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Bits and Pieces: July 9, 2020

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Turkey Tracks: July 9, 2020

Bits and Pieces: July 9, 2020

Here’s what’s happening on my design wall at the moment. These circles are from the backs of the big circles we learned how to do in The Color Collective (Tara Faughnan, Sewtopia) season 1. When you trim out the back of the big circle after you have sewn down the circles on the front, you have these little circles left over. I couldn’t throw them out. Some time over the past two years I bought the light grey solid and cut it into squares on which I planned to mount the little circles. When I started sewing, though, I had more circles than I thought and I ran out of the light grey, so I just added in a darker grey from my stash.

My goodness these are cute! I was planning to use these circles in an improv quilt, but they really just wanted to stay by themselves. I made myself throw out the little grey circles from the backs of these circles. Time to STOP.

The 6 by 3-inch flying geese are a “leader/ender” project. Bonnie Hunter pioneered this method to keep running sewing projects through your machine rather than breaking thread. She suggests a new leader/ender project each year in July and has just revealed this year’s choice. Basically, you are making two quilts at the same time. That info for this year’s project is on her blog at quiltville.com.

I’ve cut a lot more fabric combinations, so these present colors will spread out. I’m thinking at least 10 rows wide. For play, I often stop and make some of these geese blocks. Who was it who said “no more new projects until the to-do projects are done”?

The shell peas are ready to pick now. I picked these at Hope’s Edge on Tuesday, came home, and put some raw on my lunch salad. They are delicious! The rest I added into a lamb/rice stew when it came out of the oven. I just recovered the pot and let the peas cook in the heat of the hot stew. BTW, the lamb also came from Hope’s Edge last fall.

On the way to pick up my weekly raw milk order, I passed a mommy duck walked her babies…somewhere. I tried for a longer video, but a biker came by me and ruined that one. Aren’t they adorable?

I’ve been in the garden for DAYS, and order has been restored out there. For the most part. There are always small jobs that have to be done. I am so grateful to Duane and Leslie Smith and their crew for helping me.

We are having cool weather, mixed with overcast, rainy, and sunny days. The temps fall at night into the 60s, so the sleeping has been lovely. The drought has broken, and everything is looking green and lush again.

Summer doesn’t really come to Maine with predictable hot weather until after July 4th. This year is no exception. Our summers are short and sweet and so filled with wonderful food and beautiful flowers.

Garden Garter Snakes and Garlic Cream Kale

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Turkey Tracks: July 5, 2020

Garden Garter Snakes and Garlic Cream Kale

I was in the garden all day yesterday, the 4th of July. The weather was overcast, the temps cool, and the ground was so soft that weeds just leaped into my hands. Restoring order is going quicker than I would have thought. And I hope to get back into the garden today.

It was my first big day in the garden this year, since the Brown Tail Caterpillar hairs have been so toxic that it has been impossible to weed without encountering the discarded hairs that were on all the plants. The hairs make a rash that is filled with blisters and that itches like mad, for days. My arms are only now healing up.

AC was “on it” with me.  He is fascinated with the garden snakes and is getting braver about grabbing them.  He has come close to catching them several times now and almost got one the other day with me looking on. The snake was hiding under the spent daffs by the strawberries—it was a longer one—about 18 or so inches.  I stepped in to give the snake some time to retreat across the path and into the growth and rocks on the other side. I think AC did grab it but jumped back with his mouth open as if the snake had shot it with some sort of noxious fumes. These snakes can do that, actually. It is a protective measure.

I uncovered a little one yesterday—6 or 8 inches—while trimming back the climbing hydrangea on the wall along the path—s/he was up by the house and went under the lower set of shingles above the concrete strip on the ground.  So, AC spent most of our many hours outside going from one “snake” place to another.  And, of course, checking on “mouse” at the compost bins, and “squirrel” on the upper porch, and “chipmunk” on the stone wall in back.  He was really tired after his dinner.  But happy.

Garter snakes work hard in the garden. They are a sign of a healthy garden, I’ve always been told. They eat insects, among other things. I know I have several here. And each year I see new little ones. The female snake gives birth to live little snakes. They don’t hatch from outside eggs. These snakes live together in a den. In the wild they can live to around five years. Some online sites say much longer. It probably depends on each snake’s habitat. Anyway, here they love the rock steps and the stone paths, where they lie in the sun. That is, until AC arrived. He does not allow such snake displays.

