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Tomatoes around the world

The ingredient of August will be tomatoes!!! I apologize for the late post. My writing has been slow lately. My husband is out of town for two weeks. When he left for training, my daughter was sick for a good part of the week and now I’m fighting the sniffles. I am so thankful I have my parents living near by where they could watch her while I went to work though the commute was twice as long. I’m surprised I was able to even squeeze in some writing this past week.

Anyway, I chose tomatoes for August because I want some excuse to make some good gazpacho. The gazpacho I’ve attempted to make in the past has tasted somewhat off…maybe there was too much bread or maybe it was too acidic. Maybe I have not found the right gazpacho recipe. I’m still willing to look around because people rave so much about gazpacho. Plus it’s appropriate for the summer time because it’s too darn hot for ramen, pho, and chicken noodle soup.

I think unlike the past “Eat Around the World” challenges I’ve done, there will be more home cooking this month. That means I got to do better with plating and presentation for the blog ;-).

Anyways, I got around to making this tomato galette. It was all made possible because my sister watched my daughter while I get to prepare the pastry dough, chop the tomatoes and garlic, and grate the cheese. Thank you sister for watching Lana so we can have dinner! I got the galette recipe from Epicurious by Andy Baraghani. This is the first time I’ve successfully made any pastry dough. Other key takeaways from this recipe:

  • You must use chilled butter and ice water when making pastry dough. This is important and that is why my past attempts in pastry dough have failed.
  • I did not have a food processor, I used a pastry scraper/chopper to mix the butter and flour and following that the ice water. It worked out fine.
  • I replaced about 1/4 cup of the all-purpose flour with buckwheat flour.
  • When the galette was assembled, the recipe stated to chill it in the freezer for 10 minutes before putting it in the oven. You must do this!
  • I decided to use heirloom tomatoes but really any tomato would do.
  • For the cheese, I used mozzarella because we had a block of it in the fridge. I had also had a block of cheddar. I should have mixed up the cheeses.
Tomato galette

I’m so happy how this galette turned out. It was like a rustic deep dish pizza!

Anyways, what is your favorite tomato-based dish? As always, you don’t have to be a homecook participate, it could your favorite tomato dish at a restaurant. Or do you have a garden and you would like to show off the tomatoes you’ve been growing from your balcony. My favorite thing about tomatoes is the variety — there’s so many kinds!

July recap: I wanted to do a shoutout to Liz from One Million Photographs for participating in July’s EAW challenge. She made this lovely blackberry sorbet. Plus I notice she does quite a bit of homecooking too. I’ve actually never made sorbets and they definitely do not require an ice cream maker. As always I am on the lookout for new ice treats especially when there’s not enough room for my ice cream maker.

Upcoming EAW challenges: For September, there was a vote and it look like the theme for September will be Apples. I’ve already decided the theme for November will be Feasts — dishes you would bring to a large gathering. For October, I have not decided and will welcome a poll :-). Please note, the poll is viewable on a web browser or desktop browser, not on the reader app.

“Eat around the World is a monthly writing/photography challenge where I invite people to share a dish around a theme, ingredient, or technique. The theme for August is tomatoes.  All themes are open to interpretation. Cooking skills are not required to participate. Deadline is August 30th.

Exhausted and disillusioned

I finally made it to the end of the week and why did its arrival feel so freaking slow?! It’s been quite a week and I could not wait for it end! Well as of last Friday, my husband was off for two weeks for military training. Over that past weekend, I was working on Lana’s room — decluttering and reorganizing. Then…well let’s break this week past week down:

Monday – I was not feeling well. Maybe I was exhausted from all the housework that weekend. I called out work to take the day off. My supervisor suggested it since she was going out be out of vacation for two weeks the week after.

