Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mother's Day Tea

Half-food, half-parenting post today! Yesterday my daughter's preschool held a "Mother's Day Tea". I had to share some of the happenings with you, starting with the cookies.

I posted about my new Sprinkle Cookies a couple of weeks ago. I made a double batch of these (and made them a tad smaller) to bring to the party. You see, the children and teachers made rice krispie squares for our tea, and although they made them with margarine instead of butter (my daughter told them "I don't eat cow butter"! funny!), there is still the issue of the marshmallows.

It was very considerate of the teachers to accommodate the "challenging vegans in the crowd", and so I called them to thank them and explained that there are still some other ingredients that we don't eat and would it be okay for me to bring some sprinkle cookies for all of the kids. They didn't mind at all... and neither did the kids. I walked away with one cookie left in this container!!

I was a sappy mess after the hour of surprises and what can only be explained as 5-year old preciousness.

First, they made us bracelets. Here is mine. Leslie, you have some competition - watch out! :)

Next, the kids gave us portraits that they drew and we were asked a couple of questions by the teachers, that they also had asked our children. We had to see if our answers "matched up". It was hilarious!

Here is my portrait... remarkable likeness, don't you think?!!
(She certainly got the choker necklace right - as Leslie knows, I love cute choker necklaces).

Finally, after a couple of songs and a video of why "we love our moms" (yes, I had the full waterworks and pink nose at this point),

we left with a marigold that they planted in their own painted pot....

Could all of this be more precious??!
...reward for all those nasty diapers... :)


Sweet Pea said...

So all the temper tantrums will be worth it in a couple of years? :-)

The tea does sound so precious.

Addy N. said...

That is very precious! I can relate to your frustration about food at school. We are vegetarian (not vegan), but I prefer NOT to feed my daughter sugary food on a regular basis. Her school seems to give them sweets almost daily- cookies here and there, candy, cupcakes, etc. I told them at the beginning of the year that I prefer that my daughter doesn't eat that stuff (I'd rather make her healthier alternatives at home that don't contain processed sugars, etc.), but they seem to have forgotten that this is our preference. The poor little thing (she's only 6)- I keep telling her to say "no thank you" the way she would if they were serving meat, but I know it's hard for her. Why are people in such a hurry to feed other people's children all that garbage?

By the way- I just bought a couple of your cookbooks recently and look forward to trying some more recipes- I absolutely LOVE your homestyle chocolate chip cookies!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...


And I would wear that bracelet, it's so cute!

Julie said...

That is so cute! What a special thing for you & your daughter to share!

Happy Mother's Day! :)

Dreena said...

Yes, sweet pea, they make up for all those tantrums and power struggles with these most adorable things later on... though, I have to tell you, we still have power struggles with our 5-year old. But then, both are kids are VERY strong-willed. Fiercely stubborn - not at all like their parents - ha!

Hi adenostoma, and I relate to your experiences of overconsumption of candy and treats in these settings (preschool/school). Even with our preschool, though we bring our own snacks for the days, at 'party days', the parents of the kids that have birthdays for that month typically bring a treat to hand out to each of the kids. Most often it is some form of candy. Lollipops (which scare me - choking hazards), candy bracelets, smarties, etc. All junk. The kids don't need it - but many of them are used to more sugar and 'unreal' food at least on a weekly basis if not more often. Sigh!! Well, I'm sure glad you are enjoying some treats that are (at least) a little more healthy with the homestyle cookies!! Let me know if you have q's about any of the recipes you want to try. :)

Hi Jess! I know, what a fun and playful bracelet, hey? I will be a very proud mama wearing it!

Hi Julie... thanks... it really was the best hour I have had in a long time! Most rewarding for the hard work that as a parent you wonder if it is having any impact or appreciated. Then, you have special moments that tell you it is all worth it. I'd better stop before I get sappy again! :)

juliehasson said...

What a nice post Dreena. As I was reading it I was remembering the mother's day teas in my children's classrooms. They were so much fun. My mom was teasing me the other day and asked if I'm going to have to set an alarm Sunday morning to get my kids up to make me breakfast in bed (and I have every intention of doing so ; )


Sweet Pea said...

