Tag Archives: cooking

Gluten & Dairy Free Thoughts on Preparedness

A question was asked about preparedness  and I have wanted to address some issues from a gluten and dairy free perspective.

This is not a post discussing if you  should or shouldn’t prep.  This is not a post on whether a Christian should or shouldn’t prep.  If you want my take on these, I highly recommend you read this post by my friend Enola Gay:  Preparedness Appologetics.  She and her family are further along in their preparedness than my family, but one can only start when their eyes have been opened.  And you can only do what you can.

No one will ever be completely prepared for every and any eventuality.  I do believe that I can prepare to be ready for some of the more likely scenarios.  But I did say that this post is not really about all those issues.

All of the places you go to get recommendations on how much and of what to have on hand rarely deal with food restrictions.  Much of what is “recommended” to have on hand is not something I  can even eat!  The beginning of our preparing was before I discovered my problem with gluten.  And only recently has my ‘problem’ with dairy become even more of a problem.  I seem to be ‘troubled’ most Monday afternoons and have finally narrowed it down to… the hidden, dairy-laden food at church!  So storing a bunch of dairy would not help me survive some kind of disaster.

Trying to buy up all the packages of gluten free crackers or buying them by the case (or cases) takes up far too much valuable space.  I don’t know about you, but I have a limited amount of space for storage and need to maximize the space I do have…  getting the most bang for my buck, as the saying goes.

I’m not saying do not buy any prepackaged items.  What I am saying is don’t make them the bulk of your food storage.

My goal it to store the basic ‘from scratch’ foods we need to eat a healthy, well balanced diet.  For baking I store a variety of rices, whole buckwheat, whole sorghum, whole millet, certified GF steel cut & rolled oats, quinoa in whole and flaked versions and pearl & granular tapioca.  These I will use whole and ground up for baking.

I also store a variety of seeds and nuts.  These I repackage into small vacuum sealed bags, then in a 5-gallon bucket.  Chia seeds are my favorite preparedness food stuff.  The nutritional content is wonderful and they can be used in a variety of ways!

For cooking I have stored a variety of beans, dehydrated lots of fruits & vegetables, have purchased some canned items in cases and have powdered coconut milk in 5 pound bags, powdered stevia in 1 pound bags, bulk spices in large containers, evaporated cane juice and sucanat in 5-gallon buckets.

So where will I get my calcium?  Chia seeds!  Magnesium?  Hemp seeds (no it’s not THAT hemp).  I don’t like the taste of flax and the chia and hemp have a better nutritional profile and are better keepers.

What should you store?  What grains do you tolerate well?  What grains are you already baking with… you do bake some of your own gluten free cakes, breads, and such don’t you?  Some???  That is one reason I joined the Ratio Rally.  I made me get up off my… baking behind and start baking my own gluten free breads, cakes, muffins, scones, pies, biscuits, crepes, popovers and brownies!  I have learned so much, especially how freeing it is to bake my ratio.  I don’t need any recipes… I can make them fit the ingredients I have on hand!  Now THAT is truly being prepared.

Store what you use and use what you store.

That is one reason I am so very fond of my ‘new’ (but from a very old & favorite cookbook) Rice Flour Muffin Recipe & Rice Flour Muffin Variations!  It is very simple, uses ingredients that I always have on hand and is versatile!  Flavor variations will make ‘survival food’ so much more pleasurable!

What kinds of things do you think are important in being prepared for TEOTWAWKI or even just a current job loss?

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae  (aka~Mrs. R)

Other posts that may be of interest:

A Common Sense Look at Soaking Grains

Breakfast Mix

Black Berkey Water Filter Failure

A Few Thoughts on Expiration Dates

How to Clean a Trout or other fish

Art thanks to art.com

photos thanks to shorpy.com

This post also linked here: The Better Mom, What joy is Mine, Raising Arrows, Finding Heaven, Homestead Revival, Far Above Rubies, Time Warp Wife, Growing Home, A Pause on the Path, Thankful Homemaker, Raising Homemakers, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, We Are THAT Family, Deep Roots at Home, A Mother’s Heritage, Women Living Well, Intentional Me, Raising Mighty Arrows, Our Simple Country Life, At the Picket Fence, Best Post of the Week, Serenity Now, Homemaker by Choice, Comfy in the Kitchen, Finding Beauty,

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Crepes – Spinach & Dessert – Gluten & Dairy Free!

Crepes.  Yes, this month’s ratio rally is all about crepes.  I have cooked crepes for decades.  Not once I had to eat sans gluten though.  I was looking forward to making these again!!

It is so easy to cook up a batch.  They are extremely versatile!  You can fill them with anything… well except a liquid!!  😉

This month’s ratio rally hostess with the most-est is  T.R. at No One Likes Crumbly Cookies.  Please check out her page for all the links to all the great crepe recipes for this month!

In case you are new to the ratio rally – we are a group of gluten free bloggers who create gastronomic delights using a ratio for a particular food item.  This month it is crepes.  Cooking & baking by ratio is using a specific ratio of ingredients in order to produce consistent yummy results in the kitchen.

Who doesn’t like consistency in the kitchen??!!!  Yummy consistency makes it that much more special!

Most of us grew up cooking and baking with measuring our ingredients with cups and spoons.  This works well with gluten-full items.  But the weights of various gluten-FREE flours is vastly different from each other AND from wheat flour.  I know I have had my share of gluten-free disasters in the kitchen!  Using specific ratios and weighing out ingredients make gluten free cooking & baking so much easier!

The bonus to weighing and ratios – consistently edible gluten free food coming from MY kitchen!  This can be your success as well.  Trust me on this one.  Another bonus to all this is being able to substitute flours and expect to have generally the same results, though not in taste of course.

I wanted to make a dinner crepe and a dessert crepe for this rally.  And I did!

Rhulman’s crepe ratio is 1 liquid : 1 egg : 1/2 flour and my ratio is very close to that with a slight decrease in the liquid to about 3/4.  This is basically a very thin pancake batter with no leavening agent.

Basic Crepes

1 & 1/2 ounces brown rice flour

1 ounce brown teff flour

1 & 1/2 ounces sweet rice flour

8 ounces eggs (4 large)

4 ounces almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)

2 – 3 ounces coconut milk beverage (or other non-dairy milk)

1/2 teaspoon salt

coconut oil for greasing the skillet, use sparingly

Weigh out all the flours into a stand mixer bowl.  Zero out the scale and weigh out the eggs.  Zero out the scale again and weigh out the almond milk (or any other non-dairy milk of choice).

Mix together with the paddle until there are no lumps.  Let batter sit a minimum of 30 minutes and up to overnight.  The flours need to hydrate for better cooking results.

I used an 8-inch cast iron skillet to cook my crepes.  It worked beautifully!  Preheat your skillet on a low to medium-low heat.  Make sure the pan is completely heated before you start cooking the crepes.

Add a small amount of coconut oil to your heated skillet.  Just a thin coating on the bottom and up the sides.  Too much and your crepe will be greasy and heavy.

