Sunday, March 20, 2011

Baby Update and Real Food Alternatives to Dairy

Baby I. and I are coming along.  She is strong and sweet and not too hard to soothe.  I gave her her first bath today.  She has a head full of ash blond hair and long slender fingers.  I cannot get enough of her!  I would like to spend my whole day cuddling and feeding her.  Mr. Flavivius has off from work all week and has facilitated much of my babymoon desire, but tomorrow we will begin the new schedule.

A sweet friend came over yesterday and took some professional baby pictures of I. in the beautiful layette made for us by one of the ladies from church, her birthday suit, and then in her baptismal gown.  We have never had professional pictures taken of any of the children.  It was such a special treat!  I. slept through much the event and nursed a little bit, but was fairly contented for much of the 2 hours that Amber was here.  The couple that I saw were so beautiful.  I can't wait to share them with y'all.

Nursing started out great, but now I worry that maybe I'm not making enough milk, that this little nibbler is a bit too laid back, etc...  this happens to me everytime there is a new wee bean in the house, but I have the added concern that she is nor having enough bowel movements (only 5 since day 3).

I will be calling the pediatrician tomorrow and trying to decide what to do next.  She had a touch of jaundice on day 3, but it was not a concern then.  Bilirubin is stored in the tissues, but is primarily elimated through waste (a small amount through urine, but the majority through stooling).  Keep us in your prayers, please.  Also, if you've ever wished a real stinker on that know-it-all-not-yet-a-parent-friend, please, pass all that passion and fervent wishing/praying on to Baby I.  All poopy prayers are welcome.

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Okay!  One of my motherly peeves around the Fast is how, in effort to keep the fast, we will replace a real food with a fake food.  Now, if I was being honest with myself, then no butter would mean, no butter substitute.  That would certainly put an end to my margerine/transfat/what-exactly-is-Earth-Balance-and-why is-it-kinda-grey? anxieties.  I eventually shelve these minor-freakouts for the sake to being able to cook fast friendly food that the kids will eat.  Invariably, this eventually leads to a soy overload and then freakout #2 "what-is-all-this-soy-doing-to-us?!"  

Soy products, in general, are the answer to the question:  What to do with all this agricultural waste?!  Fortunately, for all of us, the Church and Christendom have being dealing with the question of Lenten cooking for millenia (two actually).  If you to have concerns about the effects of soy on you and your children  then here is an easy dairy alternative for the nut milk inclined.  First. a little history on use of Almond Milk and then a recipe.  I hope you find it useful.  By making your own almond milk, you can also avoid all the yucky sweeteners and Bisphenol A that end up in a comercial product.

In the Middle Ages, animal milk was, of course, not refrigerated, and fresh milk did not stay fresh for long. Most cooks simply did not use much milk as the short shelf-life of the product made it a difficult ingredient to depend upon. Many recipe collections of the time advise that cooks should only rely on milk that comes directly from a cow, something not possible at all times, and purchasing milk was a dubious practice, for streetsellers of milk often sold wares that were either spoiled or diluted with water. Milk’s use had to be immediate, in cooking or by turning into cheese & butter. It was these difficulties that forced Medieval cooks to look upon milk with great reluctance, and so having milk in the kitchen was usually unheard of.
Rather than animal milk, Medieval cooks turned to something they could depend upon, and that was the milky liquid produced by grinding almonds or walnuts. This liquid, high in natural fats, could be prepared fresh whenever needed in whatever quantities. It also could be made well ahead of time and stored with no danger of degeneration. Because of its high fat content, it, like animal milk, could be churned into butter, and because it was not animal milk, it could be used and consumed during Church designated meatless days.
Almond milk was used extensively in period; all existing cookbooks call for it, and it must have been found in literally every Medieval kitchen. It's the prime ingredient in many, many recipes, and the modern cook recreating Medieval food will have to learn its production in order to prepare the most common of dishes. Fortunately, it's easily made.  from here
Homemade Almond Milk 
2 cups of raw almonds soaked overnight
5 cups of filtered water
1-3 teaspoons of natural sweetener of your choice (I like maple sugar) optional

Grind your soaked almonds with the water. Let steep for an hour.  Stir and strain through cheesecloth or a fine sieve.  You can save the ground remains to dry and grind again to use as almond meal.  Stir in sweetner if you choose to use it.


h west said...

Oh my GOSH! I have the same issues with the fake foods during Lent thing. Margarine is just not a food that should exist on the planet at all so why are we all using it during Lent? If we're not supposed to have butter, than why on earth are we so crazy about finding a 'substitute' for it? Anyway. . .ditto on the nursing babies thing. I have nursed 6 babies, HOWEVER I have need to use a 'supplementary nursing system' with a few of them. If you get into a problem, I HIGHLY recommend finding a lactation consultant and asking her about the 'SNS'. It is a device that is breastfeeding salvation.

Mimi said...

Sending good nursing prayers your way!

Michelle M. said...

I hope your little one is doing well. All of my babies have been jaundiced and my milk comes in really early. I hope she is nursing up a storm by now.

I've felt the same way about using substitutes. We don't use them (besides the occasional margarine and things to substitute for eggs, which I actually use on a regular basis regardless of fasting). Thanks for the recipe. With my two dairy-free kids this is perfect!