Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, food preservation, thrifting,
cookery, organic gardening, crafts, DIYing, vintage stuff, and more...

Jan 30, 2012

Vintage Finds in The Kitchen



Vintage Finds in The Kitchen- I found these fun, little vintage items (they had red paint originally) in Idaho City last summer (an old mining town). They were $1.50 each. I kept them in my little china hutch, and this winter thought I should put them out somewhere. Then I had a great idea- hang them over the cupboards!


I used a little lightweight fishing line to tie it together, and then Dave helped hang it up so it wouldn't fall into my cooking or break the glass range top. Not a good idea! It's fun to think of who used these when they were new, maybe back in the 30's or 40's. Hmmm. Maybe someone named Nancy!

A Great Website- I can't remember if I posted this before, but it's fun! You can scroll thru the decades. Retro-housewife.com I love the 40's best!

                      Red & White Brand Foods

                     1944 WAR KITCHEN - HOUSEWIVES, ATTENTION SAVE YOUR KITCHEN FATS! YOUR WASTE FATS WILL MAKE EXPLOSIVES

Jan 29, 2012

Recipes and Two-Headed Chicken? Tailoring Clothing Smaller

Recipes- New: Spelt Salad- I tried this last night , and it was good! I used this recipe- Thekitchn.com  but modified it, since I don't have a local Traders Joe's (I wish!). I used regular spelt grain, added 1/3 chopped roasted red peppers, 1/3 cup sliced green olives, 8 oz. of tomato packed large sardines (I like better than tuna), and used a similar artichoke spread. I followed the rest of the recipe. I also added 6 oz. of drained, water packed artichoke chunks, some garlic powder and thyme. It was great topped with some shredded romano on top. Very filling and healthy! A little too salty, probably from the green olives.

Recipes- Old: Crock Pot Roasted Pork- Originally this called for one can of whole cranberries, mixed with 1 tbl. of garlic powder, and 1 tsp. of thyme. I substituted 8 ox. of Ikea lingonberry preserves since I was out cranberries. I had two pork loin roasts. Here's the "before" picture-

The two roasts rest on a "bed" of halved yukon gold potatoes, smeared with the berry mixture. Four hours later, on high, done! Juicy and moist. No need to add liquid as it had lots of juice. Sorry, no "after" pics!

Another Nectarine and Blackberry Cobbler- "before"


After! It was great, very low sugar, since I harvested the fruit dead ripe...


A Two Headed Chicken Or?

Today I noticed Rosie and Ellie were both up in the nesting box area. I peeked in and Rosie had crammed herself into the box and was moving around poor Ellie, who was actively laying. She was so patient, just ignoring her. I ran in and grabbed the camera. Rosie was still when I took these- heat to butt! Ellie laid and let out a loud egg song a few minutes later. I went to get the egg, and Rosie was sitting on top of it! I guess she's being "broody", since it doesn't appear she's been laying much this winter. She was the only one who did lay, very reliably, last winter. This year, not so much. Hopefully she'll bounce back, as the days lengthen.

Rosie on the left, Ellie to the right


Shrinking- I spent a bit of time today starting to tailor some of my favorite clothing smaller! What fun! I'm glad I invested in a good sewing machine last year. It will come in handy!!!


Jan 27, 2012

Rest In Peace Buffy




Poor Buffy, our Orpington, died today. I noticed last night she was droopy, so we checked her this morning and I brought her in. She was very flushed and droopy. I gave her water with a dropper and some high calorie paste, but I could tell she probably wouldn't make it. I suspect from her straining and trying to push that she had been egg-bound, and developed a nasty infection. There was no egg this morning. She had passed by lunch time when Dave came home. Rest in peace beautiful girl. Mommy loves you... 

Jan 25, 2012

Big Dietary Changes & Shopping In My Closet


                      
Big Dietary News- My big change recently has been I'm losing weight! I am down about 15 lbs. from December. I'm proud of my self for making this change for the right reasons- my health. I saw a nutritionist who was great- nothing to sell, just "what do you want?" I am eating primarily whole foods, no "diet" anything, smaller portions, and following my own eating plan.