Yesterday I really wanted to grill something—it was the 4th after all. I wound up grilling chicken thighs for a salad lunch and, later, a little steak for a dinner that included corn on the cob, kale in garlic cream, and a bowl of summer berries (raspberries, blueberries, cherries, and strawberries from my garden).

Kale, garlic, and cream are a magic combo. Add nutmeg, for an even more magic treat.

Kale in Garlic Cream

Remember that it takes a LOT of kale to make enough food for more than two people. I count on one bunch for two people.

First, prep the kale. Put the kale in a sink and run water over it to knock off any sand or other debris. Start a big pot of water to boil—you only need about 3 or 4 inches of water. (This method is good for collards, too, but not chard or spinach, both of which are more delicate. Chard and spinach are better pan wilted in a good fat with only the rinsing water clinging to the leaves.)

I strip off the leaves with my hands. They come away from the central stem easily. Keep the leaves in big pieces for now. Some would lay the leaf on a cutting board and cut away the stem with a knife. I think that’s too much work for kale, but that is good for collards which have a tougher leaf. But, whatever.

When the pot of water is boiling, throw in the kale leaves and push them under the water with…something. Let them cook until they wilt really well—no longer than 5 minutes, which is probably a bit too long for kale. You don’t want to cook kale to death.

Drain into a colander and run cold water over the hot mass. When you can pick it up, ball it up with your hands and squeeze out all the water. Put the mass on a cutting board and cut it into smaller pieces—about one inch along the mass, then turn it, and cut the other way. Don’t cut it into tiny, tiny bits. You won’t some texture.

You can prep the kale at any time—even the day before. I prepped my kale at lunch while grilling the chicken.

Second, chop as much or as little garlic as you like. (You could do this step while the kale is cooking.) In my world, there is no such thing as too much garlic. Heat a knob of butter in a smaller size frying pan—enough to allow a generous coating and warming of your kale. Add the garlic and let it just simmer until it smells lovely. That will take only 30 to 40 seconds. Add the kale and turn it all around until it is coated and is warm.

Add a LOT of heavy cream—what looks good to you. For my one-bunch of kale, I probably added 1/2 cup of heavy cream. You could also add some nutmeg if you like it. Nutmeg on greens is magic. I can’t do it, so I added tarragon to my butter and garlic. Tarragon is sweet and adds a kind of licorice taste. Definitely add some sea salt. Pepper wouldn’t be bad either. Hmmm. I’m wondering if adding some heat wouldn’t be nice? Something in the hot pepper range? Then you would get a sweet/hot taste. Cook until everything is combined and is warm.

Enjoy!

My batch left me with about half the batch for another meal. I’m going to put it into an omelet for a meal today, probably with some mozzarella cheese added, since I can eat that cheese. Ricotta might be nice too instead if I had some here today. And maybe more tarragon.

Written by louisaenright

July 5, 2020 at 9:20 am

Mint Tea Led to Herbal Tea Adventures

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Turkey Tracks: June 27, 2020

Mint Tea Led to Herbal Tea Adventures

Look at this adorable little teapot I found in the back of a cabinet when I took everything out to wash and reorganize. I had totally forgotten about it—which makes sense as I have not been able to drink tea, given my Histamine Intolerance issues. (Black and green teas are fermented and inhibit one of the two enzymes one needs to process an overload of histamine.) I think it might have been a gift, but I have long since forgotten who gave it to me—along with its two adorable little cups.

So these days, I drink coffee. A lot of coffee, it seems. Probably too much coffee. The other day—after finding this pot—I really wanted to use it. Most commercial herbal tea mixtures have a lot of ingredients, to include a lot of “natural” flavor additives, which are chemicals I cannot tolerate. (I think, as well, that these chemicals are standing in for the real ingredients.) And the single herbal teas are…expensive.

This little pot comes with an insert where one can put a loose tea. I stuffed it full of my dried mint—which I dry every fall. And I added some sprigs of fresh mint and tarragon from the garden and let it steep while I ate my lunch.