Tuesday – I felt better and went back to work and took my daughter to daycare. Two hours later, daycare called saying my daughter had a runny nose and will call back if it was getting worse. They called back telling me it was not improving and I had to pull her out of daycare to either get checked by a doctor and return with a doctor’s note or pull her out of daycare for 10 days. I chose the former and got her seen by a doctor. They said it was either a cold or croup but they did not rule out COVID. They gave her a COVID test and we would find out the results the following day. After the doctor’s visit, I worked from home the rest of the day — which I am incredibly grateful for considering I barely have any PTO.

Wednesday – The following day, I took another day off waiting for the COVID results. Another thing I am grateful about my current job is that I get two weeks of COVID leave. Since we are waiting for COVID results, I could mark it as “COVID leave” so I don’t use any more of my PTO. I got the results and it was NEGATIVE. THANK GOODNESS! But she still had a runny nose and was working through some phelgm. Though she was technically clear to return per the doctor’s note, I did not want her to return to daycare the following day to get another calling saying her nose is still runny. My parents suggested I stay with them for the rest of the week — they can watch Lana and I can go to work. The downside of this was my commute doubled — instead of one-hour commute roundtrip, it was two hours.

Thursday – Staying with my parents is pretty nice despite the two hour round trip. It was weird coming home because by that time everyone at home already finished dinner. It was either on to the shower, brushing their teeth, or watching TV to wind down. For me, I was HUNGRY and had whatever was on the table. I went to bed unusually early to wake up early to do this all over again. It was so un

Friday – There was a point I entertained the idea of buying a home in my hometown. I’m so glad I did not. That would mean 2 hours commutes for both me and my husband. But also when I go through my Facebook feed, I know don’t have to do deal with the hometown drama. It’s so darn juicy — but that’s because I’m not part of it. Good news is that she’s much better. But lately…I’ve been feeling pretty tired like I’m catching her cold. This week just could not finish fast enough.

Saturday morning we went back home. She’s doing much better. I texted my husband all throughout this week even though he won’t see these messages in another few days. Though he’s been gone for an entire week for military drill before, I was able to handle Lana by myself. But I felt this past week, we were thrown almost every unfavorable situation. My husband told me if life was getting too hard, he could quit the military. So I texted him that it’s time to let the military go.

It’s not the first time he quit. He quit back in 2013 because he wanted to focus on completing his Bachelor’s degree and have a defined career. He was in the military for six years, he was never promoted and he did not see a trajectory if he continued on. Fast forward to 2019, he re-enlisted. After he got his Bachelor’s degree in 2016, he entertained the idea of re-enlisting in the Officer Candidate School for a while. He thought from that position he could make a difference in the military, plus it would help him professionally in his civilian job. He thought of completing OCS as equivalent to completing a Master’s Degree. Since he’s been into year 2 year of OCS, he told me that he does not see a defined trajectory in the military like he hoped for. Well the thing is, if he quit the military, he’s got professional job for a prestigious employer as his full-time job doing meaningful work — unlike a lot of the people in his present and previous cohort. For him, it’s not a major loss.

The thing I’m not looking forward to is dealing with the aftermath of quitting the military. Of course I played a role in him quitting the first time. I feel just like any job, relationship, place, etc. — if it’s not providing you meaning and you’re not growing, you should let it go and move on. But quitting the military was a little different — you can’t just quit and move on with your life. The aftermath I dealt with back then was dealing with his military buddies on why I made him quit and how it will pay back in big ways if he continued to stay. The military wives and girlfriends would remind me that “it should not be about me. I should support the bigger cause.” All these comments were was coming off as MLM-ish. Anyways, the thing was it was never about me. My husband has stated time and time again not being happy where he’s at in the military and it’s happening again.

