I pleased myself greatly last night when I came up with Weedstock and when I fully developed my thoughts and feelings on food freedom with children. I was watching Michael, my partner, meticulously pull and nibble on “weeds” in the front yard. We eat our weeds, so far they’ve all been edible. I noticed that he was pulling more weeds than he could consume and so I asked him for them to throw into my soup stock. The undesirable plants that grow voluntarily and that we rip, hoe and poison: they are loaded with valuable nutrients, more so than the lettuce and cabbages we so laboriously grow. When picked young, they are also tender and not as bitter. Or simply throw them into your stock. I have a few things that I do for a super rich and delicious stock.
How to make Weedstock:
1. Sauté your vegetables (onions, carrots and any other vegetable scraps) on low in a fat with a high smoking point. I use lard, chicken fat or you could use butter or olive oil. I cook them slowly to perfect caramelization. I like to do this over a morning as it poses no risk of burning when it’s on low.
2. Add water to cover: bones, meats, herbs, a few spoons of vinegar (or over fermented kombucha, to draw out minerals), egg shells and WEEDS! Please make sure you’ve identified a plant 100% before using.
3. Simmer (do not boil) for 2 days or more.
4. Strain and use in dishes, soups and sauces. I strain it as we need it.
My kids are so use to these foods now that they ask for it. I wasn’t making broth due to not wanting to heat up the house and my oldest asked why I wasn’t making broth. I was pleasantly shocked as he has been the child to complain the most about the healthy foods I’ve been cooking. Now he has a taste for it. He told me that he comes and grabs a cup of broth out of the pot when he’s hungry. I’m so happy!
There seems to have been a major shift in my kids lately. I’ve been letting go of food issues and beliefs and focusing on the foods that call me, and them. There was a point when candy and processed treats distressed me and I wanted to rip it from their hands and run with it into the wild where I could burn it and dump dish soap all over its KRAFT insides. Well, as fun as that was, I’m letting it go. I’m accepting it as the reality that is now. Factories make food like products and sometimes my children want it and they want it too much. Well, the truth is that I want it too much sometimes as well. It’s not just children. It’s a challenge; a gastrointestinal challenge mostly. I’m working on conquering my own by cooking and eating what I am peacefully drawn to and I see that it is radiating down to the children. They are joining into my passion for wild and local, real foods. They love to be able to identify wild foods they can eat as well as take part in animal and vegetable harvests. More importantly than what they eat, is how they eat. I want them
To feel free to eat without stress, judgement, shame or guilt.
With this freedom, we are finding the foods that they love.
With the inner candy/junk struggle within me, I decided to focus on the good and ignore the sneaky candy. I knew it had gotten bad when they felt they had to sneak it. That’s not true freedom. My restricting had led to them wanting it more and sneaking it. But oh well right? Live, love and learn. So…
I was also starting to see how my projecting of fears and beliefs about certain foods could and would cause food issues in the kids. But I had an idea…
So I started making ice cream for them every night. Sometimes we had leftovers for breakfast or an afternoon snack. They love it. I make it with LOTS of egg yolks, raw/local honey, fresh fruits, mineral rich maple syrup, fresh garden herbs like mint and basil, probiotic loaded kefir and occasionally raw cream and milk.
They are seeming more satisfied these days and are not asking for foods which I am not already buying. Interesting. I buy a variety and I buy what they like. They are inventing their own satisfying recipes out of our good, wholesome ingredients. Fascinating! Sometimes I’m buying marshmallows, as the homemade ones just melt into the hot campfire coals. yes, sometimes I am buying marshmallows and my friends and family become wide-eyed as I am usually known as crazy, food person. Well, crazy just got kooky.
Something has switched, and I think it is me. It’s always me.
It turns out that children are people and they do want to be healthy and happy. Sometimes they fail, but so do I. It’s all part of the journey.
“Lettuce-head”, Michael. He is twelve and sometimes takes on the character of a rabbit when he eats his lettuce plain and plentiful.