Thursday, August 12, 2010

An Excellent Article About Julia Child

I didn't know much about Julie Child until I saw the movie Julie and Julie when it came out in theatres.  I absolutely loved it, in fact I think I should watch it again soon.  She held similar passions as I do, especially as it concerns butter!    Anyway, I just found this gem of an article on the Weston A. Price Foundation Blog and thought I'd share it:  The Wit, Wisdom and Naughtiness of Julia Child .  Enjoy! 

If you haven't seen the movie, it is a must see.  Here is the trailer...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kombucha Bottled! And Pickles!

Yesterday I bottled my first double batch of kombucha, thanks to the beautiful slimy 'mushrooms' Lydia gave me when we visited her last month.  I'm using 500ml mason jars with plastic lids (just to rule out any problems with metal ) and used 3 different flavors.  Blueberry, apricot, and almond.   I also added a bit of coconut sugar to them (except the apricot) to boost the second ferment and add a touch of sweetness since we're not accustomed to kombucha yet!    I've already stuck my straw into them today for little taste and it's pretty good! 

I can see how it will become somewhat addictive, I'm already thinking about having another taste.  I'm also  drinking beet kvass everyday , 2-3 times per day and am really starting to crave that.  And it's so funny to see Amilia grabbing for the glass and drinking it down!  Will have to get some pictures or video of that for sure.

You can see from the picture that I've got a jar of pickles fermenting as well.  This batch is cucumbers and onions, with pickling spice and garlic and a touch of coconut sugar.  In the future I'll use honey but I'm all out right now.  We cracked open a jar of pickled (lacto-fermented) carrots and peppers last night with my in-laws and they were a big hit. (I put dried dill and fennel seeds along with garlic cloves and celery tops  in that one.)   Wish I could say the same for the beet kvass haha, so far Amilia and I are alone in our enjoyment of that!  

Lydia at Divine Health has written about brewing kombucha as well.  You can also do a search on her site for even more info on it.  A quick google search will provide you with simple instructions for brewing your own (or follow directions in Nourishing Traditions).  And I found another excellent article discussing the history and the many health benefits on drinking kombucha tea, as well as suggestions on how much to drink and other tips.  That site also has much more information available, so be sure to check it out!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Beautiful Blueberries and Thinking About Back to School (already!)

It's blueberry time!  I've been out of frozen blueberries for a few months now and I'm determined to fill my freezer while I can.  We use blueberries in smoothies, tossed into yogurt,  the occasional batch of muffins, or dessert such as pie or my favorite, crepes with cream cheese filling and blueberry sauce.  Eva eats her pancakes with blueberry sauce too claiming that maple syrup hurts her stomach.  So far I've been picking 3 times for a couple hours each time and probably have a couple of gallons or so in the freezer. I want more!  I'd like to try my hand at blueberry wine and also freeze some blueberry syrup (lightly sweetened with a touch of honey).  We'll see how far I get! 

According to my family age-old wisdom, blueberries should NOT be washed before freezing.  Of course, I've been notified that some people do wash them, but I pick wild berries way back in the woods on my parents' land so washing is unnecesary. If you do wash your berries make sure they are very dry and then freeze first on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper before storing in containeers.  I  pick fairly clean to begin with, but later I also pick through lightly and pull out any twigs , leaves or bad berries I find.  Then dump into a container, snap the lid on and put in the freezer!  Simple!

Today I also made pancakes with coconut flour and buckwheat flour and they turned out really well.  Ben, my pancake addict, ate them up.  I also made some with mashed banana and am going to work on them until they make a really good school lunch snack.  I realize I'm going to have to be more creative this year to figure out how to incorporate all the changes I want to do with our diet.  For one thing, I may not have any bread to work with, or if I do it will be very different. 

Thankfully I've been able to talk with Eva  a lot already about the changes and why we're doing them. She's had a really great attitude so far and really seems to be understanding the basics of gut healing and nutrition.  I've already got a fair amount of homemade chicken stock in my freezer and she's looking forward to taking a thermos of that in her school lunches (she drinks it with a straw, I'm lucky she's always liked it so much).  As soon as my in-laws travel back home in a few days I'll be ready to really dig in, though I still have to order the GAPS book and read it!  I'm not sure if we'll follow it exactly or not until I read it all but I think we'll be following at least 90%  from I've read on their website. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Farmer's Market High

I know I'm very strange and I guess it doesn't take much to make me happy, but I had the most amazing time yesterday morning. I made my weekly trip to my local farmer's market, making my normal rounds and of course I needed bacon.  Bacon is one of the first things on my list, it's cheap and sometimes it may be the only meat I buy if I'm strapped for money (I've usually got a few other meats lurking in my freezer anyway).  Well this week when I showed up the farmer lit up  and started calling other people who were working there to come over, saying "this is the lady that told me about the vitamin D!!"  The previous week I had mentioned to him that bacon fat and lard were excellent sources of vitamin D and that I ate bacon every day almost and cooked with all the extra bacon fat.  I told him that his bacon was the best because it had so much fat.

Anyway, I hadn't realized that it had interested him so much.  He was pretty excited about it and I gave him the website for the Weston A. Price Foundation as well as some info on Nourishing Traditions.  And there's more good new!  I asked him about lard and he says he makes it in the fall for a local baker.  They have so much fat they don't know what to do with it, people don't want lard.  Well, some people do, some people do!!  He sells it for  2$ a pound, soooo cheap, more than half the price of butter!  I'm so excited, I'm dreaming of filling my freezer with pounds and pounds of lard, edible sunshine for the long winter months.

And if all this wasn't enough, at a quick stop at my local Bulk Barn I discovered a new the suspense killing you yet?  It was organic coconut sugar.  Yes. It's true.   It's even a little less than rapadura.  I tasted it and it's sweet and flavorful.  Vaguely similar to maple sugar, but  a little moist and chewy.  I believe it's made from the sap of the palm tree, not the actual coconut.  I haven't done much research on it yet but I did find this basic info (coconut sugar) that is very helpful.