Speak Up

Monday, March 29, 2010

Maverik Hudson Battes

What a week! Last Friday Erik and I went to the hospital and had a beautiful, healthy baby boy! Maverik was born 6 pounds, 15 ounces, and 19 inches long. Everything went very well up until the point that Maverik was delivered. He came out great, but about 20 minutes passed before the placenta was delivered. As it turns out, I had an inverted uterus attached to the placenta and had to be rushed to the OR. I lost so much blood that I also had a blood transfusion. Needless to say, it was a crazy and terrifying night. Erik was a wreck while I was in the OR because he didn't know what was going on. My doctor was amazing-she is retiring this week and in all her career had never experienced this problem. But she studied in school and remembered what to do. If she had not acted as fast as she did I don't think I'd be typing this right now. A couple days later, I had to go back to the ER for some fluids due to complications with the transfusion. Then a day after that Maverik was taken to the NICU in an ambulance where were stayed for about 36 hours. The first week of Maverik's life we were at a doctor or hospital every day.

All of this still has not hit me. I'm trying to write about it in hopes that I might be able to get in touch with the trauma I experienced. We are home now and Erik is back to work.

I never appreciated life, family, or prayer as much as I do now.
Food is Love,

Monday, March 15, 2010

Chef Advice

My younger sister is 15, and with the big wide world in front of her and she's trying to make sense of things and chose a career path. She's a competitive gymnast and cheerleader with great grades. But what does she want to do? COOK. She has a opportunity to spend the last two years of high school going to her regular high school in the morning then heading over to "cooking school" where she would simultaneously earn high school and college credits. The program is wonderful; my other sister when through a similar program- only she went to "zoo school" at the Columbus Zoo. I think it's a great idea, but my chef husband, on the other hand, is going to try his best to stop her.

Does it seem a little odd that my husband discourages people from going into the same industry that puts food on our table? It has nothing to do with my sister either; he tells everyone to avoid professionally cooking. His argument is that the industry isn't what most people think it is. I agree. My sister watches cake decorating shows and enjoys cooking very much-but does she really know what cooking in a restaurant entails? She wants to open a cake bakery: "Coco's Cakes". Does she know the road to get there can be scary and painful? Can she handle day work weeks including holidays and late nights? Then again, how can she know unless she tries?

But who knows, maybe she is tough enough. Is it Erik's job to simply present the facts of the industry or should he throw in his two cents and influence my sister? After all, she's only 15 so I think that she should go into the cooking school program , and in the end if she decides its not for her then she will have at least learned some useful skills.

Do your husbands and boyfriends encourage or discourage youngsters from entering the world of all things food.

Food is Love,

Sunday, March 14, 2010

(Un)Necessary Kitchen Product?

This odd looking alien thing is an auto stirrer for sauces. The Autonomous Saucier keeps the liquid moving in the pan while you occupy yourself with other cooking tasks. No more burned sauces. The product hails from recent Olympic break up-Canada and costs $40. Three silicone rubber feet turn around and keep the sauce moving.

Would you buy it? I might, as a gag gift.

Food is Love,

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sugary Drink Tax?

NY Governor Paterson and NYC Mayor Bloomberg are supporting a tax on soda and other sugary drinks. The proposal is support by major groups and unions and also being fought by many others.

Let's start with the facts:

How much will the tax be? a penny-per-ounce excise tax
-12 cents per can
-$1.44 per 12 pack

Which products will be taxed? non-diet sodas and other drinks containing large amounts of added sugar,

What's the point? an economic incentive for children, adolescents and adults to reduce consumption of sugared beverages and choose healthier, lower-calorie alternatives such as water, low-fat milk, and diet soda

What's the OTHER point? $450 million in revenue from the tax this year ($1 billion over a full fiscal year) will be dedicated to preventing deeper cuts to health care programs at a time when the state must close an $8.2 billion deficit.

I got all of this info from the NY State website. Support of the proposal also comes from The Alliance for a Healthier NY.

New Yorkers Against Unfair Taxes has put together a petition with over 13,500 signatures to date.

Why they're upset:
-this tax hurts the people who can least afford it-the middle and lower classes
- 6,000 union jobs in the beverage industry will be lost
(taken from their website)

How do I feel about the tax? Well-to be honest I'm not sure. I don't drink sugar soda, but I do buy juices and really it doesn't matter about me because it's not a tax on Hilary's grocery bill only. As a citizen I have the option to make a choice about things that affect all the citizens around me.

It doesn't impress me that supporting the proposal are major groups and unions. As a member of the teacher's union I've been clumped into a group that supports certain politicians and proposals that I never supported as an individual.

I am a huge believer that childhood obesity is a major problem in the US and we are only doing about 5% of what should actually be done. Will a tax on sugary drinks stop people from buying them? Some yes, but enough to make a difference? I doubt it. I see the way that parents of my students and the students spend their money in the inner city here in New Jersey. Will a 12 cent increase on soda or those gross sugar chubs stop teenagers at the corner store and sway them toward a bottle of water? Not in my experience.

Think about adults. When we go out to dinner, the cheapest beverage to order is a glass of tap water. That certainly doesn't stop us from ordering a soda (diet or not) that's been marked up way too much or worse than that a &15 glass of wine that the restaurant spend for two bottles of the same drink.

Is it the government's job to stop obesity in this way? Should they be dictating what we buy based on taxes? I do think the government has a tremendous amount of power that potentially (key word) can be used to help us. Consider what happened after smoking was banned from most bars and restaurants around the country. To me, it's become more taboo and less cool for people to smoke. So how can we make poor eating habits less cool? If the government can do that-we might be set.

Food is Love,