So, I’ve been sick for two weeks now. What started out as a standard cold turned into a sinus infection and the next thing I know, I’m spending a night checked into the fabulous five-star hotel called the “Emergency Room.” The day I had started taking my prescription antibiotics was the night I took a trip in the ambulance. I had been prescribed them the day before when I visited my primary physician. I never had a sinus infection that caused a fever before and I was shaking so bad that I could barely dial the phone and had trouble breathing. Thankfully, I was not having a reaction to the medication.
I had the Lap-Band surgery about four and a half years ago, so taking medication in its pill form can be difficult for me at times. This is especially the case when they are horse pills like the antibiotics I am currently on. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, “horse pills” are medication in the form of tablets or capsules that are very large in size. The large size of horse pills can make them exceptionally difficult to swallow.
It helps me to drink a smoothie while taking medication. So today I made what I am calling a “Berry Happy Smoothie.” This smoothie made me feel good while I was drinking it that I just had to post the recipe for my (and your) future reference!
The key to making this smoothie is the cottage cheese. I know what you’re thinking, “Cottage cheese? What!” My mom questioned it too when I suggested she add cottage cheese to the one she made yesterday. Cottage cheese is a thickener to a smoothie recipe. If you don’t like the cottage-cheesy taste, you can add flavor extracts to it, such as vanilla. You can also thicken your smoothie with xanthan gum. You might find that in the gluten-free isle.
Bring a smile to your mood with a Berry Happy Smoothie!
When I was a little girl and living in Morris County, my father would take me on the weekly trips to the local recycling center when the weather was nice. I remember how much fun it was to take out all the items from our trunk and toss them into their appropriate dumpsters. These things were monstrous! This taught me, early on, about how to recycle. In school, I learned the importance of it.
In sixth grade, I chose Groundwater as my science fair project and my father helped me to build a ‘working’ cave that would allow water to seep through the top of the ‘cave’ (made of clay and other things) and out the bottom of a storage basin. For this, we needed a mesh screen. So, to the recycling center we went for the parts we needed!
Take children to the recycling center. Educate them there. Collect a few items (clean them with a bleach and water solution) and do a craft. I know that people do this already with items in their homes, but if you really want to teach about recycling, you should go to the place where your recycling goes.
Today I wanted to buy a box of matzoh for Passover, but I couldn’t afford to. Today I learned how much I hate you. I love you, but I hate you. I don’t want to depend on you, but right now, I have to. I don’t feel ashamed that I must use a government issued card to buy my groceries. I feel ashamed for you that you had to call me to ask me if I paid for my own phone bill and then lower my monthly grocery money allotment based how much I spent paying for my own landline.
I know that there are others who got this phone call and the letter that followed, whose SNAP allotments were cut down to the bare minimum of $16 a month, likely based on the possibility that they may not be able to afford their own land line. Fortunately, I am one of the lucky ones who can and so my monthly allotment is not as such. However, it still pisses me off that the State of New Jersey would see to it that those who cannot afford groceries due to their present situation in life, should be shopping for fewer groceries and therefore less healthy options.
Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that I can still afford to do complete grocery shopping trips using my NJ SNAPs, but I believe that the latest adjustment was not well-balanced. Basing someone’s ability to buy groceries on whether or not they can afford their bills when it should be based on an individual’s income. I may have received more money because I pay my own bill, and a neighbor may have received less because he does not. Is the ultimate goal not to achieve financial independence anymore? This would be in addition to making healthy eating more affordable, as per the nutrition courses you are so desperately trying implement! Sometimes we need a little help first in order to get us to that goal.
I walked out of the grocery store, no matzo for Passover, no soup for dinner tonight, and no groceries for the rest of this week. Leaving everything in the two bags on the counter, I apologized to the cashier, twice, and walked home trying not to cry. Although you might think so, I wasn’t sad or ashamed. It took me only a few seconds to realize that I was more angry that embarrassed. I was fuming inside!
So SNAP YOU government! Get yourself together and stop taking the food from our mouths!
A broke, not-so-middle class, white, Jewish woman.
(Yes, I was brought up in a middle class, white Jewish family.)
On February 10th, last year, I entered a contest on justapinch.com and asked my followers to cast their vote for it. The problem, of course, was that I didn’t have a proper picture of my recipe being made or completed.
Tonight, I made this fabulous eggplant dip to have as an appetizer before a dairy Shabbat dinner.
The story as it was written last year:
“My Grandma was notorious for her home cooked family favorites. There was never a visit without a hot, homemade pie.
Another recipe was for this eggplant dip. My Poppy adored this dip!
She had given me the recipe, but I lost it. Poppy has since passed on and Grandma has dementia, and so for the last couple of years, I tried searching the internet without luck.
Luck changed a few months ago when Grandma and I were looking at a recipe for ratatouille, when suddenly, it all came back to her!”
This recipe calls for one eggplant. We used two and came out with this one small bowl. You may decide to double or triple your recipe, depending on how many people you intend to serve it to.
More than one website recommends the use of wooden utensils for making eggplant dips in order to avoid oxidation in your food. Poppy of Poppy Planet warns that if you use stainless steel, inox or iron, it will leave the dish with a bitter taste.
*This recipe may be Eastern European in origin, but I’m not sure. I will update this post when I find out.
1 tsp oil (I suggest olive oil, it’s healthiest. Start with 1 teaspoon. Another recipe we found says 4-5 tablespoons. You may not need all of that.)
1 medium onion (finely grated, or finely chopped)
1-3 large garlic cloves, mashed (the amount you use is to your preference)
salt and pepper to taste
Utensils: wooden knife or wooden spatula
Microwave the eggplant until it is soft.
I don’t recall the exact microwave time, but I recommend starting with five minutes and then another five. Keep at this until it will slightly ‘sink’ in it’s appearance. DO NOT OVER COOK!
After cooking, cut the green tips off. Peel the skin, cut in half and scoop out the seeds. I remember my grandmother using a grapefruit spoon for this, but I used a fork since I don’t have any.
Mash the meat in a bowl. Use a little olive oil. Start with 1 teaspoon. Mash this with a wooden knife or other mashing utensil.
Add salt, pepper, onion, and garlic (optional).
Cover, chill and serve with bread, crackers or matzoh. This makes an excellent accompaniment alongside your vegetable trays and is also a great vegan alternative to your classic baba ganoush.