Hummus-y veggie burgers, a cheer for extended nursing, and pictures of my adorable dogs

Hello all,

Well, I am already slacking off on 1. blog posts; 2. running; and 3. cooking every night. Sigh. It has been a craazzzy week. I normally juggle two part-time jobs plus being home with the kids one or two days a week, but this week just got overwhelming somehow. First, I was on jury duty (HA! seriously, they should just exempt all lawyers….we never get seated. The bailiff laughed when he saw me walk in and sit with the jury instead of the attorneys). Then, I’ve just had a lot of work at my regular job (my second job is teaching at a local university, which is actually really fun). THEN, my youngest daughter got sick. She’s okay, but I ended up staying home with her yesterday (husband did that today). She’s not eating basically at all, which makes me REALLY glad that she’s still nursing. She is well over a year, which means in American terms that she is well past the point at which most people wean their babies. However, I decided I’d let her wean when she was ready, which is basically what I did with my first. Yes, pumping at work is a pain, but really, it is so nice to have that snuggly time with her, particularly now that she’s so active. Also, at times like these when she won’t eat, at least I know she’s getting some nutrients and fluids from nursing.

I know nursing and so-called ‘extended’ nursing are somewhat controversial. A friend of mine posted some pretty vicious anti-nursing stuff on FB recently and I had to almost sit on my hands to keep from writing a snide reply. To each her own, right? What’s best for me and my child may not be what’s best for you and yours, or what you chose for you and yours, but just as I don’t criticize people for feeding their babies formula, nor do I expect to be criticized/attacked for nursing, even at such a ‘late’ age as my kids nurse (in the rest of the world, it is far more common to nurse past a year than in the U.S.).

My other rant re: nursing is the whole vegan thing. I was vegan for both pregnancies and have been vegan for nursing both kids. Every now and then some study will come out that says exclusively vegan breast-fed babies just don’t gain weight and don’t thrive, blah blah BLAH. Seriously. Those folks writing such studies need to come photograph my kids’ beautifully chubby baby thighs. Neither of my kids wasted away on a 100% vegan breast milk diet. Again, it’s a personal decision and what works for me and my two chubsters may not work for someone else, but I HATE being even impliedly criticized when it comes to choices I’ve made concerning how I’m going to raise my kids.

Okay. Rant over. TIme for a quick recipe. We DID find the missing camera memory card, hooray, but alas I did not have time to photograph this when I made it last night. I make variations on this all the time (and will post some of those variations, and pictures thereof, soon). This recipe is week-night quick, easy, and TASTY.

Plus, this recipe uses two of my absolute favorite kitchen tools: the immersion blender and my cast-iron skillet. I love, love LOVE the cast-iron skillet. I make everything I can in it.

Hummus-y veggie burgers

Serves: 4, several small burgers each

1 can chick peas, rinsed

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt, to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)

1/2 cup cooked rice

1/2 cup, more or less, breadcrumbs, or just use more rice

1 large zucchini, shredded

optional: dried herbs, such as thyme, oregano, or basil; a teaspoon or so of nutritional yeast

Method:

Using your handy immersion blender or a potato masher, smush up the chick peas and garlic. This does not need to beย a totally smooth puree; you want most of the chick peans smushed, but a few whole ones are fine.

Stir in all other ingredients. Add dried herbs and/or nutritional yeast, if using.

Form into whatever size burgers you want. Cook in a cast-iron skillet that has been coated very lightly with olive oil. Cook each burger for 4-5 minutes per side, or until nicely browned.

We eat these plain, usually alongside pasta, but I suppose they’re hardy enough to serve on bread/a burger bun.

So I don’t have any pictures of these delicious treats, but here are some pictures of my sweet dogs, Whimsy Greyhound and Shadow. Cute, cute, CUTE, eh?