The technique for cooking crepes is in the wrist action.  Immediately after adding 1/4 – 1/3 cup of batter into your pan you need to rotate the pan so that you coat the bottom of the pan completely with a thin layer of batter.  The operative word is THIN layer of batter!  🙂  I made a double batch and only had to re-grease my pan twice.  I think I got a total of 24 – 26 crepes… sorry I forgot to count them and they are now… gone.

Set the pan back onto the burner for a minute or two.  The edge of the crepe will pull away from the pan, indicating it is ready to be turned.  I coax a thin spatula under the edge of the crepe and then flip it.  Set back on burner for another minute and transfer onto a plate.  Repeat with all the batter.  You can see my plate of crepes at the top of this recipe.  Your crepes should be slightly browned (freckled) but not crisp.  These need to remain flexible to roll around something yummy!

OPTIONS:

for dinner crepes you can add chives, or spices to compliment your filling.  for dessert crepes add to the batter: 2 – 4 Tablespoons sugar depending on your taste and 1 teaspoon vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice or a combination equal to 1 teaspoon.

For our dinner I made Spinach Crepes.

Spinach Crepes

8 (8-inch ) crepes

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup Earth balance soy-free buttery spread

2 Tablespoons organic lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup thick cream sauce (I make mine with 2 TBSP Earth Balance, 4 TBSP rice flour, 1 cup dairy free milk, 1 teaspoon chicken bullion)

3 eggs, beaten

2 (10-ounce) packages frozen spinach, thawed & drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In large saucepan, cook onion in Earth Balance until transparent; stir in lemon juice, salt, pepper, cream sauce and eggs.  Cook and stir about 5 minutes.  Stir in spinach; heat thoroughly.  Place about 1/2 cup spinach mixture on each crepe; roll up and place seam side down in 13 x 9 baking dish.  Bake 10 – 15 minutes or until hot.

Serves 4.

Dessert crepes are laughably easy but look so elegant on the plate!  I used warm applesauce in the crepe and sprinkled them with powdered sugar.  You can do the same thing using jelly, jam or preserves.  You could also use a pie filling, pudding, or mousse!  You can use a chocolate or  fruit sauce instead of the powdered sugar.  For breakfast we will have warmed crepes with huckleberry jam and sprinkled with powdered sugar.  These would also be great to serve with tea at tea time!!

You can store the leftover crepes in the refrigerator and reheat briefly in the oven, toaster oven (don’t crisp them!) or a skillet on the stove.  These also freeze well.  Place wax paper between each crepe, thaw or reheat in oven or in a skillet.

Blessings, ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

Here is a list of all the other crepe creations!

Adina ~ Gluten Free Travelette ~ Breakfast Crepes Three Ways
Caitlin ~ {Gluten-Free} Nom Nom Nom ~ Buckwheat Crepes
Caleigh ~ Gluten Free[k] ~ Banana Cinnamon Crepes
Claire ~ My Gluten Free Home ~ Victory Crepe Cake
Ginger  ~ Fresh Ginger ~ Sweet ‘n Savory
gretchen ~ kumquat ~ nutella crepe cake
Heather ~ Discovering the Extraordinary ~ “Southwestern” Crepes
Karen ~ Cooking Gluten-Free! ~ Gluten Free Crepes Savory or Sweet
Mary Fran ~ FrannyCakes ~ Gluten-free Peanut Butter Crepe Cake
Morri  ~  Meals with Morri ~ Russian Blini for Two
Pete and Kelli ~ No Gluten, No Problem ~ Key Lime Crepes
Shauna ~ gluten-free girl ~ Gluten Free Buckwheat Crepes
T.R. ~ No One Likes Crumbley Cookies ~ Brownie Crepes with Strawberry Wine sauce
T.R. ~ No One Likes Crumbley Cookies ~ Basil Tomato and Feta Crepes
T.R. ~ No One Likes Crumbley Cookies ~ Fresh Fruit Crepe
Tara ~ A Baking Life ~ Breakfast Crepes with Eggs and Kale
Jonathan ~ The Canary Files ~ Vegan Crepes for Filipino Spring Rolls
Rachel ~ The Crispy Cook ~ Raspberries and Cream Crepes
~Mrs. R ~ Honey From Flinty Rocks ~ Crepes – Spinach & Dessert
My Other Ratio Rally Posts:
This post is also linked to:

A Common Sense Look at Soaking Grains

Long, worth the read and re-printed with permission.  😉

Phytic Acid Friend or Foe?

The Soaking of Grains Investigated

By Sue Becker

 Since 1992 I have been teaching others the health benefits of freshly milled whole grains.  I have heard literally hundreds of testimonies of improved health, from minor issues to life threatening ones.  What a confirmation these testimonies have been to the truths that have been taught.

Over the years, though, conflicting messages have arisen from time to time.  When questioned concerning these teachings, I would research each one as to their validity.  Most of the time I found some truth mixed with error.  I chose to answer these questions on a personal level as they arose.  I did not wish to get in a public arena of debate, choosing instead to just let truth prevail, and it always has.  I have watched books, diets and teachers come and go.

However, there is a teaching I feel I must address formally. It is causing quite a stir among those of us who have embraced the lifestyle of milling our own grains.  I have searched, studied and agonized over the subject for the past 4 or 5 years.  My desire was not to prove any one wrong, but I had to know that what I was teaching was correct.  If I was teaching error I had to change.  It is my desire to present to you my findings and let you make an educated decision as to what is correct.

The subject is phytic acid and the sprouting or soaking of grains.  Phytic acid is considered by some as an anti- nutrient component found in the bran portion of all grains and beans.  It is being taught that “untreated” phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption.  It is being said that a diet high in unfermented whole grains supposedly can lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss.  It is also suggested that long term consumption of these untreated phytates may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and other serious adverse affects.

Statements are also being made that imply that grains have always been eaten in their sprouted form and that “our ancestors and virtually all pre-industrialized people only ate grains that were soaked or fermented”.  Nourishing Tradition by  Sally Fallon pg.452

My first thought is, that I see no reference of sprouting grains in the scripture.  Many people refer to Ezekiel 4:9 as the first mention of sprouted bread.  Careful examination of the verse however, gives no indication that the grains are sprouted.  God’s instruction to Ezekiel is to take “wheat, spelt, barley, millet, lentils and beans” and to put them into “one vessel”.  A word study done on “one vessel” showed that it means exactly that – one container.  I do not see any indication of sprouting.  One must remember that each of these grains or beans was used separately for food, for example barley loaves or spelt bread.  The instruction to Ezekiel appears clear to me.  God did not want Ezekiel to make a variety of breads out of the individual grains, but one bread out of the grains combined.  Individually, grains and beans lack certain necessary amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.  However, when grains and bean are combined, they perfectly complement each other, forming a complete protein.  In a long term fast, much body mass is lost due to a lack of nourishment, particularly protein.   When grains or beans are sprouted some protein is lost.  I believe this bread was not sprouted, and the incredible supply of complete protein and other nutrients perfectly nourished Ezekiel for over 400 days!