Reflecting on the first time he quit and the comments and questions I received, I learned what a powerful force culture can be. I know that’s a weird takeaway. But when I lived in San Diego — where I met my husband –the military culture is embedded in the identity of the city. One does not question culture, one does not dare challenge it. I remembered when my husband first started OCS, I was surprised he had to buy his own uniform and other items for his upcoming drills. I asked him back, “how is it that we spend so much money on defense — more than any country in the world — and it does not go towards your uniform and equipment?” There are people in his cohort with jobs that make minimum wage and they’re being asked to pay for their own stuff? He did not know how to answer my question. Culture is so powerful, you accept the conditions as they are and drudge on with your head low and looking at the ground. Culture is so powerful to suck a person back in because you believe it gives you meaning and direction.

Anyways thank you so much for sticking with my longer-than-usual weekend coffee share. I needed to vent after a long week.

#weekendcoffeeshare

Urban Light (PPAC #6)

“Urban Light” is one my favorite public works ever. I remembered it was installed in 2008 when I was in college. It was fun to go at night with my friends. We would go out for dinner and pass by Urban Lights. We would park at LACMA and we would take photos, goof off, and run around the forest of street lights.

These streetlights once lit the streets of Los Angeles. It’s rare to find these historic streetlights in any city so I’m happy to see that they found new life at the LACMA for other people to enjoy.

Urban light lacma
Urban light lacma

I apologize for the late and slower than usual posts lately. It’s been a long rough week. I’m glad I made it to Friday!

#PPAC6

Making and eating ice cream (Eat around the World challenge)

I thought this would be a fun recap of all the ice cream I tried this past month for July. Since August is a hotter month, you’ll still find me eating some more ice cream…maybe I’ll find some time to make more ice cream and popsicles. Don’t forget — I’m also going to be experimenting with tomatoes and looking for dishes that incorporate tomatoes. That will be fun!

I’m pretty much writing this post almost half asleep. This week has been chaotic and incredibly energy-sucking. I’m surprised I am even able to squeeze some time to blog. I’ll share more for this upcoming weekend coffee share.

Anyways here are some ice cream dishes. All these places are places I’ve visited for the first time.

Cold Brew Milk Shake (Paradis Ice Cream)– Need an afternoon pick-me-up? Mix ice cream and cold brew coffee! This is cold brew coffee mixed with cajeta (caramelized goat milk) and coconut.

Cold Brew Ice Cream Shake
Cold Brew Ice Cream Shake from Paradis

Ice ream sandwich (The Baked Bear) – This was a major sugar bomb. The ice cream is Butter Brittle Cake sandwiched between two different cookies. One cookie is red velvet and the other is white chocolate macadamia nut. I think I should have gotten the ice cream only. The cookies could be for another time.

Coconut sundae (POPS Artisanal Creamery) – This is probably my new favorite ice cream place. It’s a plus that it’s close by. It looks indulgent because there’s whipped cream, sprinkles, a cherry, and it’s covered in coconut shreds but it’s less of a sugar bomb after having the ice cream sandwich. The ice creams there were avocado almond and cacao. Because it is close by, they have a new frequent visitor!

coconut sundae ice cream

I did make a couple of ice creams, but they came in the form of a creamy popsicle since our freezer does not really have a lot of room for the ice cream maker. My BIL likes to buy a lot of meat and stuff it in the freezer. I don’t intend to buy a new fridge — I told him not until after we renovate the kitchen which will be years from now.

I enjoy making popsicles when I have leftover fruit and some yogurt or some milk. I blend and put them in popsicle molds. They take up less space than freezing the ice cream maker bowl.

berry creamy popsicle
Blueberry yogurt creamsicle

I also experimented with kulfi. We have cow’s milk in the fridge. The thing is, my BIL is the only one who drinks cow’s milk and there’s always leftover milk by the time the milk expires. I’ve used the milk to make Japanese milkbread or make and freeze tangzhong for future milkbread. I was thrilled to learn I could also make kulfi and I don’t need an ice cream maker to make it so so so creamy. I love the spices and pistachios incorporated into this kulfi. Last week when my 12-year old nephew was staying over, I offered him to try it. He didn’t like it, which means more for me.

kulfi

“Eat around the World is a monthly writing/photography challenge where I invite people to share a dish around a theme, ingredient, or technique. July’s theme is ice cream. All themes are open to interpretation. Cooking skills are not required to participate. Deadline is July 31st.

