Tag Archives: food

Oatmeal Isn’t Just for Eating

17 Jan

Oatmeal is a great way to get your day started, but there are so many other ways to use oatmeal.

Of course there’s morning oatmeal. Put out several bowls of different toppings and let your child mix it up for the day. (raisins, brown sugar, dried apples, butter, syrup, canned pumpkin, cinnamon, nuts, berries, Nutella etc.)

Mix oatmeal and some whipping cream in a small bowl and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Spread on your face and allow to dry. Rinse and you will have a softer, smoother complexion.

Oatmeal baths are soothing for some skin issues. If your doctor recommends an oatmeal bath, blend up some oats until they are very fine. Pour 1/3 of a cup of oats into a running bath and soak. Be careful, the oats make the bathtub really slippery.

Don’t forget oatmeal cookies!

Make some granola.

Put a bowl of dried oats in your refrigerator to absorb odors.

Make some clay for your kids.

Use as a substitute for breadcrumbs or a filler for meatballs, hamburgers and meatloaf.

If that’s not enough, don’t forget to use the empty oatmeal container for art projects and storage.

Ice Cream Isn’t Just for Summer

13 Dec

It’s Ice Cream Day so why not enjoy it with your family by making an ice cream pie!

Grasshopper Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 Chocolate pie crust
  • 1 Half gallon mint chip ice cream
  • Chocolate sauce (optional)

Directions

  • Set the ice cream out to soften. Stir it as it softens.
  • Scoop the softened ice cream into the pie crust to make a pie.
  • Refreeze.
  • When you’re ready to serve, set the pie out to soften slightly. Top each slice with some chocolate sauce.

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Food Comes From the Grocery Store

18 May

I grew up the granddaughter of a farmer which meant my dad spent his childhood and teen years helping his father “work the land”. My father farmed in the 1920’s and 30’s, when a lot of farm work was done by hand or with primitive-like machinery. But even though the farm work was incredibly hard and seemed never-ending, my father always had a passion for farming.

When I was a child, we’d take driving trips through the beautiful farms of ¬†Central California. My dad would always quiz us on the crops growing in each of the fields and talk to us about the machinery we’d see the farmers using in the fields. When we’d see migratory workers in the picking crops in the fields and he’d often tell us stories about his farm days. My favorite story was how he and 6 of his 12 siblings would bring their lunch wrapped in foil and stick it in the exhaust pipe of the tractor to warm it up so it was ready to eat when they stopped for lunch. At the time, though, the stories didn’t seem very important.

At my childhood home, we always had fruits and vegetables in the garden. Some years my parents would even get a plot at the community garden and grow more fruits and vegetables. Although these gardens were much smaller than a farm, my dad taught us to feel and smell the dirt, tend the plants and pick the fruits they bore. Through these experiences, he was teaching us where food came from and how vital a farmer was to my daily life.

When I was 10, my parents sent my brother and I the small farming town where my dad grew up; Andale, KS, population 200! We spent two weeks on our cousin’s wheat farm in the middle of Kansas summer, and it seemed like torture to two beach-city kids. It was hot, and I mean H-O-T, dusty and we were in the middle of nowhere! But, in those two weeks, I learned lessons of a farmer’s life which I still carry with me today.

Farmers work hard, every day, all day, all year, in any kind of weather. They prosper when the weather is good and loose their entire yearly income when their crops are wiped out. Farm women cook A LOT of food and work very hard to live within their means. Kids can drive farm trucks if their feet reach the pedals. Farmers are patient and persistent. One piece of farming equipment can cost over $350,000, and they need many pieces of equipment. Children are expected to help on the farm. Meal time is when farm families bond. Farm families have little to begin with  and do a lot with what they have. Sitting on a truckload of freshly harvested wheat is an awesome experience. Most of importantly, farmers provide us with the sustenance we need.

When you sit down at the dinner table tonight, ask your children where their food came from. Do they think vegetables come in a can or from the ground? Visit a farm and see what it really takes to put food on your table. Grow a vegetable of your own and teach your child the virtues of patience and persistence. Learn about pride when you serve your delicious, homegrown food to your family. Finally, thank a farmer. Whether in person, prayer or just in thought, food wouldn’t come from the grocery store if it weren’t for the farmer.

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