It was DELICIOUS! Look at the depth of color it has. And I savored it with my fruit salad dessert, while I caught up with my Word2 games online.

I may have partially been swayed by watching THE GOOD WITCH—a tv show on Netflix which is a Hallmark production that is partly Canadian made. There, Cassie promotes drinking a lot of healthy healing teas instead of caffeine. I’m finding this sweet little show to be full of the kind of values with which I grew up and which seem so lost right now. It’s soothing to watch it, for me at least, in these challenging and turbulent times. The “right way,” for Cassie, is to find the way through a problem that does not trample on the needs of other people AND to work through what is really a better choice for our own lives.

Hmmmm… Fresh sage came in my food from Hope’s Edge CSA farm (Community Shared Agriculture). What if I dried it, flowers and all, to make tea? I had, at one point, bought herbal sage tea. It was…expensive, especially given the amount one needs to really get a strong flavor.

AND, I have sage in my garden. And it is blooming. And what about drying tarragon? One jar of these herbs is…expensive. And it would take about half of the jar to make one pot of tea. AND, I’ll be cutting more mint to dry right now rather than waiting for fall.

I really love having fresh herbs in my garden in the summer. And sometimes it is nice to just cut up some veggies and a meat protein for lunch—topped with fresh herbs, salt, and a bit of good olive oil. I’d add vinegar if I could.

Written by louisaenright

June 27, 2020 at 8:41 am

Oh No!

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Turkey Tracks: June 9, 2020

Oh No!

You know that pretty picture I posted with the blueberry bush with all the flowers on it?

At lunchtime I went outside to get some fresh herbs for my lunch salad and discovered it COVERED with brown tail caterpillars happily munching away at all the leaves on the two bushes. They have nearly been denuded.

I had just put diatomaceous dirt (which looks like a white powder) on the new blueberry bushes, which were suffering the same fate, and had dusted the new raspberry canes and the strawberries, which are blooming heavily and forming fruit. Yes, some of the new raspberry canes showed signs of being chewed, and I could see some of the caterpillars in the strawberries.

I brought the herbs inside and turned right around to get more diatomaceous dirt for the big blueberry bushes. LOTS of caterpillars on them. Ugh! I did my best. Now I just have to wait and see. I came inside to wash up (again) and found a caterpillar on my shirt. More Ugh!

Here was my reward, topped with fresh dill, chive flowers, chopped chive stalks, and tarragon. The lettuce is from my garden, too. The protein is roasted chicken.

I need to buy rosemary plants…

Written by louisaenright

June 9, 2020 at 9:58 am

Turkey Tracks: Roasted Chicken Breasts With Veggies

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May 23, 2020

Roasted Chicken Breasts With Veggies

Roasting everything in your meal together is such an easy and quick way to produce dinner.

The chicken breasts and potato take longer (total about 45 minutes), but the veggies don’t want to be roasted that long—so I add them when there is about 35 minutes remaining—and drizzle them with olive oil and herbs after they go in the pan.

And LOOK! There is pretty much no mess to clean up. The pan usually just needs a quick swish with a soapy rag and a rinse.

Here’s my dinner.

There is another meal and more left over. I cut the breasts in half so I have meat for other meals (gently reheated probably) and roasted meat for my lunch salads.

Here’s another meal made in this fashion about a week later:

It was delicious too. The extra drumsticks were reheated and topped a lunch salad.

I don’t usually eat a lot of baked white potato. This just happened…

I could use a sweet potato, pieces of winter squash in the fall/winter, cauliflower, or medley of veggies including carrot, or add a separately-cooked grain (rice, quinoa for me). I use what I have on hand. Since I often have a HUGE lunch salad with lots of raw veggies, I don’t bother with a dinner salad. I do add some cut-up raw fruit for a dessert.

Written by louisaenright

May 23, 2020 at 8:43 am

Turkey Tracks: May Monday Morning

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May 14, 2020

Look at my beautiful cold frame lettuce. It’s still growing—as it has been so cool here in Maine this spring. But I gathered some lettuce—thinning the clumps to give some plants more room to grow—for my first cold-frame lettuce salad.

To remind, I set up this cold frame in the fall with new compost and seed and cover it for the winter. Left alone, it does its own thing when the longer daylight hours return. I’m still covering it most nights—remember that it SNOWED all day last Saturday, with no accumulation, but…

Here’s my first lettuce, rinsed and headed for the lettuce spinner.

