Mummy's churn [turn] knock knock!
Ah. Now if only I could think of one to tell...
I hate Candy Land.
Yes, I know it's a childhood classic, and I appreciate that it's a board game designed for the pre-literate, so yay. But it's all about the candy: the peanut brittle, the candy canes, the gumdrops, molasses swamp, the ice cream sea, blah ditty blah ditty toothache.
The newer versions have Gingerbread Plums, a clear sop to health nuts like me. Gee thanks, guys. But consider it also from this angle: when your kid(s) has food allergies, candy is a problem. Dairy allergy? There goes all of the chocolate, even most dark chocolate has traces of milk. There also go most caramels, and even some of the nicer peppermints. See ya. Nut? peanut allergic? You lose so many chocolates (not to mention the yummy nougats and Turkish Delight) that there is a whole cottage industry of nut and peanut-free chocolate. Soy allergy? whoops. Soy is a major emulsifier - and don't get me started on corn, America's favorite source of all things sweet. Sigh.
So forget the dreadful disregard for good eating habits, in this day of childhood obesity and diabetes, if you have food allergies, Candy Land sucks.
Ooh, look! I got to go up Gumdrop Pass! Not for you, though hon - you are allergic to those. You'll have to go around...
The Eldest and I found ourselves in a staring match this afternoon, while the Man was off taking one of his mega-walks. What to do? Glowing from buying our first new mattress in over eleven years, I almost missed it.
Mum, let's watch the library DVD.
I started to nod, then caught myself.
Mneh? Wha? The Magic Schoolbus DVD?
The kid nodded enthusiastically. I considered: the laundry was spinning in the machine, the Toddles asleep, dinner was leftovers..this seemed to offer an opportunity too good to miss.
Hmm. We could watch it, but I'd prefer to spend some time with you.
The kid hunched into a sulk.
How about a game? I suggested
He uncurled, and looked thoughtful. We debated it back and forth, and settled on Candy Land. Evil, evil Candy Land.
I held it together for a round (he won), then broke. I need to fix this game, I informed my triumphant offspring. It just doesn't work the way it should. He stared, half horrified, as I grabbed a Sharpie.
Okay, let's see...
When we were done, you gained a turn for eating the yummy plums, you lost a turn for peanuts being in the peanut brittle, you gained a turn for careful label reading in Gumdrop City, but lost it for the dairy in Frostina's candy. And so on. We debated each change, we balanced lost turns against free turns, and we tested it out. And I won.
Somehow, it felt symbolic.
Mary Jr's Painted Rooster, Sans Chicken
Serves 4-6, quantities vary according to availability of ingredients.
Note: this meal costs an estimated $6.00, assuming that you are using some of already owned items. It pleaseth the budget and the tongue.
3 cups cooked rice
2 tomatoes, chopped roughly - or the equivalent in cherry. grape tomatoes. Fresh only, please!
2-3 scallions, or the equivalent in red onion, chives. Thinly sliced.
1 cucumber, cubed/roughly chopped
2 Tb cilantro/parsley, if not both
1 can beans (I used black, but most kinds are good)
1 avocado (if you have it)
Optional: fresh corn, bell peppers, barely steamed green beans, chopped celery
2 tsp cumin
2 limes, juiced or juice of 1 lemon
slightly more olive oil than lemon/lime juice
1.5 tsp salt
.5 tsp black pepper (coarse ground, please, if not freshly ground)
Optional: .5 tsp ground coriander (the coriander combines with the cumin for a felafel-ish flavor, I like that. Skip if if you prefer), 1-2 cloves garlic
Mix ingredients, blending in a food processor/mortar and pestle if adding fresh garlic, adjust flavors to suit you.
Toss salad with dressing, serve over rice. Delicious! All the flavors of summer.