Feb 29 2012

Carrots are hearty root vegetables that are easily stored for winter.

When times are tough, or even when they’re not, where can you buy ten pounds of organic food for $6.00? COSTCO, that’s where, and probably other places as well, but COSTCO is amazing as they have a number of organic foods I wasn’t expecting at such a large “big box” store. And ten pounds of organic food is ten pounds of organic goodness that can fill lots of tummies for quite a while.

I am talking about COSTCO’s organic carrots, which are the deal of the century. You just have to like carrots and yet be aware that if you eat too many at once, you can turn orange from the carrot coloring, carotene. But, other than that, these handy root vegetables will store for quite a while as long as you take them out of their plastic bags and put them in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator.

Slicing carrots into “Copper Pennies” begins a
side dish that will become a family treat.

COSTCO carrots, I found are even cheaper, in other areas of the country. While ten pounds of COSTCO Organic Carrots are between six and seven dollars outside of the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan area, the COSTCO web site shows that ordering on-line allows you to buy ten pounds of organic carrots for, if you can believe it, $ 4.99, plus some shipping and handling, I’m sure.

Overall, carrots are a great addition to any frugal household hoping to sustain life on grated carrot raisin salad, vegetable soup, carrot cake or carrot juice. Why, one could make a whole seven course meal using carrots every step of the way. This is not beginning to mention, however, the best use of all for carrots, making Copper Pennies.

Fill a saucepan with the sliced carrots and cover
with filtered water and some pinches of Real Salt.

When the carrots have cooked, but are still firm
enough to hold their shape and not become mush,
pour off the water.

Food fantasies were big at our house when I was a kid. My dad, more than my mother, tried to make things “kid friendly” and would come up with names for things he thought we might not want to eat. It wasn’t until years later that I learned the real reason he was watching out for us. He, himself, didn’t like the serving choices and that’s why he thought he had to make them fun for us. That’s why we had “Liver Candy” for calves liver and “Baby Cabbages” for Brussels sprouts, in addition to “Copper Pennies” for cooked carrots.

Melt some grass fed organic better in a pan with
organic brown sugar. Add carrots and stir to heat through
and coat with yummy candy-like goodness.

And I suppose I continued the fun food naming trend when my kids were small. There was nothing they liked more than a little bowl of frozen peas. We called them “Pea-sicles,” named after Popsicle brand frozen ice confections.

We Serve our Copper Pennies with sour cream,
walnuts and a sprinkle of brown sugar, all organic.

This making “much over nothing” to bring smiles to the face of a child is lots of fun for adults as well. Coincidentally, the art of entertaining children reminds me of a post I read this week on BlogHer: It will be like an Amusement Park…only Better. A fanciful, creative post by BlogHer “dvorakoelling,” relatively new to our BlogHer world, but already participating handily.

Much like my Dad and I making up little fantasies to tickle a kid, Dvora explains how she took kiddie playacting to new heights when she turned her local supermarket and shopping mall into a Disney World of sorts. I read enchantingly as Dvora described bringing the fun of a trip to FantasyLand to her seventeen month old daughter by using their cooperative imaginations to turn shopping carts into bumper cars and mall escalators into rides. It sounds like they had fun, and I know I did as well, as I read along with Dvora, thinking of my Dad’s tricks to make everyday special. What a childhood rich in love I had with my Dad and Dvora’s daughter, Em, is enjoying everyday with her Mom, today.

I got to thinking, simple games are like COSTCO carrots: both are nourishing; both cost little.

In a world of expensive clothes, plastic and trinkets, these thoughts really made me smile!

NaBloPoMo February 2012



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Jan 18 2012

Visiting “The Future” at the New York World’s Fair, 1964-1965,
while in 1960’s clothes.