I’m making a lunch salad, of course. And the protein will be one of the cube steaks I keep on hand. These steaks have a lot of flavor, defrost quickly, and cook in a very few minutes—just about two minutes a side, or less, in a hot cast iron frying pan.

Here’s my beautiful salad:

Lettuce from cold frame, sweet red pepper, roasted beets, cucumber, leftover asparagus, carrot, spring onion, red onion, apple, leftover forbidden black rice, cubed steak, olive oil, salt, and dried dill.

The daffodils this year have been glorious. I’ve planted so many now, each year choosing more and different varieties. Some of them are so frilly—they look almost like peonies.

I bring some inside to the kitchen window and so enjoy them there. Here’s the most recent selection.

Tom Jackson’s crew came and cut up the GIANT ash tree that fell over the stone wall property line last fall. It is a monster. I tried through the winter to donate the wood to anyone who would cut it and take it, but had no takers. It is just in a very difficult spot where getting the wood out would be way too hard.

There is a wetland below the stone wall and the tree, which would not allow for any equipment to come in that way.

I really need to get a picture of the daffodils in the little meadow this year. They are so beautiful and continue to naturalize over this area. They brighten the heart and soul, and I look forward to seeing them each year.

I finished hand quilting the big block Galactic wallhanging last night. I’ll trim and put on the binding/hanging sleeve/label today. And yesterday I finished the smaller block version—just two rounds. I love this block and could quite easily go down a rabbit hole with making the big block in a different palate. But I need to move on to the remaining three projects in The Color Collective, season 2, each of which look exciting to make.

And, today, which is THURSDAY already, is going to be much warmer. It is a bright, sunny day with little wind. I’m eager to get out into it.

Written by louisaenright

May 14, 2020 at 9:04 am

Turkey Tracks: AC Slater’s Fish Food

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May 13, 2020

AC Slater’s Fish Food

The main reason I have to go to the grocery store about twice a week is that I need to buy white fish and sardines for AC Slater’s diet.

I can’t buy more on each trip because our local fish has been frozen at sea and then defrosted locally. It needs to be cooked and not refrozen.

Packages of frozen white fish, like cod, come individually wrapped, which is a pain to unpackage and an environmental nightmare with all that plastic. Plus each packaged fish piece is full of water or some solution, which makes the resulting mixture really watery.

So, why does AC Slater need white fish. Since last summer, AC has been struggling with MASSIVE food allergies that resulted in him chewing and clawing holes in himself as he was itching so badly. It has been a nightmare for me as I cannot bear to see him suffer. EVERYTHING I fed him caused him to react.

To make a long story shorter, I finally took him to a terrific holistic vet who tested him for the foods that were the worst offenders—five foods, some of which are in pretty much in all the commercial dog foods—and started him on a holistic remedy protocol that has stopped the reactions for the most part. He is not out of the woods yet—and we are taking things a day at a time—but his sores are healing and he is not going at himself tooth and claw. When he starts to react again, I give him the remedy.

Here’s his food, which I make fresh about twice a week. I put broccoli and carrots (chopped pretty fine) in a big pot, add about an inch of water, and lay the fish over the veggies. I cover the pot and cook the fish and veggies, and then break the fish all apart. I add to this mixture, a cup of blueberries or some peeled and chopped apple and 4 tins of sardines. Sometimes I add a few tablespoons of good coconut oil. Each bowl is topped with a vet product that helps heal the gut (Antronex) and two squirts of Dr. Mercola’s krill oil for pets.

AC is lean and full of energy and is quite happy. He loves his fish meals. BUT, I worry about the heavy toxins in big fish and that, long term, he is not getting the right nutrients.

Now…

What went wrong here?

I will go to my grave believing his 1-year rabies booster started this cascade of issues. And poking around the internet revealed that allergies like what AC has can and do follow a rabies vaccination.

I also learned that there is no scientific basis for the current, legally mandated, vaccine schedule. I know rabies is a problem. It is a serious problem here in Maine. I also know that it would be wiser to check for antibodies with a blood titer rather than mindlessly giving animals more and more boosters that can and do harm them—just so vets get a steady traffic into their businesses. And, that factor is the rational for the legal rabies schedule, not animal health. It was a deal cooked up between vet business people and public health officials.

