Pale Tortillas

When we moved our family to Haiti in the fall of 2008, perhaps there was a bit of guilt that played into my parenting.  Every time we traveled down from Ft. Jacques into Port-au-Prince, we bought the kids sodas and papita (fried plantain chips) on the side of the road. When we went to the grocery store, we bought them snacks that would remind them of the States.  These treats soon turned into expectations from the kids and unhealthy habits were formed.

Last December, I was desperate to move from “survive” to “thrive” with my kids and our home school.  Occasionally, I would get a glimpse of what our home school could be; what it needed to be.  Somedays everything went so well.  The kids were happy to do what ever I told them they needed to accomplish.  They worked their hardest and did their best.  There were no emotional outbursts and running to the other room.  It was enough of a glimpse that I started investigating ways to ensure that there were more days like these.

One area of our lives I focused on was the nutritional habits of our family.  I thought maybe eliminating sugar might be part of the solution for our home school woes.  As I investigated what “eliminating sugar” actually meant, I read about the differences between white flour and whole wheat flour.  I bought a five pound bag of whole wheat flour just to experiment some with it to see if I could do anything fun with it.  Turns out I found some really great recipes on the internet and in just a matter of time switched out all of my recipes for whole wheat flour.  My kids didn’t fuss a bunch about the switch.  It has taken some trial and error in finding the right amounts and consistency.  I found a lot of useful information from that I use on a consistent basis.

After nine months of mostly using whole wheat flour (and LOVING it), I cannot find any more in Port-au-Prince.  I am not the “sugar nazi”  and we have in no way eliminated sugar; but I am confident we are much healthier now than we were a year ago.  I don’t want to switch back to white flour, but it seems at the moment I have no choice.  I have pale tortillas, pale pizza crust, pale muffins.  When I put any baked items on the table, my kids all think they look funny.  My measurements are all off, I cannot get the consistency right anymore.

The question now stands, will the grocery stores ever restock with whole wheat or should I look for other options?  I can buy wheat here in Haiti, but I need a grain mill to grind it.  Do I want to be a hard core whole wheat grain grinder?

tomato and basil pizza, with a pale crust

I miss my whole wheat flour…must find a grinder.


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