Emily

Author's details

Name: Emily
Date registered: March 3, 2012
URL: http://umonfire.blogspot.com/

Latest posts

  1. nashvillian pastoral: our morning cocktail — October 23, 2014
  2. nashvillian pastoral: homemade tomato paste — October 21, 2014
  3. nashvillian pastoral: menu plan october iii — October 20, 2014
  4. nashvillian pastoral: menu plan october ii — October 13, 2014
  5. nashvillian pastoral: the belly of the beast — September 30, 2014

Author's posts listings

Oct 23 2014

nashvillian pastoral: our morning cocktail

Original post at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NashvillianPastoral/~3/v7eSDLo4rHo/our-morning-cocktail.html


Are your mornings too stressful?  Trying to get kids up, dressed, fed, washed, not killing each other?  Trying to get your teeth brushed, coffee drunk, make sure you have your shirt on right side out and remembered to comb your hair?  Or is that just me?

I decided mornings were getting to be too much.  We all needed a cocktail.  You know, a little relaxation.

Wait, what?  Not that kind of cocktail.  My kids aren't stressing me out to the point of early morning drinking (yet).  No, I mean a nourishing, nutrient-packed cocktail.  One that gets our bellies and our brains in the right place for the day.  

After years of pondering how to get my kids to ingest the very few supplements that I want us to take, I came up with this sort of brilliant idea.  Mix them all together with a shot of something sweet, and get them to gulp it down first thing.  Here are the building blocks:

Fermented Cod Liver Oil (FCLO).  Cod liver oil was your great-grandparents secret to great health.  It was a nearly-universal morning dose for my grandparents.  They tell me how their moms used to line them up and give each kid a spoonful.  In fact, I just read an interesting article about breakfasts around the world, and cod liver oil is still very mainstream in the Nordic countries, where sunshine (and thus vitamin D) is limited.  FCLO is rich in vitamins A and D and is a real superfood.  

Probiotic.  I don't need to say much about this, since it has become so popular in mainstream health news.  Probiotics do more than just aid digestion, though.  Our guts generate much of our immunity to diseases, so keeping them healthy and balanced helps your health overall.  I like to use one that requires refrigeration, so the little bugs stay alive. This particular brand is for infants (I got it when Baby Todd was still Baby Todd), and we are just all using it until it runs out.  

Vitamin D.  Unless we are spending a ton of time in the sun, I supplement a little straight vitamin D3 for each of us.  The kids get about 1000 IU per day (which is one drop of this liquid).  I take 3-4 drops.  Really, it's hard to go overboard on vitamin D - although it can happen, and if you get several hundreds of thousands of IU, it can be toxic.

Something sweet to mix it all in.  Once winter really rolls in and we get our first box of fresh oranges, I will juice a couple and we will get the additional benefits of vitamin C and enzymes from the fresh juice.  For right now, I'm using the syrup left from canned peaches or pears.  It is so delicious.  


I measure all the supplements into the bottom of a 4-oz canning jar.  


Add the mixer, put the lid on, and shake shake shake until everything is well-mixed.  


And that's it!  We each get a little jar and slurp it down.  Todd actually really enjoys his.  Vicki and I take it more like medicine.  Sometimes I add a little Swedish bitters into mine to help avoid the fishy burps that FCLO can give me.  

I have really been proud of myself for finally figuring out a way that we can take these superfoods that are adding to our health.  How do you get your kids to take their supplements?

[This post submitted to Real Food Wednesday 10/23/14.]

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/10/our-morning-cocktail/

Oct 21 2014

nashvillian pastoral: homemade tomato paste

Original post at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NashvillianPastoral/~3/0z9x6NFXI1Y/homemade-tomato-paste.html


This is one of those posts that's almost like, "why?" Why would I want to make tomato paste when I can seriously get it for like fifty cents a can at Kroger?  How could going through all these many steps possibly make more sense than just buying the can?  I have a few reasons.

1)  Food preservation makes me happy.  I enjoy taking a fresh, raw product and turning it into something beautiful that safely sits on my shelf in glass.  It's almost like creating home decor and food at the same time.

2)  I can control the quality of the ingredients.

3)  Tomatoes canned in tin might leach metal, and most cans are lined with plastic to prevent the leaching.  I'm not sure that the plastic is that much healthier than leaching metal!  A lot of cans say "BPA free," but I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop on plastic all the time.  I don't think BPA is the only problem.

So, with all those considerations in mind, I got me a 25-pound box of tomatoes from Bulk Natural Foods.  I roasted about a third and made salsa, and the rest I processed into tomato paste.

Here's kind of a conceptual framework I work with in making tomato products, by levels of concentration:

1)  You can just peel, can, and preserve whole tomatoes.

2)  You can cook them down a little and make stewed tomatoes, sauce or puree.

3)  You can cook them down further and make tomato butter, ketchup, or add sugar and make tomato jam.

4)  You can cook it down even further and make paste.

It's all about how much liquid you're trying to get out of the tomatoes before canning.

So here's what I did.

I slashed the bottom of each tomato, dropped it into boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then removed it into a bowl of icy water.  Leave it there for a minute or so.






