Mar 05 2013

I hope I’m not the last one to know about this.

That silly ole’ Pinterest. Everyday I find new creative things to do. Lotsa hot tips to make my life more efficient. Trouble is, I think what I find is so innovative, I must be the first one to have discovered it. The fact that I’m finding it it in a write up on Pinterest does not interfere with my feeling of discovery.

One pound of organic bacon placed
on parchment lined Reynold’s Wrap.

And then, because I’ve made a discovery, I have to share it on my web site and BlogHer. So, spoiler alert! This post is about cooking bacon in the oven. If you have been doing that for years, don’t burst my bubble. Let me live in my own little newly ovened bacon world, safe and secure. But, for those of you who haven’t tried this, it has changed our lives. 🙂 We’re not “afraid” to eat bacon anymore.

Place a sheet of lined Reynold’s Wrap
over the top of the jelly roll pan.

No longer do we have to stand and cook bacon, getting splattered and making a greasy mess all over the stove top. Now, we cook bacon like royalty. We could wear white gloves. We could. And, not get them mussed and be ready for tea afterwards. So, what you do is, get a jelly roll pan, take a sheet of the Reynold’s Wrap non-stick Pan Lining Paper that is foil lined with parchment paper so the food does not touch the foil.  Make sure you have extra, so it will cover the sides of the pan to catch the grease.

Perfect bacon with hardly any cleanup. Yay!

Place a second sheet of the Pan Lining Paper over the top of the jelly roll pan, with the parchment paper toward the food. Cook 45 minutes at 375 degrees and check on it as your oven time and temperature may differ. The Pinterest pin was right when it stated we would never cook bacon on the top of the stove again. We haven’t yet!

Have you tried oven bacon? Am I the last person in the world?

 NaBloPoMo March 2013

March 2013
for a post every day
here and/or on

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Feb 16 2012

Health food stores have been around for a long time, at least for fifty years that I can remember. Consumer demand has steady empowered the health food and supplement industry to spiral upward. When I was a teenager in the 1960s, health food stores consisted of mainly vitamin shops. Now health food stores are full service department food stores with rows of organic products, meats and seafood in addition to their vitamin selections.

We love Applegate Hot Dogs. They are real
hot dogs made with good cuts of organic beef
without preservatives

The old ideas of health foods tasting bland and of cardboard have dropped out of existence. Thank goodness the misnomer that if things are “good for you,” they must taste bad has been replaced. Now there are many fully organic products allowing tasty GMO-free, pesticide free foods to be included in healthy diets.

Remember that most corn and wheat are genetically modified, the components of which do not metabolize properly and then accumulate in the kidneys and liver. Be sure, therefore, that your breads, cookies, cakes and hot dog rolls are organic, which also means they cannot contain GMO ingredients.

It is possible to have organic hot dogs that
actually taste MUCH BETTER than the ones most
of us had as children.

As your body gets healthier and rids itself of toxic poisons, you will eventually want to be more and more careful that your organic foods are really organic and by reputable companies. When first starting to get well, however, don’t try to make massive changes all at once. Odds are, the foods labeled organic are still better than what you have been eating everyday in the processed and restaurant food world.

Organic condiments insure a
satisfying hot dog lunch.

Once you really, REALLY get on the path to wellness, you will be making your own condiments from recipes in Nourishing Traditions, the back to basic health recipe book by Sally Fallon of the Weston A. Price Foundation. The best condiments are fermented like they used to be and provide natural probiotics for a healthy gut and digestion. But, until then, use organic products that will get you on your way.

Boy, I hope these look good to you.  I thought they
looked good when I took the photo, but tonight, maybe
I’m just tired…I think I could have made them a
little more appealing. They tasted GREAT, though!
…lights, camera, ACTION!


NaBloPoMo February 2012

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Jan 10 2012

Welcome to the second installment of going Up to the Amish for Raw Milk. But, before we get back to traveling to visit the farmers who produce our food, you have GOT to look at this segment from Portlandia, the show that is my new favorite and getting plenty of coverage in the newspaper. Watch the following video to pick up tips about eating locally, knowing your food’s origins and befriending the farmers that produce it:

Portlandia, my new favorite thing.

Getting to know your farmer, is the trendy and right thing to do.  Know your food and from whence it comes. It’s worked for us. We’ve been eating locally and organically since 2008.  We have become well, never felt better and save money. Can’t beat it! Why? Your food is cheaper because you save money on transportation costs and you eat less of it because each bite is nutrient dense, not empty calories.  You can see how your food is prepared, before you decide to incorporate its nutrients into your body and you can bet it’s fresher than anything you can buy at a mainstream grocery.