A Heavy declutter weekend

It’s great day to have a coconut sundae! Yup, I am still writing about ice cream for my July “Eat Around the World” challenge. Don’t be intimidated by how indulgent it looks. It’s less of a sugar bomb compared to the ice cream sandwich I had the other day.

I can’t wait to share the other ice creams I’ve had this past month! I even made a couple of ice cream popsicles.

POPS Artisanal creamery coconut sundae

My husband is off for two weeks for his annual training, plus it’s Phase 3 for his Officer Candidate School. So what could I do for the next couple of weeks considering COVID cases have spiked? Well, lots of things.

Saturday was Lana’s first day at My Gym Children’s Fitness Center. I got a deal to try unlimited classes for two weeks but looking at the schedule, we could only do the weekends. As tempting as it was to get a membership because she enjoyed it so much, I don’t think we’ll be able to make the most out of her membership if we are only available on weekends. We’ll be out of town on some weekends which does not justify the cost per use.

After Lana’s class, I started working on her room. Her room will be where we had our home office/craft room/storage room for many years. Right now Lana’s crib and dresser is there and she’s been sleeping in that room for the past month. Though I’ve spent the last few weeks decluttering here and there, I decided this weekend was the weekend to aggressively declutter. While she was sleeping, I assessed what to donate, shred, trash, and relocate.

I also spent my morning rearranging stuff in laundry room because my BIL buys too much toilet paper and paper towels — it’s way more than we need! After all, my husband and I barely use paper towels. We use old rags and towels to clean. Instead of toilet paper, we use a bidet. I placed the paper towels and toilet paper in places where it made more sense. I put toilet paper in the bathrooms and paper towels in the kitchen pantry. There was still A LOT left so I put the rest in the linen closet. The linen closet required a little bit of decluttering and consolidating but I made it work. I’ve had this talk with my BIL to stop buying so much toilet paper and paper towels when he first started living with us. His reasoning is that it’s his way to help us out. I already told him he wasn’t helping out and I don’t consider it a contribution because we hardly use it. Plus, it’s more work unnecessary work (see me relocate toilet paper and paper towels in other areas of the house.) My husband has had the same talk too, but I’m not sure how effective it is to lecture someone to change. Maybe it was best as landlady and owner of the house to take action so the laundry room isn’t so darn crowded.

Anyways back to Lana’s room, I am also working on getting her room painted. I am ashamed to admit this, but after a lot of thought I decided to hire a professional to paint her room. Why am I ashamed? Because I have to deal with replies like “it must be nice to have money to hire help” as a way to shame me, to “check my privilege.” I’ll admit I am in a better place financially now versus my college years. Also deciding to hire help did not come without reflecting what costs I need to cut back for the time being. Our meals for the next few weeks will be foraged from the fridge and the pantry — thanks to my BIL stuffing more food than we need (and hardly eat). The only exception I’ll make is buying fruits and vegetables from the grocery store. The only baby food I buy are the wafers, baby cereals, and formula. Other than that she eats whatever I eat. Honestly, I already cut a lot other things–I don’t buy a new tube of toothpaste until I get EVERYTHING out.

Anyways I had other reasons to hire someone to paint her room. The previous owners of the house did a terrible job painting our rooms — they just painted over the previous paint job. The walls need more than a little spackle. If I were to DIY, I would have only do the work when she’s sleeping. Why did I not paint her room while my husband was here? Well, when my husband is here not doing drill or training on weekends, I like to use my limited free time for “me” time like going to the gym while he watches Lana. Basically I am paying for convenience and efficiency. Something I am willing to spend.

#weekendcoffeeshare

I hate the “P” word

As promised I will write about Asian American identity and the ways it has affected my life and how I’ve come to acknowledge my privilege.