Years ago I did Weight Watchers, and I hated the meetings- people who had gained back all their weight and drank a gallon of diet soda there. Ew, not inspiring to me. I tried another complicated, expensive eating plan three years ago over the summer. I lost weight, but couldn't keep up the meals after going back to work. In my experience extreme "diets" don't work. Extreme working out binges don't work either. I eat what I want, and use this to track it- Fatsecret.com/  I don't have to guess what I'm eating, and I can add specific foods to the database if I want to. I'm down almost another size or two (I was between sizes). I was finally ready to treat my body better, and I'll add exercise soon. My bike is calling my name, once it warms up a bit and drys out!

My energy is up, and I feel better. My allergist said yesterday "your skin looks amazing!", three times! Giving up the dairy did it for me. It took a good week or two to lose some craving, but now I'm past it. Almond milk works fine. I'm also trying some (not all) of the concepts of the-
Primal Blueprint eating ideas- Marksdailyapple.com 
I have the book on hold at the local library, but I see the whole grain problem. I'm still eating some, but about 50%-75% less. Good article here on his-
Top 6 Anti-Inflammatory Foods- Marksdailyapple.com- 6 Foods
If you have arthritis, asthma, etc., it's an interesting read.

Shopping in My Closet-  What's really been great has been shopping in my closet! I had clothing I had bought when I lost weight three years ago this summer. I can wear some of the clothes now! It's awesome! I also got rid of some of the bigger clothes last weekend. I also bought a like new Land's End squall parka at a thrift store for $10.00 three weeks ago. I could barely get it zipped up (2 sizes smaller). I can get it zipped now, but it's snug. Another few weeks and I think I'll be able to pull in the drawstring waist! Oh boy! I have some other clothes I bought a size below where I was three years ago, that will be great too!

                                                             




Jan 20, 2012

Snow in The Mountains, Modern "Wheat" Isn't Really Wheat, & Spelt Salad


Snow in the Mountains= Skiing! It's been raining most of the afternoon, and now it's pouring. All the snow is gone, sadly. It does make for an easier commute however! The good news for many local ski area workers is that Bogus Basin (our small local ski area) opened yesterday! Lots of new snow, and it was their latest opening date ever. The result of a very dry winter. Looks like it's over, with more snow in the forecast. My chickens got out for a couple of hours today before the deluge hit. We have more rain, and snow forecast for next week, so we'll see if we get more white stuff down here! I love it!



Modern Wheat? Article- I have eaten wheat all my life, but have been cutting back on grains for health reasons. Then I read this, which really reaffirmed my decision. The "appetite-stimulating properties" are really scary, unless you're built like a triathlete!!! If you read the article, you'll have some more interesting information to make an informed decision about what you want to eat. I love spelt, so it's a good substitute! Makes a great pizza crust and bread.

Modern Wheat Really Isn't Wheat At All

Gluten intolerance is no longer a fringe medical concept. Researchers are fully aware there is a very big problem with modern wheat cultivation. Wheat is far from being a health food. It makes you fat, causes gas and makes your intestinal tract your enemy, or rather vice-versa. High-yielding and now genetically modified varieties of wheat are making this one cereal grain you'll probably want to axe from your food list.

So how--and when--did this ancient grain become such a serious health threat? Author and preventive cardiologist William Davis, MD, says it's when big agriculture stepped in decades ago to develop a higher-yielding crop. Today's "wheat," he says, isn't even wheat, thanks to some of the most intense crossbreeding efforts ever seen. "The wheat products sold to you today are nothing like the wheat products of our grandmother's age, very different from the wheat of the early 20th Century, and completely transformed from the wheat of the Bible and earlier," he says.

Plant breeders changed wheat in dramatic ways. Once more than four feet tall, modern wheat--the type grown in 99 percent of wheat fields around the world--is now a stocky two-foot-tall plant with an unusually large seed head. Dr. Davis says accomplishing this involved crossing wheat with non-wheat grasses to introduce altogether new genes, using techniques like irradiation of wheat seeds and embryos with chemicals, gamma rays, and high-dose X-rays to induce mutations.