When they were cool enough to handle, I slipped the peel from each tomato and put it in the compost.  I also cut out the cores.  Then I sliced them in half through the middle and used my fingers to ream out the seeds and juice.  I strained this juice into a jar and saved!  Fresh, delicious tomato juice.  Yum.  



I put the squeezed tomatoes into my crockpot, set to low.  I left them there overnight, with the lid slightly vented.  


In the morning, they were soft and had released a lot of liquid.  Working in batches, I pureed them in my blender.  An immersion blender would have been ideal for this, but I don't own one!  


After running through the blender, back into the crockpot the tomato puree goes.  I left the lid off for about 8 hours that day, and here's what it looked like: 


Wow!  Big difference, huh?  It's cooked down to almost 1/8th of its original volume.  You can tell you're getting close when it turns brick red and gets very thick.  So thick it won't even pour off a spoon.  I added about a teaspoon each of sucanat and sea salt at this point, but that's strictly optional.  

Then I sterilized some 4-oz jars in boiling water, filled with the hot tomato paste, wiped and lidded, and processed for 30 minutes in the water.  Voila!  Tomato paste.  25 pounds of these tomatoes yielded 32 oz of tomato paste, but your mileage will vary based on what kind of tomatoes you have and how juicy they are.  


Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/10/homemade-tomato-paste/

Oct 20 2014

nashvillian pastoral: menu plan october iii

Original post at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NashvillianPastoral/~3/CnUj_vPAEfM/menu-plan-october-iii.html


Fall!  It's really here!  Chilly mornings and warm afternoons!  Jackets layered over short sleeves!  It's great.  I really hate hot weather so it's wonderful to feel a nice cool breeze.  Here's what we're eating this week.

Some notes:  we literally always have one of two things for breakfast if we are at home.

1)  -- scrambled eggs from our Mennonite hens
     -- homemade sourdough toast/English muffins/biscuits
     -- raw butter we have been making from our Mennonite cow cream
     -- local raw honey or homemade preserves
     -- seasonal fruit from our CSA or something I canned like peaches, pears, or applesauce

2) -- pancakes
    -- raw butter
    -- real maple syrup
    -- seasonal fruit

Vicki usually requests #2.  If we have time, I'm happy to oblige.

Since it is so monotonous, I'm not going to put breakfast on the menu plan.

Lunches are pretty much always leftovers.  If I do some actual cooking for lunch, I will put it in the plan.  If not, just assume it's something unexciting.

For drinks, we always have raw milk on hand.  We also drink Berkey filtered water, kombucha, or homemade soda from our ginger bug.  Lately I've been drinking the buttermilk left after butter-making - yum!

Finally, I try to make one dessert-ish item for the week and we kind of nibble on that for snacks and dessert all week.  This week it is pumpkin pie with a soaked crust and sorghum.  I'm testing my recipe to bring to my sister's for Thanksgiving!


Sunday
-- lunch:  we always have lunch after church at Memaw's house (that's my grandmother-in-law). It was a Parmesan-crusted chicken with pasta, green beans, and crescent rolls.
-- supper:  Family Dinner!  It's our week for appetizer.  I'm bringing wheat crackers with cream cheese and some pepper relish I canned last week.  It's really yummy to pour the pepper relish over the softened cream cheese and then put it on a cracker.

Monday
-- supper:  lentil soup with grilled cheese sandwiches on sourdough

Tuesday
-- supper:  Korean beef from the Elliott Homestead with bok choy mixed in, over steamed rice

Wednesday
-- supper:  grilled salmon with green beans, roasted potatoes, and kale salad

Thursday
-- supper:  pulled pork on sourdough buns with warm potato salad, braised collard greens, and sliced tomatoes

Friday
-- supper:  BBQ chicken pizza on sourdough crust

Saturday
-- lunch:  butternut squash soup, sourdough toast, cheese
-- supper:  roast chicken, kale salad, green beans, mashed potatoes

[This post submitted to Menu Plan Monday and the Homestead Barn Hop 10/20/14.]

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/10/menu-plan-october-iii/

Oct 13 2014

nashvillian pastoral: menu plan october ii

Original post at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NashvillianPastoral/~3/yZqR83psTbk/menu-plan-october-ii.html


So, I'm gonna start posting menu plans.  Ya dig?  Let's do it then.

Some notes:  we literally always have one of two things for breakfast if we are at home.

1)  -- scrambled eggs from our Mennonite hens
     -- homemade sourdough toast/English muffins/biscuits
     -- raw butter we have been making from our Mennonite cow cream
     -- local raw honey or homemade preserves
     -- seasonal fruit from our CSA or something I canned like peaches, pears, or applesauce

2) -- pancakes
    -- raw butter
    -- real maple syrup
    -- seasonal fruit

Vicki usually requests #2.  If we have time, I'm happy to oblige.

Since it is so monotonous, I'm not going to put breakfast on the menu plan.

Lunches are pretty much always leftovers.  If I do some actual cooking for lunch, I will put it in the plan.  If not, just assume it's something unexciting.