This sign, the photo taken in summer, tells of the sale of
raw milk at Your Family Cow in Chambersburg, PA.

What’s the point of visiting farms? So you can see how your food is produced and connect with the farmers, their families and the animals they are raising. It’s very important to have a positive energy about how your animal food is treated, both in life and in its humane death. As Melissa Ford of BlogHer, a woman’s blogging forum and community, mentioned, “Treating animals humanely in life and then not being concerned how they die is like smothering granny with a pillow.” An unpleasant image, but one that really hits home and paints a picture.

Your Family Cow shows lots of blue sky and green grass in
their marketing which mirrors all you see when you visit
the farm: clean cows in green grass with blue sky above them.

So, after visiting Trickling Springs Creamery in the last post, we traveled several miles to Your Family Cow where we usually buy milk, meat, eggs, cheese and baked goods. A generational family farm, Your Family Cow farmed conventionally for years, modernizing as did other farmers in the area as every new innovation was added to the agriculture toolbox. But, eventually the owner, Edwin Shank, says his family saw a diminishing rate of return and they studied organic farming and the cost benefits, turning around their operation when they became completely organic in their orientation. They’ve never looked back, lovingly producing a safe, nutritious product in all of their sale areas.

Why look! It’s Colin the chicken, from the Portlandia
video above. A healthy habitat produces healthy chickens,
kids, adults and customers.

What a happy place sustainable farms are to visit. Rather than feel the animal’s dissatisfaction with their drudgery, one can feel them happy while living in pleasant surroundings with good treatment. And the cycle of life with a respectful use for everything is an obvious theme. Things just seem to work better when one farms with nature instead of in opposition to it.

The grass fed beef freezer at Your Family Cow is always
stocked with the best. High quality pastured beef has
more nutrients so is cheaper than one would think.

A natural farming system is in place, set up as if it were planned, and surely it was. All one has to do is work with it, not against it. For instance, the cows graze in the field and spread manure around as they eat which fertilizes and restores the grass for their next season’s feeding. It’s a win-win. Everyone benefits and the cows are happy.

A bounty of homemade organic goods are available at Your
Family Cow and other farms and country stores in the area.

We shopped at Your Family Cow’s farm store for quite a while. Edwin Shank was there and we talked to him about the pastured pork that is in right now, but sure to sell out soon. Customers are increasing every week for Edwin and the Shanks as people are quickly learning to choose wholesome food products. Edwin remarked that the pork farm down the road supplying Your Family Cow with hams, sausage and ground pork will be doubling their stock for next year when they raise their pigs and hogs. This indicates a heartwarming demand showing people are continuing to know what is good for them and act on it while telling their friends.

Your Family Cow offers seasonal vegetables from the garden,
cheese, free range eggs, milk and baked goods, all fresh,
delicious and ready to actively build up bodies and minds.

On our trip last weekend, we purchased 20 pounds of hamburger, a tremendous large, thick ham steak that won’t begin to fit on a plate and a pound of sausage all for $120.00. Better food and at a reasonable price. The ham steak will serve for a number of meals as meat entree, flavoring and then as a soup base. In the past, we have paid $23.00 for nice size pork shoulder and made pulled pork Bar-B-Que for sandwiches, eating them all week.

The residents of the Shank Eco-farm, Your Family Cow, are
bright eyed, curious and eager to connect with visitors.

It is amazing how much longer grass fed and pastured cows live compared to their stockyard counterparts. The stress of living in crowded conditions, not being able to rest or lie down takes its toll. In addition, being over bred to constantly produce milk while being on drugs and antibiotics causes stockyard animals to live about half as long as those cows pastured in the fresh air while eating grass instead of grain. the average life of a stockyard cow is 5-7 years, while a grass fed cow lives 10-15 years. Organic farming studies have determined that cow replacement rates on grass fed farms are 30-46% lower.

Leaving Your Family Cow, we have a cooler full of goodies. The
Shanks are a Mennonite family.  Showing their faith, signs of
comfort welcome customers and send them on their way.

Charles Benbrook, PhD, chief scientist pf the Organic Center and former executive director of the board on agriculture of the National Academy of Sciences, led the study that investigated milk and meat production compared with money earned and environmental effects. To study this article in greater detail, click here.

Free range chickens freely run around many farms and
homes in Pennsylvania. They all seem to stick together
and know what to do to avoid intrusion.

