On making mistakes, cool kids, and oatmeal!

So let’s just be real here—I have cooked a few truly awful dishes!  But really, who am I fooling?  This is an experiment!  I have had no formal culinary training (or informal, for that matter).  I am cooking vegetables that I can’t even spell, as well as a few that I
can’t even name!  And as it turns out, you can screw up vegetables: we found this out last night.  Not counting my not-so-good vegetable stew, this was my first real inedible screw-up.

You may have noticed a pile of green mush on the plate beside last night’s chana masala—that was some kind of kale (greener and waxier than any I’ve had before) which, according to the guy at the farm stand, should have tasted like spinach.  So I cooked it like spinach: I heated some olive oil and garlic in the pan, added my greens and a pinch of sea salt, then sauteed them over medium heat until they got
a little soft.

My daughter was the first to try it, and she was pretty enthusiastic about telling me how good it was!  Mike was next…bless him for being so gentle about it.  He took a huge bite, and when I asked him how it was he said they were “just a little bit on the bitter side.”  A few minutes later I tried them myself, and could hardly force myself to swallow them!  Mike was just about to take his second bite when I admitted how awful they were—he actually refrained from that next bite, relieved that he didn’t have to pretend to like them.  Isabella actually pretended to be disappointed that I didn’t expect her to finish hers, but I’m fairly certain I saw relief in her eyes!

In the process of totally screwing up something, I learned something about my family’s commitment to this adventure—and we grew closer as a team because we were able to laugh at our mistakes and be honest with ourselves and each other.  Seriously–How cool is my kid??

Seriously--how cool is this kid?!


For anyone who is intimidated by the idea of making a change, laugh with us!  If anyone could do this and get it right the first time, every time, I’d be shocked to hear about it.  I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from people who tell me that they admire what we’re doing.  But my goal is not to present our journey in a way that looks
admirable, intimidating, or unachievable; my goal is to show what it looks like when a real family decides to try something new.

I found time to post early today, and we are having leftovers for lunch.  So my recipe of the day will have to be the breakfast I made this morning:

Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal

2 cups whole oats
1 or 2 apples, peeled and cut into small pieces
about 2 tablespoons of honey
2.5 cups of water

Add apples, cinnamon, and honey to medium sauce pan; cook on medium/low until the juice starts to cook out of the apples and you have a pan full of mushy, juicy apple stuff.  Add water and bring to a boil.  Add oats and return to boil, cooking for about 3 minutes; cover, let sit on medium/low heat until water is absorbed and oats reach your desired consistency.  I like my oats slightly chewy and liquidy.  Is that a word?  hmm. 

Ok, so this breakfast wasn’t rocket science; but so many people rely on instant oatmeal!  This is like nails on a chalkboard to me–instant oats are nowhere near as nutritious as whole, and nothing beats the natural sweetness and value of real apples and honey!  We have been tricked into thinking that “instant” foods are faster and more convenient than making it ourselves–but this breakfast took me about 8 minutes and fed my whole family at once.  To make instant oats for three people would require at least 9 minutes, because you’d have to microwave it all separately, and then no one could eat together.  Also, a lot of people think that oats can’t taste good without butter, brown sugar, milk, etc.  If you need proof that they can, try making it my way!


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