When I was a kid, we looked to the future through a TV cartoon time warp called “The Jetsons.” Then, while we watched futuristic “programming” on TV, our parents were also being instructed by mass media that the future would bring better living to us all. We were told daily that the progress to take us blindly into the future would be better, much better than anything in the present. It was inferred that we should just trust whomever was bringing this to pass. And so, when the biggest international event of the decade occurred, the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York City, we knew we were on the cusp of a wave that would carry us aloft to glorious destinies. We didn’t know where we were heading, but we knew we were getting there fast, and that it was going to be better, right?

Bell Telephone Pavillion: New York World’s Fair 1964-1965.
“Peace through Understanding” Moving chairs carry the Fairgoer
past animated exhibits tracing the history of communications.
Anyone may try out “picture phones” -phones equipped with TV
devices showing the person on the other end.

Bigger was better. Faster was better. More, stronger, cheaper was better. New and improved? Well, of course THAT was better. The words new and improved must mean something was really NEW and IMPROVED. It therefore must be better. The box said so, just as the TV had. Who could argue that the product wasn’t actually new and improved? And since the new and improved product was now and the old has-been product was then, this product in the present HAD to be better…but nothing compared to what it would be in the future!

The New York World’s Fair 1964-1965

And so, whirling in this vortex of progress, spiraling upwards, or so we thought, we became very impressionable to the idea that new was better and old served no purpose. Like modern lemmings, we followed the promises of the TV box that guided us through every day to “improve” our otherwise primitive lives. And so, our societal common sense undermined, we believed like children that modern was good and old fashioned was not only outdated, but bad. For example, I can remember visiting my mother’s family home where her cousin had “modernized” and replaced “all of those silly old, dark, heavy walnut doors and matching woodwork” hoping to bring a Federal Period house into the 20th century.

And here are people in 1965, trying their best to be
“Futuristic” with a lamp pole, sunburst wall clock and
“modern art” man-made fiber curtains.

And as fast was better, convenience overcame tried and true. I can remember my mother laughing, as she opened a loaf of spongy white Wonderbread, that Mrs. So-and-so made bread for her family every week. Nobody we knew had ever made bread. And then we went through all of elementary school, junior and senior high school with the same group of kids year, in and year out. We knew everything about everybody. Trust me, no one baked bread, no one, except Mrs. So-and-so. Buying convenience foods, opening cans, heating up frozen food, using cake mixes: no one we knew had mothers that did anything much more than that. On occasion, cookies might be made from scratch, but NEVER a cake.

Convenience and taste, not nutrition, were the selling points.
H-m-m-m. Wonder what chemicals were used to replicate the eggs?

According to the Joy of Baking:  “Eggs play a major role in cake
baking. Eggs add aeration to the batter, provide structure to
the cake, help bind the ingredients together, keep the cake moist
and add flavor and tenderness.”

Eggs sound important to a cake! What did they use instead?

The modern housewife was told by mass media advertising that convenience was the way of the future and the less done the better. It was the futuristic way to do things for those in the know. The whole concept of eating to nurture the body while promoting wellness was not considered. Nutritional content was not considered. The only things that seemed important were taste and convenience. And if that taste were stimulated by a chemical cocktail, no one seemed to mind or notice.

This hash commercial is odd for a number of reasons. You’ll see
that as long as women were invisible and could open a can of
hash, things were fine.

But, how did the woman and the hash feel about it?
And how nutritious was that dinner of canned hash and eggs?

Little by little, convenience foods became fast foods. It wasn’t that long before men, women and families began eating out more and more. In addition, as people ate out more often, cost became a concern and restaurants offering good “home cooking” were expensive compared to McDonald’s “four course meal with change from a dollar.” We were detached from the concept that what we ate physically became our bodies and minds. In fact, I can’t remember chemical additives or preservatives ever being commonly discussed. Maybe there was mention of nitrates and nitrites in hot dogs once in a while, but overall we ate without self awareness.