It is taught by some that grains were harvested differently in Biblical days than now.  This is Jordon Rubin’s best argument as to why there is no evidence of the sprouting of grains in the Bible. The teachings of Dr. Edward Howell are quoted and embraced as truth by both Sally Fallon and Jordon Rubin.   “Dr. Howell noticed that the old harvesting techniques helped preserve and enhance the nutrition value of the grain.  After cutting the mature grains in the field, farmers would gather the stalks and loosely bind them upright in sheaves and let them stand overnight in the field before threshing them (or removing the grain from the grass stalks) the next day.  This allowed the grains to germinate or sprout”The Maker’s Diet by Jordon Rubin pg.139 (emphasis mine).  The premise is that this “germination” or sprouting of the seed in the field broke down the “harmful” phytic acid naturally so that no further soaking of the grain was necessary.

Dr. Howell’s statement is so simplistically wrong I truly thought I was missing something!  No seed can begin to germinate or sprout and then be stored.  The sprouting process can not be put on hold.  It is like being pregnant – you are or you aren’t.  If you are, you can not put it on hold and save the baby until you are ready for it.  That baby will continue to grow until it is full term.  It is the same with seeds.  Once the sprout is formed, a full grown plant is going to develop.  If seeds were allowed to sprout, they could not be stored, resulting in no seeds for next year’s crop and no food for the winter. 

Germination of the seed does indeed stimulate phytase activity.  Phytase is an enzyme that breaks down phytic acid and that allows the release of stored mineral which the new plant needs for growth.  Normally these nutrients are stored securely inside the seed until it germinates.  The fermentation process of yeast triggers this same activity and causes phytase to transform non-usable minerals into digestible ones.  These minerals include phosphorous, zinc, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper.  Without proper fermentation, these minerals remain inaccessible to your body.  Allowing bread to rise for several hours before baking insures maximum nutritional value and the release of these stored nutrients.

I checked with the owner of one of our grain elevators on grain harvesting procedures.  The owner had just returned from Ethiopia.  It was harvest season there.  He assured me that the primitive methods used for harvesting grain in Ethiopia today were the same primitive methods for harvesting grain used for thousands of years.  The cut wheat was tied up in bundles, because it is easier to pick up a bundle than an individual stalk.    The seeds must be fully dry at harvest time or they will not store!  It is not desirable for the grain to get damp; therefore, it is harvested as quickly as possible.  The only difference in modern methods of harvesting is that machinery is used to perform the tasks.  The last thing any farmer wants is for the grain to get damp!

 “Like snow in summer and rain in harvest so honor is not fitting for a fool.” Proverbs 26:1  Amp. version

 “Is it not wheat harvest today?  I will call to the Lord and He will send thunder and rain; then you shall know and see that your wickedness is great which you have done in the sight of the Lord in asking for a king for yourselves.” I Samuel 12:17 Amp. version

Moist grain at harvest is a curse from God, not a benefit!

The History of Bread Making and Natural Leavens

Since I first began this journey of making my own bread, from freshly milled grains, the history of bread making has fascinated me.  I have read many books and articles on the subject.  I have never read anything to document the statement about our ancestors and “virtually all pre-industrialized people” soaking their grains.  In preparation for writing this article I have spent even more time searching out and reading articles on the internet on the history of bread making.  Again I found nothing on soaking or fermenting grains historically.

I think perhaps there is some confusion with the yeast “starters” that required an over night soak.

Prior to the availability of commercial yeast, bakers, as well as, homemakers had to “make” their own starter.  I found two recipes for starters in a cookbook that was printed in 1901.  The cookbook belonged to my husband’s great grandmother and was a “Careful Collection of Tried and Approved Recipes” compiled by The Ladies Aid Society.  I figure that would date these recipes in the 1800s.

Organisms needed to leaven bread dough could be “caught” from the air.  Equal parts flour and milk were mixed together to form a smooth batter.  The raw milk, unlike today’s pasteurized milk, would supply the lactic acid bacteria.  The mixture was allowed to set uncovered for several days to catch various organisms from the air.  Once the growth of the yeast and bacteria made a nice bubbly mixture the “starter” was ready and could be used for making bread.  The day before making bread, this starter was mixed with equal parts flour and water or milk and allowed to soak or “sponge” for 24 hours or overnight.  The next morning a portion of the starter was saved and stored in a “yeast pot” (mentioned in the book of Exodus) for future use.  Flour, sweeteners, oil and salt were then added to the rest of the sponge to make the bread dough.  The dough was kneaded then shaped into loaves and allowed to rise for several hours.  The entire amount of flour used was not soaked or allowed to ferment, only what was necessary to make their yeast.  These starters are a mixture of yeast and lactic acid bacteria.  The yeast does the leavening and the lactic acid bacteria gives the bread a sour flavor, hence the name sour dough bread.  These “starters” are often referred to as natural leaven since the yeast is considered wild and caught from the air.  To say that natural leaven is not yeast is incorrect.

The strains of commercial yeast used today were isolated, as microorganisms were discovered, and grown for commercial use because of their hardiness and viability.  It was more practical for bakers to have yeast readily available.  I enjoy the flavor of sour dough and first learned to make bread using a sour dough starter.  But I enjoy the convenience of bakers yeast and see no difference in the method of bread making through out history and the way I make bread today, except that I do not have to grow my yeast.  I incorporate the yeast into my dough, just as has always been done, except that my yeast is in a dry form and not from a starter.  I do, of course, lose the sour flavor contributed by the lactic acid bacteria.

Through out history many civilizations have indeed had numerous fermented foods as part of their diet.  The fact that many ancient cultures ate a fermented bread of some sort, however, does not mean that all bread has to be fermented.   Just because one culture eats a fermented cabbage food, known as sauerkraut, does not mean that all cabbage has to be fermented.  Yogurt is a fermented dairy food; does that mean all milk has to be fermented?  Certainly not!

One must remember that the fermentation of foods was chiefly a preservation method.   Fermenting grains also offered a variety of texture, flavor, and aroma.   Years ago, sweeteners and flavoring were not as readily available to the common people; therefore, grains or flour and water were often allowed to ferment overnight to give the bland “bread” some flavor.  The dough was then fried or baked.  Fermenting grains does indeed break down some of the protein, which is not necessarily advantageous.  In fact, a nutritional study done on Ogi, a fermented African corn bread, showed that there were considerable losses in protein and calcium during the fermenting of Ogi.  Researchers found that “the biological quality of Ogi was so poor it did not support the growth of rats”! (History of Fermented Soy Foods, Special Report by William Shurtleff)

Common breakfast cereals, such as oats were often soaked overnight.  Before the process of rolling oats came along to shorten the cooking time, oat groats could take several hours to cook to obtain a nice creamy texture.  Soaking the groats overnight shortened the early morning cooking time.   Our ancestors were logical people.  To imply that they soaked or fermented grains because of some innate sense that it was more nutritious is sheer speculation.