Getting ready to leave Pennsylvania, we go on our way, secure that we have food to put in the freezer when we get home. Scenes of rural harmony are all over as we drive by great stretches of farm land occasionally dotted with small farming villages. On one of the back roads, we had a great time watching this pimped out rooster run around with his three hens. There seemed to be no friction between the individuals in this “polyamorous” relationship, a new word I learned on BlogHer this week.

Finally, the quintessential Amish experience,
seeing an Amish buggy.

When driving on the back roads in an Amish area, one is bound to come across Amish buggies driving around, running errands like everyone else. As much as I would LOVE to take photographs to share of Amish people in their buggies, that would go against the dictates of their religion forbiding the making of graven images. So, finding a buggy without anyone around it that might be offended by the intrusion of a camera made the trip. I mean how can you post about visiting the Amish without Amish people? So, here it is! We were really there. It really happened.

…And I really have a recipe for Amish Hot Fudge.

And you don’t.

Come back tomorrow for “Up to the Amish for Raw Milk III”
for Amish Hot Fudge


One fateful starless night, 17-year-old Ira Wagler got up at 2 AM, left a scribbled note under his pillow, packed all of his earthly belongings into in a little black duffel bag, and walked away from his home in the Amish settlement of Bloomfield, Iowa. Now, in this heartwarming memoir, Ira paints a vivid portrait of Amish life—from his childhood days on the family farm, his Rumspringa rite of passage at age 16, to his ultimate decision to leave the Amish Church for good at age 26. Growing Up Amish is the true story of one man’s quest to discover who he is and where he belongs. Readers will laugh, cry, and be inspired by this charming yet poignant coming of age story set amidst the backdrop of one of the most enigmatic cultures in America today—the Old Order Amish.

If you would are interested in reviewing this book,
hover your mouse over the following link:

Growing Up Amish: A Memoir

NaBloPoMo January 2012

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Jan 08 2012

My family is devoted to the healing benefits of raw milk, grass fed beef and building up the probiotic content of our digestive systems. We follow the beliefs of a very savvy group of people who are health conscious and well. They are so well, they espouse their wellness, rather than their illness. And, with the Weston A. Price Foundation tenets, one is rarely, and I mean rarely, ever sick. There is just no illness to talk about, unless one is beginning the journey and coming to Weston A. Price to heal a chronically ill health condition, which many people are. But even then, they speak of how they are getting well, not about how sick they are.

We left at 10:00am to go north to Pennsylvania. First thing
of note on the journey was this BIG N. I kept looking around
for Big Bird, thinking I was on Sesame Street.

Several times a month we go up to the Amish and Mennonite farms just north of us in Pennsylvania. Each state in the union has its own laws about the sale and distribution of raw milk. Pennsylvania allows the sale of raw milk, while Maryland does not, but Maryland will allow enough to be brought across state lines to feed one’s own family. Raw milk is not pasteurized or homogenized. It is milk drunk fresh from the cow, like it has been all the way down through human history until the last hundred years or so.

Route 70 goes across country and cuts through the State of
Maryland. When I was driving out west in the 1970s, I could
get on Route 70 outside of Washington, D.C. and drive all
the way to Indianapolis, IN without a single stoplight.

The natural enzymes, vitamins, minerals, CLA which is a cancer deterrent and good bacteria of raw milk can not be equaled by any other food product. And I’ll even venture to say, not by any natural or man made medicine. It is a pure and nutrient dense substance that sustains life and promotes health and has for thousands of years.

Maryland is a beautiful state, called America in Miniature,
having the Atlantic Ocean coast, the Chesapeake Bay
and also mountains in the western part.

Years ago, every family had their own cow or had access to one. As people moved to the city, the milkman began making deliveries of cold fresh milk into urban communities. Pasteurization became necessary when, to make money and use up the wasted grain from liquor distilleries, cows began being kept in stockyards so that they lived and died next to the liquor plant, not in fields of grass.

Pennsylvania is a state that allows the sale of raw milk,
while Maryland does not allow the sale. But, each Maryland
family is allowed to drive across state lines and buy milk for
their own family’s use.

The waste grain from liquor manufacturer processes was brought out on conveyor systems to the cows to eat. It was all they had to eat, so they ate it. Cows don’t naturally eat grain and they got sick as a result. Because the cows were sick, their milk had to be pasteurized to be safe. That practice has continued over to today with most milk being pasteurized and homogenized. Cows that are kept clean and safe on grass fed sustainable farms produce a safe and clean product that most times has less of a bacterial count than the milk bought at the store.  Pasteurization and homogenization methods render milk difficult for humans to digest.

Once over the Pennsylvania line, the houses are wood framed
and from another time. Here we are starting to get near where
the Amish and Mennonite farmers live.

