of her recipes, but this one was good and the kids LOVED it! It was excellent with a loaf of fresh bread and some tapenade to eat on the side or even mixed right in.
So here is the link...

I will say this though...I did not add all of the cooking water at the end, I only added about 1/4 cup because we like our sauces thick rather than thinned out. I also used the mint which was nice, but I think next time I will not and see how it is. This dish tastes very fresh and healthy which is nice at this time of year!

Another variaton that I tried with this was to do the pesto w/basil not the mint. I then sauteed onion, carrots & garlic in olive oil and added some toasted almonds in a large stock pot. I then mixed in the pasta, pesto and added the parm and some cream, salt and pepper. MMMM....SO much better this way, although not quite as healthy!

This next recipe that I am going to post is one of our FAVORITE soups and we eat it often during the winter. I will get it up soon!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

One Amazing Squash!

This is a Candy Roaster Winter Squash that I harvested from my garden last fall. I finally put it to use last week and here is what this beautiful, delicious squash became....

The beginnings of soup,

The soup as it is coming together...

And it's finished...Madras Curry Spiced Squash Soup

And then there was the salad. I tossed some cubed squash in canola oil and maple syrup and a few red pepper flakes and then roasted them in the oven and threw them in a salad with sheep's milk feta, toasted pepitas, currants, red onion and a maple syrup vinaigrette. MMMMM....

And then the cookies.....

And then I STILL had some cubed squash left over so I made a squash & chickpea curry.

And I still had enough pureed squash to give away a pint and freeze another 2 pints. That was one AMAZING squash!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Imbolc, the festival of lights

My friends today we celebrate Imbolc, the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox in the northern hemisphere! Also known as "The Festival of Lights", fire, initiation and purification are an important aspect of this festival. The lighting of candles and fires represents the return of warmth and the increasing power of the sun over the coming months.This is a time to call in the light, think about which seeds to plant, and the welcome of new ideas. A time when the earth and many of her creatures experience quickening - the knowing that we stir with new life!

This day in some traditions is known as the Festival of Bridgit . Bridgit is the Celtic goddess of poetry and healing. As both a goddess and saint she is also associated with holy wells, sacred flames and healing. If you are interested in this fascinating Celtic Goddess look here.

"Imbolc is a word believed to be derived from the Old Irish i mbolg which translates as 'In the belly' , referring to the pregnancy of Ewes - an event which coincided with the onset of spring. Initially celebrated on February 1st, the festival of Brigit represented the point in the Celtic year that divided winter in half; where the crone aspect of the cold months recedes heralding the return of the young spring maiden. The festival of Imbolc celebrates the increasing strength of the new God, still within his child form, and a return of the maiden aspect of the Goddess in the form of Brigit." by Lisabeth Cheever-Gessaman, Imbolc : The Festival of Brigit

Last year I began my Imbolc tradition by dedicating time to rummaging through all of my seeds, blessing them and then starting my garden plans. Tonight I plan to make a fire and bless my seeds and I encourage you to start your own imbolc ritual to celebrate.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday Menus

Monday: breakfast for dinner: poached eggs on a bed of sauteed spinach w/fresh feta, home-fried potatoes and smoothies

Tuesday: Carrot ginger soup and brown rice salad

Wednesday: Black Bean and Chocolate Chili w/all of the fixin's

Thursday: veggie burgers

Friday: Calzones and salad

Saturday: Loubieh

Sunday: Taco & fajita night at the request of the kids

So maybe I've gone soft...

I've gone soft. There, I have said it. Something that over the last few months has slowly been eating away at me. Something that is not expected from a feminist-right? We are hard, and tough; solid as rocks. But not this feminist; it is true, I have completely turned to mush. I have avoided feminist literature, I have dodged challenging conversations and I have pushed anything academic to the far, far corners of my brain in hopes that it may be there one day if I need it.

So does this upset me? No, it doesn't; or I guess I should say it hasn't bothered me until recently. You see I am a feminist and I do believe that this system of capitalist patriarchy that our country thrives on is a load of bullshit and yes, I am sick of it subjecting us women and I do believe that there is still enormous amounts of work that need to be done and that I need to be doing it....but I am tired.

There, I said it! I AM TIRED! I have been tired for 5 years now and this patriarchy load of crap has been the last thing I have wanted to think about when my eyelids feel like lead weights! That is life, right?
That is motherhood, right?
So should I just suck it up?
Who knows! What I do know is that I have taken a five year hiatus from pursuing academia or a career so that I could be a stay home mother. And on most days I am cool with that. But on some days I struggle.

Yeah, I know that I am in a privileged position to be staying home right now with my kids, but not as privileged as most would think (topic for another day- the choices and sacrifices we made, not forced into, but made). And as every stay-home mother knows, it is not always easy and can be a dark place at times. But is has provided me the opportunity to be the primary educator of my children as well as allowed me to explore areas of interest that I would have never been able to pursue as a working mother (gardening, cooking, sewing, reading...). Things that have mentally challenged me, but also have provided a creative outlet. So yeah, I am a feminist who LOVES to cook and sew and garden and eat and read and sleep! And... I am cool with that. But, I am also ready to move on. Yes, that is right, I am ready to get back into the rink and kick some sexist, racist, capitalist patriarchal butt! I am ready to use the knowledge I have gained over these last five years as a feminist mommy and start challenging the social norms we have about motherhood and parenting.

So you can expect more to come on alla this feminist motherhood and parenting stuff, as well as continued posts that show my softer side.