Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Meet Whole Foods: Almonds Part II !

I guess I didn't get enough almonds last week because I want to spend this week on them too! They are a great food and I have even more recipes to share with you! So today we are introducing:

Almonds Part II !
This photo, “Almond Trees” is copyright (c) 1980 wanderbored and made available under a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 license

Almond Mythology
I want to start today's post by telling you a story from Greek mythology about how almonds came to be. There once was a beautiful maiden Phyllis, queen of Thrace, who was about to be married to her intended Demophon. She went to the altar and waited and waited, but he never came. She thought he had abandoned her, but he was delayed on his way home from battle. Phyllis waited for years and years for Demophon to return, but finally died of a broken heart. To show sympathy, the gods transformed Phyllis into an almond tree, as a symbol of hope. Finally the remorseful Demonphon returned only to find Phyllis as a leafless, flowerless tree. He embraced it and the tree suddenly burst into bloom, a demonstration of love not conquered by death.

Isn't that beautiful? I love it. I can't wait to plant my own almond tree in the backyard - a symbol of hope, constancy and enduring love. And the best part is that I get to eat ALMONDS from it in a few years!!

If you like almonds as much as I do (or want to like them as much as I do), here's a few more links that might be helpful to you:

How To Crack Almonds in their shell - Great step by step instructions with pictures!

Almond Equivalents - A helpful list that shows you how to convert between shelled and unshelled almonds, slivered and whole, and weights to cups.

Information about Growing Almond Trees - some helpful information if you're interested in growing an almond tree. And more great information about growing almond trees here.

I have to share a funny experience (that's completely off topic) that we had. We have family night every Monday night where we teach our children a lesson, have a family activity and then a treat. Well for the lesson a few weeks ago my husband was trying to teach the boys about how to make their prayers more meaningful. He excused himself from the room saying that he had to get something for the lesson. Then from the other room he called up my phone and asked for one of the boys. Then he said, "Hi is this C? Hi this is Daddy. How are you doing? Oh ok bye." And hung up without waiting for them to answer. He repeated this several times with each of the boys until finally they didn't even want to answer the phone anymore.

Then he came in from the other room and we talked about how to make our prayers more meaningful and think about what we are saying instead of repeating the same thing over and over again. Then he said, "What would it be like if we called up Grandpa on the phone and repeated that same thing over and over again each time?" They answered with things like, "He wouldn't like it", "It would be boring" etc. We finished talking about the lesson and had the rest of the family night.

Well the funny thing about this story happened just this past Saturday. We ended up taking a last minute trip to visit Brandon's parents to be there for a family event that was happening. It's a four-hour drive to visit them and we were only there a few hours before we had to turn around and go home. On the drive C said, "Why don't we stay longer, Dad?" Brandon explained to him that we had to get back for school and work on Monday so we couldn't stay. Then C said, "But aren't we just doing what you said not to do in that lesson?" We're pretty much just going, "Hi Grandpa, how are you doing? Oh good? Okay bye."

We laughed and laughed about that. He had a great point and we wished we could have stayed longer, but it was a wonderful time, nonetheless. It's so funny what kids pick up on even when you don't realize they're listening!

Back to the topic, I hope you all enjoy another week of almonds. If you're tired of them already, I'll try to include a few other interesting things this week as well. I'd love to hear about your favorite almond recipes, so leave me a comment or send me an e-mail!

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