Saturday, June 23, 2018
So he sat down at the table and put three bites in his mouth, when he told me so, I said good job and asked if he would like some more. He asked if he could have more maple syrup on it and I obliged. He proceeded to eat all of his breakfast and then got down and started to play.
As I was cleaning up I realized that I have given him too many options his whole life when it came to food. If the food is nutritious and good, there should be no opportunity for substitution or rejection. When my son was a baby he was "underweight," but he was responsive, happy and healthy and the doctors did not show any concern. My Mother-in-law, however, lorded it over me. So I was always stressing over it, and trying to make sure my little string bean was getting enough food. So, if my toddler turned his noise up at something I quickly replaced it with something else, I just wanted him to eat and thus the picky eating habit was supported.
When I was a child I was expected to eat what I was given, whether it was yummy or not because we didn't have money to spare on wasted food.
I thought as I washed dishes about our ancient ancestor hunter gatherers and wondered if they ever turned their noses up at dinner... Hmm nope, I don't think so, I think they are whatever they could get. Then I wondered how we as a civilization came to think that we needed to make choices when it came to food. My son sometimes treats me like a short-order cook. I tell him what I am making for dinner and then he tells me what he wants to eat instead, which is frustrating. I do not change my dinner plans. I realize that we go out to eat to much though. He likes choosing something from the menu and getting what he ordered. So now I am drawing a correlation with being able to order whatever you want from a myriad of options and thinking that you need to eat only whatever you want. If there are no other options we will eat what we have if we are hungry enough. Whether good tastes good to us or not shouldn't be a factor of whether or not we eat it.
Thursday, June 14, 2018
Part of the reason I became overwhelmed and spread out too thin when I first started this journey is because I was trying to replace every formerly store-bought item individually. I was asking myself the wrong questions, which shows how thoroughly saturated in consumerism I had become.
"What modern convenience items am I giving up that previously filled these needs?"
and, "What are the rudimentary bases of these needs?"
So may I suggest, instead of looking up recipes to replace window cleaner, toilet cleaner, shower cleaner, grout, tile, stainless steel, dust, vegetable etc. etc. Start by looking up how baking soda works to clean, how soap works to clean, how vinegar cleans, how Hydrogen Peroxide works to clean and then you will be able to formulate your own cleaners as the actual need presents itself... or cleaner. (One Size Fits All.) Instead of having ten thousand different cleaners under your kitchen sink (homemade or store bought.)
I keep this stuff because it is useful and I, at least occasionally, use it. But, now I am wondering to myself, " how much enjoyment and comfort does this stuff bring to my life, if any?" I am speaking mostly of a collection of hobbies. Drawing, painting, embroidery, sewing, knitting, spinning, guitar, cello, recorder, weaving, dancing and paper crafting. Those are a lot of hobbies to keep up on! I don't keep up on most of my hobbies, I just have my stuff around for whenever I want to pick it up again on a whim. Maybe what I should ask myself is, do I actually do this hobby for me, or for someone else? What is the likelihood that I will want to do this again? Then, how much less of this do I actually need to have on hand to enjoy this hobby? Do I feel obligated to finish this project or would I enjoy it?
The reason I wanted to write about this today is, having stuff or possessions complicating our lives is a recent passion/study I've been engaged in. I've been watching a lot of different vlogs and reading more about letting go of material possessions as a means to simplify our lives and free up our intentions to live in the present.
Getting all my things together made me realize how much stuff I have that I just don't use, need or even want. I thought that I had gotten rid of so much stuff and now I know how much is left for me to unburden myself with. How many times does it take a move for someone to realize how much stuff they really have?
I feel like if I get rid of these old hobbies I will be free to try something new!
*Hold Yard Sale
*Dust all Blinds, Fans, Light Fixtures, Moulding, and Shelves
*Clean Fridge and Freezer
*Replace Drip Pans
*Clean Oven Racks
*Dust tops of cabinets and fridge
*Clean behind and under oven and fridge
*Wash out Microwave
* Clean out Dishwasher and Filter
*Wipe out drawers, cupboards, and countertops
* Clean Toilets, Bathtubs, Showers and Sinks
*Wash Mirrors and Windows
* Clean Washer with Lemishine and wipe out Dryer
*Replace A/C Air Filter
Now, I am a Stay-at-home wife and mother with a toddler. Maybe down the road when I have a teenager and am out of the house literally all day then I might find my slow cooker useful again. I am sure working mothers all over the globe find a slow cooker to be a huge blessing. But, we don't have to feel obligated to use one just for the sake of following in mother's, or grandmother's, or a trendy neighbor's footsteps. Every kitchen does NOT have to have a slow cooker in it!
