Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Early church quote on gluttony

The early church had a lot to say about gluttony and eating with simplicity ... here is a quote I found today:

Some men, in truth, live that they may eat, as the irrational creatures, "whose life is their belly, and nothing else." But the Instructor commands us to eat that we may live. For neither is food our business, nor is pleasure our aim; but both are on account of our life here, which the Word is training up to immortality. Wherefore also there is discrimination to be employed in reference to food. And it is to be simple, truly plain, suiting precisely simple and artless children--as ministering to life, not to luxury. And the life to which it conduces consists of two things--health and strength; to which plainness of fare is most suitable, being conducive both to digestion and lightness of body, from which come growth, and health, and right strength, not strength that is wrong or dangerous and wretched, as is that of athletes produced by compulsory feeding. Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 195)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Raw Goat Cheese and Whey & Raw / Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut

I finally got the rennet tablets and was able to make my own raw goat cheese and whey; we like it much better than the cooked stuff I demonstrated a few months ago (homemade goat cheese and whey using vinegar).
The milk is best used fresh from the goat, still warm.  If it has been refrigerated, put the gallon jug in a sink full of hot water and stir periodically till it is warm but NOT hot.  

The rennet looks like this ... you only need a small amount.  My first batch did not set right so I added a tiny bit more and that did the job good.  Gently crush it between two spoons and stir it into the milk.

It should set in about a half hour or less.  Pour into a strainer set in a bowl to catch the whey.  Here's the cheese:

And here is the whey:

The finished product ... 3 1/2qts of whey and about 2c of cheese - be sure to mix in 1t-1 1/2t of salt into the cheese.  You can also mix other things like onion flakes, Italian seasonings, or any other flavor to suit your taste.

In the last post I did on goat cheese and whey, I listed several things to do with the whey.  One more you could do is make raw, fermented cabbage (a.k.a. raw sauerkraut or lacto-fermented sauerkraut).  Shred 1 medium head of cabbage.  Place in a bowl with 1T salt and 1/4c whey.  Pound till the juices come out good ... at least 10 minutes.  I did not have meat mallet so I used a small glass olive jar ... it worked just fine.  Shove it into a quart jar - the juice should come up over the cabbage at least a half inch.  Leave about an inch of headspace.  Set on the counter, in the counter, or wherever you'd like, for 3 days. It should start to bubble after 3-4 days. We left ours on the counter top for a little over 3 weeks before we put it in the fridge. I've heard the longer it sits in the fridge, the better it gets, though we just started doing this so I cannot make an accurate statement on that! (update - it tastes great even after being in the fridge for months).
- variation: if you do not have whey, you can substitute with one additional tablespoon of salt.


FYI - here is an article on Lacto-Fermentation.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cleaning your home

I have been cleaning houses professionally for several years now and have a good idea of what people miss when cleaning various rooms in their home.  I plan to have a weekly series of posts in which I describe [in detail, yet as simply as possible] how to properly clean each room from top to bottom. Maybe I'll set up a weekly cleaning challenge??  We'll see how ambitious I get ;)

Keep your eyes open for my first 'cleaning your home' post!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Garden Fresh Sushi- Made at home for under $3!

I love sushi!! If you love sushi, then you know what I'm talking about:) I know that some people don't want to try it because they believe that it is only made with raw fish, but that's not true.  Sushi is so versatile, you can put anything you want to in it that you like.  I made some of this the other night, and it was so easy, that even if you've never seen a sushi roll, you can make this in under 10 minutes flat!  Not to mention that it only cost about $3 total! ( that may even be way over the cost) compared to the $15   per roll you would pay at your favorite sushi spot.  This is made with veggies from the garden and a little extras.

Garden Fresh Sushi rolls( for 1-2 people)
  • 2 dried nori (dried seaweed)sheets.  These can be purchased at any Asian market. They usually come in a pack of 10 or more for under $4.
  • 1/2 cup hot rice, whatever kind you have on hand.  It's better to use left over rice that has been reheated, as it is not as mushy, but use what you got.
  • 1 Ripe Avocado
  • 3 thinly sliced sandwich slices of Tomato
  • 1/2 small cucumber
  • 2 T cream cheese (optional)
  • 3 T Soy Sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos
  • Sriracha Japanese hot sauce
Reheat the rice by steaming it a little.  While that is steaming, slice up your avocado,  tomato, and cucumber, all julienne style (in long, thin strips). Get out your two sheets of nori and lay them on a plate,  then  pile 1/4 cup of hot rice at one end of each of the sheets, leaving about 1 inch of nori without rice on that same end, and spread the rice out like you would when filling a burrito. 

