Monthly Archives: January 2014

Eating in Season

I have to blog on this right now because it’s been bothering me for a few days.  Alot of time when I am talking to people about farming and gardening, we have a lot in common. We all eat out of our garden, mostly do nourishing tradition guidelines, try to eat organic as much as possible, and stay away from a lot of processed food. Then I tell them I can my food. There is where our conversation takes a nosedive. “YOU CAN! OMG you are killing all the beneficial stuff! I would never eat stuff out of a can. I buy fresh, local, and eat in season.”

So let’s think about this for a minute. First, my stuff is not in a can, it’s in a jar. I can see my food, no bpa’s or whatever that stuff is everyone is worried about. Maybe on the lid which doesnt really come in contact with the food because you leave headspace like you’re suppose to. Second, I know it kills all the bacteria in the food…um duh..I dont want any bacteria what so ever because this will be sitting on the shelf for years waiting for the Snowpocolypse that is coming   😉  Lastly, you eat only food that is fresh, local, and in season??

Well we live in Indiana. It’s -5. What is “in season” here?? Animals. People who eat in season bother me when they live in cold climates. If you live in Arizona..great..you have year round seasons. Indiana has Spring-so wet you are really trying hard to start your peas and lettuce in between the snow that decided it wasnt done yet and the pockets of flooded ground, Summer- the optimal time for growing all your stuff, Fall- crap shoot on weather…can I finish harvesting everything in time for the snow mother nature decided she was ready for or do I have to cover everything? and Winter-  freeze your nose hairs off trying to do chores and cant put on enough clothes to keep yourself warm out there, or mother nature cant make up her mind and it’s 40 one day and -10 the next!

People can eat in season but you cant eat local or fresh at the same time mid winter. Those in season items like pomegranates in December..are in season over seas or in mexico maybe..but they are trucked green, which means they are neither fresh nor local. Oh you ate bananas this winter..opps..costa rica grows them and again trucked. Oh you got some stored carrots?? cool! Those arent fresh..they were picked at the latest Nov. and its Jan. See that’s what bothers me. They are complete idiots. Sorry if you have said that in the past..see the light..forgive yourself and move on   🙂

For me living in Indiana, my seasons are different. I do have seasons, they just differ slightly. When I say I eat what’s in season, this is what I mean. And no I do not eat JUST this, I eat the trucked organic, and even processed food! Shock, AWE..I know right? I’m a rebel being a stay at home mom and having to limit my income to only partial health food. My seasons are as follows:

  • Spring-Starter Season-when you plant your organic garden and eat greens for the next two months, you finish cleaning out(eating tongues and hocks) the deep freeze of any remaining meat products so they dont go bad, you finish up eating your stockpiles and have to go grocery shopping again, you buy all the animals that will spend the summer with you and hatch out a mega chick farm
  • Summer-Full Swing Season– you go whole hog on all your homestead veggies and fruits cause everything is growing, you are sick of zucchini and you have green beans and corn coming out your ears so all the extras get canned and saved for winter, you frolic poolside with your lambs and chickens..ok we dont have a pool but maybe one of those small ones so we all can cool off.
  • Fall- Ending Season-you start storing away potatoes, apples, and winter squashes like they are going out of style and you’re so sick of eating apples and pears that if you see one more you will puke right there on the spot, you finish your canning and start culling animals to fill your freezer again for winter. (This is Oct for me. If I dont have a full freezer I freak out)
  • Winter-Storage Season-hunting season to top off your freezer full of GMO deer meat, squirrels, and rabbits, you eat on the canned vegetables and fruits from your garden, you eat the stock you hoarded of potatoes and squashes, you start emptying your freezer of all the meat you filled it with, you grocery shop for those foods that you were sick of all summer that now only grow in other countries

There are a lot more things I do with each season. I also dehydrate veggies and fruits and make jerky. The point is that if you are eating only local, fresh, in season food in indiana on a -5 day..you best not have a job because you are going to spend your day either ice fishing or hunting for your next meal.