It is the inability of people to digest pasteurized and homogenized milk that has lead to the concept of being “lactose intolerant.” The pasteurization kills the enzymes and interrupts actions of the chemical buffers that make it possible for so called “lactose intolerant” people to drink milk. When those who are lactose intolerant drink raw milk as nature intended, many say their problems with milk are easily overcome.

White outbuildings tell the tale of generational, sustainable
farming practices.

I am not the first to tell this story about raw vs. pasteurized milk. The knowledge is common, if one knows where to look. There is a great deal of information on the Weston A. Price web site. In addition, the book The Untold Story of Milk illustrates the system that made milk dirty, so that it had to be cleaned. At the end of this post, there is a link to the book, The Untold Story of Milk.

Hungry and ready for a break from driving, we stopped at
Trickling Springs Creamery in Chambersburg, PA, right off
of the I-81 Interstate.

Trickling Springs Creamery has great dairy products as all of their milk is from grass fed, pastured cows. They “flash” pasteurize their milk. We raw milk fans do not drink that kind of milk on a regular basis, as we do not agree with any pasteurization. The Trickling Springs Ice Cream is SO GOOD, however, sometimes we decide not to be too fussy.

The sign out in front of Trickling Springs Creamery has the
phone number in case you ever want directions.
Worth a trip from anywhere.

You won’t find the word “organic” on the Trickling Springs labels and that’s where eating organically gets a little tricky. At first when you change over to eating organically to start detoxing and getting the industrial chemicals out of your body, it easiest to just follow labels and eat something if the label says it’s organic. Later as one spirals upward with health and habits, it gets easier to know what’s organic or not, regardless of the labeling.

This half gallon of ice cream does not say the contents are
organic, but we buy it and get spoons to share.
Cheaper than cones: $6 not $12!

This is the beauty of buying locally.

We know the cows are raised organically and the manufacturing
process is organic. Besides, this tub contains Amish Hot Fudge.
 It’s Cold Amish Hot Fudge, true, but that’s an important segue
as I’m going to GIVE YOU THE RECIPE for Amish Hot Fudge!

You will thank me. Your children will thank me.
And your children’s children….will thank me.

To qualify for an organic label, companies must pay large sums of money. As one studies the situation, it becomes obvious that small, local organically practicing food companies cannot afford the label. Big corporate conglomerates easily can, although their practices might not be as pure. That is why people who worry about what they put into their bodies get to know the producer of their food. If the food you eat is local, it is easy go see how the food is produced, gauging whether the production and harvesting are wholesome.

An old ladder becomes a handy display rack.

Amish and Mennonites come from a frugal heritage of using what they have to best advantage.  Isn’t this nifty? On the Trickling Springs front porch, we see an old ladder that has been converted into a display rack for sales items. With nothing added but swing-set chain and “S” hooks, the display is ready to go once the ladder is hung from the ceiling. Can you see this adapted to a country kitchen to hang large pots and pans? Maybe not the WHOLE ladder, but several rungs would be great.

The front door leading to the Trickling Springs Creamery store.

See the sign on the front door saying Trickling Spring milk is from grass fed cows? That’s the pedigree you want for your milk. If cows are grass fed in a pasture, they are not being held in overcrowded pens eating grain. It is comforting to know this milk comes from cows free of preemptive antibiotics.

The cow “mothers” of the milk used for Trickling Springs Creamery have not received antibiotics because they don’t need them. They don’t get sick because they are not in close quarters eating unnatural foods they can’t digest. The farms that give milk to Trickling Springs follow organic practices with their cows pastured in fields eating grass and clover like cows naturally do.

And, how do I know? Well, once again these manufacturers are standing right there in front of me. It’s easy to ask them where they get their milk and go see the farmer, the farm, the cows and the fields. And, that is where we are going on the next post: to see a farm that gives milk to Trickling Springs Creamery.

But, in order to go, you must be very good today, read all the BlogHer posts you possibly can, putting all other obligations aside and leave plenty of comments to encourage those writing the blogs. Don’t be a stranger! BlogHer bloggers need to read that someone, somewhere cares.

Join us for tomorrow’s post where we go to an organically
run farm, see a studly rooster and an Amish buggy.
Come back. Have fun! Be better informed!


Ron Schmid, ND, naturopathic physician, writer, teacher and
farmer, has prescribed raw milk for his patients for nearly
25 years. Dr. Schmid is a graduate of MIT and the National
College of Naturopathic Medicine. Author resides in Connecticut.

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

The Untold Story of Milk: Green Pastures, Contented Cows and Raw Dairy Products


NaBloPoMo January 2012

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NaBloPoMo November 2012