Now I understand that nutrient dense food is not only medicine, but provides the foundations for living. That’s why “The Jetson’s” putting a pill in a wall unit that looks prognostic of microwave ovens, closing the door and pushing a button to conveniently produce a plate full of food seems out of date. The concept is old fashioned, from when that was considered “modern” and is comically passe. People now know wholesome, unadulterated slow foodstuffs are truly the building blocks of life. Therefore, any quaint desire for convenience, at the expense of nutrition and wellness, has thankfully gone the way of the TV dinner.

 

Where do great meals begin?

Come to the Table brings you straight to the source of wonderful flavors, beauty, abundance, and pride of place—the small farms of California and the people who tend them season after season.
Alice Waters, the celebrated chef and food activist, introduces a remarkable group of resilient fresh-food artisans who are committed to keeping our food supply delicious, diverse, and safe—for humans and the planet. Meet the folks down on the farm and learn firsthand about the back-to-the-future small-farm economy that’s gaining strength across America. Discover new tastes and memorable traditions. Explore local flavors, wit, and wisdom along with the universal values of a food system that is “good, clean, and fair.” Recreate a range of sumptuous yet simple meals with the farmers’ own family recipes—including breakfast crostata and fresh-fruit jams, stuffed artichokes and black-eyed peas, chile relleno casseroles, pulled pork, and cheesecake.Sustainable food is real food.
Come to the table, and help yourself!
 

If you have an interest in this book, hover your mouse over:

Slow Food Nation’s Come to the Table: The Slow Food Way of Living

NaBloPoMo January 2012



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Dec 28 2011

After a hard day of yard work, it’s time to put another
meal on the table.  No biggie!  All you have to do
is fry some ready made Corn Meal Mush!

Corn Meal Mush is a long forgotten staple for those of limited means. I didn’t have the opportunity to forget it as I had never heard of it until I became friends with the Amish. Served at least once a week, it can be found at breakfast, lunch and/or dinner in an Amish home. Corn Meal Mush is their rice or pasta. I sure wish I had known about the option when I was in college, along with slow cooking nutrient dense food. Rather than existing on chicken noodle soup and Cheerios, I could have had nutritious, inexpensive, easy to prepare meals waiting for me in my refrigerator every day of the week. But, I have made up for lost time. I tell everyone I know about the delights and practicality of Corn Meal Mush and its logical endpoint, Fried Corn Meal Mush.

Organic Polenta Corn Grits make the best Corn Meal Mush.

When I first learned about this “new” and amazing food stuff in the 1980s, we used the corn meal made by Quaker Oats, packed in a smaller cardboard round box, much like the Quaker Oats oatmeal. But, now with the Organic Polenta Corn Grits available, my Corn Meal Mush has extra vibrancy and go power. The coarser grit of the Polenta delivers lots of flavor.

Place 9 cups of filtered water and 3 1/2  cups of Organic Corn meal in a saucepan. Add salt to taste. I add 1 1/2 teaspoons of Real Salt.  Now, here is the trick: you MUST stir it the whole time over medium to medium/high heat. Do not answer the phone. Don’t try to put a dish in the dish washer, just STIR YOUR MUSH. That’s the only hard part. Multitasking is not allowed, if it involves hands.

Eventually the corn will expand and become one with the water. DON’T STOP STIRRING until you take it off the stove. It should be like hot cereal and very homogeneous as it starts to bubble.

At this point, you can call it a day and just have hot cereal. Add butter and maple syrup for the pancake route or cheese and tomato sauce for the traditional Southwestern Polenta route. The good news is if you keep going to make the Fried Corn Meal Mush, you will probably have enough left over for a bowl of hot cereal to reward you for your trouble as well.

So, pour the hot cereal Corn Meal Mush into containers. Loaf pans or refrigerator dishes work well and they DON’T need to be greased.  I usually get three loaf pans or one loaf type pan and one large refrigerator dish. Notice I am showing the saucepan full of soapy water, because once you pour the cereal and scrape the pan, the saucepan needs to be filled with water. If you forget, the cereal bits will turn to concrete and be hard to remove.