In July 2009, the most hated company in the world
Monsanto, announced new research into GM wheat and industry groups kicked their promotion of GM wheat into high gear. "Widespread farmer and consumer resistance defeated GM wheat in 2004 and this global rejection remains strong, as demonstrated by today's statement," said Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.

"In 2004, a coalition of Japanese consumer and food industry groups delivered a petition to the Governments of Canada and the U.S. urging them not to introduce GM wheat. Today, consumer rejection of GM wheat in Japan is just as strong as ever. 80 organizations in Japan have already signed the rejection statement," said Keisuke Amagasa of the Tokyo-based No! GMO Campaign. "A large majority of consumers here in Japan are voicing their strong opposition to the cultivation of GM wheat. We see strong opposition from all sectors of society."

Japan's flour companies are also rejecting GM wheat, echoing consumer opposition. In a statement released today, the Flour Miller's Association of Japan wrote to the No! GMO Campaign indicating its opposition. "Under the present circumstances, with all the doubts about safety and the environment that the consumers in Japan have, including the effect on the human body from GM foods, GM wheat is included among the items that are not acceptable for the Japanese market," Kadota Masaaki, senior managing director of the Flour Miller's Association wrote to the No! GMO Campaign.

Clearfield Wheat, grown on nearly 1 million acres in the Pacific Northwest and sold by BASF Corporation--the world's largest chemical manufacturer--was created in a geneticist's lab by exposing wheat seeds and embryos to the mutation-inducing industrial toxin sodium azide, a substance poisonous to humans and known for exploding when mishandled, says Dr. Davis. This hybridized wheat doesn't survive in the wild, and most farmers rely on toxic chemical fertilizers and pesticides to keep the crops alive.

So what does all of this plant science have to do with what's ailing us? Intense crossbreeding created significant changes in the amino acids in wheat's glutenproteins, a potential cause for the 400 percent increase in celiac disease over the past 40 years. Wheat's gliadin protein has also undergone changes, with what appears to be a dire consequence. "Compared to its pre-1960s predecessor, modern gliadin is a potent appetite stimulant," explains Dr. Davis. "The new gliadin proteins may also account for the explosion in inflammatory diseases we're seeing."

An intolerance to gluten can cause a wide array of symptoms, some debilitating. Moreover, delays in diagnosis or common misdiagnoses can be devastating to long-term health. Gerta Farber elaborates
on her research and personal experience with Celiac disease.

A powerful little chemical in wheat known as 'wheat germ agglutinin' (WGA) which is largely responsible for many of wheat's pervasive, and difficult to diagnose, ill effects. Researchers are now discovering that WGA in modern wheat is very different from ancient strains. Not only does WGA throw a monkey wrench into our assumptions about the primary causes of wheat intolerance, but due to the fact that WGA is found in highest concentrations in "whole wheat," including its supposedly superior sprouted form, it also pulls the rug out from under one of the health food industry's favorite poster children.

Below the radar of conventional serological testing for antibodies against the various gluten proteins and genetic testing for disease susceptibility, the WGA “lectin problem” remains almost entirely obscured. Lectins, though found in all grains, seeds, legumes, dairy and our beloved nightshades: the tomato and potato, are rarely discussed in connection with health or illness, even when their presence in our diet may greatly reduce both the quality and length of our lives.

The appetite-stimulating properties of modern wheat most likely occurred as an accidental by-product of largely unregulated plant breeding methods, Dr. Davis explains. But he charges that it's impact on inflammatory diseases may have something to do with the fact that, in the past 15 years, it's been showing up in more and more processed foods. Wheat ingredients are now found in candy, Bloody Mary mixes, lunch meats, soy sauce, and even wine coolers.


As if making you hungrier wasn't enough, early evidence suggests that modern wheat's new biochemical code causes hormone disruption that is linked to diabetes and obesity. "It is not my contention that it is in everyone's best interest to cut back on wheat; it is my belief that complete elimination is in everyone's best health interests," says Dr. Davis, "In my view, that's how bad this thing called 'wheat' has become."

