Monday, January 01, 2007

come, let us discuss them

o come let us discuss them
o come let us discuss them
the baby's butt.

Yup, we're back to diapers. Poop, pee and the disposal thereof. And apparently my brain is still playing Christmas music. Huh. But before we talk tushie, a little Torah.

Tonight we ate felafel. To be fair, it was tofu-based, rather than chickpea (those pesky legume allergies, dontcha know), but the Toddles had four. The Eldest ate five? six? The combined beautifully with a classic Israeli salad and curried celery soup. But more on that later.

We talked about felafel and Israel, and building your own felafel with the felafel, pita, lettuce, cubed cucumber and impossibly sweet tomatoes, pickles and french fries. And tehini. Oh, and amba, a sort of pickled mango sauce. Ahhh. Perfection.

Thinking of Israel reminded the Eldest that he wanted the Man to tell us the parshat ha-shavua, or weekly Torah portion. We obligingly thumped our fists on the table, chanting parsha, parsha, parsha (even the Toddles banged his little fist) until the Man got up and went to the prop box.

Stuffed animals in hand, he enacted for us this week's narrative: the death of Joseph. The Eldest listened politely, and then asked him for next week's parsha. The Man huffed and puffed a bit, but eventually went off and reconfigured himself for the next narrative: Moses in the basket.

An evil emperor penguin paced before us, thinking up ways to be nasty to those irritating Israelites. He was so evil, we were told, that he never took baths. (gasp) He commanded: all Jews must throw their baby boys in the river!

One mama tiger demurred. For this I had nine months of pregnancy and 27 hours of back labor? Not so very much. And so she laid the baby tiger in a basket. A tall doll with dreads and high heeled boots saw the baby tiger, and pulled him out of the basket. Oh, he's so sweet. I love him, I love him, I love him! But who will give him nai-nais (breastfeed him)? Hastily, a rather familiar tiger stepped forwards. I will, she offered.

High Heels looked down at the tiger. Way down. Hmm. She adjusted her dreads. There's an odd resemblance. Do you know this baby?

Oooh, no, the tiger promised. Never met him before in my life.

And they were off and running. And we were laughing so hard my sides hurt.
And now, the tushies.
With a little help from M.i.I., we've been tiptoeing into cloth diaper territory. The Man is not tremendously pleased by either the gDiaper ('it sits around until I flush it') or the cloth ('eeeww'), but as always, is patient with my latest madness.

Into the gDiaper pants, then, we've put: the flushable g-insert, hemp liners, Indian prefolds, and I'm eyeing this super absorbent item for the next experiment, but am worried that we'd wash them wrong and ruin them. Our track record on such things is fairly consistent, alas, as proven by the death of my fabulous unsoakable breast pads. We do not sort our laundry, beyond the simple color/whites. Our conclusions thus far:

the g-inserts are lovely. They do scrunch up a bit when saturated, so you need to change the kiddo somewhat regularly. But if they scrunch, you just rinse or toss the little liner into the wash.

the hemp are only so-so absorbent. To be fair, we're spoiled rotten by our disposables, which are good for 4+ daytime hours, plus a full night. Paired, the hemp work wonderfully, and I'm amused by the hot pink color they turned in the wash, courtesy of the Eldest's Red Shirt of Doom (the dye on the shirt reliably leaks a bit). I got our hemp inserts from Punkin Butt (great name!), but Jardine Diapers recommends these, instead. Apparently the combination of hemp and cotton makes a difference. Why?

the Indian prefolds are way big for the medium sized g-pants, so I've folded them over, creating a bit of extra fabric in the water-shooter area. I'm worried the g-pants won't fit well with the prefolds, but we shall see.
Okay, so they fit - but it's tight. Still, they absorb nicely and are really soft. A winner for me, though I think they'll force us into a bigger g-size sooner than we'd otherwise go, alas.

And now, food!

Curried Celery Soup
adapted from from Vegetarian, by Linda Fraser. Pg 32, serves 4-6
Note: not a huge celery fan, I was surprised by how mildly celery-like this soup is, and how popular it is around here. And I love the versatility!

2 Tb olive oil (less if you have a nonstick pot)
1 onion chopped
1 leek, washed! and chopped (or another large, chopped onion)
1.5 lb celery, chopped (can use celeriac, instead)
1 TB medium/mild curry powder, less if hot curry powder
8 oz potatoes, diced (can use sweet potatoes, or mix regular and sweet potatoes, or mix potatoes and white/soy beans, for extra protein)
3.75 cups vegetable stock, or water
salt, pepper
2 bay leaves
light sprinkling of thyme
2 TB chopped fresh herbs, such as dill (and the celery leaves)
Optional: a fistful of sausage, chopped to avoid choking hazards for little throats.

In a large saucepan, heat oil. Saute onion (and sausage, if using) until browning nicely, then add celery. Stirring occasionally, saute for 8-10 minutes.
Add curry powder and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add potatoes, stock, bay and thyme. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Let cool slightly, then puree soup. Add fresh herbs and reheat to serve.
Watch small children ask for thirds. Try not to look too astonished.
Ypoons' Tofu Felafel (slightly adapted)

12 oz firm tofu, drained (press briefly if you have the chance)
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 pinch cinnamon
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 TB finely chopped fresh parsley
2 TB flaxmeal

In a large bowl, have a young child squish the tofu until it's crumbled. Mis in all spices and flaxmeal, stirring well.

Shape into circles or ovals with approx a TB of mix, squeezing gently to remove excess fluid. Heat a griddle or heavy frying pan, with about 1/4 inch oil.

With medium-high heat, fry each felafel until crispy on each side. Should take approx 4 minutes per side. Let drain on paper towels.

Serves 3-4 happy eaters.

Note: the felafel are greasy, so balance them with something crisp and light. We combined this with an Israeli salad of cubed tomato, cucumber and mixed them with sliced green olives and a little lemon juice.



magid said...

Wait, you had tehini with your felafel? Is there a non-sesame kind, or is sesame not an anaphylactic issue?

*giggles about parsha reenactments*
Why didn't they do that at junior congregation? I would've been much happier going :-).

mother in israel said...

I thought legumes were generally non-allergenic. Am I wrong, or are you one of the lucky ones?
As for diapers, I don't know if I should admit this publicly but I got a lot of satisfaction from having my kids' diapers be dry pretty much all the time. I gave my diapers to a young friend and she stopped using them because of rash, but she changed them every two hours and not when they were wet (it's kind of like the difference between breastfeeding on cue and bf by the clock-- sometimes it seems to come out to the same thing in the end but it's really not.

mama o' the matrices said...

oh no, magid - the sesame is anaphylactic. The tehina I describe is one of memory, not immediate reality. Alas.

m.i.I, yes, we *are* lucky, aren't we? I'm counting on the legume allergies to stay mild enough that eventually his immune system just labels them 'overkill' and moves on. (heh - 'overkill.')