Now, let the Mush cool to room temperature, then put it in the refrigerator until it congeals. When solid, slice, dredge all sides in flour and fry in organic coconut oil

Here are the Mush slices when they start and…

…here they are when getting golden.

Dinner’s ready! Yum-Yum and Cheap-Cheap!

The evening we made this for dinner, we had organic coleslaw, bacon and organic scrambled eggs cooked in organic bacon grease. Those of you not familiar with the Weston A. Price philosophy will be shocked at eating eggs cooked in bacon fat like people used to do before the misinformation about low-fat diets became popular.

The truth is, high cholesterol has never been scientifically proven to cause heart disease. In fact, this country’s heart disease skyrocketed when low-fat diets became popular. So did many neurological and neuromuscular problems. Most people do not have enough fat in their diets and they are suffering for it.

Here is a very important PDF about the myths of cholesterol that have been foisted upon the public for many years. And, BTW, those of you suffering from depression may be fat starved. This is serious stuff! You must have good organic fats in your diet to survive and thrive.  There are many articles and endless references on the Weston A. Price web site. Be sure to research this information. When you hear it for the first time, it is difficult to believe.

NaBloPoMo 2011



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Nov 12 2011

“Unapproved” backyard vegetable gardens could become illegal.

Everyone needs to be aware of what is happening on the organic food front, There are big name legislators sponsoring bills in Congress to allow Americans to eat as they wish, such as Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) sponsoring the Raw Milk Freedom Bill HR 1830, but there are other government entities trying to force Americans to eat toxic, commercial food as their sole source of nutrition. How else would one put it when wholesome, locally grown farm raised food is ordered by a government inspector to be destroyed while fast food restaurants serve chemically saturated foods with governmental approval? Doesn’t make much sense, does it?

All of the food on this plate is organic. Except for the
lemon and grapes, all of the food was raised locally on
small family farms or in our backyard garden.  Therefore,
most of this food would be considered “not fit for human
consumption” because it had not been inspected.

But watch in the following video how a Nevada State inspector asserts a commanding level of authority over a gathering at a farm where people were planning on having a picnic with locally, sustainably grown, organic food. Because the food had been brought in from Utah, even though it was approved as consumable by the Utah state authorities, the food was not authorized as edible by the Nevada authorities and so was required to be destroyed. There was no second guessing this command, in other words, the family that raised the food was not allowed to eat it, nor was it allowed to be fed to their livestock.  The food was required to be destroyed by pouring bleach on it to make it totally unusable. What a waste and what an insult to picnickers who want to choose eating healthy foods.

A Farm to Fork organic gathering in Nevada was raided.

Follow-up and commentary on the news.

What the general public doesn’t realize is that government agencies are primed and ready to go to control the food supply so that everything one eats must be inspected and approved. Well, in light of the e.coli scares of industrially farmed produce, one might think total inspection control is a good idea. But, the public needs to realize all food, including the tomatoes you grow in your own backyard, would have to be approved. And approval costs money…for the inspectors…for the paper work…and some web sites say a backyard growing permit might cost as much as $2,000.00…per year!

Backyard Victory Gardens were encouraged as part of the war
efforts of both World Wars. Now, they may be considered
illegal, if food freedom laws are not put in place.

Think about that for a minute. A small family owned garden plot, much like the ones that got households through the war years, the Victory Gardens of wartime fame, would be illegal. The government would have a right to come onto your property and confiscate your produce as “unclean” and “unfit for consumption.” Without legislation, such as Dr. Ron Paul’s proposed HR 1830, this level of interference in family life is just around the corner. To get an educated perspective on the the implications of food control, click here.

Dr. Ron Paul’s statement on Food Freedom:

“Most Americans understand that if you don’t want to drink unpasteurized milk you simply do not buy it. But the federal government solution is pre-dawn raids which destroy the livelihoods of honest, hardworking families in this time of continued economic hardship.