 

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

 

Categories: Homesteading | 5 Comments

Gluten Hell

I’m writing at 12:30 am. Wanna know why I’m up? Well the title should give you a clue. I’m in Gluten Hell. I was totally an idiot. In my defense though it is my brain’s fault. It is still on Auto “eat whatever you want” mode. It hasnt made the switch to cant have gluten..EVER.

So let me lay it out for you. My son and I were home alone. I wanted to do something special. I had been wanting mint chocolate chip icecream all day and made up my mind I would go get some. We both pack into the car and drive to the Dollar General. Of course they dont have mint chocolate chip, so we try to decide what is good. We decided on double fudge ice cream. I look..it has wheat..put it back. We decided on drumstick ice cream.. it has wheat because it has cone pieces in it. Finally we settled on Rocky Road.

While there my son says, “Mom, I want those cherry things that you put on top.” Ok grab a jar of Maraschino cherries. I also decided on whip cream cause man no ice cream is complete without that! I also grabbed a sanity bar of dark chocolate and “because I had that and it was no fair” my son wanted another snack. He wanted the chocolate twinkies they had. Fine.

We get home, grab a huge bowl of icecream, complete with whip cream and cherries. Then like a stupid complete idiot, I automatically unwrapped two chocolate twinkie, broken them in half, and placed them in our bowls. I dont know what the heck I was thinking. My brain must have had a complete shut down at the thought of chocolate or something. We proceeded to eat our lovely bowl. It was so much ice cream however, that I couldnt finish half of it or the other half of the twinkie, thank God.

That was at 9. I started to feel bad around 9:30 and was extremely tired so we all went to bed. I woke up half hour ago with the most wicked heart burn ever. It’s like my whole stomach and halfway up my esophagus are on fire and it is being stabbed by a knife as well. I took tums which never helps, but one day I’m hopeful will and sit here. I feel like I need to vomit, but not sure it would do any good at this point, so I sit in agony.

I really really really wish my brain would constantly think about gluten. I cant afford to feel anymore Whoops. Complete brain farts are not allowed. I cant help but wonder, if I had eaten the whole thing would I be in the bathroom right now praying to the porcelain god? I cant even say how happy I am I only ate half…. soooooo glad. Although I’m in gluten hell right now, it could have been much worse. I”m already starting to swell and become inflamed so tomorrow I will awake all sore and stiff. Argh.. I hate gluten!

 

Happy Gluten free Homesteading!!   😀

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The Mighty Gluten free bread

Well I conquered..enough.. the pizza crust issue. That actually saves me many a “homemade pizza friday.”  Now ..for bread. There just comes a time when you need bread. Thanksgiving stuffing, rolls, breadsticks, and triple decker sandwiches! I have three bread recipes that I love. My favorite is this bread recipe.  Gluten conversion here we come!

I used a different flour mix on this so I’m going to post it now so you can mix some.

Bread flour mix

  • 100 gr corn starch
  • 200 gr tapioca starch/flour
  • 150 gr almond flour
  • 300 gr buckwheat flour
  • 250 gr oat flour

I went with this mix after using the rice flour blend that I had bought at the store a while back. Tapioca is really um gluten-y? I dont now how to explain it. It seems thick and I thought it would preform better than just corn starch as my starches.

I made the exact recipe that I had in my link above but instead of using 6 cups of flour I used 500 grams. I added 3 tsp of yeast instead of 2.  I also added the 4 TBS boiling water, 1TBS ground flax seed, and 1 TBS chia and made a slurry. The consistancy of the batter when I was done was a nice thick pancake batter..or maybe a waffle batter. Do NOT make this into a dough ball by adding more flour!! Let it sit and rise for an hour like normal.

I gave it a little bit of a stir. It thickened up a bit by sitting, but it was super thick batter looking still. I poured it into a greased bread pan and placed it in the oven for 40 minutes at 350. I checked it..goo inside..put it back in for another 20 min. Checked. It looked done by all accounts. I would probably (hindsight) turned off the oven and let it sit in there for a while. Then popped it out onto a cooling rack.

Here is the finished product with a bit of butter on top. Do this carefully!! 