Sunday, February 19, 2017
When I found out I could make my own knitting needles easily and safely, I was floored. I was about fourteen when my mother said, 'Ok, we are going to make knitting needles,' I thought she was out of her mind. We went to our local drugstore and bought some dowels, sandpaper, wood glue and large wooden beads. When I started to understand how easy this was gonna be I became elated, ecstatic actually because I only had one set of knitting needles my mom gave me when I had started to learn to knit. I wanted every size needles so I could make anything and everything I took a fancy to, but buying that many knitting needles would be so expensive!
If you go to a home improvement store or craft store, depending on the size you get, you can buy dowel sticks for around 30¢ each. The craft store will be more expensive so I recommend the former, where you can also get a reasonable price for wood glue and sanding paper. Wooden beads, or any other kind of bead for that matter, that can fit at the end of a dowel is somewhat difficult to find-probably depending on your area. If you make larger needles, you will have to fine tune your whittling skills, but a size 8 knitting needle can be formed from a dowel using an electric pencil sharpener. I have five sets I've made in this size because I use them the most. I make Granny Dishcloths on them and one set is double pointed for knitting a hat on. I have a scarf I am knitting on another set of 8s. They are my favorite size.
So once you get your purchase home, you can measure the length and cut/break the dowel into knitting needle size lengths with about a half inch longer so you have room to glue a bead on the end. Sharpen one end of each dowel carefully so you don't shorten the needle length.
Then sand the sharpened end so that it is smooth with a rounded tip. (This is the best time to remove any product labels.) Make sure the shaft is also smooth so it will not snag any yarn.
Next, put some coconut oil or olive oil on a paper towel and oil the entire length of the needle.
Squeeze a sunflower seed size amount of wood glue on to the blunt end and carefully slide your bead onto the end (it may be a tight fit and sometimes takes a bit of gentle finesse. This is the most difficult part.) Wipe excess glue from the knitting needle and set aside to dry.
When dry you may begin use immediately, the needles will become smoother and more slick the more they are used. I really enjoy the feel of them in my hands and they knit so much quieter than other needles I have used. I really love them.
I hope you will try it and let me know how it goes, or if you have any questions.
Friday, January 27, 2017
Last year Kristin over at LiveSimply.Me posted a hearty roasted vegetables spaghetti sauce recipe. At first I was sceptical, but I was also somewhat desperate to get more vegetables into my picky toddler's belly, not to mention my dear husband. Pasta is one of my little boy's favorite foods and he doesn't mind if it is whole wheat so I made the sauce and boiled a pot of whole Einkorn Spaghetti Noodles and he gobbled it up. I altered the recipe a little to suit my family and the sauce turned out delicious. Although my husband didn't care for the whole grain pasta, he also enjoyed the sauce.
Since that night I have been serving up this vegetable packed sauce with spaghetti with grass-fed ground beef in it and in lasagna. I am very excited that Jovial is now making traditional pastas and I have great hopes my husband will enjoy them.
Einkorn seems to make a huge difference in my health as well as my family's and I count it as an important part of our diet. I make a big order from Jovial from time to time and stock my pantry with einkorn wheat berries, pastas, sea salt sourdough crackers, beans, tomatoes, olive oil, and all-purpose einkorn flour. I feel the taste and nutrition is well worth the higher price tag.
The first time I made cheese pizza for lunch with this sauce and einkorn flour crust, my toddler said, " Mom, this is the best pizza I ever ate!" Aaaw, it is so satisfying to make a nutritious meal that everyone loves and I don't have to worry about making up for the nutrition later.
*Hearty Vegetable Spaghetti Sauce
Bethany Thompson Style Inspired by Kristin Marr
3 med size Carrots (about 1 ½ cups chopped)
2 med size Zucchini (about 2 cups chopped)
1 orange Bell Pepper
1 med size yellow Onion
4 whole Garlic cloves, peeled
2 TB extra virgin Olive Oil
1-2 cups halved white Mushrooms
1 tsp Salt, divided
½ tsp Black Pepper
1 - 28 oz can Whole Plum Tomatoes (with juice)
2 TB Tomato Paste
2 cups Chicken Stock
1-2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 tsp dried Organo
finely grated Parmesan Cheese
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Chop the carrots, bell pepper, onion, and zucchini into equal size pieces as best as you can. Spread vegetables onto a rimmed sheet pan lined with parchment paper if desired. Sprinkle the whole garlic cloves onto the pan of vegetables.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle ½ tsp of the salt and all the black pepper over the veggies. Using your clean hands, mix the vegetables to evenly coat them with the oil and seasoning.
Roast the vegetables for 25 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven, and add the halved mushrooms.
