No Food? No Problem

Last night, I had no fresh food to speak of in the house and no shabbat leftovers to tide me over till I was supposed to shop today (which, of course, I didn't get to).

It was 7:30 and I was hungry for dinner. Instead of ringing up my favorite sushi place, I dug through my freezer and fridge and came up with the following delicious concoction, which made enough to serve my husband and I and another serving tonight for dinner.

Manna From the Freezer
3 tbs oil
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp hawaj

1 half bag of frozen crock pot white beans
1/4 frozen ground dark meat turkey (turkey shwarma in Israel)
1/2 pan leftover roasted vegetables
3-4 tablespoons leftover sauce from crock pot short ribs 

Saute onion in the oil, add garlic after onion is translucent. Add spices and stir until they release their fragrance (Add enough oil to make almost a paste). Add meat and brown. Add the beans, vegetables and sauce and simmer for 20 min.

Serve with polenta, rice or couscous. (I made polenta and it was very yum).

What's that? You don't have all of these exact leftovers in your fridge and freezer? (and why would you, unless you have a spy camera in my kitchen and have been secretly preparing what I make for shabbat). No problem. I think the spices and onion make a great base for a Morrocan style chile. Add any type of ground beef, chicken or turkey. Add canned or cooked beans (I think chickpeas or any type of red or white bean would work fine. Try baked beans, if that's all you have). Any kind of fresh or frozen veg would also work, but you might want to saute them separately to keep them whole and give them a bit of color. Add chopped tomatoes or tomato paste, salt, pepper and maybe a bit of soup mix. Simmer for 30-40 min.

Anyway, I'm very proud of myself for making up such a frugal and yummy dinner from almost nothing.

Navajo Births Look Suspiciously Like Israeli Births

There's an article in today's NYT about the low C-section and high VBAC rate at a small Navajo hospital in Arizona. The article describes how:
Nurse-midwives at these hospitals deliver most of the babies born vaginally, with obstetricians available in case problems occur. Midwives staff the labor ward around the clock, a model of care thought to minimize Caesareans because midwives specialize in coaching women through labor and will often wait longer than obstetricians before recommending a Caesarean. They are also less likely to try to induce labor before a woman’s due date, something that increases the odds of a Caesarean.
This is an almost exact description of Israeli hospitals. Women don't bring their own doctors to the hospital to give birth, unless they pay privately. I did for my first birth, because everyone in my family and my husband's family was nervous and wanted trusted MD backup. It was nice to have her there, but all she really did was kind of speed things up a bit by doing a amniotomy and  adjusting my daughter's head while she was in the birth canal. Most of my labor was supported by my husband and birth coach and I don't think I would have managed as well as I did (no epidural and a smooth birth) without them. The nurse-midwives at Hadassah came to check up once and a while, but basically they left me alone, until the pushing, when I seem to recall a whole cheering section (one midwife held up and waved around the little stretchy I brought to bring my daughter home in as inspiration for the home stretch)

The article has a beautiful description of the effects of Navajo culture on childbirth and attitudes towards children in general:
Birth is a joyous affair here, and the entire family — from children to great-grandparents — often go to the delivery room.
“I’ve had 12 family members in the room,” said Michelle Cullison, a nurse-midwife. “I’ve frankly never seen a place like this. Whoever that woman wants to be there is there. It’s something I would take out to the community.”
What I found most amusing is the following quote from a doctor:
Can the rest of the country learn from Tuba City? Doctors say they are intrigued by the model but not sure how transferable it is.
Hello, we have a whole country that approaches birth the way this dusty little hospital does. And I don't think Israel is alone, most of Europe approaches birth this way as well. It's frustrating (and ironic) how provincial the US can be when it comes to healthcare, despite all of its technological advances.