IMG_0607

 

Please wait till it cools to cut it..dont be like me and snag a piece even though it clearly was just out of the oven and any bread person knows you dont slice hot bread!!  Yeah whatever..I always do! This bread was DA BOMB!! I cant even stress it enough how good this was. It was a lovely savory cross between a type of banana bread texture and a gluten bread texture. I was totally expecting an epic fail but no! LOOK..

IMG_0608

 

Spongy, airy, it rose!! It was so freakin good it’s all I can do to stop myself from eating the whole thing pipping hot! I’m so excited!!! Can you tell??!! Go make this bread I tell ya..make it now..close the laptop, turn off the desktop..oh wait..here I’ll make it easy for you.. The new recipe.

Gluten FREE   🙂 Bread

  • 500 gr of bread flour mix listed above
  • 4 TBS boiling water + 1 TBS chia seed + 1 TBS flax meal
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 tsp yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/2 c honey

Take 1 cup warm water and add the yeast. Stir and let sit. Take boiling water and chia/flax and mix until slimy. Add honey, milk, salt, egg and slime   😉 Mix throughly. Add the yeast water and mix. Finally add the bread flour mix. Stir until everything is wet. It should look like thick pancake or waffle batter..but not too thick. Cover bowl and let rise in a warm place for an hour at least. No need to change the bowl or grease it or anything. Grease a loaf pan with butter..heavily grease it. Slightly stir the mix in the bowl and pour into the loaf pan. It will have thickened slightly. Pop it in the oven and bake on 350 for at least an hour. Turn oven off and let sit an additional 10-15 min. Flip the loaf carefully out onto a cooling rack and walk away..I repeat..walk away until the loaf is cool! Once cool, cut a slice and slather some butter on that baby. MMMMMmmmmm. 

This recipe is definitely a keeper!!

Happy Deliciously Great Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Gluten Free Recipes | 2 Comments

Gluten free-hope

Oh goodness. Remember my whole rant about how gluten free sucks?? Well it still does, BUT I have hope now. I know that in the big picture of things gluten plays a very small role. When you are told you cant eat that stuff ever..it makes you want it even more.

I prayed about this. I just felt frustrated and everything sucked. I found a gluten free site that uses whole natural ingredients. They are vegan and believe in eating a lot of raw stuff. Her website was awesome. I got a glimmer of hope and thought ok this is no longer overwhelming. Her site is Oh She Glows. It was very helpful to look through her recipes and find a few I would love to make.

It wasnt however what this homesteader, make stuff from scratch, eat healthy girl wanted. I want to know how to make things. How do you know how much flour to put in, what flours are the best, what does it look like when you use them, what do they taste like, how do I convert recipes?  I have a ton of recipes I love on here..my brownie recipe and my skillet cookie recipes. My family LOVES them. I need to know how to make them now without wheat flour.

Prayed some more. This time God gave me the site I needed. This team has it all together. She converts, tells ratios to make your own recipes, wrote cookbooks, bakes things like I do, and frankly gave me some mega hope and practical advice. Her name is Shauna and her site is Gluten Free Girl. If you read the “new to gluten page” that was basically all my feelings rolled into one. It was like I was reading my thoughts on her page!

After absorbing all I could from her site, I headed to the kitchen with a homemade flour mix. Mine was very basic because I didnt have money for all those expensive flours. I bought buckwheat flour, I had oats so I used my food processor and ground me some oat flour. I had also bought almond flour because of a recipe on Oh She Glows I wanted to try. I didnt have any starch except corn starch. So my mix consisted of

  • 244 gr of oat flour
  • 156 gr of almond flour
  • 300 gr of buckwheat flour
  • 300 gr of corn starch

That was what I had and thought made a great flour. So next step was to make pizza crust. I used that flour and made my recipe. I swapped cups of flour even up with her measurement of grams for a cup on her site. What i ended up with was a hard, totally cracked um…I dont know..cracker chips now lol.