The “P” word I am referring to is “privilege.” It started as this incredibly long post, but I decided to cut this up. I wanted to posit the question, what should one do when they’re told to “check their privilege?”

I have noticed throughout my 20s and 30s, I’ve been told to “check my privilege.” This feedback has been more frequent the older I got, even over the more “simple” things like me being comically frugal is considered a privilege. When people tell me to “check at my privilege,” I’m not quite sure what to do other than say “okay” and shrug it off. Should I also give you money and my degrees? Should I feel awful about myself every time I go into my office job that pays the bills? Should I feel bad about making healthier lifestyle choices (i.e. exercising, eating fruits and veggies, etc) because it’s an “expensive lifestyle?”

I am very well aware of my privilege and I want to use it to make the world a better place. I work in a large public hospital where we provide healthcare whether or not these patients carry insurance. We are also a hub where we do a bi-monthly food pantry feeding patients and community members experiencing food insecurity. At my work, I use it as an opportunity to teach aspiring healthcare workers the importance of patient advocacy. Care does not only happen within the four walls of a clinic, they should care about what happens to them outside too. Do these patients have access to hygiene products, affordable housing, healthy food, etc.?

I left my last job because I did not feel we did enough for the older adults living in affordable housing. We did a lot more for the older adults living in market rate housing and I found it incredibly frustrating because it conflicted with the organization’s mission.

Telling me to “check my privilege” is hardly, if at all, an action. I never understood it. Are they coming from a place where they want help or are they just being mean-spirited?

Looking for peacocks

Today we went to the Arboretum in Arcadia looking for peacocks. Last time we went was winter time when they had their holiday lights up for Moonlight Forest. It’s my first time exploring the place in the daytime and I underestimated how large the place. We definitely did not cover all the park because Lana was ready to rest. We’ll definitely be back to explore the other gardens. I saw some wonderful ideas for groundcover for my front yard.

Peacock hanging out in the shade

It was a nice day. We ended the afternoon with a late lunch at a Chinese restaurant and had some milk tea to cool off.

I’m in the process of planning our kitchen remodel. Even though the remodeling will not happen right away, it’s always best to start off with a plan and vision. Plus, we need to budget on how much it will end up costing. I came across this blog post on how to get started.

Step 1 says to “Write your renovation vision in 3-5 words.” So far I only came up with one word to describe the kitchen and it’s “global” because I like eating food from around the world. I need to come up with 2-4 more words. Right now I am stuck step 1.

Step 2 is already done. Step 2 says to “Write how you want to feel using a few words.” I credit my husband for this and the feeling should be “My favorite place to eat.” I agree…it should be my favorite place to eat because I experiment with all kinds of food.

I’ll move on with the rest of the steps this week. We have some elements we would like to include for our kitchen like a large single basin, tiles for the backsplash, etc. I have a love/hate relationship with remodeling. There is fun in looking at different tiles and colors, but it can be overwhelming with how many choices there are. Plus the cost of remodeling! It makes me glad that my husband and I stuck with a $10,000 budget for our wedding. Yes, I credit that because imagine if that debt carried over the next several years?

#weekendcoffeeshare

Five things Friday: Noodle Hack

Five things Friday is a post where I share five things that either made my week, what I am thinking about, or would like to share with all of you.

Getting the Childcare Tax Credit (CTC) – I know I’ve been hearing about getting the Childcare Tax Credit and to be honest, it was nice seeing that credit in my checking account this morning. Please keep in mind that this is an advance that applies for next year’s tax season, not a stimulus check. Half of the usual CTC is coming in the form of monthly payments. It made me think, why can’t it always be in monthly payments rather than a lump sum that one time you file your tax return. I’m thinking more about that parent that needs that break to pay for their kid’s formula or a few days of daycare. I’m thinking about that parent that needs to have a little bit of money to put away to save for a future summer camp

Experimenting with adding baking soda to your noodles – I heard about this cooking hack from a Youtube video. Lately I’ve been playing around with this trick. To be honest, I can’t tell the difference. Maybe I should buy some ramen noodles as a control for comparison.