On another note...I did try the quinoa casserole (I did manage to find quinoa at a local store without having to make a trip to the healthfood store) and it was delicious. My hubby was so impressed.
Prior to dinner hubby made an announcement of sorts...he's going to try eating vegan for a month. Gotta love him!

Catherine said...

Dreena, it sounds like you had a wonderful day! That was very considerate of your daughter's teacher to make the krispie squares with margarine. Marshmallows are a weird thing -- most people equate them with sugar, and of course, sugar is vegan! Oh well. (I also think it's awesome you volunteered to bring some treats! So many people would complain, but not offer to help.)
I haven't been a veggie/near vegan for very long, so it never ceases to surprise me when people are confused about vegetarianism. The family I nanny for was making pizza for dinner the other night, and the one mom asked me if I wanted them to make half a pizza with no cheese for me -- I said, "sure!" The other mom (they're a lesbian couple) said, "why?" The first mom said, "she's a vegetarian." The second mom said, "oh -- wait -- vegetarians eat cheese!" Then I had to explain veganism, and what I think was even more confusing was explaining why I very rarely eat a little dairy. I got kind of frustrated, which I don't think was her intent, but I ended up ending with, "cheese and eggs just aren't very healthy for grown-ups to be eating all the time, so I really try to get most of my protein from plant sources." She seemed satisfied.
Coming from an omni family of stick-thin people, they've probably never thought about this before! (Although they do eat wholegrain bread, brown rice, and offer the kids fruits and vegetables -- although they don't really eat them!)
Sorry to rant . . . !! :)

raising_kahne said...

aww. The bracelet is so cute! You're a blessed mom! Ok first let me start out by saying that Im a little new on here.

Im a vegetarian, and also love to learn and read more about veganism. Im trying extremly hard to find your cookbooks because Ive had waay to many people to mention that said your cookbooks were the best! But(I hope you dont mind, but I kinda need a little help/advice) Im the only health concious and vegetarian in my home. Im almost 15, and like I said, Im a health nut. family(parents and brothers) are anything but! They eat a lot of meat and stuff everyday. And I am also staying away from dairy products because I went to a health class and learned about that and other things. But, my mom thinks that Im being "proud or boastful" and think Im better than everyone else just because I wont eat what I think is un-healthy or against vegetarian. I guess what Im asking is, did you ever have to deal with this, or am I the only one?? Because I know Im a teen and I have to respect my parents, but sometimes it's just so hard! Im saving my money now because she said she's not going to buy me a lot of food just because I wont eat what everyone else is eating. Im sorry this is so long and I hope you dont think Im foolish, but do you have eny advice on this?
Thanks a ton! You really inspire me with new ideas with your cooking!

Dreena said...

Hi Julie!! Thanks... it WAS a great morning. I love your plans for mother's day - "they *will* get up and make me breakfast"!! I wish you a beautiful mother's day (and a delish breakfast)! :)

Hi sweet pea, well I'm glad you found the quinoa, but more fabulous is your hubby's announcement!! That's excellent! I suspect after the month he will be enjoying the food and how he feels that he will want to continue - I'll keep my fingers crossed for you on that!

Hi Catherine - no apologies needed - I love a good rant! It sometimes feels like we are always explaining ourselves, doesn't it? I mean, if we just said "I'm allergic to _____", it would be far easier, noone would question that. But when it's our choice to not eat ____, then there is much confusion and question. With the preschool, I am always happy to bring some treats and enough for everyone, because otherwise I feel like my daughter is the 'odd one out'. I just ordered some vegan marshmallows. I had some before, but ran out, and she REALLY wants to make rk squares - esp after that preschool day. Oh my!