IMG_0577It was a far cry from pizza crust even though it tasted like it. So I went on her site again and read..oh for breads and doughy stuff you need to use chia and flax slurry. This is basically when you take chia seeds and put them in double the amount of boiling water. They gel! I did not know this! So I made another batch. Because I could eat the first batch as a cracker, I though this time I would add some seasonings. So I made my exact recipe as before but I also added 4tbs boiling water with 2 tbs chia seeds. I added some oregano and some basil too. I let it rise even though it was sticky sort of doughball to start out with. I placed it on a cookie sheet and used a rolling pin to roll it out like I did before. Then crossed my fingers and baked it for 20 min.

IMG_0585Well not as big a failure! It still had a few cracks where the dough was a little thin but it was totally edible, soft, and tasted great! Definitely could be used as a pizza crust and even better it made a nice dense flat bread. I dont need huge pieces like slices of bread and I am full and it tastes great. I have yet to duplicate the recipe but here it is for anyone gluten free or not.

Flat bread/pizza crust

  • 1 c. warm water
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 1/2 c flour  or   490 gr gluten free flour mix from above post
  • if using gluten free flour add 2 TBS chia seeds into 4 TBS boiling water and stir still slimy.
  • 1 Tbs basil
  • 1 Tbs oregano

Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix until it becomes a soft doughball. Let sit for about an hour to rise. Roll out on a greased cookie sheet and bake 20 min at 350.

If using this for pizza crust, I would bake first then add the toppings and bake again. Play, be creative. So..what happened to the first crunchy broken crust?

I made a pizza bake in the crockpot and use the small pieces to scoop that up for a eating.

IMG_0586Nothings ever a complete failure..if its not edible by human standards there are always dogs or birds who seem to love it   😉

 

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

 

Categories: Homesteading | 2 Comments

Being Prepared

Well here we are..the middle of the worse winter storm I’ve seen in at least 14 years. Everyone said it was coming. They started telling people thursday that by Sunday we should be prepared. You know how those weathermen are. They strut around yelling snow here..we get none, snow there..we get none.. winter storm everywhere..oppps they were right!

So are you prepared? Heck yes I am! Is the rest of the town..apparently not. I went to the store like normal friday around noon. I go every friday shopping. I went and got milk, burger and sausage at my grassfed place, went to the grocery store bought my normal stuff, and went home. I just forgot one thing on my list..bread. Stinkin bread. I can make it but the kids still prefer the store stuff, so I buy the healthiest and most expensive bread. I asked my hubby, “Hey can you run me to town for bread? We arent going to make it through the week unless I make some and they dont want that.” Sure he says and we head to town..only to find the entire town freaking out because a “winter storm is coming”. Really..we live in indiana..shouldnt you have food backup? A plan? Do you really think you’ll be so snowed in that your normal weekly grocery shopping will be hindered and you will eat all that food in two days? We went to town at 4 or so that afternoon and what was full of bread at noon was empty. All but the most expensive loaves on the top shelf..the ones I buy   😉  So I picked up my 1 loaf and we left.

It got me thinking. People are calling this winter Armageddon. If you go to your grocery store and they are out of bread and you freak out, how are you going to be when a true emergency comes? Me?? I head to the flour and buy some so that I can make it. Do you know how to make bread?? Can you live without it? I have come to not eat it at all because of my gluten intolerance, but normal people need to know these skills. Not only that but they should have already had a stockpile of food incase you cant buy anything at the store. I’m not saying have months and months stored up  like a squirrel but at least a month’s worth of food.

Thats the other great thing about knowing where your food comes from. I have an Amish couple I buy all my beef, pork, and milk from. Should an emergency arise..who do you think is going to have food, him or the grocery store. Him of course..no one knows about him and he has live food right outside that he can kill if need be. Who do you think he is going to serve first? The person who always comes week after week or someone showing up because they are out of food and desperate. Well I already know because he’s done it when I was new..the people who are already established. He doesnt care about making a quick buck..he is loyal. He will feed the Amish first, his die hard customers second, then if he has some left, the others. Besides all of us already have some sort of stock because he is only open two days a week and there are many Amish days he is not open.