Phytic Acid – Friend or Foe?

Phytic acid’s “chelating” ability is considered by some to be a detriment to one’s health.  On the other hand, many researches embrace this ability to bind with minerals as its most powerful asset.  In her book, Diet for the Atomic Age, Sara Shannon, lists 11 nutrients in particular that protect against heavy metal toxicity and radiation damage.  Phytates bind with radioactive and toxic substances and carry them out of the body.  Aware of phytic acid’s mineral binding properties, Shannon states that an adequate diet will more than compensate.  One must also remember that whole grains themselves are an abundant source of iron, calcium, and zinc.  After extensive research, Shannon found that the more toxic our environment becomes, grains are our best source of protection, particularly due to the phytate content.  She believes that “for optimal health, at least half of every meal should be grains”. Why would one want to denature something that is so beneficial?   In fact, a supplement company is actually isolating this “powerful antioxidant” because of its anti-tumor, anti-carcinogenic, and blood sugar regulating properties!

Studies show that phytic acid, particularly from wheat bran, actually stimulates the productions of phytase in the small intestine.  The fact that phytase can be produced in the small intestine eliminates the necessity of fermenting all grains before consuming them, as in the case of unleavened breads, quick breads (that do not use yeast as a leavening), and parched or boiled grains.  Phytase activity in the small intestine actually increased, not decreased, the absorption of minerals, especially, calcium.  (Journal of Nutrition 2000:130: 2020-2025).  Over the years we have seen numerous people healed of life long anemia issues after they began grinding their own grains to make their bread.  How could this be if phytic acid in the bran kept iron from being absorbed?

Other studies have also shown that this increase of phytase activity, stimulated by phytic acid, offered significant reduction in the formation of cancer cells in the colon.  This anti-carcinogenic protection was also attributed to phytic acid’s mineral chelating properties.   If phytic acid strengthen and protects the colon, how could it cause colitis and irritable bowel syndrome?   Again we have heard numerous testimonies of healing of both colitis and IBS from eating “real bread”.

Phytic acid can be digested by humans and actually releases inositol during the process.  Inositol is a key B vitamin necessary for the metabolism of fat and cholesterol.  Whole grains are a valuable source of inositol, as well as choline and lecithin, which are also important in the break down of cholesterol.  This may explain why so many people have reported a significant reduction in cholesterol levels once they began making their own bread from freshly milled grains.  Inositol is also an essential nutrient in reducing depression.  Again I ask – why would we want to denature this valuable nutrient?

One should really wonder why whole grains and phytic acid were “picked on” at all.  Why not oxalic acid?  It is a mineral chelator found in spinach, chard, cranberries, almonds, rhubarb and other vegetables.  Should we quit eating these healthy foods as well?  Sally Fallon encourages the use of flaxseed for its rich source of fatty acids, stating that it is low in phytic acid.  Yet sources that herald phytic acid as a nutrient, give wheat bran and flaxseed as the richest sources.   Does soaking the grain over night actually denature the phytic acid?  Not from what I have read.  Only about 10% of the phytic acid is broken down in an overnight soak and that is not enough to make a significant difference.

Is There a Place for the Sprouting of Grains?

Absolutely!!  In fact I got very excited as I began to study this.  Of the many essential nutrients needed by your body to promote health and life, there are only four nutrients deficient in wheat, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D and the amino acid lysine.  When grains and beans are sprouted, there is some loss in protein, but vitamin A content increases by 300% and vitamin C by 500%.  In fact sprouted grains were used on long ocean voyages to prevent scurvy.  Limes, and lemons would eventually rot, but the storable grains would last the duration of the voyage and could be sprouted at any time. Sprouted grains can also be more easily tolerated by those who can not digest gluten.

As our food supply gets more and more contaminated and manipulated – our fruits and vegetables are radiated and picked long before ripening, animals are fed antibiotics and hormones that then show up in our meat and dairy products, genetic modification is being done to much of our food supply – we can become very discouraged and left with very few safe food options.

Grains, however, do not have to be radiated to be made storable, they are not fed antibiotics or hormones, and organic grains are not genetically modified.  From all of this, I see the hand of a wonderful Creator that made a perfectly storable food, which can be ground into flour to make delicious breads of all sorts and to obtain two of the missing nutrients one can then sprout the grains.   Grains, as I see it are our most reliable food!

The Attack on Bread – God’s Perfect Provision

For a long time I have been very concerned as I have watched bread be attacked from every direction.  The “low carb” diet propagated the myth that bread will make you fat.  Gluten is treated like some evil substance, found in bread, when in fact it is just the protein portion of the grain, with specific health benefits.  This is not to negate the fact that some people have serious physical issues with gluten.  But the problem is not with gluten.  If so, why is corn such a common allergen?   It has no gluten.  What about milk?   These are all wonderful foods that God has given us that are now thought of as unhealthy when in fact we are the ones who are unhealthy.  We lack the ability to digest these foods properly.   Now presently grain is bad because of some mold on the wheat and phytic acid in the bran.  What next?

I believe that the day has come where God is going to use sickness and disease as a powerful evangelistic tool.  As God’s people we must prepare.  As we turn to His ways of eating, always letting His word be the final authority, we will see our health return.  As those around us become sicker they will look to us for answers.  As we share truth for physical health, we will be sharing truth for spiritual health.  But if deceptive teaching can prevail and convince the world that bread is bad, then why would any one want the Real Bread of Life.  Deceptive teaching is a powerful tool of the enemy. We must pray continually for wisdom. None of us is above being deceived.  In fact as I have struggled with the validity of this teaching, the Lord spoke this scripture to my heart:

“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? … Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to obtain your goal by human effort: Galatians 3:1 NIV version

I do not wish to be either foolish or bewitched.  James 1:5 tells us that if we lack wisdom we are to ask God who will give it.

Throughout the Bible, bread is considered a symbol of healing or the presence of God.  Jesus compared Himself to bread because bread, made from freshly milled whole grains is life giving and life sustaining. As the days become more and more evil, Jesus will be attacked in any and every way.  If the life giving bread to which Jesus compares Himself, can be brought into question, then the very name of Jesus and His saving power can be more easily discredited as well.

DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this article should be construed as medical advice.  Consult you health care provider for your individual nutritional and medical needs.  The opinions are strictly those of the author and are not necessarily those of any professional group or other individual.

This article is re-printed here with permission.

I am so thankful for Sue Becker’s research and careful analysis of this “grain soaking necessity”.  Though gluten and my body do not happily co-exist together, I believe many who read my blog are able to consume gluten and I would like to free them from an unnecessary burden – soaking grains.

There is another reason I believe this article is important.

Preparedness.