I did try to work with our local vet at first, who is very nice and caring. But her toolbox didn’t work. That protocol was to use a drug that suppresses the immune system reactions in combination with a prescription dog food. I have since read that the drug used comes with serious side effects.

Also, the prescription dog food is one of the worst industrial products, in my opinion, I’ve every seen. Protein is broken up (hydrolyzed) into tiny bits that are meant to fool the immune system. The protein source is…wait for it…CHICKEN FEATHERS. And the first ingredient is corn starch. The product smelled terrible; it reeked of a heavy chemical odor. AC loved it, until he went off the drug and reacted to it. He thought it was candy, with its sweet, sticky nature.

That left AC with getting more of the drug and switching to the only other formulation of hydrolyzed protein, soy beans. As it turns out he is wildly allergic to peas, so that clearly was not going to work. And this whole fake, chemical food solution would cause other problems down the road.

The other problem is, as I said above, that other kibble concoctions all contain one of the 5 foods that AC is allergic to. So, fortunately, I’ve always fed my dogs real food anyway, and I don’t mind cooking for him.

And one of my unanswered questions is whether or not his immune system reacted to certain foods willy nilly or whether it was because they were in his diet as I tried to find food that didn’t make him sick.

I suppose time will tell.

For right now, he is healthy and happy.

The fish diet is EXPENSIVE, however. And in this pandemic, sometimes I have trouble getting the cheaper versions of available fish.

It’s time for a change in how we treat our beloved pets, from their food to their medical treatment. It’s time for science to prevail, not business models.

Written by louisaenright

April 23, 2020 at 10:21 am

Turkey Tracks: Roast Chicken: The Backbone of Many Meals

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April 22, 2020

Turkey Tracks: Roast Chicken: The Backbone of Many Meals

What’s your favorite part of the chicken?

Mine, hands down, is the roasted skin, followed by the drumsticks, wings, and thighs. Most of the time, the breast in today’s quick-growing chicken tastes like sawdust to me—dry and tasteless. But, I persist. And from time to time can buy locally grown pastured heritage chickens. They are delicious.

It’s so sad to me to see all those skinned chickened pieces in the grocery store because they are tasteless and dry out so fast when you cook them. And the best nutrients and fat in chicken is right under the skin. I can tell you that my grandparents ate the skin, ate meat fat, and they lived to ripe old ages and were not fat.

Anyway, you can see this chicken is accompanied by a sweet potato and a handful of small red and golden beets. You don’t have to peel them when they are small. Just wash them good, quarter or halve them and drizzle them with some fat and whatever herbs or spices you want.

Enjoy this first meal—I hope you add something green to it. I added fresh asparagus cooked in boiling water for only a few minutes. I like my veggies crisp/tender. Asparagus is in season now—it is an early spring crop. The raw apple is for dessert.

So, now you have leftover meat. That meat can go into a salad, sandwiches, stir frys, etc. But the biggest asset you have is the chicken carcass. Put it in a pot that will hold it and add water to more than cover it. You can add some savories as well: onion, garlic, celery, carrot. Cook at least one hour. Longer is even better as you start to get a genuine bone broth, which is so, so, so healthy. By long, I mean 12 hours or more—and if you use a crock pot, there are no worries about leaving a cooking pot on the stove unattended.

Drain the stock through a strainer, throw out the spent veggies and bones, and DO NOT SKIM AND THROW OUT THE FAT from the broth! You would be throwing away a nutrient dense ingredient.

At this point, you can refrigerate the broth or make a soup or stew right away. Don’t let the broth hang around for longer than one day. Freeze it or make something.

Here’s the chicken rice soup I made. I froze half of it and had three or four hearty servings over the next few days. That’s a heated corn tortilla with raw butter slowly melting—it’s the closest thing I can get to that is like bread. Sprinkle it with salt. The apple is for dessert.

I eat one fruit serving a day most days. Apple works best for me as it has natural antihistamine properties. My favorite is a Honey Crisp apple, but they don’t keep well, so I have to eat as many as I can in the fall. Fruit sugar, like all sugars, can cause inflammation, so cut back to reasonable amounts?

