A documentation of my preservation and preparation of local foods as I work through the seasons. This will serve as a reference tool for me in the future and as a sharing guide for family and friends...and anyone else interested. Hopefully, I can offer some useful methods, tips and recipes to share with everyone--be they novice or pro--and encourage them to join me in the exciting world of preserving and cooking with local foods.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


My Norwegian heritage makes this a traditional dessert for holidays.  It's actually a porridge and can be enjoyed for breakfast or as a first course for a hearty Winter meal.  It's always a treat prepared in any manner.
With butter and cinnamon sugar atop--
mmmm--so comforting!
2 sticks butter
3/4 cup flour
Melt butter in large pan. Mix in flour and cook until bubbly. Stir constantly.

In another container heat 1 quart whole milk and 1 cup 1/2 & 1/2. Bring to a boil and gradually add to above mixture. Cook until thick. Add 3/4 cup sugar and cook and stir a bit longer.
Serve with sugar, cinnamon and butter
Hint:  Start the milk mixture first since that takes longer to come to a boil.

Sprouting Seeds

Sprouting seeds and grains increases their vitamin and carotene content.  It activates helpful enzymes, neutralizes enzyme inhibitors and inactivates carcinogens.  They are an excellent aid to digestion.  Most any organic seeds or grains can be sprouted and they can be used in a variety of ways--atop salads, sandwiches and vegetable dishes;  in soups, stews and casseroles; and added to breads and baked goods.  They should be eaten both raw and lightly steamed; overconsumption of raw sprouts can irritate the stomach.  Sprouting is simple:  Put grains in a mason jar with a screen for the top.  Add filtered water and soak the grains overnight.  Continue to rinse and drain the grains by setting the jar at an angle so water leaks out and air can circulate.  The grains should be kept moist, not soaking in water.  They will begin to sprout in 3-4 days.  Continue rinsing and draining until they reach their desired height for you.  Store them in the fridge.
 Rinsing a "cornucopia" of seeds

Monday, March 18, 2013

My Food Bible

I was gifted this book over ten years ago by one of my organic farmers, Diane Leonhardt of Natures Little Farms.  It is Nourishing Traditions  by Sally Fallon.  I have since kept it handy, used it as my main resource for nutrition and tried many of the food processes and recipes in it.  Lately, I have revisited this book to read it cover-to-cover as a refresher course.  I am so glad to rediscover what a treasure trove this book is for a healthy lifestyle.  I have recommitted myself to the ingredients and methods she describes.  (My more-recent blogs are an indication.)  I recommend this book for anyone striving for excellent health.  At the very least, your health will greatly improve by eliminating the refined-foods we have become accustomed to in our diets, and following her advice. 
I never tire of reading the tips and tales she offers in the
page margins  They provide endless "aha" moments! 


I've always been aware that sugar is bad, but my sweet tooth has kept me blissfully ignorant of just how bad refined sugar is for our bodies.  Here is a partial list of the diseases and conditions that medical journals blame on sugar: heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, hyperactivity, coffee and tobacco cravings, behavioral problems, violent tendencies, poor concentration, obesity, tooth decay, and more! 
Admittedly, many of my recipes on this blog include refined sugar.  For my part, I plan to relegate those recipes to the "special event's only" menu.  I will experiment by replacing the sugar in them with honey or maple syrup.  Not all recipes will work, but I'm looking forward to improved health and stamina without a daily dose of sugar lurking in my diet.
My replacements

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Healthy Beverages

I've discovered three very healthy beverages.  They all have sort of a tart-like, refreshing taste and are sooooo good for you!

Beet Kvass   This drink is loaded with nutrients, is a blood tonic, aids digestion, cleanses the liver, gives regularity, treats kidney stones               
Put 3 medium or 2 large chopped up, peeled, organic beets in a 2-quart container.  Add 1/4 cup whey and 1 Tablespoon sea salt.  Cover securely, then fill to top with filtered water.  Keep at room temp for 2 days, then transfer to fridge.  When most is drunk, you can fill again with filtered water and set at room temp for 2 days.  Then refrigerate and drink.  Discard after this and start over.

Kambucha  This drink aids the body's natural cleansing process, boosts the immune system and is a proven prophylactic against cancer and other degenerative diseases.  It is delicious and refreshing on a hot day.

3 quarts filtered water
1 cup sugar
4 organic black tea bags
1/2 cup kombucha (health food store or online)
1 kombucha mushroom (GEM cultures)
Bring water to boil.  Add sugar, salt and simmer until dissolved.  Remove from heat, add tea bags and steep until cool.  Remove tea bags and add 1/2 cup kombucha.  Put mushroom on top.  Cover with light towel and leave at room temp for 8 days.  Remove mushroom and store in refrigerator.  (Save 1/2 cup of liquid and mushroom for another batch.)

Kefir  This drink is a natural antibiotic with beneficial yeast.

2 cups whole milk, non-homogenized
1/2 cup cream
1 Tablespoon kefir grains or one package powdered kefir
  (GEM cultures or www.cheesemaking.com)
Combine milk and cream and bring to room temperature.  Add kefir, stir well, cover with light cloth and let sit at room temp overnight.  Strain kefir if using grains.  Store in refrigerator.  If re-using grains, rinse and store in refrigerator for several weeks or freezer for several months.