Hi Savanna, and welcome! :) Wow, you are quite a remarkable 15 year old, taking the initiative to learn more about healthy eating and doing your research. A lot of times parents don't understand when their teens want to go veg, and most often that decision is for ethical reasons which their parents don't have the same connection to. I think you are exceptional in your interest for going veg because of health reasons, and I hope that your family will see some of the benefits of your choices and want to at least support you, if not make the changes with you. Do you have much information that shows the link between meat/dairy based diets and health risks such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, etc? Have you shown this to your mom? If you don't have this type of info, go to to print off some material for your mom. Take a few books out of the library to help her understand how healthful these choices are, and how these changes can have profoundly positive impacts on your health, hers, and that of your other family members. Do you think she would be more willing to spend money on some food/ingredients if you offer to prepare and help cook some vegan meals? Something you know your family will like. For instance, if they like burritos or chili, then those are very easy to make vegan. I'm thinking if she sees that you have the best interest of all of you at heart to be healthier, and that this is not a teenage rebellious thing, that she will be more cooperative and accepting. Try talking to her very sincerely about what you've learned and maybe ask her if you can talk to her quietly without distractions and not getting upset to help explain. I remember being your age, and most discussions with parents can seem volatile and like you aren't listening to one another. If you can talk quietly without other things going on, maybe that will help. When I made my changes, I was a little older than you are, but I was the "odd one" in the family. I didn't go vegan until I was in my 20's so I could buy my own food, etc. But, I think if you can talk to your parents, show them some of the health information you have discovered and researched, and try cooking with her/them, you can perhaps get more support rather than resistance. As for your brothers, well, they will probably tease and annoy you, because, well, they're your brothers!!! :) Us girls mature faster than boys anyhow!! :) :) Good luck, I hope some of this helped, and you can comment or e-mail me with any more q's if you need!

EatPeacePlease said...

Uh-oh, I better watch out! Great post today, from food to jewelry to plants!

Dreena said...

That's it, Leslie, she watched me "ooh and ahh" with your jewelry pics, and she got busy! :)

me said...

What a great posting! Thanks for writing about these touching surprises...makes me smile inside!

Sheryle said...

A few weeks ago my aunt and uncle offered to watch my 4 y/o twins, for the first time, while my husband and I went out for dinner. They knew the girls are vegan and had planned accordingly.

Later, my aunt reported that whenever she added something to their plate they asked in concerned voices, "does that have cow in it?"

It a wonderful thing to have one's young children still stand up for their beliefs even when the parents aren't there to support them.

Dreena said...

Thank you, me, it made me smile too (when I wasn't tearing up).

Sheryle, that's a great story!! That's about the age, between 4 and 5 (at least that's what I found), that they make that connection between their food and health/animals. They understand and express that their food comes from somewhere, and is either healthy or not! I bet your felt very proud and reassured about that situation too. Sounds like your aunt and uncle are quite respectful of your decisions as well. I'm writing here and trying to get past how frantically busy you must have been these last few years with twins!! Well, now it sounds like you'll have dual activists on your hands! :)

Addy N. said...

Dreena: I made your easy pleasin' oat bars last night and my daughter took one in her lunch today. One of the teachers asked for the recipe (she didn't taste it, but just saw them). They are quite tasty (my daughter loves them), although they came out a bit softer than I thought. I just now noticed your post about these from February and will use a larger pan next time to make them thinner/crunchier. I look forward to adding in nuts, dried fruits, etc. in the future, too. BTW, do you think flax meal would work? Either using as an add-in or replacing a bit of the ground oats with it? I know the oil is unstable at high temps, but think you can bake the ground seeds. Also- I made the roasty toasty sunflower seeds and my daughter ate three big scoops after school today!

Dreena said...

Thanks, Adenostoma! I'm 'pleased' you like the 'easy pleasin' bars'!! (My humor is weak, I know!) Absolutely, I think flax is a great addition. I would use flax meal too (rather than the seeds), just because it is better absorbed by our bodies (and imo, nicer to eat). Maybe use 3 tbsp in the recipe to start, and then make one of the cups of the oats a scant cup (to remove a couple of tbsps). Flax meal is often added to baked goods, so I think it should be okay here as well. Let me know how it works out if you try it! Your daughter sounds quite willing to try new things - how very excellent!! Good luck. :)