Saturday, February 20, 2010

Weston A. Price

There was a really wonderful short video on Facebook today.  It is a video of Weston A. Price in 1936.  You can see and hear him in his own voice.  The web site seems really good as well, but I have not been on it very much.  The video is interesting.  You can see and hear yourself some of Dr. Price's ideas.

This book had enormous influence on me.  Sally Fallon's book Nourishing Traditions is based on the work by Dr. Price.  After watching this video, I plan to skim back through his book, so now it is at the top of the stack of books.  I am so grateful to him for preserving these records and for being so thorough and accurate.

The foundation that continues his work has so much good information.  It is a blessing to have that kind of resource available.  You can find the foundation at the following link.  This is a link to Dr. Price's biography, but they have research, article, ideas and other things on their site.  Spend some time there if you can.
The biograpy on the following link seems really good.  It covers the scientific method of Dr. Price.  There is also some good information on lacto fermented foods.

If you are ever able to read this book, I would highly recommend it.  No one should need to give any explanation..... it is as clear as it can possibly be.

Best of health to you,

Ginger Chews

Today was a misty, cold day with wreaths of fog trailing around the hills.  Not quite raining... a perfect day for baking.  We have been trying to find things to do with the cultured ginger that is left after we make ginger ale.  Today we tried ginger chews.  It was a nice way to spend the afternoon.

I had some good help in the kitchen.... the Junior Rancher found the recipe, got out the ingredients, measured all the dry stuff and helped me eat them!  It is good to have help.  I think Papa is going to like these.  We definitely have a new family favorite.

Here is the recipe, if anyone wants to try it.  (note from Cindy.... This cookie is a little sweet for us.  It is OK... one at a time with tea or coffee.  The next time I make it I will probably cut the palm sugar by 1/2 a cup and add a bit more grated ginger and orange zest.... but still good cookies,) 

(Further note from #1 son.... the cookies are PERFECT - Don't change the recipe)


4 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp fresh grated ginger (I used cultured)
2 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups Palm Sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup molasses
1 tsp. vanilla
Powdered Sugar

Sift together flour, cinnamon, ginger, orange zest, cloves, salt and soda. Set aside. Cream sugar and butter. Stir in eggs, molasses and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix. Chill dough 1-2 hours. Roll into walnut sized balls and dip in sugar. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

All of the ingredients were organic and we used cultured ginger left from making ginger ale.  I just peeled it and ran it over my microplane grater.

Serving suggestion:  Have some warm cookies with a glass of raw milk!


The Little Rancher mixing the ingredients
The final dough.......... and the finished cookies!

We decided to store some away in Evelyn Fields snack bags for Papa's lunch on Monday!

The House Around the Corner - Crystallized Ginger

I make a LOT of ginger ale, and the ginger I use to make it is fine, just cultured.  But, c'mon... how much cultured ginger can you use?  I am planning to try this recipe soon.  It looks easy, good, and like a good way to use up too much GINGER!

 Crystallized Ginger

Crystallized ginger is often used in baking, I have a delicious ginger cookie recipe that I add it to and is elegant on a dessert tray when dipped in dark chocolate and allowed to dry. It is delicious and healthful to add to tea, and when eaten is known to help common aliments, such as nausea, inflammation, indigestion, heartburn and pain associated with arthritis.

It can be expensive to purchase, I once saw a small 4 ounce bottle of crystallized ginger priced at $12.00 in the spice aisle at the supermarket. It is VERY inexpensive to make and takes very little time. It stores for a long time, some say up to 2 years, which makes it easy to always have on hand. Following is the recipe I use;

Peel ginger ~ removing nibs (freeze for later use in recipes) and discard any brown spots.
Slice ginger (approx 1/8 inch)
Use a fork and tenderize ginger by poking holes into each slice
Toss sliced ginger in 2 cups of sugar
Bring 1 ½ cups of water with pinch of salt to a boil
Add sugar and ginger to water
Boil until a simple syrup forms and ginger is tender, stirring often
Strain ginger and place on paper towel
Reserve ginger syrup it can be used to flavor many things including tea
Toss ginger in sugar
Allow to dry on rack for 24 hours
Store in sealed container, I will keep it this way up to 3 months, but it never lasts that long.

The House Around the Corner - Soaked Granola

Melissa's Soaked Coconut Granola
for her original story,

Our family loves granola, so I was excited to find this recipe using soaked oats. I was a bit nervous as you soak the oats for 2 days. I usually find oats to be bland tasting but with the soaking they have a better, kind of sourdough-ish taste. It ended up being delicious & has a lot less sweetener in it than the other recipe I was using. Evy likes it because the soaked oats formed little clusters so it is easy for her to snack on. Gabe has to add a few spoonfuls of sugar & then he likes it.
Soaked Coconut Granola:
8 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup melted raw butter
1/2 cup melted coconut oil or
1-1/2 cups whole yogurt
2 cups water
1/2 cup raw honey or maple syrup
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 cups chopped crispy nuts*
1 cup raisins

1. Mix Oats, butter, coconut oil, yogurt, and water together in a large bowl. Pat down, cover with a plate, and leave on the kitchen counter for 2 days.
2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
3. Place honey, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl and set in a small pot of simmering water until honey warms and becomes thin.
4. Mix honey with oat mixture.
5. Place on 2 greased cookie sheets and bake for 2-4 hours, until completely dry and crisp. When almost crisp add coconut to toast for the last hour.
6. Mix with chopped nuts and raisins. Store in airtight container.
* I used 3/4 c. sugar & 1/4 c. molasses instead of just 1/2 a cup of honey. I also had to bake mine for over 4 hours. Here is a link for making Crispy Nuts.