Hey! For added nutrients, try dropping a spoonful of raw milk yogurt or raw heavy cream on your soup. And any soup can be made into a cream soup by just adding…cream. Or some whole milk. It’s a good way to change a soup that you’ve already made for a new taste.

Here’s the start of a roasted veggie dish. I used Red Palm oil, which I melted right in the pan here. Red Palm oil is a powerhouse, medicinal fat. I’ve written other posts on this oil, which comes solid, like coconut oil. You can search on the right side bar for more information. And I have not used toxic aluminum foil in two decades. What you see here is parchment paper, which works just fine. It can take up into the 500s with no problem.

So here’s my meal with leftover, reheated gently, chicken. The roasted veggies only take about 30 to 35 minutes to roast. To heat the chicken, put it in the roasting pan for about 10 minutes or less. Drizzle some water over it to keep it from drying out.

No, I do not have a microwave and haven’t had one for decades now. Microwaves heat food, but they also distort the food and the taste of the food. I can taste microwaved food from a restaurant (or could, when I could still eat in restaurants). It does not taste right. It has a whang to it. And this microwave thing is one thing that has destroyed human abilities to taste real food.

Another Week, Another Chicken

It’s another week, and I’ve roasted another chicken. This soup is lighter as it is going over rice noodles as I can’t eat pasta. Noodles are a real treat for me! They are highly processed though, and all I have to do is look at them to put on weight. (All grains turn into sugars in the body.) But when I have a yen for some noodles, and I have not had them recently, they are such a joy.

I also added chicken parts to enrich this broth. This time drumsticks, as that is what I had on hand. When they are done, I’ll take the meat off the bone. I add the spring onions and kale last and basically let them cook only about 10 minutes.

Here’s the finished soup.

And here’s my noodle soup dinner—look at those fresh berries just coming into our markets now’!

The next day, I added a two chopped up boneless chicken thighs, a handful of quinoa shells, and some corn to the soup.

The day after that, I added some cream and put some shredded mozzarella on top.

Whoa! That bowl was way too full. This overflowing bowl is a case of neatness: cleaning out the pot. I only ate half at lunch; the other half I ate at dinner, alongside plate of sauteed zucchini and a pan-fried little cube steak.

Have you been counting how many meals I get off of one roasted chicken? Add in at least two or three days of meat for salads at lunch. The point is, good food can be expensive, but if you take full advantage you knock back the per item initial cost AND you have healthy, fun meals.

I’m sure you’re happy by now that I did not buy a whole chicken this week. OK, I did, but I put it in the freezer. Tonight: braised lamb shanks with onions and carrots, a baked potato (Russet), fresh asparagus, and more of the DELICIOUS blueberries and raspberries that are on sale in my local market.

Written by louisaenright

April 22, 2020 at 12:24 pm

Turkey Tracks: Food!

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April 17, 2020

FOOD!

I will never go hungry because I have not cooked for myself.

Back in the day when I was young and during the first 20 years of my marriage, one only went to restaurants for special celebrations as they were scarce and expensive. I cooked. We all cooked. And as my mother grew up in a farm community, gathering food, cooking, and eating were important and fun parts of each day. Frequently, during one meal, the adults would discuss and plan the next one! Food and eating tasks were shared and enjoyed by all members of the family as the men often were the prime food gatherers and instigators of special meals. The men were definitely in charge if outdoor cooking was involved.

OK, I’ll confess. These days I HAVE to cook with my Histamine Intolerance issues. Restaurant food has too many unknown ingredients that could trigger a reaction. Ditto any food someone else cooks for me. And the smells in restaurants don’t work for me either—food particles in the air are a problem. And the smells that reside on other people (personal body products, laundry products, etc.) are serious triggers for me. But I come to this issue well prepared.

And I don’t let this situation hold me back. I just take my own “safe” food with me. And in good weather, I especially like to take a picnic somewhere scenic—or to my own back deck with a good book.

Here are some recent meals I’ve enjoyed. I try to cook for more than one meal at a time, but not too many as “old” food acquires too much histamine and sets me to itching. If I make a big soup or stew, I freeze about half of it. Then, yeah!!, I have a “free” meal to enjoy.

