Wednesday, July 30, 2008
My own experience with breastfeeding has been very positive. I wrote about my first time experience when our first born, a son, was born. Rocky though it was, I missed it once he was weaned at 17 months.
I am currently still nursing my daughter a few times a day. She is now 2 years old (27 months). I knew that I would nurse her longer, because we were moving to Ghana for 2 years, when she was not quite 4 months old. Nursing her longer - meaning that I was willing to nurse her exclusively (no other foods, except water) for up to 12 months. Then at that time introduce foods (she is THE healthiest of all of us in this house - rarely gets sick!). I did give her foods starting at about 10 months old because her teeth looked like she could handle foods well at that point. Each child is different. My birthing doula, Deb, had a child who didn't get her first tooth until she was 19 months old. She also nursed longer.
You can click on the images above or below this post to read about the Nestle boycott. This company has especially been very unethical about its practices. Being vegan would steer you away from their products anyway, but I especially wanted to give everyone (vegan or not) reading this blog, another reason why breastfeeding is so important - the world over.
I intend to post more about breastfeeding in the future. No matter if I am currently nursing a child or not, this is so important to teach all parents. No matter mother or father. Why? Because it takes support from everyone to make it easier to do the right thing, not just the popular trend of the day.
Please click on the images in this post to read why you should join me in the boycott.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Here's what I have now of any amount (does not include fresh produce):
Nuts: Cashews, Raw Almonds, Walnuts
Seeds: Sunflower Seeds, Alfalfa Seeds (for sprouting)
Dried Fruits: Pineapple, Mango, Coconut, Dates, Prunes
Oils: Red Palm Oil, Sunflower Oil
Sweeteners: Raw Honey, Powdered Stevia
Beans: Mung Beans, Lentils, Groundnut paste (Peanut Butter)
Grains/Starches: Oatmeal, Wheat Flour, Rice, Banku (corn & cassava), Gari & Tapioca Pearls(cassava products), 100% Rye Bread, Rice Noodles
Other dried items: Sun Dried Tomatoes, Carob Powder
Other baking/cooking items: Active Dry Yeast, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Balsamic Vinegar, Real Salt, Miso, Greens Powder, various other herbs & spices for seasoning
Drinks: Fruit & Grape Juice, Dried Mint Tea Leaves
Some things I know I will use for snacks for our (more than 24 hour) travel time to the states in the airplane and 2 airport layovers. Some of the nuts and dried fruit will be used there because they are easy travel food. It just goes without saying that some of the dates, coconut and almonds will find their way into some dates balls for the trip. Same for the peanut butter and carob and honey for some fudgy treats. I know that the produce will be used and bought as needed until we leave.
You know, just writing this out has already helped me get some good ideas to make menus:
Banku with okra stew (okra with red palm oil, onions, garlic, carrots)
Vegan ice cream with the soy milk and honey
Sprout the alfalfa to put in a sandwich with the rye bread
Mint tea sweetened with honey or stevia
Baked oatmeal with peanut butter to stand in for some of the oil
Smoothies with fruit & greens powder, prunes, juice, carob & peanut butter
Make bread with the yeast and flour
Gravy with the sunflower seeds to eat on rice
Meatless burgers with the oatmeal and walnuts
Tapioca pudding with soymilk and tapioca pearls
Carob cake with carob fudge frosting using a few of the items
Granola with the oatmeal, almonds, coconut and honey
Soup with lentils, onions, garlic and gari
Barbecue sauce (or a version of it) with the sun dried tomatoes
Cookies with flour, honey, oil and walnuts
Homemade seasoned salt to use in savory dishes
Marinade (using balsamic vinegar for lemon juice) for a bean salad or vegetables on the grill
Noodles with cheese sauce
Lentil tacos with flour tortillas
Popcorn for a snack
That ought to get me started. Maybe I'll start marking my pantry items in the future with the dates purchased so I don't wait so long to use them next time! =) Tip: use up what you have before it gets too old to be good.
Now for that request... I need some tips on what to do when we have layovers in Frankfurt, Germany (7 hours long) and Washington D.C.- Dulles Airport (4 hours). Anyone know these specific airports? I'm not as worried about the DC one, since it won't be as long, but tips for there are still welcome.
Keep in mind I have a 10 year old son and a 2 year old daughter. I need some frugal tips for our entire trip and move. So please pass them along. =)
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Good question...actually here in the tropical climate, there really isn't an "off" season per se. There are only seasons for specific foods. There are fresh local foods all year around.
Right now, the avocados are getting too expensive to buy again, because they are almost totally out of season. But the lovely mango fruit are starting to get very large and cheaper because they are in season. Oh, so yummy too!