In a TEOTWAWKI situation, you might find it expedient to soak your grains overnight to save cooking time, water, and fuel.  These three (among others) will be precious commodities when the grid goes downMany other times you will NEED to prepare a meal quickly, and may not have had the time to start soaking something for the next day’s meals.  Or the dog, or mice or other vermin might have gotten into your grains soaking on the counter – or tent floor – or vehicle dash – or….

Then there will be the times of necessity when you are out gathering fuel, water or whatever it is you need and have to take some kind of food with you.  You will NOT be soaking your grains on the go!

Please, don’t saddle healthy homemakers and preppers with a false sense of guilt if they don’t (unnecessarily) soak their grains!

Blessings, ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

Broken Arm Blessings – Arrow Learns Kitchen Knife Skills & Cooking!

Anticipation 1940 click to go to Shorpy.com for full size view

We continue with our mini series on “Broken Arm Blessings” here with this newest installment.  Yes it is a year later (plus a little) but it seemed fitting somehow.  In case you missed them, you can read part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here & part 5 here.

Right after I broke my arm the Lord impressed upon The Patriarch & me that “this time” was for Arrow’s training.  That was confirmed (without us having said a word) by Papa & Mama B on the Sunday four days after the initial break.  Yes, I did actually attend church with a very banged up face.  We didn’t want to deny anyone the blessing of helping us, but we needed to obey the Lord in this.  So, we turned down meals from our church in order to have this time of real life training for Arrow.

Baby Blue Cast & Casted Thumb

I was quite limited in what I could do in taking care of my family and out home.  My left thumb was cast immobile so I couldn’t move the radius bone.  That alone really limited my arm movements.  (Insert NON-evolutionary note here:  Even in just this I saw how we truly are fearfully and wonderfully made!! … end note)  Anything requiring two hands was o-u-t for me… for a time.  I found creative work arounds for a few things, but most things I had to have someone else do.  It was amazing to me how many things I actually HAD to use two hands for… that I did without thinking about “how” I did them.  And now I had to teach someone else the how… without being able to do the show.

YouTube!!  Did I ever think I would thank the Lord for YouTube..??!!

Arrow had to do all the majority of the house cleaning, cooking, laundry, garden watering, dishes, dog care (including giving doggy medications), as per the Lord’s direction.  I did a few little things that weren’t taxing & easily be done with one hand.  Many of the tasks that Arrow was now responsible for he had some training in.  He had just never been responsible for it all… all at the same time before!  We prayed that this time of training would 1) help develop a servant’s heart, 2) learn to work cheerfully as unto the Lord, 3) scheduling various household chores, 4) scheduling cooking so all items were done at the same time and able to be served together, 5) know what is required to ‘run the home’ so he will be a better manager of his own home (should the Lord provide him with a wife), 6) give him the skills and training to help around the house when all the children are too young to take charge on their own and his wife is incapacitated by morning sickness (should the Lord so graciously provide!) …and??

We had training in using larger knives (very interesting when I can’t ‘show’ how it is to be done!)  have you ever tried to cut an onion with only one hand… that thing rolls all over the place!  These youtube videos were Arrow’s ‘knife skill school classes’:

  – (This is an excellent explanation of how to cut, and the principles of the cutting action, how to hold you hands, etc.  This would have been tops if he had also shown better how to hold the knife and how to stand, but that is covered in the 2nd link.);

  – (This second one show how to hold the knife properly, how to stand while cutting, but I don’t like his knife action as much as the first video.);

(Sorry I tried embedding the video code… grrr….!)  And the audio quality on these isn’t the greatest, but the information is top notch!  So I included them here for your learning as well!  🙂  Here is the Gluten Free Girl’s Hubby showing how to dice vegetables (different info than how to cut them!;

Gluten Free Girl & the Chef show why it’s important to start with a  hot pan!!; – this was “MY” cooking epiphany!!  Oh!!  Oh!!  Oh!!  Revolutionized and IMPROVED my cooking dramatically… I never knew.

I thought these “training” videos were for teaching Arrow how to cook.  Ha!  Just like any other subject I teach in our homeschool, I learn SO MUCH!!  I wasn’t even taught the proper way to hold a knife in my home-ec classes way back in the 70’s!!  You know, the “old” days when girls were till being taught some home skills.  I was taught the basics of the how but none of the why and much of the details were never taught at all!  I have learned them now when training Arrow and in being part of the Ratio Rally.

Our learning continued in using the stove safely, washing up as you go so you don’t have such a large mess later, tips for hardboiling eggs, tips for frying eggs so they don’t have that hard plastic edge, 1) the eggs MUST be at room temperature.  I usually place them in a container with hot water while I prep the rest of the things, 2) The pan MUST be heated completely on LOW heat.  It takes my stove about 5 – 6 minutes.  The butter should NOT sizzle and neither should the eggs., 3) Cook the eggs slowly, they should slide around in the bottom of the pan when they are ready to turn and there should not be lots of the white still uncooked.  I still use butter, but skim off the foam as that is the protein that causes me a problem.  Guess I need to make my own ghee…, 4)  get the spatula completely under the eggs before trying to turn them so you don’t break the yolks… turn gently!, 5) Only cook 2 – 3 eggs at a time in a pan of the proper size.  If you use a larger griddle for lots of eggs… the same principles apply, but you may need some kind of ring to keep the whites separated so they don’t spread all over the place.  I don’t cook our eggs on our cast iron griddle as I don’t like the iron taste it leaves behind in the eggs.

how to coordinate laundry, cooking, etc and MUCH MORE!  So far his attitude has been pretty good.

Some of the things he made are:  a pot roast in the crock pot, chicken salad, gluten free pasta salad, GF pancakes, fried eggs, salads, roast beef hash, GF  cherry peach cobbler, hamburgers (not on buns), cole slaw, potato salad, fresh brewed coffee and iced tea.  I didn’t keep a complete record of all Arrow cooked during that time.  There would have been many other things not listed here.  And a dear, sweet friend, Mrs. G.B. made us a couple of meals anyway.  On a few days when we were gone for the better part of a day with various doctor’s appointments & such we heated up these meals.  Those were such blessings!  Thank you dear!!

Do you realize just how long it takes an 11 (at the time) year old boy to fix a complete dinner??  “MY” timing was W-A-Y off as to how long I needed to give him to get the food ready.  What took me 30 minutes was taking him 3 times that long.  I sure wasn’t about to tell him to hurry up when slicing, dicing and chopping with 12-inch sharp chefs knives!!!  So we got very little else done but the bare essentials.

I looked at this time as “my season of stillness” given as a blessing to me by my heavenly Father.   NOT that I want to run right out and break my arm again…  🙂  My ‘learning’ was in extending patience, letting go of perfectionist tendencies (do those towels REALLY need to be folded just that way??), relying on others help without demanding, new knife skills (yep I had NO clue…) and much more.  I couldn’t change what “crook in my lot” (or arm – ouch!) the Lord had given me, and complaining about it would only make me & those around me miserable!  So I spent much more time praising God for my… “Broken Arm Blessings”!

Ten blessings I am thankful for:

1) YouTube videos for teaching essential kitchen knife skills!