There is nothing for breakfast that I can eat without tempting fate. My breakfast is a big cup of coffee loaded with our local raw heavy cream and a bit of our local honey. By lunch, I am hungry.

Lunch is, most often, a BIG salad with lots of raw veggies and a meat protein. I use herbs, salt, and a drizzle of EVOO olive oil since I cannot do vinegar. The taste of the veggies comes through loud and crunchy and, often, very sweet. I don’t miss the vinegar because once I got away from it, or lemon, my tastes changed. Suddenly I could really taste the vegetables, and they were delicious.

This salad has a bed of mixed lettuce, some diced roasted chicken, a bit of organic cottage cheese (which I seem to be able to eat even though it has a bit of vinegar to make it…cottage cheese), some cooked snow peas and broccoli, and raw red onion, red bell pepper, carrots, cucumbers, some dried dill, sea salt, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of EVOO olive oil. My garden is emerging, so soon I’ll have fresh herbs galore.

Look at this pretty beef stew. Some of this one is frozen, and I could eat it for lunch or dinner.

Any stew is easy peasy. Saute the meat (1 1/2 or 2 pounds of stew meat or lamb shanks or short ribs). in some beef tallow or chicken fat until it starts to brown—in a really oven-proof HEAVY pot. Add some liquid, enough to cover the meat, herbs, garlic, onion, and stick it in the oven for an hour at 350 degrees. Add chunks of potato and carrots for another 30 minutes. If you want chunks of cabbage, add that so it cooks 15 to 20 minutes and call it a day. Make sure you don’t let the liquid run dry. You could add some rice flour or wheat flour if you want a heartier gravy when you add the vegetables. Only 2 tablespoons or so. Those of you who can eat tomato could add them. Or spices you like.

Here’s the start of a stirfry that might get some meat added at the end or might just be a side dish. For fat use, chicken fat, beef tallow, REAL pork lard, or coconut oil. Add salt and spices/herbs you like and cook on fairly high heat. Turn often so the veggies don’t burn. If the pan gets too hot, add a little water and cut it out. That can make the veggies limp though—just so you know. Adding meat cools the pan too and adds enough liquid to stop the overheating. You can use ground meat, thinly sliced raw chicken, or cooked meat. For the cooked meat, you won’t get liquid, so add a little.

Here’s a meatloaf dinner with thawed frozen berries for dessert (with some maple syrup or special honey from DIL Tami).

Here’s how this meatloaf started out:

Two pounds of ground meat (this one was local grass-fed hamburger and lamb), a handful of oats, two duck eggs because I can get duck eggs locally and do better with them, grated carrots and zucchini, some red onion, some grated mozzarella cheese, some herbs, some salt, and a bit of milk to help combine it all. The grated veggies and cheese keep the meatloaf moist.

Here it is ready to cook—with some tomato ketchup drizzled over. I can’t always do the ketchup, but today I could:

Half of this meatloaf is in the freezer. I started to really freeze seriously in case I did get a bad case of the virus. So I will not hurry to eat this saved food quite yet.

My food is simple—and filled with herbs. (Yes, I miss spices.). Because the ingredients are local and fresh and clean, they taste really good. But, I have to say that my food does not need a lot of spices to jazz it up because it has not lost its own “good.”

I’m lucky.

PS: Look for the upcoming post on roast chicken—it’s the backbone of many meals.

Written by louisaenright

April 17, 2020 at 6:07 pm

Turkey Tracks: Yummy Lunch

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Turkey Tracks:  January 11, 2020

Yummy Lunch

I really look forward to my lunch everyday.  It’s the first meal of the day that I eat.

I really like to make a big salad with LOTS of fresh and roasted veggies—and some protein.  I use what I have on hand.

This one has a bed of organic lettuce that includes hearty greens and some herbs , roasted beets, roasted asparagus, red peppers, carrots, cucumbers, red onion, and is sprinkled with Penzey’s dried dill and sea salt.

With my histamine intolerance issues, I can’t do vinegar.  I drizzle with an organic, first pressed, olive oil.  I’ve learned to really taste the veggies over these past years.  The peppers, beets, and carrots are so sweet.

 

Written by louisaenright

January 11, 2020 at 9:06 am