17 March 2016

Midweek motley

What we're doing

Migraines on Monday, teething on Tuesday... It's been "a week" so far. Late Monday morning, bright flashing lights began invading my vision, eventually clouding over half of my sight at a time. When it hadn't lessened after an hour of laying down in a dark room, Matt came home from work to take me to the eye clinic. By the time the optometrist was ready for me, I was curled up on the floor in the dark waiting room, trying not to throw up from the pain in my head. Turns out that I'm one of the lucky people who can get "auras" leading into their migraines... yay.

Given that I was having a migraine and could barely keep my eyes open, it was not exactly surprising that I sort of failed the visual field test on my left eye. I'm not sure why they even bothered to have me do one right away, now that I think about it. But I'm supposed to go back the week after Easter to repeat it, just in case.

Kit has been fussier and clinger than usual all week, which has been so much fun with the "aftershock" headaches that have popped up by midafternoon every day since Monday. On Wednesday morning I finally figured out why: another tooth has been breaking through. Eight teeth in two months—Little Missy should hopefully be ready to take a break from teething now!

Little Bear and I talked about St Patrick today and he colored a picture of the saint holding a shamrock and ordering some snakes to leave. I don't think the snake story made much sense to him, because we don't have any snakes here, either, so he's never seen one outside of a zoo. But he liked how St Patrick used the shamrock to teach about God! We never did get around to the idea of green being associated with his feast day, which is good because I'm not sure I know why it is; Little Bear was very sure that he should use purple for St Patrick's chasuble and mitre since it's Lent, so I wasn't about to argue with that.

What we're eating

Lentil soup, pasta with marinara... Nothing very impressive, though it's Lent so that's kind of the point, isn't it? We did not have corned beef et al tonight, thank goodness; the week has been penitential enough without that!

I made a chicken pie this evening, and I think this crust turned out better than my last dairy-free crust; I used a bunch of whole wheat flour in it, and added some savory, marjoram, thyme, and lavender. Being accustomed to butter- or cream cheese-based pie crusts, shortening pie crust tastes so bland! The toasty wheat and the mixed herbs certainly helped, though.

So I grew up believing that all shortening is basically evil, right? Straight-up hydrogenated vegetable oil. Yuck. But when we received Kit's diagnosis right at the beginning of Advent, I went to the ladies at my natural foods co-op in the hopes that they could give me dairy-free alternatives to salvage my Christmas baking. One of the things that came home with me was this:

Non-hydrogenated shortening. It's made from 100% "mechanically pressed" palm oil, so even now that I've had to cut out soy as well, it still works for us. No trans fats, no weird additives; I still prefer coconut or olive oil for most things, but I use this for greasing pans, and it works fine in recipes that call for shortening, like pie crust.

Little Bear and I also made some quick no-bake granola bars the other day, but I was working one-handed with Kit in the other arm, so no photos. They are soft and chewy, and everyone seems to agree that it's a recipe worth saving:

2 cups rolled oats
2 cups rice crispies
1/2 to 3/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line a 13x9 pan with foil and grease well. 
Combine oats and rice crispies in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring honey and brown sugar to a boil, then remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla, and pour over oats and cereal. Stir until there are no more dry patches, then stir in raisins.
Press mixture firmly into pan and allow to cool completely. Remove foil from pan, cut granola bars to desired size, and wrap individually.

What we're reading

Same books as the last few weeks: 

This week it's been all I can do to get through the daily readings from each of these books, plus the daily emailed reflections from Bishop Robert Barron and Blessed Is She. And I don't want to give any of those up, because they are all so good! So I've wound up not really having the time or mental ability to read much else. Hopefully once these headaches go away I'll get a chance to catch up on some blog reading; right now, my eyes are preferring to avoid screens as much as possible.

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