Next, lay strips of your veggies on top of the rice.  Grab that end of the sheet where you put your filling and wrap it gently over the filling until it is completely encased.  Then continue to roll up the rest of the sheet.  Lay the roll so that the end of the sheet is under the roll, so that the heat from the rice seals the roll.

 Now get a very sharp knife and lay your rolls on a cutting board and slice thin circles like you would a cinnamon roll.  Move your rolls to your plate, grab you some soy or whatever in a separate bowl and your hot sauce.  I like using chop sticks too:) 

 If you want to put cream cheese on them, just cut off a little and put little dabs on each piece with a dot of hot sauce then dip it in your soy. 

These are sooo simple and so good, I've made them twice in 3 days!  Let me know how you like them, or if you make other sushi concoctions at home.

- Becky

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Zucchini Bread, Zucchini Crisp (mock apple crisp) and more!

It's that time of year again ... the time when you have so many zucchinis you think you are going to get sick of looking at them, let alone eat them ... and if your loving neighbor gives you one more zucchini, you might have to scream.  Ok... not really.  But, let's put all those zucchini to good use!!

This morning we had mock-apple crisp and I made 4 loaves of zucchini bread.  Here are the recipes I used.

MOCK APPLE CRISP (using zucchini instead of apples)
5c chopped zucchini (I did not peal mine, but you might want to)
1/8c sugar
1t apple pie spice
*mix and put into a greased 8x8 pan or a small rectangular pan:
1c oats
1/2c whole wheat flour
1/4c sugar
1t stevia
1t apple pie spice
1/4t salt
*Mix and cut in 1/2c butter.  Put on top of the zucchini:
Bake 400 degrees till golden brown on top.
We had our zucchini crisp for breakfast; we served it in bowls with goat milk and fresh strawberries. 

Zucchini Bread (makes 4 loaves)
6c whole wheat flour
4t cinnamon (1T+1t)
1t nutmeg
2t baking soda
1t salt
1t baking powder
1c sugar
2t stevia
4c shredded zucchini
1c oil
4 eggs
1c liquid of some kind (pineapple juice works well; can also use water, whey, milk, etc.)
crushed pineapple ... 2 cups or so?
2t lemon extract or lemon zest

Mix dry, mix wet, then combine till just mixed.  Pour into 4 greased bread pans.  Bake at 350 till done ... about 30 minutes or so till tops are golden brown and a butter knife tests clean.  Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from the pan.  If you leave it in the pan, it will get soggy.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Italian Polenta

Polenta is very cheap, easy, and delicious.  I ran into a good deal at a bent and dent store for grits/polenta and stocked up.

First, cook your grits - We had a lot of people eating, so I used 9c water, 1 1/2t salt, 3c grits, 4 1/2T butter.  Bring to a boil, cover, simmer for about 30 minutes.  Stir frequently; it will stick.  When it's done, pour/spoon into a greased bowl of some sort; I chose 2-9" pie plates.  Sit for 10 minutes or so.

Cover the pie plate with a cutting board or other flat object large enough to fit completely over the top. 


Remove the pie plate; it should hold the shape of the dish.

Slice however large or small you prefer.

Serve with some sort of tomato sauce over the top; I prefer a simple marinara.

Basic Marinara Sauce
1/4c extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
1/4 a medium onion, minced
1 clove garlic, pressed
2-28oz cans of diced tomatoes or 6c fresh diced tomatoes
Salt and basil to taste. (start with a teaspoon of each and add more if desired)

Saute the onions in the olive oil.  Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer uncovered till desired consistency is achieved. 

Italian Style Green Beans
Using 2 pounds of steamed/cooked green beans, stir in about 2T each of butter and evoo, 1t-2t each oregano and basil, 1t or more of salt and garlic powder to taste.
We really enjoy having green beans this way.