"Hey, have you ever had chia seeds?" I asked my 26-year-old son while we were visiting at his house in Saint George.
"Are they like Chia Pets?" He flashed his impish grin.
"Same seeds, different product."
"What ARE they?" he wanted to know.
I told him what I knew: they have omega-3s, they're high in fiber, they're a super food.
"So if I swallowed some seeds would I feel full?"
"Yes. Dylan, let me just read the package for you...'Grown in Mexico, Chia Seed was a diet staple of the Aztecs and Mayans. The Chia...'"
He cut me off mid-sentence. "They're all dead, you know."
"The Aztecs and the Mayans."
"Yes, Dylan, I know." I paused. I stared at him to make a point. "So are the cave men." Dylan follows the Paleo diet. This is an on-going conversation we have. (If the Paleo diet is so good for you, where did all of the cave men end up, huh?)
"Well, you told me it was a super food, and the people who ate it are all dead."
"May I finish? 'The Chia See's nutrients provided sustained energy during long hunts, and had numerous medicinal benefits. Revered by the people, Chia Seed was often used in religious ceremonies which led to its ban by the Spanish during their conquest of the region.'" There was the history. And then I continued reading the lengthy list of health benefits. My kids have always enjoyed trying something new, if not without some good-natured teasing, and mock hesitation.
I ended up making some pudding from the seeds. It was so simple. This time I poured 1/2 cup of chia seeds into a Tupperware container, and then let it soak in about three cups of almond milk. While the boys played video games, Jamie and I went for a late night run to our favorite frozen yogurt shop, Menchies.
When we got back the boys were still playing Mario Bros. Dylan was talking to Bridger. "No more resurrections for you. Looks like there'll be no Easter this year."
That couldn't be right. I asked for clarification. "Is that really what Mario Brothers calls lives on their games...resurrections?"
"No, but if they did, I'd have 41 of 'em." He giggles. "41 Easters!" Sometimes it's hard to believe he's not still eight years old. Jamie raised her eyebrows, and flashed him her tolerant smile, and ruffled his hair. "WHAT???" he looked at her defensively. "Even Jesus laughs, Jamie."
"Who wants Chia Pet Food?" Dylan asked later. Jamie, of course, was too full from her small serving of yogurt. She was the only one who wasn't ready for a snack. Of course, it could be because it looks so...suspicious. Puffy little black seeds floating in a gelatinous sea of milk. The boys put frozen raspberries in theirs, and I kept my small dish plain. We all agreed it's pretty good. I know it will be a staple in my kitchen.
Jamie went to bed; she gets up early to open the Cracker Barrel Restaurant in town. I needed to sleep, too. I was taking my friend Margie out early for a visit at a local restaurant. "Dylan, I need to borrow a hair dryer for the morning." I was crossing my fingers the kids even had one. They both wear their hair short. Dylan met me in the bathroom with a very nice purple dryer. When he went to plug it in, it made a funny blip sound. He unplugged it, and said he thought if he held it just right it would work. I was nervous.
As he plugged it in a second time, his eyes went wide, and he began convulsing. His face broke into a big grin. "Just kidding, Shrink." That kid. He is ALWAYS "just kidding." After poking around in Jamie's bathroom, he found me another one. This lovely red specimen pictured here. Yeah, I'll be going to town Saturday to buy the kids a new hair dryer. I think my hair can go one more day
without washing it.
It had been a fun evening full of laughter and good food. We had made TWO recipes of Shepherd's Pie. It took all of us. Bridger peeled potatoes, I cut up the onions, and Jamie cleaned up behind us as fast as we made our messes. Dylan was in charge of making the Ninja blender whip up the potatoes. They turned out great. Who knew a fancy blender could make mashed potatoes? This old dog is always learning new tricks from her pups. Whenever we're all together, wherever we are...it feels like home to me.
RECIPE FOR CH-CH-CH-CHIA Blueberry Jam HERE.