On Kale and PopsiclesPosted: June 29, 2012
Some dark and stormy night in the past few months, a toddler crept into Maxine’s room while she was sleeping and replaced the baby who loved gingery carrots and garlicky hummus and heaping mashes of avocado with a tiny dictator who only eats cold toast (yes, that would be just a slice of sandwich bread–PLAIN–and untoasted), pasta, sweet potatoes, and rice and beans. (Nana (aka Janet aside): oh except for when she ate chicken that I gave her during our last visit because, you know, that’s what grandkids do as part of their efforts to annoy their parents and ensure that their grandparents are wrapped around every little finger.) For a little while there we were still slipping her carrots and beets and the like through pouches (you know those little portable food sacks in the baby food grocery aisle), but then she realized their projectile capabilities and lost any interest in putting their contents in her mouth.
We took deep breaths. We assured ourselves she would eat enough. We comforted ourselves with the fact that she still nurses a bit. But then her MRSA came back. There is, quite simply, no understandable reason for this. It baffles doctors. None of us do any of the things that make one susceptible to MRSA and yet, for some reason, it will not leave our family alone. John has it. Max has it. And despite rigorous resistance on our parts, MRSA hasn’t backed down. We are 6 months post-diagnosis (and well over a year into trying to sort this whole debacle out) and coming closer and closer to the point where we have to utilize the last lines of defense against it…and hope they work, because they’re far from guaranteed. Which has left us looking everywhere we can, turning over rocks and such in hopes of finding some new angle to evict MRSA .
Doctors are still trying to figure out correlations between diet and susceptibility to MRSA, but one thing seems to be certain: The better you eat, the stronger your immune system and gut and skin. We need all three of these things to be as strong as they possibly can be, and so it’s time for us to get crafty about Max’s diet.
Enter KALE POPS!
When Max was in the other room, I quickly chopped up some nice leafy dinosaur kale leaves and tossed them in our food processor with a carrot. Then I brought her into the room to help me make FANCY POPSICLE MAKING JUICE (it’s really important, when convincing a toddler that something is awesome, to call it fancy and to talk about it in all caps). She added in a banana and a peach and helped me pour in a bit of apple juice to thin everything out. Then I poured the REALLY AMAZINGLY COOL JUICE MAX JUST MADE into popsicle molds (that she’d picked out at the store a few hours earlier), she stuck in the sticks, and we put them in the freezer, making sure to talk often about how FREAKING EXCITED we all were to eat them the next day.
That picture above? That’s my kid eating a kale pop for breakfast. She ate one a day and now we’re all out. I’m thinking later on we’ll make some with beets and spinach…
Janet’s two cents: Okay one reason Rachel and I decided to tweak Life Told in Recipes into Table 1095 was that we felt that the original blog was a little limiting. We wanted more ability to put other ideas on the table as it were and to debate these broader ideas and our own ideas. Table 1095 seemed the way to do this.
So we decided that Fridays would be a day we committed to tossing those ideas out there. A few weeks ago — because I’m the planner — we decided which Fridays we’d be weighing in this month. I picked the topic for the first one (breastfeeding) and then Rachel blithely sent me a text Wednesday and said she’d written her part for this Friday so I could go on in and add my two cents. The text was my first hint of the topic. Here’s what she wrote:
“Kale pop post for Friday finished on my end and ready for you to chime in on. Just made blueberry, beet, nectarine yogurt pops. Ha!” (The “Ha!” comes from my announcement when she first sent around that photo of Maxine to our family that these were “hippy pops.”
Me: “Those sound semi-possible. Will write tomorrow and make live. Can’t wait. And in the Addies (we’re all going to the Adirondacks later this summer in a long-awaited family reunion of EVERYONE!) all pops are from non-vegetables.”
Rachel: “We’ll see if that’s the tune you’re singing after you read what I wrote.”
So I’ve now read what Rachel wrote and I’ve realized that her little set-up has ensured that readers will think I’m the worst grandmother in the world, only recently graduated from most uncaring mother in the world if I weigh in on my real feelings. She’s nothing if not clever.
I had been planning on writing about how the kale/spinach/whatever completely organic, fresh, vegetable thing you want to name “pop” is so retro. So ’60s. So PC on the parenting scale and about how that bugs me and maybe ruminate a little in this public space about why I think that bugs me since I was someone who became a vegetarian almost 35 years ago (ie when it was something only hippyish people did) and didn’t shave my legs for about 25 years (all of it during my children’s youth so they could have the Mother Who Didn’t Shave Her Legs, which you all know they loved), and has always been a pacifist and was against the War (originally Vietnam but we can add a sad long list since then) and is, you know, just generally a liberal who should think kale pops are brilliant and awesome and something we all eat all the time.
But now I can’t because, well, Rachel one-upped me. How can I possibly say anything against something that is part of the Great MRSA Defense System? I mean, if MRSA had a physical form, I would throw myself at it and die my last breath clawing it to the ground so that Rachel, Maxine and John could live MRSA-free lives. I despise that virus.
So my little diatribe on hippy parenting and how it relates to me will just have to wait for another day. In the meantime, if these pops help kill off MRSA once and for all, I’ll make them every day in the Adirondacks — and might even eat one.