Replace Wheat With Spelt
Spelt is an ancient grain that has lately made a comeback in North America, even though it has been popular through the decades in many European countries. Spelt is a non-hybrid distant relative to present day wheat. Spelt's uniqueness is derived from its genetic makeup and nutrition profile. Spelt has high water solubility, so nutrients are easily absorbed by the body making it easy to digest. It is high in protein (significantly higher than wheat), higher in B complex vitamins, and spelt is high in both simple and complex carbohydrates. These complex carbohydrates are an important factor in blood clotting and stimulating the body's immune system. Spelt is a suberb fiber resource. Spelt's nutty flavor doesn't just taste good, it has so many other nutritional benefits that are amazingly good for you! Keep reading to find out more about how spelt’s nutrients contribute to lower risk of cardiovascular (heart) disease, type II diabetes, and can lessen occurrences of migraine headaches.

Spelt is more difficult to process than modern wheat varieties, making it a little more expensive to purchase. Spelt's husk protects it from pollutants and insects which allows growers to avoid using pesticides, unlike other grains. The husk needs to be mechanically separated from the kernal before milling (this is done after it is thrashed and harvested). The spelt is stored in good, low moisture conditions in order to protect the kernal, retain nutrients, and maintain freshness. Over decades, modern wheat has been drastically changed to be easier to grow and harvest. This in turn increases yields, maintains a high gluten content in the wheat to produce high-volume commercial baked goods. On the other hand, spelt has preserved many of its original traits and continues to remain highly nutritious and full of flavor. And spelt can make fantastic breads and delicious pastries


A note about gluten:
Keep in mind that spelt does contain gluten. Gluten is made up of glutenin and gliadin molecules. Gluten provides elasticity to dough, which allows bread to rise. Even though spelt’s gluten is more fragile than other wheats, the bread produces fewer air pockets, it is well formed and maintains its flavorful taste.

Spelt Salad!- Looks yummy! Recipe here- I'll try soon: thekitchn.com
                                       2008_04_28-Salad.jpg



Jan 18, 2012

Snow, and Then Some!


Samantha Out Exploring- our total: about 6-8"! Snowed all day, turned to rain about 3 p.m. Supposed to go into regular rain the next few days.




The media cracks me up, calling this big storm the "snowmageddon". Brother. People use to get these storms all the time, and survive. Boise gets 6" or so, and look out!


Baby Chicks!- A fun photo from my husband's family, circa 1940's, Clackamas, Oregon.


Jan 17, 2012

The Snow's Coming, Great Recipes, Food Allergies= Good News


The Snow's Coming- This is being predicted as the biggest winter storm in decades, and I'm hoping for a snow day tomorrow! Not because I'm lazy, just coming off a three-day weekend. Here's why- since the snow is going to start here tonite, with a predicted inch or 2 (not too bad), it's the up to 4-6" more on top of that that I'm cringing about. Not fun to try and drive home AFTER work in that much white stuff. Boise never does well with snow. Too many SUV drivers think they levitate over the snow :(  Time will tell, but I love snow!!!

Lots of Great Recipes- I have been playing around with some old, and new, recipes so I thought I'd post some here-

Pesto Sauce- A nice, low fat pesto sauce I made with a HUGE batch of fresh basil, oh the smell! I swooned! Great on multi grain spaghetti- Grouprecipes.com

Cuban Black Beans and Rice- I add more heat with more chili powder, to taste. It's great otherwise! wholefoodsmarket.com  Great for vegetarians and vegans. I serve with corn chips.

Cilantro-Lime Dressing- Excellent on top of a bed of greens, with an avocado and strips of marinated lean beef, wow! Not very hot, will leave in some jalapeno seeds next time- allrecipes.com  I LOVE this website, consistently great recipes!

Carne Asada- Great with the dressing above- recipe from Marksdailyapple.com I'm playing with some of the Primal Blueprint eating plans

INGREDIENTS
▪ 1 1/2 pounds (grass fed) flank steak I used round bottom, much cheaper)
▪ 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
▪ 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
▪ 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
▪ 1 teaspoon cumin
▪ 1 teaspoon chili powder
▪ 1 teaspoon oregano
▪ Pinch cayenne pepper
▪ 2 limes, juiced
▪ 1 orange, juiced
▪ 8 to 12 ounces beer (or beef broth)

Slice the meat on the diagonal into thin strips. Combine all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag or in a shallow dish (meat should be completely covered in liquid). Marinate in the refrigerator at least 3 hours.
Take out and drain off the marinade. Lightly salt the steak. The meat can be cooked in a skillet or grilled. Cook 3–6 minutes on each side for medium-rare. I'm going to try with chicken next time...