2 ) dear friends from church who made meals anyway.

3) that I had done some of this training before I broke my arm

4) watching Arrow chop and slice like a pro! (though more slowly!!) AND keep all his fingers

5) how pleased The Patriarch was with the fried eggs cooked by Arrow for the very first time

6) for a good set of Cutco Knives, thanks honey!!

7) Arrow’s pleasant attitude towards learning all this food prep stuff

9) watching Arrow carefully cup up a large watermelon for our church fellowship meal and do so safely

10) for the learning I had while teaching kitchen skills to Arrow!!

Blessings,  ~Mrs. R

This post is also shared here:

 

Mrs. R’s Spaghetti Sauce – Truly Italian Tasting! – GF & DF

This Spaghetti Sauce recipe comes from childhood neighbors, who are Italian.  I can remember my mom making this sauce.  I loved watching  mom stir this over the course of an afternoon, as it simmered slowly, the wondrous smell filling our home.  One whiff today transports me right back to the old neighborhood.  The ground beef mom was able to get back then was fattier than what I use so she also had to skim the fat off the sauce.  A process I happily get to forgo.

This is the only spaghetti sauce I make and it always gets raves.  It is the only sauce The Patriarch really likes.  I usually make a huge batch without any meat and then can it.  In fact I usually make it without any meat.  IF we have meat with our spaghetti I usually serve meatballs.  Just an aside here, I make a huge batch of meatballs (yeah, huge for our small family anyway – 5 pounds of ground beef), completely cook them, cool them off and then put them into family sized portions (in their own bags) and then freeze them.  I am then able to make spaghetti and meatballs, meatball subs, sweet & sour meatballs, etc WITHOUT any fuss!  Here’s my ‘ol family REAL Italian Spaghetti Sauce recipe!!

I think the ‘secret’ for this spaghetti sauce is in the very slow, low heat cooking that releases the sugars from the tomatoes without burning them and to blend the flavors.  Burned tomatoes in a sauce will ruin an entire batch and as far as I know… there isn’t any way to eliminate ‘that scorched tomato taste’ from your sauce.    A ‘quick’ sauce will always taste ‘raw’ & unfinished.

Mrs. R’s Real Italian Spaghetti Sauce
1/2 pound ground beef (optional)
1/2 green pepper, seeded and chopped or dehydrated bell pepper
1/2 medium onion, chopped (I use a sweet or white variety)
1 32-ounce can tomatoes
1 32-ounce can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1 toe garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sweet basil
1 tablespoon raw cane sugar
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons Romano cheese
1 cup chicken broth

Brown meat well.  Add onions, green pepper and cook until onions are translucent.  Add all the rest of the ingredients and cook 2 hours on simmer.  Watch it carefully so it does not burn!

To make this 100% dairy free, just leave out the Romano cheese.  This small amount doesn’t bother me, so I leave it in.

If I am making this sauce without the meat, I sauté the vegetables in coconut oil, but only a small amount.  You don’t want any extra oil in your sauce!  The sugar is essential to cut the acid from the tomatoes.  It is also essential to not burn the sauce!!  I cook mine on as low a setting as possible and cook it longer if necessary.  You want to cook it until it thickens up.  And, believe it or not, it always tastes better the next day anyway!  I do not can my sauce with the meat, because that would require pressure canning and just the act of pressure canning the cooked sauce would over cook it and burn it.  Yuck.  Don’t ask me how I know this!!  lol  I am not sure why exactly, but there is not another sauce on the market that tastes quite like this one.  Not overly seasoned, but smells and tastes like Italy!!  YUM!!

Notes:  I never, ever, ever, ever use dehydrated garlic, garlic powder or the like.  Ick and double ick!  It has an after taste reminiscent of brass doorknobs… NOT a pleasant flavor in your foods.  Use only FRESH!  It does make a difference.  If you want to toast your garlic (LIGHTLY!!) add it to the vegetables, but after they are done and stir quickly.  You would also need to add everything else to the pot quickly so the garlic doesn’t burn.  Another horrible smell and taste.  You can also add sliced mushrooms to the onions for the spaghetti sauce when you are sauteing them.  We like our mushrooms… and I would add 8 ounces of sliced.

Did I happen to mention not to use dehydrated garlic??  And not to burn the garlic??  And not to burn the tomatoes??  All these cautions… I think in our hurried, got-to-have-it-now society is why a really good spaghetti sauce is not made from scratch more often.  It takes s-l-o-w, very low heat cooking.  Is it really different?  YES!!  Take the time and taste this for yourself.  You’ll be glad you did.

Buon appetito!

Blessings, ~Mrs. R

                     All art in this post is from art.com and I am an affiliate!  There is also a direct link to art.com in the side bar.  In this small way I am able earn a small bit of money to contribute to our finances.

Recipe is copyright of Honey From Flinty Rocks & Mrs. R.  Feel free to post or share while giving credit & link back to this post at Honey From Flinty Rocks.

Butternut Honey Soup – Gluten & Dairy Free

It is still c-o-l-d here in the Pacific Northwest.  The temperatures might not sound all that cold, but with the rainy, wet weather the cold goes right though you and stays with you.  And since we heat with a pellet stove, the back of the house stays colder much longer.  Brr.  Yes, and that is where the computers are.  OH!!  Then I should just blame the typos on cold, stiff fingers…  LOL

I made a terrific soup for dinner the other night and wanted to share it with you all.  Butternut Squash Soup.  YUM!  This is my adaptation of the Pumpkin Honey Soup from, “Health and Healing with Bee Products”.

I started with a cheat and bought a package of already cubed butternut squash from Costco.  There was enough to make a triple batch of soup so we would have planned-overs for later in the week.  But I used a surprising ingredient that I wanted to let you know about!!  Cashew Milk Kefir!

I will post more on that later, for now I will give you this recipe and then I am off to run errands, home to clean up the house so it is tidy for the weekend, oh and I need to practice my piano.  I have been terrible about  practicing.

Butternut Honey Soup

from the kitchen of ~Mrs. R at Honey From Flinty Rocks

6 cups cubed butternut squash

2 carrots, scrubbed and sliced

1 large Mayan sweet onion, diced

2 – 4 TBSP coconut oil

3 – 6 cups chicken stock

2 – 3 TBSP raw honey + ½ TBSP

1 tsp fresh group black pepper

1 tsp Pink Himalayan sea salt

1 tsp ground ginger or to taste

2 – 4 TBSP Earth Balance buttery spread, I use the soy free version

1 – 2 cups cashew milk kefir

3 tsp fresh lemon juice

Cooking the soup. Heat oil in a large pot and sauté the squash, carrot and onion until tender, about 5 – 10 minutes. Add chicken stock, the TBSPs honey, and seasonings. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes until everything is soft.

Blending the soup. Place the cooked vegetables into a blender. I used a Vita-Mix. Blend until smooth and creamy. If you are making a very large batch, you may need to blend this in batches. Be careful! The soup is hot and will burn if it splashes on you. Add the kefir once everything is all blended and whir to incorporate completely.