The idea of refrigeration, freezing or canning produce doesn't really happen here for the majority of people. Because many do not have electric or even the space to store home canned goods plays into this. There are some stores in Accra (capitol) where supplies can be procured to do things like freezing or canning, so it's not impossible. But really, those supplies are there generally because of the expats (foreigners living in Ghana) that would buy them to do such things.
What you might find however is preservation by ground storage, drying, smoking, salting or other similar method that does not involve electricity. That's how many of our own ancestors preserved food before such modern conveniences.
The seasonal question is still valid here however, because of the planting and harvesting of certain foods at different times of the year. That mostly applies to fruits and vegetables, but for beans and grains, those can be bought at the markets anytime of the year.
A couple of weeks back, I bought a fresh white yam. It was not from storage, but rather had just been harvested. I thought I'd like to try a fresh yam to see the difference, thinking that it would taste much better and richer, etc. than the stored ones I had been buying. Believe it or not, we did not prefer it. It didn't taste as good as the stored ones. I don't really know why, but maybe that "aged" flavor is just better.
Each seems to have its own season: cassava, plantain, white yam, corn (maize). When it's corn season, you'll notice people selling it grilled or boiled. Then another time, it will be the plantains that are cheap. It's like this all year around. The food places on the street will change what they sell based on the in season foods. Rice can be found all year around, but lately prices have been going up here, just like in other parts of the world.
If there are places to buy stews, the main vegetable will vary depending on the produce available. Even sit down restaurants may not have half their menu available because it all depends on the season.
They really do eat locally and in season here. It's cheaper and some people grow much of their own food, if they have any land to speak of. No yards here, but maybe corn or cassava growing.I think that that is where its at for everyone concerned with food availability and prices. Grow your own. If that's not possible, then eat locally and in season.
Know your food and grow some too. Gardens are good for the whole family! I can't wait to start one myself next year after we settle back in the states again. Until then, I'll try to find some good farmer's markets to go to.
Monday, July 21, 2008
"I am more likely to change something I do because...
...I read something convincing" - 100% of the voters answered this selection.
Since those of you who answered the poll already value the use of the internet as a great research tool, I'm not surprised. Seeing something in print somehow makes a persuasive argument seem more timeless and therefore more convincing. Seeing is believing they say. Ah, "the power of the pen" does ring true.
May I be honest and truthful with my "pen" here on Vegan Footprints. I hope that reading this blog has helped you in some way. Maybe to learn about something you've wondered about or never knew before. Maybe you'll learn a new vegan recipe to prepare for your family.
I do appreciate all my readers, from 40 different countries! Wow! My thanks to everyone who has commented. It helps me see what you think about when you are reading. I'm glad to everyone who asks questions. Send me an email if the comment section isn't exactly what you are looking for at: vegan footprints at gmail dot com (no spaces - listed this way to avoid spam).
Thanks to all who voted. My next poll #5 is up, so vote today.
Friday, July 18, 2008
She cleans, sorts, and drains them all at the same time this way.
The final product of the grinding process. The soybeans are now like a thick paste with added water.
Back at her house again, she has put them into her very large bowl. You can see better the consistency of the ground beans.
One of her kettles she will use to squeeze out the milk from the bowl. She will eventually get two kettles full from this amount of soybeans.
Her kettle has been cooking away for a while. Now it it is starting to foam up. This is what it looks like right before she adds the coagulant and water mixture.
She pours in the coagulant.
The setup for this step. Similar to the squeezing out the milk earlier, she now is pressing the curds in another large cotton flour sack. This time it is for the final pressing of the tofu. She scoops from one kettle and then the other to combine them in her sack.
I took all of the photos except the ones I'm in. My husband took this photo of us together. I felt a little like a journalist that day. Camera, pen and paper in hand taking notes. We really enjoyed it. She was very patient with us.
Later she brought me some of the finished tofu. I took photos of it for you to see the final outcome of her hard work. It is very firm and dense. Perfect for using in kebabs on the grill.
The steps you don't see are the preparation of the kebabs. She freezes the tofu, cubes it, then fries it in oil. She then skewers it and adds her seasoning. The seasoning consists of peanut powder (groundnut) from which the oil has been removed, roasted corn (maize) flour, and chili pepper and other seasonings from northern Ghana she tells us. She also adds small pieces of red onion between each piece of tofu. They are very good and spicy.
I hope you enjoyed the little tour. Makes me more thankful for those kebabs! =)
For great kitchen tips, visit Tammy's Recipes. Don't forget to vote in the newest poll.