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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

E-mail Cheryl Bac

About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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Just needed a few new ingredients

Uploaded: Nov 15, 2015
After our daughter was born I found myself relying on very simple food to feed our family - a bowl of raspberries, crackers, or yogurt for snack. Meals were very simple too. Cereal for breakfast and quick stir-fries were our go-to dinners.

Our son had our grocery list pretty much memorized as we bought very similar ingredients week after week. Searching for new ingredients just didn't seem feasible with two little ones in tow.

Last week I decided that we were in need of a change. I bought a new cookbook and wrote down ingredients for a couple of the recipes. We went to the grocery store and, to my surprise, our son enjoyed searching for new food (like lemongrass). Especially when we needed something that our grocery store didn't carry (like pork belly).

I started preparing the food during our daughter's nap. And, to my surprise, our son offered to help me. It was fun making the meal together- measuring ingredients, stirring them together, and squishing the meat with the marinade.

Cooking just became a much more enjoyable part of my day. I'm hoping our son doesn't lose interest too quickly.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Marie, a resident of College Terrace,
on Nov 16, 2015 at 9:56 am

Thank you for your real good ideas, yoghourt is nice for all

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Nov 16, 2015 at 1:32 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Marie - Thanks Marie

Posted by Sarah, a resident of Atherton: other,
on Nov 17, 2015 at 2:49 am

You're feeding your children 'pork belly' ... actually you are feeding your children the flesh of a sentient, intelligent, creature-- a pig who suffered a horrifying death in a slaughter house. Pigs are more intelligent than a 2 year old child and are extremely sensitive animals. I wish you could raise the next generation of humans who are evolved from cave men days of our species to a higher level of evolution and intelligence and are compassionate enough to know that animals are not here for us to eat but to share our planet with us. Dairy such as yogurt is even more cruel than eating flesh. As a mother myself I was most horrified when I learned that cows are impregnated with steel rods and baby calves are immediately separated from their mothers after birth just so that humans can drink the milk the mother cow lactated for her own baby. Drive by central California dairy factory farms and you can hear the bellowing of mother cows crying for their babies taken from them. Like all mammals cows produce milk only when they have babies. Dairy cows are spent within 4-5 years due to repeated pregnancies and are sent to slaughter pregnant because the skin of the fetus makes the most expensive leather products.

If ethical reasons are not enough to dislike meat and dairy, World Health Organization;s report that came out a few weeks ago revealed that eating meat is directly linked to cancer and the November issue of Scientific American talks about various academic research that shows the link between eating animal protein and brain degenerative diseases like dementia and alzheimers. It is all karma after all. 10 billion animals are killed in USA alone to become human meal. Killing animals at the end is giving us miserable lives suffering from cancers and dysfunctional brains.

Cruelty free eating became more prevalent during the last 4-5 years. There are many cookbooks that offer recipes that do not include the flesh and milk of sentient creatures as an ingredient.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Nov 17, 2015 at 8:18 am

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Sarah- Thanks for commenting. In our family we try to eat a variety of foods. Yes, it is important to be educated about where your food is coming from.

Posted by Shazia, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven,
on Nov 17, 2015 at 12:16 pm

Thank you Sarah for your informative post. I became vegan overnight in 2013 when I watched Earthlings. This is a documentary about our planet and the immense suffering we cause on animals and ultimately causing the destruction of our planet.

Two years forward, my diabetes is gone and I no longer take pills to control my high blood pressure and cholesterol -- side effects of veganism that I did not know before. Through my journey I learned that we are herbivores after all and eating meat and dairy, despite societal conditioning that they are good for us, are actually poison for our bodies. I am the living example of what wonders eating vegan can do for a person's health. Good to know there are other vegans around. Living vegan feels lonely in a society that cherishes eating of animals.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Nov 17, 2015 at 6:12 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Shazia - Thanks for sharing your story and the positive health effects you've experienced.

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Nov 21, 2015 at 6:25 pm

Kids like to cook - so expect it out of them. They remind us of the joys of assembling a meal for those we love. At 8 years old - make them your sous chef. At 10 - it's time for them to start planning a meal one day a week - with you as the sous chef. At 12 - they do it without you. Have a martini and watch with a smile!

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Nov 22, 2015 at 9:11 am

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Laura Stec - Thanks for commenting. Yes, kids definitely can make cooking a much more enjoyable experience. I hope our son stays interested and learns how to make meals on his own one day.

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