Tag Archives: kids

With 3/5ths in their 60s, we’re still just Mary and the boys

As my family’s “middle child” turns 60 today, 3/5ths of us are in their seventh decade. That leaves two of us still in the baby stages of the 50s. This, of course, is of no special significance except to we five and maybe to our mother. I sometimes wonder if she looks at us and thinks we’re still just kids. After all, she still refers to my four brothers as “the boys.” Which, of course, they are. Boys.me and the boys

For some reason, I don’t remember my parents turning 60. It must not have been a big deal because we didn’t have any major parties. There was no sobbing, no gnashing of teeth. Life just carried on except Dad may have baked cinnamon rolls for his students and Mother may have given her students extra stickers.

As far as I know, none of my brothers have had big whoop-de-doo parties on their 60th. Does that make us boring? Or does that mean we don’t put great stock in celebrating? My husband would say — not unkindly — that we aren’t sociable.

So…just to prove him wrong, I have big plans for 2016, which will be my year. I’m having a pool party at the local swimming hole. And my big brothers had better be there because there will be a giant ice cream cake roll. Because that is what our mother made us every year for our birthdays.

My mother? I have no doubt she’ll still be around and she’ll still be referring to us as Mary and the boys. NFS_0184After all, we’re still just kids.

 

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Honey milk balls: good-for-you sweets

Kids aren’t the only ones who balk at eating something new if you tell them it’s good for them. Adults are pretty much the same way. In fact, we (the elders) can be downright suspicious about new foods.

Of course, we like to blame that on our parents, who we claim “made” us eat cooked spinach because it tasted yummy and because it was good for us. Note to kids: This is a lie. No parent — at least none with whom I am acquainted — ever forced a child to eat cooked spinach because (a) they also did not like it; or (b) they wanted to save it all for themselves because for some unfathomable reason, they really did like it.

That brings us to liver. And yes, I do realize there is little connection between liver and spinach, aside from the fact that both are sources of iron. Most kids — no, make that most humans — do not like liver and cannot be enticed to try it no matter how many onions are smothering it.

Here’s the thing. I love liver.  In fact, I requested it for my birthday dinners, which is why my brothers were often absent those evenings. They conveniently developed the one-hour flu. Unfortunately, while liver not only is a good source of iron, it also ranks way up there on the cholesterol scale. My daughters are still thanking my doc for having discovered my high cholesterol before I subjected them to liver.

Before I lose you, let me make my point. Food should not only taste good, it should look appealing. Ah, and yes, it should have some redeeming value. About 30 years ago, I received my first copy of Doris Janzen Lonacre’s More With Less Cookbook (Herald Press). Hidden among its pages of amazing recipes is one for Honey Milk Balls.

The name itself is intriguing. Honey and milk in a ball? How is that possible since both are (somewhat) liquid forms. But they’re delicious. Kids love them. Adults love them. I was reminded of this again when I made them for my adult students. All I had to say was peanut butter and they were snatched up.

The ingredients are honey, peanut butter, powered milk and oats. That’s it. No baking, no cooking. Mix, stir and roll into little balls. Kids love to make them because kids love any reason to get their hands into something mushy. Adults not so much.

High in protein, fiber and calcium, they are actually good for you. They’re easy to make. What more could you want? Aside from a bigger bowl to make a triple recipe. Get a big one. You’re going to need it.

Honey Milk Balls
1 c. oats
1 c. powdered milk
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. honey
Mix in a large bowl (you may have to finish the mixing with your hands, which is okay because you can just lick your fingers. Form into small balls and eat. If you don’t eat them right away, store them in an airtight container.