Bionicos (Mexican Fruit Salad) – Looks indulgent but it’s incredibly healthy and filling since it’s mostly strawberries. The cream sauce is very, very light.

Managing my work through the Pomodoro Timer – I learned about the Pomodoro Timer on my new fitness watch. I thought the name was kind of funny and thought “what’s a tomato timer?” I looked it up and it’s basically you work for twenty-five minutes (“Pomodoro”) followed by a five minute break. After the five minute break, you repeat. Generally you take a longer break after you complete four Pomodoros, but the rules are pretty flexible. I thought the concept was very simple, but after trying the Pomodoro timer all week, I’m pleasantly surprised how much work I got done including ones that have been on the back burner for months.

Bakeries in LA list – I am working through this list of iconic bakeries around LA.

Angels in the Wild (PPAC #4)

Los Angeles isn’t nicknamed the City of Angels for nothing. Here you’ll find many murals of angel wings scattered through LA. Getting yourself in front of these angel wings makes up for some fun photos!

Found on Santa Monica Boulevard and Lincoln Boulevard.

And there are many more angel wings found throughout LA.

#Pipersofly #PPAC4

Public art in the blogosphere this week:

A trip to the aquarium

This week’s photo challenge is so much fun. I have not processed photos in such a long time. I love how the black and white effect transformed my photos from my trip at the Long Beach Aquarium. I have to confess the original photos were not that great and I blame the barrier picking up the reflection of my phone and well…other phones. Thank you for hosting such a fun challenge, Anne!

jellyfish
seahorse

Update: for reference, here are the original photos:

Here are some black and white photos around the blogosphere:

  • Bends Branches – a beautiful landscape of the hills dotted with buffalo.
  • A New Day – The black and white effect on this house in the middle of nowhere looks incredibly clean!
  • A Meditative Journey with Saldage – A wonderful collection of black and white photos. They transformed seemingly ordinary objects into something more abstract.
  • Tish Farrell – The B&W effect on harvest machines almost looks like like a silhouettes.
  • One Woman’s Quest II – Birds in B & W. Wonderful close-up shots.

Pistachio Kulfi (Eat around the World challenge)

I was planning on using my ice cream maker for this challenge, but I don’t think I have room for the bowl. My brother-in-law has been living with us for the past year and he loves to store far more food than he needs. He says it’s also for me and my husband, but we normally don’t eat that much meat throughout the week. Our fridge and our pantry is packed to the brim. I recalled when he first moved in, he asked if we could have a deep freezer and I go “for what? Where’s the room?” And then he asked if we could get a bigger fridge. I told him we’ll buy a fridge after we remodel the kitchen.

Our fridge is a standard size fridge. We’ve had a roommate before and she’s never had a problem with our fridge size. I don’t understand why he has a problem with our fridge size.

When I say “after the remodel” I don’t mean “it will never happen.” Kitchen remodels are expensive. If we don’t like what we’ve envisioned, then it’s an expensive mistake. A kitchen remodel will happen, it just won’t be tomorrow, this month, or even this year.

Anyways rant over. I came across kulfi, a traditional South Asian frozen dessert. The base is evaporated milk garnish with cardamom, pistachio, and saffron. Unlike regular ice cream, you don’t need an ice creamer maker. I can even use popsicle molds. One time I was making ice cream on a really hot day — the ice cream maker couldn’t make the ice cream properly because the bowl was condensing as soon as I took it out of the freezer.

