Friday, July 31, 2015

Week 10 - Raw Milk... and more Raw Milk... and even more Raw Milk

I have begun working for my friend as she starts up her raw milk business! I much appreciate the opportunity to help out in exchange for milk.

A. I have missed milking. Didn't realize how much until I began doing it again. I think I like routine, and orderliness, and cows... and raw milk. Just a leetle bit ;)

B. It is nicer to be an employee than be responsible for running a farm. Also nicer to only be milking 2-3 times a week instead of 14 times a week... 52 weeks a year, for years in a row.

C. Yes, it is possible for a family of four to use 11 gallons of milk in a week and a half... think 2 gallons of homemade yogurt, 1/2 gallon of ice cream, 1 quart sour cream, 2 lbs of fresh mozzarella and 1 lb of chevre... plus plenty for fresh drinking.

D. Milking when it is over 100 degrees outside is interesting. Not impossible, but definitely deserving of an iced chai afterwards... thanks to my employer for the deliciousness!
I also learned how to make tahini this week... an ingredient in my first attempt at hummus. Smashing success, I might add. This recipe is delicious! In looking for a way to include more raw veggies in my diet, I also discovered a way to use chickpeas and sesame seeds that have just been sitting in my pantry and freezer for ages, unused. Score!
As soon as I brought this week's CSA share home, I got some lacto-fermented green beans culturing on the counter. Can't wait for two weeks from now when they are ready to eat!
The colors of this season are so beautiful!

This week's gatherings...

CSA share - $25
5 gallons cow milk - free!
3 gallons goat milk - $25
4 dozen eggs - $10
Extra veggies - $4
Zucchini, lettuce - free
Light olive oil - $26

Total for Week 10: $90

Week 9 - the meals

It is getting more challenging to create new dishes with only the ingredients I have on hand. But a good challenge! Ingredient substitution and simple dishes are the key here.

I got excited about this meal... Pad Thai (substituting zucchini for bean sprouts) with a side of green beans, garlic, bacon and butter. We love Thai food and this is a great alternative to eating out! I had no peanuts... then remembered the remaining handful of Isaac's trail mix that was uneaten... picked out the peanuts and kiddos got the raisins, and voila! Love these little items not going to waste.

This one too! Super yummy. Beef burgers topped with cheese, bacon, cherry tomatoes and fermented ketchup, served on lettuce. Cool and refreshing Mediterranean cucumber salad - simply peeled and chopped cucumbers with a little plain yogurt, minced garlic, salt and pepper. I discovered my 2 year old is a big cucumber fan, I ended up eating very little of this salad because he kept asking for more ;)

Mashed potatoes with beef gravy - sauteed zucchini, garlic and cheese - rainbow carrot and cucumber salad. Using six of this week's CSA veggies in one meal!

Here again, the Mediterranean cucumber salad. Yummy :)

The boys enjoying Pad Thai...

Friday, July 24, 2015

Week 9

Veggies. I can't get enough of them!

Here is this week's gatherings...

6 jars raw milk - free!
10 lbs blueberries - $20
2 loaves sandwich bread (and a free cookie!) from a local bakery - $12
CSA share - $25
Lettuce/zucchini - free
Fermented CLO and Butter Oil - traded for labor

Total for week 9: $57

Beautiful Babies - book review

I was hesitant to purchase this book at first, then decided it has been far too long since I spent money on new reading material.

When it arrived, I opened it... and then couldn't put it down.

Everything I have studied regarding Weston Price's research, Nourishing Traditions, and the Cure Tooth Decay diet, all wrapped into one easy read that is tailored specifically towards moms, moms-to-be and babies.

I especially loved that the forward was written by Joel Salatin - very appropriate considering this book is all about supporting local farms by purchasing pasture raised animals for our health.

Yes, as some reviews state this book mostly reiterates WAPF nutrition. Even then, I learned some new things, and it is far easier to reference information than digging through Nourishing Traditions or Nutrition and Physical Degeneration - fascinating books but rather long-winded.

Beautiful Babies is encouraging me to continue prioritizing clean, pasture raised animal products and alerted me to a couple foods I need to phase out of my diet.

Check it out!

Week 8 - the meals

Here are a few favorites from this week...
Chopped salad with radishes, cucumber, carrots and sunflower seeds

Spaghetti with Pesto and sauteed zucchini

Tuna melts

Rice/sausage dish with garlic, scallions, and parsley

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Easiest Sauerkraut

Making sauerkraut. 

It all starts with a cabbage.

Which you slice into ribbons.
Collect in a very clean bowl (glass or stainless steel, anything non-corrosive). To which you add 1 T. salt and a couple tablespoons whey (the whey is optional, merely speeds up fermentation process).

Massage cabbage with your very clean fingers for a few minutes.
 ...until it shrinks in size and looks somewhat like this...
 After which time transfer to your very clean glass half gallon jar thustly.
 And start mashing 'er down real good.
 Once the liquid has risen above the level of the cabbage, you are done!
 Add a bit more brine (water with dissolved salt) if required to make sure cabbage is fully submerged.
 Put a large or several small rocks in a ziplock baggie and place in the jar.
 Cover jar opening with a coffee filter, paper towel, cheesecloth... use whatever you have on hand.
You can ferment up to three to five weeks (or longer), start sampling after 10 days until it meets your taste preference. Cover and refrigerate once to desired taste!

Week 8

Lookie at my 'free' food items this week! Thanks to a generous gift card from one of my students, helping with my folks' garden, and our own chickens.
My fall garden is going in slowly - Ed Hume seeds ordered and ready to plant...

I also harvested some yarrow that grew behind the shop, it is in the process of drying for winter cold remedies.
Parsley and basil from my garden...
My Cultures for Health order came!!! Now here's to yogurt, sour cream, and mozzarella-making :)

Something fun I have been trying to help me drink more water - adding sprigs of fresh mint to a jar of water and letting it infuse. Tastes very refreshing.
And here is this week's CSA share :)
Here is this week's gatherings:

CSA share - $25
6 jars raw goat milk - $18
4 dozen eggs - $8
8 lbs blueberries - $15
Assorted produce/blackberries/herbs - free
Seeds - $9
Cheese/Yogurt/Sour Cream cultures - $40

Week 8 Total: $115

Week 7 - the meals

Here were a couple meals from this week :) The rest have been posted before... what can I say, most of these meals are worth a repeat!

Chicken Caesar salad - bacon, chicken, hard boiled egg, dubliner cheese, lettuce, green onion, and creamy ranch dressing with fresh parsley and basil!

Meatloaf with roasted whole garlic, roasted rainbow carrots and young potatoes with fresh pesto.
Bread slathered in strawberry jam for my Honey's work lunch, just because I love him :)

Ways I used this week's CSA share -
Rainbow carrots - roasted and raw
Young potatoes - roasted
Basil - pesto, salad dressing
Lettuce - tacos and salad
Garlic - roasted
Zucchini - zucchini, beef and onions
Tomatoes - tuna melts, tacos
Green onions (garden) - caesar salad
Kale (garden) - omelets
Beets and greens (garden) - roasted, raw in salads, and leaves in smoothies
Bell pepper (garden) - raw dipped in homemade mayo

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Fair Day!

Pictures of our family adventure to the Marion County Fair in Salem this past weekend :)