Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Back to normal

I think I see the light . At last !

Yesterday afternoon Nick was feeling better and suddenly decided he did not need so much constant attention from me anymore. I was even able to talk him into going out for a short walk. If nothing else, a few minutes of fresh air and sunshine would do the both of us a world of good, and so about mid afternoon we went out. For allergy sufferers, early morning and early evening are the worst times to head out , as that is when the pollen concentration it at it's highest. Mid- day is hotter, but less loaded with the stuff that will turn you into a faucet of gunk ! I think normal is returning at long last !

But what exactly is normal ? I think it gets re-defined with each revelation . The more you learn, the more your definition of normal changes. Normal for your school years is very different from your adult years, and normal eating when you are at your worst is very different from normal eating when you decide to live a healthy lifestyle. Normal evolves as you evolve.

I noticed a shift in my thinking over the last week or so. I think it happened while watching numerous shows on the new Cooking Network while giving Nick acupressure, ice backs and so forth. We watched a lot of cooking shows to help get his mind off pain. Some of the classics were on , like Grahm Kerr, and some new rising stars like Jamie Oliver and The Spice Goddess. I watched , and realized that the very best chefs used the most basic, minimal ingredients to create the most wonderful meals. Take fresh watermelon, fresh basil, combine the two and you have this wonderful dish that elevates the flavor of both of these ingredients to a whole new level. No need for all kinds of chemicals to make it sing and dance- it does so just because of it's own power. Not only does it taste wonderful and innovative, but it is less likely to do our bodies harm. It has high flavor, real nutrition and we are less likely to overindulge because we are actually satisfied by it. Hence comes a new normal for me- I want to make and serve food created in this simple, real style !

I began last night with this new way of preparing zucchini- raw, seasoned with simple ingredients and very delicious. It reminded us of those simple cucumber onion salads you find at summer gatherings

Zucchini Carpaccio

2 medium zucchini
salt and pepper to taste
1 T olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 onion, sliced thin
3 T Parmesan cheese
fresh mint leaves for garnish

With knife or mandolin slice zucchini very thin. Place on a plate in a single layer,
season with salt and pepper . Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and sprinkle with
onion slices and Parmesan cheese. Garnish with mint leaves and serve.

Speaking of summer, we were able to eat a few of the tomatoes that we grew here from seed. Planted in little containers, grown indoors and pollinated by hand with a paint brush. It was a successful home school experiments that sadly had to be destroyed because of the bed bug spray prep.
I did not think it would be safe to eat any of the ripening tomatoes after the spraying , so we ate the few ripe ones and tossed the plants. Then they decided we did not need to be bug bombed, so the plants were destroyed for nothing. Sniff....


Marisa (Loser for Life) said...

Glad everything is settling down for you.

Yum to Zucchini Carpaccio - I'm loving raw zucchini, too!

spunkysuzi said...

I'm so glad you and your family are less stressed! Glad Nick is feeling a bit better too :)

blessedmama said...

Whew, I think I've fallen behind on all the activities in your life! Bed bugs? Allergies? Pain? What's goin' on, girl? Anyhow, I love that you are trying new fresh ingredients. That's something I'd like to do more. Fresh and simple. (Although my current post doesn't represent that!) Glad everyone's feeling a bit better. :-)

Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

You know I never really thought about how simple some of those meals are. You are right - they are made with fresh, wholesome ingredients and look fantastic. I had not been sure if you could eat zucchini raw. And you were right again when a few months ago you said we would have so much zucchini we wouldn't know what to do with it. It happened!

I will try this recipe. I'm so glad Nick is feeling better.