Another reason why I wanted to learn how to make kulfi was that it was eggless recipe. Honestly, I prefer to avoid ice cream recipes that calls for eggs because I tend to accidently scramble them. Also, I get to make use of the leftover milk. My BIL for some reason like to buy a gallon of milk but he never drinks it. He says the milk is for us, but the thing is we don’t drink cow’s milk because of its short shelf life. That’s why we buy alternative milks. When the milk was about to go bad, I would make Japanese milk bread. I even kept a jar of tang zhong in the freezer because we had so much. Anyways, it’s good to know there’s another recipe where I can use leftover milk. I was starting to get burnt out on bread.

I bought a small tub kulfi at the Indian grocery store. I usually like to buy the final product to know what I should be looking for when making the dish. Though the technique does not require whipping, it is still creamy like ice cream. It’s not like a block of ice. I also observed it does not melt as fast ice cream either. Plus I love finding pistachio chunks!

Have you tried kulfi? Comment below!

Pistachio kulfi
Pistachio kulfi
Pistachio Kulfi
There’s pistachio chunks!

“Eat around the World is a monthly writing/photography challenge where I invite people to share a dish around a theme, ingredient, or technique. July’s theme is ice cream. All themes are open to interpretation. Cooking skills are not required to participate. Deadline is July 31st.

Just a grain of salt…

Happy weekend coffee share! Let’s have a light brunch at Huckleberry in Santa Monica. I’ve been hearing great things about this place for years. I even borrowed their cookbook from the library to try out some recipes even though I’ve never been at the time. The jam-filled brioche loaf on the cover page caught my eye and that’s why I borrowed it. I was ambitious to venture into brioche-making. When I was about to return the library book, my miniature Schnauzer, Teddy, ruined the cover. Maybe he thought eating the cover page was a delicious idea. The library did not want want the book back in that condition (obviously). I had to pay for a replacement and got to keep the wrecked version.

To be honest, the damage is not as bad you think. Thank god for hardcover. Plus the pages are in great condition.

I guess I never bothered going because there are many other great brunches between there and where I lived. This morning I decided to finally go because it’s hot where I live. I wanted to escape the heat of the Valley for a little bit and hang out at Santa Monica. I am happy to say I am glad I made the small trek. This quiche gruyere and mushroom quiche is amazing! I also had their fruit crisp. This place definitely lives up to the hype. I’ll definitely go back to re-read this cookbook and replicate these dishes.

Anyways, if we were having coffee, I want to share a thing that bothered me. Background: my daughter’s daycare is at my work in the hospital so I get to see her during my lunch breaks. The other day, I decided to have lunch at the daycare to watch Lana do waterplay because it was first time doing waterplay. I like to see her have fun and engage with the other kids. I asked the daycare supervisor if I could eat lunch at the daycare and he said it was ok but as long as I’m not eating chips or other junk food in front of the other kids. He was explaining the importance of modeling good eating habits for the kids at the daycare. Also, he did not want to have some kid say “hey I don’t want to eat this watermelon, I want to chips because she’s eating chips!” I understood where he was coming from and I am not against this policy. Funny thing was that I had a bag of chip with me. All I had to do was walk a few feet to the staff cafeteria and eat them away from the kid’s sight. No big deal.

But that is not the part that frustrated me. After work, I met up with my husband for dinner and his friend tagged along. I shared with my husband about their lunch policy because we don’t want Lana become a picky eater as she gets older. But his friend exploded saying “Oh my gosh…ugh…they’re social engineering your kid. This is why you should not put your kids through public school, blah blah blah. This is why homeschool is far superior blah blah” Side note: this friend does not have any kids. And if you think public health and teaching kids and anybody about healthy eating (and washing your hands, brushing your teeth, etc.) is social engineering, then sure… Then hope you have one or all the things as a result of not doing any of these healthy habits. Also daycare is not the same as public school because I pay for daycare. It’s completely ridiculous. As much as I am ok with hearing other perspectives, I prefer to keep them at arm’s length. I commend my husband for taking these comments with a tiny grain of salt, while I am a little bit more sensitive.