And a question or two, inspired by my friend’s mostly-anti-nursing FB post:

1. If you have nursed a child, have you ever felt that you shouldn’t nurse in a particular place or home?

2. Has anyone reading been made uncomfortable, either in public or in a private home, by the presence of a woman nursing a child?

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2 responses to “Hummus-y veggie burgers, a cheer for extended nursing, and pictures of my adorable dogs

  1. Hi, me again! I, too, am an extended nursing mommy. My first little girl, now almost 4, weaned herself at 15 1/2 months and my second little girl, now 21 months, is still nursing me like a 6 month old. I cannot visualize her ever wanting to stop nursing, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a nursing preteen, so I’m sure it will be okay ๐Ÿ˜‰ Before I had babies, I thought that they just nursed and at 12 months it magically ended. I was a labor and delivery nurse when I was pregnant for the first time and had gone through a breastfeeding educator course where I learned about the norm being up to 2 years in other parts of the world. I decided then that I would let my babies decide when they were “over” me. I’m fortunate to have a great group of friends who are extended nursers also, so it all seems so normal to me. My friends still bring up the day I laid down right in the middle of the public park and nursed my youngest because that is the only way she would nurse me at the time..I think I won some sort of award that day ๐Ÿ™‚ I live in a small university town in Mississippi with lots of progressive women from all over the country, but also have the locals (most, but not all) who are appalled at the thought of nursing in public and for an extended period of time. I’ll never forget seeing one of these locals in the grocery store who said to me as she was pushing around her 2 month old, “Dont you just hate the price of formula?!!” It never ceases to amaze me that highly educated women choose formula over breast milk for their precious children, mainly so they can wear the right clothes and not be tied down. So sad!
    I have a question for you…do you and your children take vitamins? We’ve slowly transitioned over the past year and a half to veganism and I am wondering what other vegan nursers are doing? Thanks! Carmen

    • hi Carmen! Lying in a park to breastfeed – i LOVE it! That is fantastic. Before I had kids, I assumed I would nurse but was not particularly strong in my feelings one way or another. Since having kids, I have become soooo pro-nursing. Really, it is such an easy and healthy thing, for most babies and moms (I know people who are not able to nurse, and of course that’s a different story). I did not expect to become a nursing activist (for lack of a better term), but I just feel so strongly that women should be able to nurse a baby without worrying about negative reactions. Luckily, SC has two statutes that specifically allow breastfeeding in public, but some states do not. The only time I’ve felt the least bit uncomfortable nursing in public was in an airport. I felt like people were looking at me funny, but I decided that if anyone said anything, I would respond with one of the following: 1. Okay, I’ll stop feeding my kid, but she’ll scream out of hunger during the entire flight, okay? or 2. Yeah, I have my child discreetly tucked under my shirt with absolutely nothing even remotely showing. You can see more boob in the cover of the magazines in the Hudson News across the hall. Are you still offended?
      Luckily, I have never had anything but positive comments when I’ve breastfed in public. Once I was at the playground in front of the zoo and had to nurse, and a woman came by and thanked/congratulated me for nursing in public so that more would be comfortable doing so.
      You are absolutely right about other countries – I’ve heard that 2-3 years is common most other places other than the U.S. I have tried my best to encourage new moms around me to try breastfeeding. It is not terribly common around here, but there is a good core group of us who support breastfeeding. I’ve even used the “it’s cheaper AND it will help you lose any baby weight!” line on people to try to convince them to try it ๐Ÿ™‚
      Hmmm, vitamins….I am embarassed to admit that we do not have the girls on vitamins. We probably should. I was really good about taking pre-natals while pregnant and nursing, and I still take a multi vitamin most days, so my youngest probably gets some vitamins through nursing. We did give the older one those vitamin drops when she was an infant. We are really lucky to have kids who eat really well, so I haven’t done much about supplementing them. Plus they drink soy milk, which has some vitamins in it. I should probably ask at their next doctor’s appointment whether we need to do a B12 supplement.

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