1. "Sushi" does not actually mean "raw fish." Am I the only one who totally misunderstood this? My Filipina friend Ana set me straight after I asked a confused question on a Facebook photo she posted of her homemade sushi made with cooked crab. She explained:
"It's still considered sushi even when you use cooked meat. The term sushi literally means sour-tasting. It's actually the vinegared rice that makes the sushi a sushi. When you use raw meat (not necessarily seafood), then you call it sashimi."I always avoided sushi because I was pretty certain I couldn't handle the texture of raw meat--well, not that I've had tons of opportunities to try it, but I've certainly never sought any. Now I'm kind of curious to give it a taste.
2. There are few foods I love more than burnt cheese, and I may or may not have recently purposely placed plain provolone cheese on my stone and baked it to eat straight up burnt cheese. Turns out there is actually a fancy-sounding name for that, which sounds so much more sophisticated than burnt cheese: "frico." That said, frico grilled cheese seemed like a brilliant idea--but it was an epic fail. The cheese glued the bread to the pan and made nothing more than a mess.
3. Britax has excellent customer service. We learned the hard way that with the more expensive carseats, you're paying for ease of use. The Cosco Alpha Omega seat we had when Elijah was a baby was terrible--incredibly difficult to get installed correctly when rearfacing, a pain in the neck to adjust. With Jude, we splurged on a Chicco KeyFit30 and LOVED it. Now both boys are in Britax seats--Jude in a Boulevard and Elijah in a Frontier--and we are very pleased with them. However, the side impact wing/headrest on Jude's recently broke, so I called Britax. The seat is more than a year old, but they sent us a replacement part, no questions asked.
And while we're on the subject...70-90% of carseats are installed or used improperly, even though 95% of parents think they're using the seats correctly. Here's a simple guide with helpful photos--make sure you are one of the minority! Some of the most common mistakes:
- chest clip too low (it should be at armpit level)
- harness straps too loose (you should not be able to pinch any slack)
- seat not installed tightly enough (it should not move more than one inch side to side at the belt patch)
- improper seat choice (forward facing too soon, booster too soon)
5. Rome apples are not crisp. Neither are Winesaps. I've been on the hunt for a good apple to eat plain since they are in season right now, but I have been striking out repeatedly with local orchards. Two growers have told me that these varieties were crisp...they were NOT. I have Cameos on order--I'm pretty sure I remember really liking those in the past. At least we can always make applesauce from the mushy, mealy ones...but I am really hungry for some good tart-sweet, hard-crisp eating apples!
6. You can use 1/3 c. maple syrup instead of the sugar in this baked oatmeal recipe, making it even healthier. The boys are happy to eat regular oatmeal every morning, but I don't care for it. Every once in a while I make this and we all consider it a delicious treat. I've also used blueberries or blackberries in place of the cranberries. All work well, but I have learned the hard way that chopping the cranberries is important. This recipe isn't very sweet at all, but even with my sweet tooth, I really enjoy it.
7. Remember the lady who sued McDonalds back in the 90s because their coffee was hot and she spilled it on herself? For 20 years we've pointed to that story as the ultimate example of how ridiculously out of control lawsuits are. But it turns out there's WAY more to the story than you've probably heard. Did you know that she suffered third degree burns that left her hospitalized for a week? Or that her first move was to contact McDonalds privately and ask them to pay her medical bills? Or that not only did the jury's original recommendation of $2.7 million amount to only two days' coffee sales for McDonalds, but that a judge ultimately reduced the settlement to less than $500,000? The news report I watched this month was eye-opening, to say the least. How many times do I have to learn this lesson--that stories are almost always much more complicated than the little pieces I know?
8. The number 42 has been retired not just from the Dodgers, but from all of baseball, in honor of Jackie Robinson. Steve and I just watched the new movie 42 and absolutely loved it.
How about you - what did you learn this last month?