salty reflections of mommyhood…

Posted on January 10th, 2009 by mountain girl  |  No Comments »

 

 

Yesterday Zia and I went on a shopping excursion…for seaweed.

We like to go to an Asian market, where we can choose from a huge array of seaweed such as kombu, hijiki, wakame, nori, agar agar, and arame. The prices are unbeatable, and I can also get a rocking deal on ginger root, which I tend to add to way too many things!

Seaweed is an incredible vegan source of pretty much all plant nutrients, as well as a rich source of vitamin B12. The benefits include protein, enzymes, nucleic acids, amino acids, vitamin complexes A, B, C, D, E and K, minerals, antibiotics, fiber, and all trace elements. But even if seaweed weren’t such a gold mine of nutrition, I would still eat it, simply because it tastes SO awesome!

 

Nori, or laver

 

Not only is seaweed good eatin’, but it’s also good for other things. You can bathe and soak in it, and apply it to your hair and body for a softening beauty treatment. You can even feed it to horses and cattle; the iodine in it helps to strengthen their immune and respiratory systems. It’s also supposed to rid your body of toxins, inside and out, and contribute to better health in general.

Yet, as Americans we don’t really take advantage of seaweed like many other countries do, including most of Europe. In Wales, they even have a traditional bread made of seaweed: laverbread, made of boiled and pureed laver seaweed. Sounds delicious, ay? Laver is the same variety that the Japanese call nori.

So back to Z and me: our seaweed choices for the day were the flat rectangular sheets of nori, used to roll sushi in, and wakame, a longer, ropelike seaweed that you could picture waving dreamily on the ocean floor in The Little Mermaid  or some other enchanting Disney movie. I’m not very picky about my seaweed: as long as I have one type to put in soups and another to roll and wrap stuff in, I’m set.

 

Wakame

 

After selecting our seaweed and perusing the many unidentifiable edibles (and some painfully identifiable ones in the refrigerator!), as well as the weird trinkets and strange little candies that fill the shelves, Zia and I made our way out of the shop and out onto the sidewalk. Usually when we’re out, I stroll her or carry her lithe 20-lb. body, since she’s only been walking for about 3 weeks, but for the first time, I set her on her feet and held her hand as we walked around the strip mall.  She was thrilled!

We were walking hand-in-hand and having a blast when I looked up and caught our reflection in an empty storefront window. For the very first time I saw us walking along together. It was somehow a breathtaking moment, and in a flash I realized I no longer have a little baby; I have a little girl. We had become a mother and daughter walking along together (although at a wavering snail’s pace!)

Our idyllic state of mother-daughter comradeship ended all too soon when she realized she could be even more independent by shaking free of my hand and wobbling off on her own…

and I know it’s only the beginning! Snif.

  

Today I cooked up a pot of brown rice, sauteed it lightly in virgin sesame oil with onions, garlic, organic eggs, sesame seeds, amino acids, and seasonings, and made 12 little nori rolls.

 

Nori rolls...mmm!

 

Zia is actually eating one right now, picking out the seaweed and stuffing it into her mouth, and leaving the rice for some other time. Seaweed has consistently been at the top of her favorite foods since she first tried it, just after starting solid food. Which happens to be a year ago today, on her 6-month birthday.

 

Here’s the little chipmunk, just one year ago today:

 

 

 

 

Crazy how much can change in a year. She was just a little lump of dough, all cheeks and diaper. But still wearing that pumpkin hat. 

Happy birthday to my one-and-a-half-year-old seaweed-loving mermaid girl!

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