Friday, April 16, 2010

how i came to love my favorite pie

I'll admit it: though I'm definitely a foodie, I am a picky eater. A few years ago, my mom said to me, "Leah, you're the only person I know who's gotten more picky as she got older." That's certainly true. As a kid, I ate a lot of stuff I can't imagine putting in my body today. Spaghettios with meatballs. Kraft macaroni & cheese. Chicken McNuggets. Gross, gross and gross.

Like every kid, I was always afraid to try new foods. It was a battle to get me to take a bite of anything that I thought looked yucky. Especially yucky-looking to me were any foods that were brown. I just didn't dig brown stuff (exception: peanut butter, of course).

So, one Thanksgiving, when I was four or five, we were celebrating with my grandparents like we always did, and my family was feasting on pumpkin pie after the meal. My dad tried to feed me a bite, and I refused. After all, it was brown! It looked weird! Surely it would taste weird, too! My dad tried to persuade me again to take a bite, and I was uncooperative. Because he's determined, and because he knew I was a whiner, Dad tried a new tactic. Ready with a fork full of pumpkin pie, he kept badgering me to try it until I started whining about not wanting to. Then, when my mouth was open (mid-whine), he shoved the fork in my mouth.

To my dismay, I liked it. Oh no, I thought. This is really good, and I want more! But they will laugh at me if I ask for more because, just five seconds ago, I said it was yucky and I hated it! I think it was at that moment that I decided I would never let embarrassment keep me from enjoying pastries or baked goods of any kind. Sheepishly, I asked, "Can I have a piece?"

My family roared with laughter, but I didn't care. Dad was proud of me. (I think he was also a little proud of himself for discovering his new force-feeding tactic.) And that pie was de-licious.

It's still my favorite pie.

How many days until Thanksgiving?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

the battle against school lunch

During Spring Break, I caught a rerun of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on ABC. Apparently, Jamie Oliver, a celebrity chef, is trying to raise awareness about childhood nutrition (or lack thereof) in America's public schools. He's doing this by going into schools in Huntington, West Virginia, and implementing his own line of school lunches.

The episode I saw was shocking. Elementary students (probably first graders) could not identify a potato. They also couldn't identify tomatoes, eggplant, onions, and just about every other vegetable that exists! They could, however, identify pizza, hamburgers, and french fries. They almost fainted when Jamie told them that french fries are made from potatoes.

This tells me that something is definitely wrong. I'm not sure I could have identified an eggplant at age six, but you'd better believe I knew what a potato was. And you'd also better believe my parents were force-feeding me foods I refused to try because they "looked icky." (Sometime soon I'll tell you the story of how I came to love pumpkin pie!)

A few weeks ago, I also discovered a blog called Fed Up With Lunch: The School Lunch Project. The blog is written by an anonymous teacher, Mrs. Q, who has committed to eating school lunch every school day during 2010. Before she eats her lunch, she takes a picture of it. Have a look around her blog. Then wonder to yourself how anyone in good conscience can feed this to any living human being of any age!

I'm not trying to advance any agenda with this post. I just wanted to share with you a new issue I discovered. I guess I never realized how bad school lunch is because my sweet mother packed my lunch for me every single day until I graduated high school. (Thanks, Mom!) What do you guys think? Did you eat school lunch as a kid? Is it as bad as Jamie Oliver and Mrs. Q make it out to be? I'm interested to see whether I'm overreacting.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

toyota: moving forward

I was bumming around on hulu last night, and this struck me as really, really funny.

For those unfamiliar with hulu: first of all, where have you been? Second of all: hulu videos are sponsored by advertisers. Before your hulu video starts playing, a man with a deep, radio-like voice says, "The following program is brought to you by [company]: [company's slogan]."

Last night, the announcer said: "The following program is brought to you by Toyota: Moving Forward."

I laughed hysterically. What a slogan fail! Toyota: Moving forward...uncontrollably! Moving forward...inexplicably! Moving deadly speeds! Moving forward...whether you want to or not!

Am I the only one who finds this funny? (Dad, I bet you're with me!)

Monday, April 12, 2010

another LDR

Before we got married, Ross and I had never lived in the same town at the same town. When we started dating, I lived in Mountain Home, and Ross lived in Siloam Springs. Then I moved to Fayetteville. Then Ross went to Ireland for a month. Then Ross moved to Mountain Home! When we got married, we were so excited to finally live in the same town, not to mention the same house.

Then Ross had to go and get a job in Tulsa six weeks before we were supposed to move. So here we are in yet another Long Distance Relationship.

All things considered, we're faring pretty well. Ross is working hard and adjusting to his new job, and I'm trying to muster the energy to study for my last round of final exams while simultaneously packing up our whole apartment for the final move to Tulsa.

On another note, sorry my last post was a very lengthy 12 days ago! I'll try to do better.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

first quarter resolution update

Can you believe one-fourth of 2010 has come and gone? Three months ago, Ross and I made some New Years Resolutions. (New Year's Resolutions? New Years' Resolutions? Do the resolutions belong to the year, to the holiday, or to nothing? I digress.) You can read about them here, if you'd like.

Today, I thought we'd give you an update on how we're doing so far. 

Leah's Resolutions
1. lose weight; fit into skinny (or even fat) jeans
Well, you'll be glad to know that I did, in fact, lose weight. It's just that I promptly gained it back again. And then lost it...and then gained it. I'm back on the wagon, though. And I did wear my fat jeans on Monday. (Notice I didn't say I was comfortable in them...)

2. post on the blog at least once per week
With the exception of spring break, I think I'm actually doing OK on this one! What say you, readers?

3. keep the bathroom cleaner
Um...I have been sweeping more, and really, that is the most important part in our bathroom. But the sink...well, let's not go there. Ditto the shower.

4. use reusable grocery bags
This resolution has been a raging success! We keep the reusable bags in the trunk of my car, and it's become second nature to pop the trunk and carry them into Wal-Mart whenever we go. However, we've been battling some entirely unforeseen issues, such as ignorant checkers (a) stuffing the bag as full as humanly possible, and/or (b) putting hamburger meat, lettuce greens, and shampoo in the same bag. 

5. learn how to cook dry beans
FAIL! I did make lentil soup with dry lentils, but I didn't like it all that much. I think it was just a bum recipe. It didn't discourage me necessarily, we're just not big bean eaters. Exception: chili, but I've got that recipe exactly where I want it, and it calls for canned beans. Mmm. Chili. That's going on next week's meal plan.

Ross's Resolutions
1. read 24 books this year
Me: "Have you read six books so far?" Ross: "" He thinks he's read four, though, so he's not too far behind.

2. try at least one new food per month
Ross: "You were supposed to be helping me with that part." And that's true. Truthfully, I completely forgot about this resolution. Don't worry, though. He'll try two new foods a month until July! (Ross: "TWO?!" He doesn't seem happy about this!)

3. find a job
SUCCESS! He starts Tuesday!

4. take a vacation with my pretty wife (that's me!)
We did go to St. Louis over spring break, but we were accompanied by both of our moms. I don't think that counts. Now that Ross has found a job, though, we might be able to take a weekend trip after the bar exam. This one's in the works!

Overall, I'd say we're doing okay, except for that whole dieting thing. Oops! How are your resolutions going? Let us know in the comments!