Finishing. Return the soup to the pot, stir in butter and lemon juice and keep warm. Pour into bowls, drizzle with remaining honey and serve.

Serves 8 – 10.

Notes. For thinner soup use the larger amount of stock. We like ours thick and creamy, so I only added enough stock to just cover the sautéed vegetables. The ginger , kefir & lemon juice gives this a bit of a bite, so use less if you want only a hint, or more if you like a bite to your soup. And, make sure you add the lemon juice at the end so the heat doesn’t destroy the vitamin C! If I had some I would have sprinkled green onions over the top.

Enjoy!

Blessings,

~Mrs. R

Rice Flour Muffin Variations!!

~~~…

I have been playing with the Rice Flour Muffin recipe I wrote about previously.  This is all new territory for me!  Give me a sewing pattern or crochet pattern and I can make changes “on the fly”.  But play with my food?  I tried that one time and it was a complete bomb.  Inedible.  Ugly.  Blech!

But I have this plate of over ripe bananas sitting there, looking at me.  I’d post a picture, but they are not pretty to look at!  And I didn’t want to make banana bread yet again.  And I already have w-a-y too many ripe bananas in the freezer.  These MUST be used – soon.

So I got to thinking… yes dangerous for me I know!  lol  Anyhoo… I got to thinking.  The original recipe (access in the link above) stated that with the addition of the marmalade (which I am now out of) would keep these from falling apart.  Could I substitute and still have an edible outcome?  I know bananas keep gluten free muffins moist for days and dispense with the need to freeze or refrigerate to keep them edible.  And I have bananas!

Why not try, what’s the worst thing that could happen… I’d have to throw out one batch of muffins and come up with something else for breakfast.  Let’s go for it!

Hey, who said that!??  Me??

Timidly at first, I took my mixing bowl in hand and tried yesterday using just one banana and some cinnamon.  I think about 1/2 of a teaspoon.  I did use raw sugar in my recipe, the full 2 tablespoons.  I have no photos of those as my family ate them up… eagerly!!  The banana taste was quite mild but they could have used more cinnamon.  They did not fall apart in the least and no gums used!

Hmmm, just how far can I push this recipe??  I truly can not believe that is ME thinking like this.  But I tried again this morning.  And I have a large container of blueberries in the fridge just waiting to be used.  Let’s play some more!

It has been perfect weather for baking.  Cold outside, and always needing more warmth inside.  It snowed here yesterday!  Since we heat our home with a pellet stove (single point source of heat) our home can be pretty cold in the farthest places from the source.  But add in some baking and you have triple duty going on – heating the house, making yummy food to nourish my family and discovering new gluten free recipes.  What’s not to love??!

Once I am done playing with my food I will repost the original recipe with all my variations.  But I couldn’t wait to share these with you!

This is also a post for Blueberry Muffins for the “Our Spunky Holiday – July

And you know how I love poetry…

Blueberries

Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb,

Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum

In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!

And all ripe together, not some of them green

And some of them ripe!
You ought to have seen!

Robert Frost

Blessings,

~Mrs. R

A Few Thoughts on Expiration Dates

Psst.  Can I tell you a secret?  Promise not to tell??  Double promise?  I, um, well… [clearing throat], um, I regularly keep and use food and medicine well beyond their expiration dates.  There, phew, I said it.  Are you completely shocked?  Hey, and I’m still alive and well too!!

Most expiration dates are an indicator of quality and, shall we say, full nutritional value (for food) and full effectiveness (for medicines).

I do can my own food.  I would like to say it’s from my own garden, but maybe that will happen one day.  No, I buy in bulk and process it according to the tastes of my family.  One year, I think it was 2006, I made so much jam that I still have a few of those jars on my shelf today!  Do I use it and feed it to my family?  Yes.  It tastes just as good as the day I canned it.  One caveat though.  If you decide to go out on a limb and make some ‘exotic’ flavor of jam, say blueberry with lime, I have to warn you.  The lime zest starts to overwhelm the blueberry and it does become inedible for that reason.  It hadn’t gone bad, just very lime-y.  Very.  Ask me how I know.  I have also canned tomatoes, green beans, and applesauce to name just a few.  I keep those for longer than a year and we still eat them!  I have not canned my own butter or cheese, and being dairy free I probably won’t either.  I will be trying my hand at ghee.  I’ll post my results on that another day.  I promise!

If it does not smell bad & does not have any of the tell-tale signs of spoilage.  Than I figure it is alright to eat.  This is not a blanket statement for you to eat any ol’ thing on your shelf.  This is simply a statement of what we have chosen do in our home, but with intelligence.  Your family’s safety is your own responsibility!  Make sure you know the signs of spoilage in home canned items.

Canning: Signs of Spoilage

  • Jar seals have bulging lids or the seal is broken
  • Jar is dirty on the outside (a sign of food seepage)
  • Liquid is cloudy or bubbling/fermenting or foaming
  • Liquid is seeping out from under the sealed lid
  • Contents spurt out when the jar is opened
  • Mold has grown on food or under the lid
  • Food is slimy or mushy
  • Food smells off or unusual
  • Food is discolored (usually darker).

If a jar is showing signs of spoilage, throw it out safely so that no children or animals can get at it.

Does commercially canned food ensure food safety?  Don’t make me laugh.  How many food recalls can we think of in the last 2 years?  Far too many for me to trust commercially canned items implicitly!

Here are the terms used in the food  industry to describe canned foods with signs of spoilage:

  • Soft Swell: A can that is bulged on both ends, but not so tightly that the ends can’t be pushed in somewhat with a thumb press.
  • Hard Swell: A can that is so tightly bulged on both ends that the ends can’t be pressed in. A can with a hard swell will generally “buckle” before it bursts.
  • Flipper: A can whose end normally looks flat, but “flips out” when struck sharply on one end.
  • Springer: A can with one end bulged out. With sufficient pressure, this end will flip in, but the other end will flip out.
  • Leaker: A can with a crack or hole in the container that has caused leakage.

How can we protect ourselves? One important way is to look for signs of spoilage and to immediately discard any canned foods that are suspected of being spoiled.

Excalibur 9-Tray

I also dehydrate many of the things we eat.  I like dehydrating for many reasons.  One is there are no jars to potentially break in an earthquake and an even longer time for the nutritional value (at least what’s left of it) of the food to remain intact.  But keeping these things free of moisture is key.  That is one reason why we found viable grain in the tombs of the Egyptian Pharaohs!!  Dry, dry, dry.  It’s the word of the day.  Mold needs moisture to grow.  If you have dehydrated it well enough there will not be any moisture for mold to grow!

Dehydrated food is also lighter in weight making it easier to transport whether you are hiking, biking, or bugging out.  I am experimenting with making my own ‘instant soups & meals’ using my own dehydrated foods.  I will keep you posted on my progress in that.  I am also using lots more ‘leathers’ for a wide variety of uses.  No, not all fruit leather.  How does mushroom leather sound?  Or spaghetti sauce leather?

We purchase very little processed foods.  I make the bulk of our food from scratch.  With that said, even boxed cake mixes (for an example) would last for many years beyond their expiration dates!  Especially if they were also stored in 5-gallon containers with oxygen absorbers.  Water and air are food storage enemies.  Heat isn’t a helper either.  The cooler the storage temperature the better.

