Friday, January 4

Eating Star Stuff

"Be humble, for you are made of earth.  Be noble, for you are made of stars." ~ Serbian proverb
[img source: JKerns]

This simple quote is something that inspires me.  It's hard to care that the cashier jipped me 25¢ when you envision being made of sparkly "star stuff".  It makes me feel like I'm bigger than nonsense like that.

Stars are poetic, they're fascinating, and yet they sort of fall into the background forgotten to most people.  If you live in the country, you're probably blessed with glittering skies... but if you live in the city, light pollution probably makes seeing them at night a rare thing.  If you're having a "Mom, I'm bored." day with the kids, pick up some pizza and head to the nearest county park for some star-lit dinner on the lawn and encourage your children to appreciate the stars.  Depending on their age, you may be able to talk about what stars are made of... or you could just lay on a blanket and star gaze, pointing out shapes or, if you know any, constellations.  Have a smartphone handy?  There's an app for that.

At that point, I'd like you to share a message with them which was put out there by Mr. Carl Sagan years ago:  "The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars.  We are made of starstuff."

That's right.  What's more fantastically Pagan than sharing this secret with your little ones???

Caring for Stars

Hopefully, a reminder that we are made of the same magic as the stars will prompt not only children, but the grown-ups in their lives, to be kinder to their bodies.   January is a popular month for people across the globe to take a serious look at their health.  Exercise is key, of course, but so are our eating habits.  Lately, food is taking a turn towards 'fresh', 'light', and 'healthy' in the House of Mama Stacey.  Just yesterday I made a grocery run to stock the fridge with things like kiwi fruit, cheddar cheese cubes, iced green tea, fresh peanut butter, greek yogurt, spinach, couscous, and so forth.  Our Keurig is going light on the Starbucks and heavy on the Celestial Seasonings these days.

BUT, sometimes your child is a picky eater, or your husband is more partial to gummy Lifesavers than fresh peaches.  It's often a mother's job (although I know there are more and more fathers tackling this role too) to make healthy food appealing and convenient to her family.  My suggestion today is cookie cutters.

Star Food

With Christmas clearance dominating most department stores right now (that is, if you can find it buried behind shelves already bursting with Easter stuff!), you may be able to snag a great deal on star shaped cookie cutters.  If not, cruise the local thrift stores before you head over to the mall's kitchen store. 

[img source: CopperGifts]

It sounds like a cheap gimmick, and honestly it is, but it works: cut food into funny shapes and children will eat it.  Your partner probably will too.  Here are a few images I pulled off the web to demonstrate how cute, cool, and utterly edible this makes things.

Chicken Salad on dark bread.
[img source: AStoriedStyle blog]

Cheese, apples, pineapple, and peanut butter sandwiches.
[img source: Sarah Lidbom]

Homemade Star-shaped Pasta for chicken noodle soup.
[img source: Cheeky Kitchen blog]

Star-topped mince pies.
[img source: GoodToKnow]

Melon star skewers.
[img source: SheKnows]

Baked star-shaped falafel.
[img source: Simone Smith]

And, of course, there are many other possibilities!  Happy star hunting!

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