Use a wooden spoon to stir the mushrooms in with the roasted vegetables.
Roast the vegetables again for 20-25 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked & soft.
Carefully slide the vegetables into a large Dutch oven or pot and add the canned tomatoes (with juice).
Blend the veggies and tomatoes together with an immersion blender.
To the pot, add tomato paste, chicken stock, oregano, and the rest of the salt.
Simmer the sauce for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the Maple Syrup and adjust seasonings to taste.
When ready to serve, stir in the parmesan cheese.
This makes a lot of sauce, so I usually fill a few freezer safe jars at this point, chill them in the fridge and then store them in the freezer. A pint is usually all I need to make a pizza or spaghetti, but lasagna takes about 1-2 quarts. I just defrost, add fresh grated parmesan cheese and assemble.
I add cheese to what is left in the pot, and usually some browned beef and serve over noodles, in a pizza, or in lasagna.
Store the sauce in the refrigerator up to
4 days, or in the freezer up to 4 months.
*Easy Pizza Crust
1.25 cups of lukewarm Water
1 tsp Active Yeast
1 tsp Sugar or Maple Syrup
1 tsp Salt
3 cups of whole Einkorn Flour or All-purpose Einkorn Flour
2 Tbsp Butter
1 clove Garlic minced
In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the warm water. After about 7 minutes, the yeast will begin to foam. Stir in the salt and flour using a Dutch whisk or wooden spoon.
Cover the bowl with a towel. Let the dough rest on the counter for 30 minutes, until doubled in size.
* Dough may be stored in refrigerator at this point for 24 hours until ready to make Pizza.
Preheat the oven to 425F.
While the oven is heating prepare the sauce and garlic butter and shred the cheese.
For the Garlic Butter: Melt butter and add minced garlic to it. Mix with basting brush.Brush large stoneware bar pan with some garlic butter.
After 30 minutes, gather and cover dough with flour, place on pan and pat into pan. Or if using a preheated stone form with floured hands and place on parchment paper.
Baste crust with garlic butter and par-bake 10 minutes.
Top with some sauce, cheese from grass-fed cows' milk, and other toppings.
Bake for 10 minutes, until the crust is golden and cheese bubbles. Makes 2 small pizzas or 1 large.
Monday, January 23, 2017
This month, to start the new year, I did the five day Thrive Market Detox. It was a rough week, no grains, no red meat, some days no meat at all, no dairy, little olive oil and coconut oil, not a lot of fruit, but loads of vegetables. I probably spent about three hours a day washing chopping and otherwise preparing vegetables, but it seemed like it was all I did all day. I loved the salads, so delicious especially the fresh tahini dressings. The smoothies were OK. I devoured the chicken breast and like I'd been starving all week. I discovered sweet potatoes mess up my belly, so now it's OK I don't like them.
When my detox was done, to my surprise, I didn't have any bad reactions to dairy. I didn't have any problems with eggs, but gluten was another story. Einkorn sourdough crackers didn't seem to bother me, neither did sourdough waffles or pancakes, but everything else messes my stomach up. Which is strange because I never seemed to notice any issues with bread, pasta, or other baked goods before. My theory is, my body cleaned house during my detox and so it more readily recognized what was making a mess of things. Grass-fed red meat doesn't bother me, but it's no surprise sugar is a big problem.
Benefits of my detox are, less to no achy joints and muscles when I wake up. I can climb the stairs without my muscles screaming at me. My teeth are whiter, and my hair has brighter color and looks shinier. I realized just how many vegetables one can eat in a day and new ways to prepare them. I realized just how little we eat vegetables and how to remedy that. I learned some new recipes I liked. I learned some new habits, like oil pulling and drinking lemon water in the morning, and having a cup of herbal tea before bed. The detox worked in only one week!
Cons to the detox are, not every recipe agreed with my palate and it was sometimes difficult to choke down. It was time consuming, I found myself putting other areas of my life on hold. But the biggest one, It was a burden on my family who did not wish to participate.
I would definitely do it again and probably will in about six months. Things I learned this time around is how to make the recipes more appealing to my family. (Which includes adding meat, and adjusting ingredients to better suit our tastes.) Also, not all the obscure ingredients are necessary, many of them can be replaced with more readily available ingredients. So instead of golden berries in your trail mix, you could substitute organic dried cherries, and instead of filbert nuts you could use walnuts (which is what I used fyi.) If you can't find pea shoots, try radish sprouts, I used sunflower sprouts myself. And if you can't find watercress, use Dandelion greens or something else equally nutritious. See, it doesn't have to be an overwhelming list of obscure ingredients you will only use once, but if you can get them, it's nice to try them because you may find a new favorite!