For drinks, we always have raw milk on hand.  We also drink filtered water, kombucha, or homemade soda from our ginger bug.  Lately I've been drinking the buttermilk left after butter-making - yum!

Finally, I try to make one dessert-ish item for the week and we kind of nibble on that for snacks and dessert all week.  This week it is sorghum molasses cookies.

Our CSA has been cranking out beautiful squash that the kids love knocking on at breakfast (so weird, I know - they enjoy knowing that they are hard-shelled).  Pumpkin, butternut, acorn, carnival, kobocha.  Love them all, and especially the fact that they are less perishable than some of the other items we get!  So I don't have to use them up right away.


Sunday
--lunch:  ham & beans & cornbread fundraiser lunch at church
--supper:  eggplant parmesan with homemade mozzarella, pasta

Monday
--supper:  black bean and corn soft tacos with homemade tortillas, raw cheese, homemade salsa, home cultured sour cream

Tuesday
--supper:  shepherd's pie

Wednesday
--supper:  stir-fried shrimp and bok choy over rice

Thursday
--supper:  braised pork chops with apples and onions, roasted acorn squash stuffed with rice and raisins

Friday
--supper:  white pizza made with sourdough crust, homemade ricotta and mozzarella, red onion, butternut squash, and sage; sliced tomatoes

Saturday
--lunch:  vegetable beef soup, sourdough bread, cheese


--supper:  roast chicken, mashed potatoes, fried okra, sliced tomatoes

What are you eating this week?

[This post submitted to Menu Plan Monday and the Homestead Barn Hop 10/14/14.]

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/10/menu-plan-october-ii/

Sep 30 2014

nashvillian pastoral: the belly of the beast

Original post at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NashvillianPastoral/~3/hAcW9qWnlpo/the-belly-of-beast.html


Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/09/the-belly-of-the-beast/

Sep 29 2014

nashvillian pastoral: potato no more!

Original post at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NashvillianPastoral/~3/OTNUPZTZBKI/potato-no-more.html


In general, I want to dislike neatly-packaged "programs" that lead to "results."  For instance:  Dave Ramsey.  He seems so slick.  Almost like some kind of snake-oil salesman.  All the little slogans - it just seemed like groupthink.  But then I read the book, and my previous church started running his program.  And dang it.  It works.  His principles (which are really just the sound personal financial planning that we no longer learn from family or in school) help people get out of lethal debt and manage their finances so they can faithfully give.  I really didn't want it to work.  But it does.  I've used the debt snowball myself to great effect, and currently only owe student loans and my mortgage.

Another program I loved to hate was Couch to 5K.  This is super-straightforward.  It's a program of walking/jogging that promises to get you to running a 5K by the end of nine weeks.  It entails three weekly workouts that take no longer than 30 minutes.  I've seen people talking about it for years.  But I scoffed.  And I seemed to think that somehow, magically, I would just get in shape without having to start somewhere.

For a year after the birth of each of my children, I have taken a drug called domperidone to help me be able to nurse them more fully.  Along with a delightful herbal tea, domperidone has been a lifesaver for me.  But the ugly side effect of domperidone is increased appetite and inability to lose weight.  And boy, did each of those nasty effects hit me like a ton of bricks.

My pattern with both kids has been:  I lose almost all the weight I gained in pregnancy within eight or ten weeks of birth.  Then, because of the domperidone, I gain it all back (and then some) over the course of the baby's first year.  I stop taking the drug after baby's first birthday and realize that I've got some serious work to get back to a healthy size.

So here I am three days after Todd's first birthday:  as big as I have ever been, even fully pregnant with either of my kids.



I realized, looking at that picture, that I needed to get serious - and fast - about getting fit.  I needed to get over my suspicion of a program like Couch to 5K.  So I jumped in.  I started the program.  I mapped the runs into a neat chart so that I could mark off finished workouts.  I breezed through the first week.  The second and third weeks took a little more effort, but I got it done.  I had bad foot and ankle pain that was immediately remedied by getting fitted for new shoes and inserts at our amazing neighborhood running store.  I found a super-duper sweet double jogging stroller on Craigslist for $85 and am now a dedicated Baby Jogger brand snob.  I was feeling really good about my progress, jogging with the kids on weekends, with the dog on my day off, and on our walking track at church during my lunch break.



And then I hit week 5, day 3:  walk 5, jog 20.  Twenty minutes of uninterrupted jogging proved to be really, really difficult for me.  I had to re-attempt probably two or three times before I was successful.  Weeks 7 and 8 really slowed me down.  We are getting into jogging pretty long portions:  25-28 minutes.  I will admit that I still have not finished the program! The final week is three workouts of walking 5 minutes, jogging 30 minutes.  I still can't quite do it.  But I work at it.  I jog 2-3 times per week.  And I feel amazing.



And I've lost a little over 20 pounds, to boot.  This is not the end of my "after" story, because I still have a long way to go.  This is really just the end of the beginning!  It's the beginning of me getting over my pride and my ridiculous objections to simple programs that encourage fitness.  I hope, if you're on the ledge, you can get over it too!

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/09/potato-no-more/

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