Monday, August 26, 2013

Martyrdom: It Can Be Tasty

We went to the beach for a week and now I need a vacation.

I have never been a good Vacation Mom Martyr. I was always like, "Dudes! Get a grip, I'M ON VACATION." My husband comes closer to being a good Vacation Mom Martyr with all of his running around getting this and that for everyone and hammering in umbrellas and EZ-Ups and hauling chairs and ice chests, yada yada--only I'm not sure you can be considered a martyr if you're ENJOYING it. And he seems to kind of enjoy it. I know - weird. Maybe that's how gentiles suffer. Like, he's TRYING to suffer but he just keeps grinning and ruining the effect.

We had a lot of people on our vacation. The official number was More Than Our Condo Could Comfortably (or legally) Hold. We had pads and mattresses spread out all over the floor because having an 80-something-year-old grandpa navigating the floor wasn't already precarious enough. None of my kids will share a bed. Not with each other, and even though we attachment parented and co-slept and everyone said we'd never get them out of our bed, not with us, either. And they won't sleep with their grandfather, probably because they're afraid he'll die in his sleep and who wants to wake up to that? We had to take several vehicles, and my sister's air conditioner went out in her car on the way up. No prob - it was only 106. Also? My sister knows how to suffer. Good lord I thought we'd never hear the end of it.

The first night was Ellie's 21st birthday (GULP HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?) and we went to our favorite little island restaurant that serves up mediocre Italian food. It's a vacay tradition. The service was super slow, so we were forced to drink copious amounts of wine while we waited for our tepid pasta. Turns out Ellie is a mean drunk. Who knew? Anyway, she wasn't going to stay the entire week, but then her grandpa began the ever-so-subtle This Could Be My Last Vacation Talk, so she was guilted into staying. My dad comes by this guilting naturally. My grandmother used to bid me farewell by saying, "The next time you see me, I'll be in the box." I never knew what that meant. I kept waiting to come to her house and find a Big(!) Fun(!) Refrigerator Box(!) but it never happened. Then, at her funeral, my cousin said, "Oh my God, she's in the box."

Back to martyrdom. Martyr Moms are always prepared for any emergency. They give up their own precious personal time that could be spent watching True Blood in order to pack orderly first aid kits and make sure everyone's sandwiches are ready for the next day - God love 'em. My kids were always amazed by the Playground Martyr Moms - those organized moms with the perpetual supply of juice boxes and bandaids. They'd flock to them like seagulls to a chum bucket, hoping to snag the extra box of goldfish crackers or the occasional spare fruit roll-up that the Martyr Mom had brought along in case of an emergency.

I was never prepared. For anything. My diaper bag was basically a trashcan on a strap, nary a diaper or wipe to be found. Rocks, receipts, and melted Burt's Bees lip balms? I had plenty of that and nobody ever wanted it, but I faithfully dragged it around wherever we went anyway.

So you can see why, after twenty-one years of Low Bar Parenting, I'm excited to share my Beachside Healthy Lunches! That's right - while everyone else hurried down to the beach, I stayed behind and slaved over lunch! It was truly inspiring. I was beautiful in my suffering. After slicing, dicing, stuffing, and packing, I'd schlep my burden across the hot sand to the beach and say, "I sure hope I'm not disturbing anyone's fun by sweating beneath this dead weight of hummus pitas I made myself!"

I'm so impressed with my efforts, I'm going to post Actual Pictures and Recipes. HOLD ONTO YOUR BEACH HATS. Here it comes....

We're talking homemade hummus and kale butter pitas with avocados, cucumbers, lettuce and red onion. Once filled, they slid beautifully right back into the pita bag - I just zipped them up and they were ready to go. You can use any old hummus recipe - there are zillions - but the kale butter is what makes it. All you do is steam a bunch of kale, stick it in a blender with 1/2 cup of walnuts, some salt, and enough water to get the consistency you want and whoala! An awesome sandwich spread for any Martyrdom Occasion.

And here we have the ever-so-popular Black Bean Salad. There are many variations on this staple recipe, but basically mine consists of black beans, corn, cilantro, tomatos, red onion, and avocados. A little salt, lime juice, and olive oil finishes it off. I packed in individual plastic containers with screw-on lids.

Finally, I quickly (and with a smile) rolled and folded some pinto bean tacos. I'd like to say the pinto beans are homemade by ME - but the truth is - Jeff (hubs) makes them. These are a staple in our house - he cooks them in a pressure cooker and then processes them until smooth. The kids dip into them with chips, roll them up in tacos, or grill them for quesadillas. And we also keep some whole for those of us who prefer them over rice. Anyway - these beans were spread onto tortillas along with tomatos, guacamole, and pickled jalapenos. Jasper prefers his "plain" so his are the rolls on the left - just the beans and nothing but the beans.

I loved packing these lunches for my family. We're plant-based and we try to avoid processed foods as much as possible. These were relatively easy to prepare (even for a martyr such as myself), delicious, and seriously good for you. Who needs crinkly bags of junk when you can have some truly flavorful om noms?

When we got back to the condo, we all enjoyed bowls of refreshing Chia Mango Pudding. I realize it looks like frog eggs, by the way. But it tastes really great.

4 Tbls of chia seeds, 2 cups of almond/coconut milk, 1 or 2 mangos (diced) and enough agave to meet the needs of your sweet tooth. You mix it all up, stick it in the fridge to chill, and it magically turns into delightfully tasty frog eggs.

I hope you enjoyed my attempt at being a Foodie. I'm not a great Foodie because of the general effort involved, but I'm happy to share my sub-par-ness with you. If I can do it, anyone can! So what are you waiting for? Make some kale butter GOSH. Some of you martyrs are School Lunch Martyrs, right? Get to it! Just think of how you can make all the moms who sent Lunchables feel like crappola! Screw that Homeroom Mom crap - you can one-up everyone with spectacular lunches. I wouldn't know what that feels like because my kids don't go to school and we're pretty much sleeping while y'all are worrying over the packed lunch nonsense - but I imagine it might feel pretty good!


  1. I love when you blog.

    "In the box" bwa hahahahaha!!!

  2. You totally pegged us Gentiles and our pretend suffering. Nobody, but nobody can suffer like a Jew. Gold stars all around.

    OH SHIT. I didn't mean *that* gold star. I meant the standard pretend gold stars I award people for being awesome.

  3. I was going to say something clever, but Pamela is a tough act to follow.

  4. Oh, Carol. You make me laugh.
    Especially on the part where your kids don't want to sleep with their grandfather because he might die in his sleep. Hilarious. ;)

  5. She certainly is. I still think you could have come up with something clever though. It was just so easy for you to say, "Oh, Pamela already snagged giving out gold stars to Jews so..." Like THAT'S never been done before.

  6. Oh, and Alison - they're not really afraid he'll die in his sleep. That's just me getting a cheap laugh at my dad's expense because, you know - attention whore and all that. It's more likely the kids are afraid of the possibility that their legs might brush up against Old Man Toenails in the middle of the night.

  7. Kale YEAH, we're vegan! Fabulous recipes--you go girl!

    Your sister in all things veg,
    Julie (aka Lolly's nutty big sis)

  8. We just returned from the beach, and I'm afraid to say we had crinkly bags of junk and (gasp of horror) Whataburger for lunch! Actually, it was pretty awful. I would have loved a hummus, kale butter and avocado pita. On the same subject ... my sister has just fallen off the vegetarian wagon after a number of years being devoted to it (oh she would eat seafood too). I'll have to find out why.