If you were one of those people who rushed to the store to grab milk, eggs, and bread because you didnt think you could survive two days without going to town..you need to start reading homesteading blogs. You need to learn the skill of canning and dehydrating. You need to learn to budget your money and start going to bulk food stores and stocking when you have extra money. There should never come a time when you “freak out” over things. You should have a back up plan. I started thinking of that friday..minus the bread cause man I cant remember everything!

What are you going to do with animals? How are you going to stay warm? Do you have enough of whatever you use to stay warm? We ended up getting a ton of pellets Sat because we knew we would need to burn more than usual and our supply would have only lasted a few days. We can heat without it, but it’s -12 right now and then there is a nice whipping wind of at least 15 miles an hour. How would you survive if you had no power? Y0u need to think about this stuff always. ALWAYS. Do you have a water source? Do you have a food source that doesnt take cooking? Think camping with no fire..  Think.. THINK, ALWAYS. Its the only way to survive.

Everytime you shop, think- do I have enough of this to last a month..if not start buying stuff on sale or in bulk to get it. Think of ways to survive should disaster hit and you cant leave your home. Think of how you will tend to animals should you not be able to leave your yard. Think, think, think, then act, act, act..then once you get everything set make sure it stays stocked. I cant stress this enough. The difference between a homesteader and a regular person is we think of what could go wrong all the time and prepare against it just in case. Did I have to go grocery shopping? No, it was just my normal weekly run. Did I freak out and buy a ton of stuff because of a winter storm..no. I already had everything I would need. I didnt spend extra money. I also have extra money in case I didnt prepare something and we need something in an emergency. I am almost at the point I dont even have to go to the store.  I realize some dont have that luxury but you can still plan in advance so your not the one driving to 5 different places looking for bread that doesnt exsist because everyone else freaked out before you!

 

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Gluten free sucks

Just thought I’d put my feeling out there. I hate this. I mean I HATE this. I’m extra emotional today but right now I’m crying at the fact I cant make a simple pizza crust and eat with my family. I bought rice flour..it had all this stuff in it. When I look up a recipe it says to add all that junk in it. Well what if it already does?? I loved my pizza crust recipe so I just dumped the stupid package of rice flour in along with everything else and just let it sit 10 min, then plopped it into a pan. It looks disgusting. It’s white and pasty. I can’t even imagine it tasting even remotely like anything pizza crust related.

I bought a mill to grind my own wheat..wasted money in my eyes now. I have 50 lbs of wheat berries waiting to be ground..wasted money. I cant eat peanut butter and jelly  or anything else I normally do for lunch because I cant eat bread.  Right now I’m eating pb&j on rice cakes which has more ingredients then I want and added salt that makes it taste nasty. The mixes to make bread are $6 + and are full of stuff I wouldnt dare put into bread anyway. Same with the actual loafs. I read yesterday that one loaf said it was naturally crispy like toast..no toaster needed. Um eww.. wheres the soft fluffy bread?

I know I’m just in a mood, but I dont want to add Xanthum Gum or Guar Guar to products. How natural is that? Xanthum is from corn sugar..it screams GMO. I am stuck eating next to nothing because EVERYTHING seems to have gluten in it. So my choice at the moment is when this crust doesnt turn out..I mean really how could it? I will trash $5 it took to make it, grind some wheat, make my normal pizza crust, eat it, and feel absolutly horrible afterwards and the entire next day. Why? because right now, the thought of looking up yet another recipe in which I dont have ingredients for because these “flours” dont act the same and you have to add in a ton of stuff to substitute for the one natural ingredient I”m allergic to, is just too much.

If you are gluten free, I’m so sorry. I cant get over that I cant have gluten anymore..its a fight tooth and nail for me. Its like telling a girl she can no longer look at or wear a diamond or you cant look, smell, or taste chocolate again for the rest of your life! Thank God I can still eat chocolate because that’s what I’m turning too!!

Share recipes if you want. Eventually I’ll give in to some stuff. Its just too overwhelming to learn to use non grain flours. I’m also sensitive to eggs…yes even my own so that makes it even harder. I can eat them like once a week though.

 

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Uncategorized | 5 Comments

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