I am outraged by [the April 2011 FDA armed] raid [on a peaceable Raw Milk producer] and the many others like it, and that is why last week I introduced HR 1830, a bill to allow the shipment and distribution of unpasteurized milk and milk products for human consumption across state lines. This legislation removes the unconstitutional restraint on farmers who wish to sell or otherwise distribute, and people who wish to consume, unpasteurized milk and milk products.

Many Americans have done their own research and come to the conclusion that unpasteurized milk is healthier than pasteurized milk. These Americans have the right to consume these products without having the federal government second-guess their judgment or thwart their wishes. If there are legitimate concerns about the safety of unpasteurized milk, those concerns should be addressed at the state and local level.

I am hoping my colleagues in the House will join me in promoting individual rights, the original intent of the Constitution, and federalism by cosponsoring this legislation to allow the interstate shipment of unpasteurized milk and milk products for human consumption.

If we are not even free anymore to decide something as basic as what we wish to eat or drink, how much freedom do we really have left?”

Many patriots rightly complain that the “Interstate Commerce Clause” of the Constitution has been misapplied to allow unprecedented Federal interventions in our private lives. Dr. Paul shows us where the Clause has its proper, limited application: promoting free trade among the States, rather than prohibiting, licensing and taxing.

Introducing the Natural Solutions Foundation

The Natural Solutions Foundation is very active in working toward Food Freedom. To learn of their concerns, click here. I get a kick out of their tag line saying, “Live dangerously: Garden for Food Freedom.”

“YES! You DO own your own body and ought to get to decide what goes into it! Despite the FDA’s assertion that you have no such right, Dr. Paul and Natural Solutions Foundation know differently!” – Rima E. Laibow, MD

Dr. Rima E. Laibow is a health freedom advocate that I have followed for many years. She is concerned with this latest organic food raid, the one on the picnickers in the first video, because the party goers did not know their rights and destroyed their food even thought the Federalized State inspector did not have a warrant. They were within their legal rights to refuse. Here are Dr. Rima’s comments from her newsletter:

ONE-BUREAUCRAT-RAID COWERS NATURAL FOOD PICNIC!
DO YOU KNOW YOUR RIGHTS?

On top of the raids on the Amish Dairy in Pennsylvania and on the Rawsome Food Co-op in California, this latest story of bureaucracy-gone-crazy shows us that people need to know their rights when confronted by naked power emboldened by the newly Federalized state food authorities.

As usual, we see the connection between disparate events and note that state food agents, under contract with the FDA (provided for in the so-called FDA “Food Safety” Modernization Act — the Food Control Law) are acting in an increasingly fascistic manner.

This is bigger than one abusive bureaucrat… this is YOUR future if you don’t PUSH BACK hard!

What happened at the Farm to Fork picnic was that a single bureaucrat cowed the attendees into poisoning their the natural foods on the picnic table, with BLEACH, as a “safety” measure… and NO ONE OBJECTED or forced the bureaucrat off the private property (she displays her badge, but no Warrant!)

A good book: FOOD REBELLIONS!

A Reader Review from Amazon:

“This book makes a critical contribution to discussions of the current food crisis and what can be done to increase food equality, security and justice. It covers multiple global regions and in particular Africa, Latin America, Europe and the United States. I was particularly amazed by the statistics indicating that organic, smallholder, local, polycrop farms are more productive than the intensive monocropping with chemical inputs. This is a critical point. The book would have been strengthened by more expanded treatment of pervasive arguments for GMO and Green Revolution technologies. The value of these agricultural “innovations” is assumed by a large section of those concerned with food, and who are not necessarily convinced by a significantly one-sided argument in opposition. The arguments that resonate with less financially invested individuals must be addressed at their maximum strength in order to prove convincing. This weakness, however, should in no way detract from the invaluable contributions that this book makes to projects for sustainable food security.”

Food Rebellions: Crisis and the Hunger for Justice



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Oct 30 2011

The Irish drinking real milk is Sunbonnet Smart.

