Friday, August 30, 2013

I love sleeping with my baby

Jedidiah whimpers in his sleep. We are already lying on our sides, facing each other, so I barely rouse myself and reach for him, un-clipping my nursing tank. I pull him toward me and he swivels his head slightly, homing in on the right spot to put his mouth. We nestle together, my left arm above his head, my right arm holding him close, his legs fitting into my lap, with one leg resting on my thigh.

I feel the gentle pulling of his sucking and my milk starts to flow. The peace of the night and the white noise of the air conditioner are enlivened with his tiny swallowing noises. Without waking up, without crying, he is comforted.

My right hand touches his silky hair, the solid curve of his skull. His delicate, intricate ears, his soft, padded cheeks. Down his back my hand goes to his full, chubby thighs and his toes, pushed up against the joint of my thigh and pelvis.

I am comforted too, and sleep comes to us both.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sweet Potato Hummus

I adapted this recipe of Sweet Potato Hummus from  this recipe I found online. My recipe makes quite a lot, but somehow between the two of us and through sharing it with friends, it always seems to disappear! It is a good dish to take to parties. You could halve the recipe if you don't want a large quantity on your hands. Another note about the recipe is that homemade hummus requires a food processor. I have tried making hummus in an ordinary blender in the past, and blenders don't seem to handle it well. Perhaps one of the fancy blender brands such as Vitamix could handle it. The measurements in the recipe are not exact. I usually eyeball them, so adjust to taste!

  •  1 lb. dry chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes (or 3 medium), in large cubes
  • 4 medium lemons, juiced
  • 6 tablespoon tahini
  • 6 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 jalapenos, tops cut off and de-seeded
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chile powder
Suggested accompaniments
  • pita
  • crackers or chips
  • cucumber
  • carrot
  • jicama
  • red bell pepper
  • tomato 
  • celery
  • cilantro
  • lettuce or spinach
  • avocado or guacamole
  • use your imagination
  1.  Soak the chickpeas for several hours in water. (This can be sped up by soaking them in hot water for less time.) Add the sweet potatoes, making sure water just covers the sweet potatoes. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Boil until the chickpeas are done, approximately 30-40 minutes. Let cool. (Do not throw out the cooking water.)
  2. As the chickpeas cool, prepare the other ingredients. With a slotted spoon, ladle half of the chickpea mixture into the food processor.  Add roughly half of the other ingredients. Process, adding the cooking liquid until desired consistency and smoothness is reached. Err on the side of slightly more liquid, since the hummus will thicken with time. Adjust flavors by adding more salt, more lemon juice, salt or chile powder etc. Repeat with the other half of the ingredients.
  3. Serve warm or chilled with cut up vegetables and pita.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Have You Tried Homemade Laundry Detergent?

Today I made homemade laundry detergent for the first time. This post has nothing that the blogosphere does not already contain. It is simply my record of what I've figured out from reading multiple sites. If you google "homemade laundry detergent" you'll come up with oodles of recipes.

By all accounts, the concoction works well, even for cloth diapers. It is more eco-friendly than regular detergent with its various chemicals and big plastic containers, and more cost-friendly than the fancy eco-friendly detergent you find in stores.

The tricky part was wading through all the different recipes. They all have borax, washing soda (by the same Arm and Hammer company that makes baking soda) and laundry soap such as Fels-Naptha, Zote, or Dr. Bronner's soap in them. The simplest recipe had two parts of the borax, two parts washing soda, and one part grated soap.

Fanicer recipes add Oxi-clean, baking soda, Purex crystals, or essential oils. I ended up following this one from I liked how she reviewed the different cleaning powers of the ingredients.

I didn't follow her recipe exactly, since from seeing all the blogosphere variations I concluded that is not too important. I used less baking soda and Oxi-clean. I would prefer using less Oxi-clean anyway, since it is not a natural ingredient, though it is much nicer than bleach.

  • 1 box borax
  • 1 box washing soda
  • 1 14.5 oz bar of Zote laundry soap
  • 1 lb. baking soda
  • 1 lb. Oxi-clean (or actually Clorox' Oxy-Magic). 
By mistake I thought I needed two big bars of Zote soap. Actually, I would have needed two small bars of it. One big bar was enough, so now I have one left over for next time.

I plan on using 1-2 Tablespoons per load, depending on the size of the load and since my apartment doesn't have a High Efficiency washer.

I'm excited to do the laundry and see how it turns out, especially for the diapers!