Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Catching up and catching the cold

The days are passing quickly. It's like a blur in my mind. One day just melts into the next, especially during the week when it feels like mundane repetitiveness every day. I had the pleasure of being able to stay home Monday and Tuesday to be with Kristjan who was enduring another ear infection and head cold. He was pretty rough for a couple of days but seems much better now. The antibiotics must be doing their thing.

He may have to visit the ear, nose and throat specialist if the infections continue. That may mean tubes like Bella. After her tubes, her ear infections ceased. She had it much worse though, she had chronic ear infections. I also think that when he's no longer using the pacifier and bottle it will help dramatically. Problem is, he LOVES his binkie and LOVES his evening bottle. Going to be a slow and patient process.Here he is the evening before his fever and cold took hold. He was just fine, playing and being curious as normal.
I was prepared to pull up my wrinkled up and brown tomato plants from this spring when I noticed that two of them had signs of hope still to give. I was going to get the pots cleaned for fall planting, but now I think I'll give these guys some more time. I'll grab as many home grown tomatoes as I can as they are far superior to store bought. They are actually red on the inside and have flavor...go figure.

Here's one of my Sunday pizza entries. I can't believe I didn't take a picture of the pesto pizza I made. I think Chris attacked it before I could remember to get the picture in. This guy had cheese, mushrooms, black olives and a little ham. The pesto pizza (not pictured) had pesto, feta, ham and caramelized onions. That one rocked! I think you can put pesto on just about anything and it will taste good.

This weekend I made whole wheat crust for the first time. I have been making only white breads and crusts and we need to make sure we are getting our fiber in! Especially the kids. Problems ensue when fiber is absent from the diet, if you know what I mean.
In my quest to provide as many whole grains as possible I fell victim to a popular processed food scam. Well; honestly, I just read the cover and not the nutritional label at the store in a rush. I have been reading books, articles and listening to podcasts on just this problem and this box of Ritz is a perfect example. There are no rules (from the all wonderful FDA) regulating what adds a supplier states on the box verses reality in the product. This product has two apparent problems:

1. The outside of the box states "Whole Wheat with 5 grams of Whole Grain" in large lettering to catch your attention.
Well a serving size is 5 crackers. Let's remember this, it's important. According to the nutritional label there is less than 1 gram of dietary fiber per serving. Where are the other 4 grams?

More importantly; the first ingredient on the label is "Enriched Flour" and in parenthesis, the specific nutrients returned to it that have been lost while it was prepared. This flour is missing the two most nutritious and fiber-rich parts of the seed: the outside bran layer and the germ. The bold statement on the front of the box claiming "whole wheat" is misleading. There is "Whole grain wheat flour" listed after the enriched, which means there is more enriched in the product because it's the first ingredient shown. There may be some whole grain, but it's not the main ingredient. How many millions of consumers are misled into buying these products thinking they are getting a healthier food? 2. No, I'm not done! Secondly, this item claims to not have any trans fats per serving. Remember, a serving is 5 crackers. Problem is, in the ingredients I see "Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil" which is a trans fat. If you see that ingredient present then there IS trans fat in the product. There may be only trace amounts of it within one serving of 5 crackers but if you eat more than that, then you are ingesting dangerous trans fats. With the trace amounts in only 5 crackers, they don't have to (by law) show any amount of trans fat on the label.

Oh, and we can't forget the all mighty "high fructose corn syrup"... I have to remind myself to read, read, read the labels. Michael Pollan (author I love) says to stay away from the middle aisles of the grocery store, but I have to believe I can find a damn cracker out there made with whole wheat, light oil and without HFCS that won't cost me an arm and a leg!
While I'm not sure I have the time to make my own crackers, I do have time to make stock. That's easy. Saturday my dad grilled up some awesome Cornish game hens. They were so juicy and delicious! Thanks mom and dad! I saved all of the scraps, bones and skin. Then Sunday I put them all in my stock pot, added water, an onion, salt and pepper and let it boil for a few hours.

The result was the richest stock I have ever had! I could have just had a bowl as it was. I gave a tub to dad and put the rest in the freezer along with my veggie stock. I told dad to please keep all his bones and scraps for me so I can make it again! My bag of vegetable cuttings is full in the freezer now so this Sunday I'll boil that up for more veggie stock. It's so easy and it saves so much money. Plus you end up with better stock than the canned varieties. One day I would like to learn to make consommé.

So I guess I'll look for some cracker recipes now. Plus, they may make a great addition to the Christmas baskets!


athomewiththeknights said...

Okay, where did you get those containers from? Spill it!

Glad Kris is feeling better.

Nessa said...

Shit! I'm busted!! They are collected from all my "wonton soup" purchases from China Wok.

I save all their containers because they work so well. Problem is, I have to get more wonton soup to get more containers! :o)

athomewiththeknights said...

There's got to be a place we can find those. Ina uses them all the time. Hmmmm......must look now.

Val in the Rose Garden said...

That stock looks AMAZING! Beautiful job!

I read the box in the store of the Ritz. I put it back down. My favorite are "Late July" for a ritz like cracker, but the ones from Trader Joes called butter thins are really good too.


Oh and you can find those containers at Cash and Carry or any other restruant supply store. :) Wonton soup free... but I would keep getting the wonton soup. It sounds great!