Monday, November 28, 2011

The nightmare that is Thanksgiving (or, you'd think I'd learn...)

I should know by now how there are dyes in everything, but there are still things that sneak up on me. I should know to read the labels on everything, regardless of if it doesn't seem like something that could be stuffed chemicals....

I gave myself a pretty decent guilt trip about the pumpkin pie from Walmart that had Yellow #5 in it. Then I felt even worse once I found out that the Boy had a slice. He didn't seem to be affected the way he usually is. He's been a little lethargic since Saturday, and it's unusual for him. It's Monday, and he was still sleepy and snuggly today. Who knows if he's getting sick or if he's actually reacting to the pie, but why on earth would someone put Yellow in a pumpkin pie? It's main ingredient is orange, and it's full of delicious yellow-ish ingredients. Seems like a no brainer. A naturally made pie is perfectly beautiful and appetizing, and this Walmart pie has basically just pissed me off. 

Here's another Thanksgiving horror story: Marshmallows have blue dye. Actually, wanna know *exactly* what's in them? The ingredients in Kraft marshmallows are: corn syrup, sugar, modified food starch, dextrose, water, pork-skin gelatin, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, artificial flavor, natural flavor, and blue #1.  As a reference, I'm including Smitten Kitchen's recipe for springy, fluffy marshmallows- her list of ingredients are confectioner's sugar, unflavored gelatin, granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, egg whites, and vanilla. Big diff, eh? They put Brilliant Blue #1 in there just to make my blood boil.

Oh, and we got to do something really awesome this holiday weekend with our family- we went to the Shrine Circus! It was super fun, and I was impressed with the quality of the acts, but that place was oozing with red sno-cones, blue cotton candy, lollipops, sodas, nacho cheese... well, you know, circus food. No surprises there, but still evidence to the pervasiveness of food colorants marketed toward children. 

I know there was a lot of bitching in this post about a holiday that's supposed to be about thankfulness and gratitude, so here's my attempt to win you over and make you think I'm a human... with a beating heart. 
  • I'm grateful for the health of my family, for two healthy, happy kids and a husband whose only health affliction is stubbornness (but there doesn't seem to be any remedy for that.)
  • I'm thankful for the opportunity to raise my kids in the comfort of my own home, and am grateful that as a result, I have two happy, well adjusted and securely attached babes. 
  • Obviously, the internet, chocolate, and wine. 

I'll let you know how my homemade marshmallows turn out, and if I win the war on food dyes as Christmas approaches!


  1. I couldn't find the candy canes at the whole foods I tried, but amazon still has one brand in stock. I think the yellow is usually for the crust to make it look mire whole grainy.

  2. I've been gluten free for 2 and a half years and it still sneaks up on me!

    But, I have learned that some things I would previously just buy pre-made at the grocery store are not that hard to make -- and pretty fun to make!

    Instead of Cool Whip, I now make my own whipped cream. It's extremely easy with a Kitchen-Aid, but can also be made with a handheld mixer or some old-fashioned arm power.

    Whipping Cream
    Powdered sugar
    Optional: Flavoring like chocolate syrup, or my personal favorite: orange liqueur!

    1) Freeze a metal mixing bowl for about 30 minutes. Not required, but a frozen bowl speeds up the process.
    2) Combine 2 tbsp. powdered sugar for every 1/2 c. whipping cream. Add flavoring to taste.
    3) Start whisking (with mixer or by hand). Keep whisking. Walk away from your mixer. Come back 7-10 minutes later and you have whipped cream!

    I can't wait to see (and taste!) how your marshmallows turn out!

  3. I *adore* homemade whipped cream! You've inspired me to make some, and it MUST have some Cointreau added :)

    Thanks for your recipe- I will try it! Love how things have changed (over many, many years) you you are sharing recipes with me. Lots has changed since the chocolate chip cookie debacle.