Sorry no photos on the other recipes, too busy!

Freezer Cooking- I have been harvesting from the freezer the last couple of weeks. It's been great being able to use up some of my green and red bell peppers I bought last fall. They were .50 each then compared to $1.50 each now. I've also started making some cobblers out of my homegrown, organic nectarines. They're awesome mixed with homegrown, organic blackberries and store bought wild blueberries (bought last summer on sale). Now I can start getting some room in my freezer back!

Food Allergies-  I found out I am allergic to dairy over winter break in December. I am off all dairy about 99%. Here's what I have seen- I used to have an occasional pimple or two, every week. All gone now. My skin looks great! I never had that problem til after... menopause. Yes, I'm there, no big deal anymore. Almond milk has been a good substitute for on top of cereal, etc. Here's a nice, non-dairy way I have used to use up my Starbucks Mocha powder (a gift)- allrecipes.com  Boiling water, coconut milk (low fat) and the powder. Not bad!

The "good news" about food allergies- I decided to see a nutritionist, a part of our Employee Assistance Program (free up to six visits), to clean up my diet and lose weight. A good time for me to do this. So far, I'm happy to say, I'm losing weight easily, and down 7 lbs. I'm sticking with whole foods, no "diet anything". I was shown this website (all free) and it really helps- fatsecret.com/  It has a database of 1000's of items that are already listed- all kinds of grocery and restaurant items. You can also add foods as needed. It helps track and calculate your food, no guessing, or writing it on a piece of paper. My husband started using it too, as he needs to lose a small amount.

The great thing about a nutritionist is that you can tailor the food you eat for what works for YOU. No sales pitch- join this, buy that. This is working, and I can feel this difference already.

Other Really Good News- I got a call last month- "your mammogram shows something, you need to come back in". The an awful long week of waiting, 12-15 films later- it came back clean, big sigh of relief. BUT, if it had been SOMETHING, it would have been small enough to treat easily, and quickly. GET A MAMMOGRAM EVERY YEAR LADIES!!! It may save your life. And tell your daughters too. Don't wait...

Jan 4, 2012

Thrifting, Scandinavian Crafts/Cook Books & Cookies!



                                                               French Butter Keeper- How It Works


Thrifting Fun!- I went to my local thrift store warehouse the other day. I found another onion soup pot (to go with my other 2), a French butter keeper, and a Polish folk art marmelade (European spelling) pot. All: a whopping $1.50! A French butter keeper is preety cool in function! The round top holds 1 cube of butter perfectly, then the bottom fills about 1/3 with cold water. You then set the butter into the water base. Seals out the air and keeps in cool, no electricity needed! Works great in the summer!!! Just wash weekly, or more often, and you can change the water every few days if needed. No more cold, hard butter or melted goo!

Scandinavian Craft and Cooking Books- I found some great books at the library over winter break all with great ideas, recipes and photos:

Swedish Christmas Crafts   Not just for Christmas, IMO.
                                                  

Scandinavian Classic Baking  OMG, what a find! I'll be trying these soon!!!
                                               

Swedish Christmas Traditions    A mixed bag, but some good recipes....
                                                  

Cookies- I finally tried out my new IKEA cookie cutters below


 I used a Sweet and Spicy Lebkuchen recipe that I found years ago in a cookbook. I found the exact recipe online! I love the ground up almonds and moistness, not hard and dry. I do NOT dredge them in powdered sugar, too sweet for me. I use a lite sprinkle instead. Sweet-n-Spicy-Lebkuchen




Jan 1, 2012

Count Your Blessings

I always loved this song, and cover, by Amy Grant- Count Your Blessings, originally sung by Bing Crosby in White Christmas. Here she sings it with CeCe Winans, from her "Christmas To Remember" tv special. I always loved the simple story of the movie, a real "oldie". A great thoughtful song...


Happy New Year 2012- May your life be full of miracles~~~
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