What about medicines you ask?  I do not take any medication on a regular basis.  I am attempting to get healthy by loosing my excess weight, exercising and eating a healthier diet.  All that is for a completely different post than this one!  lol  So if you do regularly take any medications you will have to judge for yourself whether any of this is for you or not.

Once long ago I passed a kidney stone.  OK, truth be told more than once, but we don’t need to get into that here do we?  Not drinking enough water, a significant increase in my black tea intake and celiac were my undoing.  Let me just tell you that passing a kidney stone is far more painful than giving birth!  I have given birth & with NO pain medication more than once.  This kidney stone thing was FAR worse.  Far, far worse.  I’m starting to sweat and shake just thinking about it.  I was given Tylenol with codeine for the pain.  But one whole pill sent me on ‘a loopy road’ and unable to function.  Who can do that with a small child in the house?  So I cut those big pills into quarters and took them that way.  I was able to take just enough to stay on top of the pain yet remain functional.

You can well imagine that those pills lasted quite a long time.  I have taken some of these that were well over 5 years old and closer to 10.  They still worked, but not like a ‘fresh’ one.  But at least they worked!  If you do choose to store extra medicines make sure they are stored in a way that an unauthorized person can’t gain access to them.

Blessings,

~Mrs. R

Disclaimer: The information available through this blog is  for educational purposes only.  All efforts have been made to ensure the material in this post is accurate and up to date.   However, Honey From Flinty Rocks cannot be held responsible for any circumstances resulting from its use, unavailability, or possible inaccuracy.

The Easy Thanksgiving or Holiday Turkey

Just like how I make mine… how about yours??  lol

Blessings,

~Mrs. R

Six Savory Salad Dressings

I have had a request for some of my homemade salad dressings.

My search for the best homemade salad dressings started when we finally realized that “The Patriarch” got horrendous migraine headaches when he ate too much MSG.  After looking into the evils of the chemically derived derivative I vowed to NOT ingest that stuff nor feed it to my precious family.  But I will let you do your own research on that topic.

Some of these dressings use fresh fruits in season.  I have not tried using them in a frozen state and the canned variety would be far too sweet.  So plan your salad dressings around what is ripe in your area!

Just a quick side note… MSG is made naturally in some cooking processes.  But that is not the MSG I am referencing above.

This video has a great tip on quick tossing of your salad…  🙂

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APRICOT BASIL DRESSING, GF & DF

  1. Combine 2 fresh, ripe apricots (pitted), 2 tbsp white wine vinegar and 1 tbsp sugar in blender; whirl until blended.
  2. With blender running, slowly add 1/4 cup vegetable oil until thick and smooth.
  3. Stir in 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil.
    Makes 1 cup

This one I found on the internet, but can’t remember where now.  It has gotten rave reviews from church.  I use evaporated cane juice for my sweetener and olive or safflower oil for the vegetable oil.  Stevia can be substituted for a sugar free option.

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Awesome Ranch Dressing, GF
1/2 cup purchased mayonnaise* (unless you make your own, recipe given at bottom of post, it is super easy and quick!)
1/4 c or less raw milk (pasteurized only if you have to) , used to thin out the dressing so don’t add too much
1 – 2 tbsp onion, chopped fine
1  garlic toe, chopped fine
1/2 t black pepper
1/2 t dried marjoram leaves
1/2 t celery salt                                                                                                 1/2 t dried savory leaves
1/2 t or more dried parsley
1-2 t liquid whey

Blend till smooth and leave out on the counter for 4-6 hours to develop the probiotic benefits and then refrigerate or serve. Will keep for 1 week or more – if it lasts that long.

Also, to make into a dip, I add equal amounts of sour cream & mayonaise and what milk I think it needs to be the consistency I want it to have.  I have yet to make this dairy free, when I do I will let you know the results!

I got this recipe from a friend and I am not sure where she got it.  But it is by far the best homemade ranch dressing bar none!  I have also added Tabasco sauce (to taste) for a little variety and slight heat.

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Thousand Island Salad Dressing, GF & DF

Yield: 1 cup

1/2 cup homemade mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
2 tsp. sweet pickle relish
1 tsp. evaporated cane juice or honey
1 tsp. chopped pimento – optional
1/2 tsp. onion salt (I use 2 – 3 tbsp of finely chopped onion and 1/2 tsp salt)
black pepper – to taste

 


-Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.
-Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours, stirring occasionally, before serving.

·Excellent dressing and simple to make.  Terrific on hamburgers!  This too I got from a friend, though i don’t know where she got it.

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Green Goddess Dressing, GF & DF
1 avocado
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon herbs de provence
½ teaspoon sea salt
3-5 drops stevia
1 cup water

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender
  2. Process on high speed until smooth and creamy
  3. Pour over your favorite salad greens
  4. Store remaining dressing in a glass jar in fridge
  5. Keeps for up to 5 days (if it lasts that long)

Herbs De Provence Seasoning

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dried tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon dried savory
  • 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf, crushed                                                                                           Combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container.

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Spicy Pear Dressing, GF & DF

  • 1 bosc pear, peeled and seeded
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine the pear, honey, salt, and red pepper flakes in a food processor, pulse until blended. Slowly add oil in a stream until emulsified.

Tip: For the fullest flavor, let the dressing set for about 15 minutes in order for the flavors to combine before serving.

TIP: I use ¼ tsp red pepper flakes and it is plenty hot for us.

WARNING! This will increase in heat if stored. I use what I make and dispose of the rest, or use it as a marinade on chicken with vinegar the NEXT day.

Makes 1 cup of dressing.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Vinaigrette, GF & DF

Dressing:
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
1 1/4 cups chopped fresh or frozen strawberries
3 large shallots, coarsely chopped (can use onion or leeks too)
1 tbsp. evaporated cane juice
1/3 cup red wine vinegar

Preparation:
Simmer in small non-reactive saucepan until tender, about 10 minutes. Purée, strain into large bowl and cool.

Whisk in: 3/4 cup safflower, grapeseed or olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard.

I have never strained mine, I just puree it very well.

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Home Made Mayonnaise

recipe found on the internet

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 3/4 cup safflower, grapeseed, or olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine the egg, garlic, lemon juice and mustard in the container of a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, then blend on low speed while pouring oil into the blender in a fine stream as the mixture emulsifies and thickens.

I like using my blender, a very old one that is my workhorse!  You can mix by hand, but that works best if you have two people as your arm will get tired.

I also purchase cage-free, farm-fresh, pastured chicken eggs.  No salmonella problems!