I enjoy receiving the newsletter from W. C. Douglass, M.D. called “Daily Dose.” As you might expect, it arrives daily in my e-mail box and it always has something of interest. This morning, I was intrigued by a lead article called Ireland Readies Raw Milk Ban. Here it is so you can see what you think about it:

New rules will turn milk lovers into outlaws
by W.C. Douglass, M.D.

Ireland’s famous fresh dairy products are about to go sour: After years of allowing unregulated raw milk sales, the government is getting ready to cut it all off practically overnight.

The total ban on raw milk sales might even be taking effect as you read this.

What’s amazing here isn’t just the 180-degree turn on raw milk from complete freedom to a complete ban — it’s the fact that Ireland is actually living, breathing PROOF that raw milk is safe and healthy.

Since the last ban was lifted in 2006, the Irish have turned to farm-fresh milk with the gusto they normally reserve for Guinness. One farmer told the Irish Times this summer that he went from selling no raw milk at all to 400 liters a week in no time flat.

Yet despite the growing raw milk consumption, there have been no major outbreaks of illness or disease.

And that’s not just the luck o’ the Irish at work — it’s because responsibly produced raw milk is not the risky cocktail you’ve been led to believe. In fact, bans like this one aren’t about safety at all — and they never are.

All countries with raw milk restrictions and bans — including the United States — have one thing in common, and it’s not healthier people: It’s a powerful dairy industry. Pasteurization is the hammer that industry uses to nail down control of everyone’s milk money.

Without pasteurization laws, farmers can sell direct to consumers and earn a good living. With those laws in place, however, most farmers have no choice but to sell their milk to Big Dairy operations for pennies on the dollar.

Farmers aren’t the only ones getting the shaft here — consumers also lose big, because pasteurization kills everything in milk worth having: powerful natural probiotics and healthy dairy proteins as well as key vitamins and minerals.

Those nutrients make raw milk an immune-boosting tonic that can beat allergies and asthma, fight illness and disease, and even cure autism in children.

To my Irish readers — and everyone else who has to fight for the right to drink raw milk — don’t let the authorities push you around. Get your raw milk however you can.

Irish shamrocks and fresh raw milk grow at
Your Family Cow in Chambersburg, PA

As Dr. Douglass indicates in his article above, there are restrictions against of selling unpasteurized, non-homogenized milk in the United States. This is true. Some states freely allow raw milk sales, while others totally ban the sale, while the states in between restrict the sale in some way. Sale of raw milk went relatively unnoticed for years.  As the public has realized the health benefits of drinking real milk, however, the commercialized high throughput product has suffered in sales and profit. Now, in some states, raw milk drinkers have to fight for the right to choose their milk product. And so, we are working hard for the freedom to choose just like they are fighting in Ireland now.

The milking barn at Your Family Cow, Chambersburg, PA.

In Ireland, there are many united groups of raw milk drinkers, just as there are here in the United States. The Irish groups’ missions mirror our own groups when they say, The Irish government intends to ban the sale of raw milk before the end of 2011. We want the right to choose and are calling for the government to introduce fair regulations rather than an outright ban…We believe that everyone has a right to drink one of Irelands best products; milk – in its pure unadulterated creamy and delicious form – raw milk. The choice is the key point here… Informed consumers should have the right to decide for themselves what they eat and drink.”

If you are interested in the Irish groups joining together to promote the drinking of healthy raw milk, then click on this link.  There are some remarkable discussions on the sale of raw milk planned for November 1, 2011 in the United States as well. To see an update on mothers bringing in raw milk from Pennsylvania and drinking in front of the FDA in Silver Spring, Maryland, click on this: “Will Tuesday’s ‘milk and cookies’ rally at the FDA be the ‘Woodstock’ of the Food Rights Movement?”

Ireland has world renown dairy products, many of which are
used to cook in this book. If you have an interest in
previewing The New Irish Table, hover your mouse over this link:

The New Irish Table: 70 Contemporary Recipes



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NaBloPoMo November 2012