The House Around the Corner - Spelt Bread

Jenny's Spelt Sourdough Bread 
You can read this entire story at Jenny's
several of us in the our house have been suffering from a gluten sensitivity and i am on another mission to provide healthy food we can eat on a budget. i asked around about spelt flour, did a little internet searching, and decided that since spelt is supposed to be easier to digest than wheat and when made into sourdough bread should be even better for your body, i decided to give it a try. i wanted to buy the spelt whole grain and grind it myself, but i'm just not there yet, so i bought pre-ground flour. i also wish one day to soak the flour before baking with it, but again, i only have so many hours in the day. for now i just use it dry. baby steps, right?

anyway, i was asked to share "my" recipe by my friend cindy who is trying out any and every recipe she can find and taking tidbits from each of us and adding them to her own way of making bread. my recipe is pretty basic and not much different from the others except for the flour. 
i add these ingredients, in this order, to a warm bowl.

3/4 c starter
5 c spelt flour
about 1/4 c sweetener of choice. i'm trying to use up some sucanat. i have used honey too.
2 tsp sea salt
at this point i gently mix, by hand, the dry ingredients on top of starter before adding the water
1 1/2 c warm water
2 TBS oil

mix with your hands or a rubber spatula. the dough comes together rather quickly and i gently knead it a few times to make sure everything is mixed well, then put a damp towel over the bowl and place it in a warm place to rise. i put mine in the oven because it has a pilot light. depending on how much time i have, i let it double in size. i have also just let it rest an hour or two and then proceeded, the bread just turns out more dense. before transferring it to the baking pan, i knead it a few more times, but not too much. i read that if you overwork spelt dough your bread will be crumbly. after kneading, rub oil of your choice over the dough (i'm not sure why i do this, but i do!) and place in a baking dish. i bake my bread in a large loaf pan in an effort to have sandwich size bread for the days that my kids attend tutoring group. i let the dough rest or rise as long as my time allows. sometimes it's a few hours and sometimes it's 30 min. i'm all for making it work for me. after it's risen, place it in a 400* oven and bake until golden brown and the crust feels thick and somewhat hard to the touch. 3o min or so.

and that's it... please keep in mind all amounts and times are approximate. i just kind of add this and do that. i did jot things down as i made this loaf so i could write about it, but i like to cook more like my grandma, with a handful of this and a scoop of that. 

i'm still playing with new ideas every time i make bread, and noticing that every loaf gets easier. good luck to you!

The House Around the Corner - Arleen's House

Arleen's advice about Kefir :)

Stop whining already about the taste of the kefir (no fear - ki fear) 

morning start: 

1/4 c kefir
1/4 c juice or kvass
2 tablespoons coconut oil...

stir and drink


1 chug-a-lug and you are all done for the day. 
all you taste is what ever juice you used (carrot, beet, orange, lime)  
wipe your mouth, (don't lick your lips if you don't like coconut oil...  I don't like it at all, but don't taste it.  just the juice)

Enjoy (or something :)

A Critical Issue - pH balance

pH levels and your body
Flu Remedy #2 and 
The beginning of Phase One

First of all, my apologies for not getting this in sooner.  It is the beginning of our entire program.  When I started going through making a "Path to Progress" so it was easier to follow the basic program, there was a big hole.  Apparently the pH opinion never made it from Face Book to this blog.  I have been waiting for....... well, I don't know why I was waiting to fill in this hole.

Anyway.... the whole flu thing reminded me to do something on pH.  If you have a rotten case of the flu, you might try this old, old remedy.
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 lemon or lime
1/2 glass of water

Stir and drink
Day 1 - Use FOUR times
Day 2 - Use TWO times
Day 3 - Use ONCE

You  don't want to do this all the time and you don't want to do more than seven doses in four days.  This just chemically yanks your entire digestive tract to a neutral pH.   We can personally testify that it works for the flu.... just because virus', germs, pathogens, yeasts and other nasty stuff do not like a neutral pH.  These nasty things are weakened and you can recover.... pretty rapidly.  Not instantly.  

This step is the beginning of the program.  If you want to be reminded what Phase One is, go here.   It is safe, effective, inexpensive, easy and not completely disgusting. :)  We do pH testing using strips a couple of mornings every week and are still not at the place where our pH is neutral just from food.  We have been continuing to add this remedy in about 1-2 times per week, but hope to end it sometime.

Our 8 year old gets sips, but not full doses of this.  He really does not need it usually... his immune system is pretty strong.  He really does not like it, but I don't mind it.

Remember that you need to be responsible for the health of your family.  The intent of this blog is to implement the ideas from the Weston A. Price Foundation, Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions and some of the ideas from The Maker's Diet in a step by step approach.  Study one thing at a time, think about it, reason it through, talk with someone about it and come to a good, informed decision for your family.

We want a simple, nutrient dense diet that provides optimal health.  It is so hard to just shift gears mid stream.  My prayer for all of you is that some of these ideas will make sense to you and you change because of knowledge..... not just because someone had a good idea.  Baby steps, where we sift through one idea at a time, gives a little space.  Don't let anyone rush you or tell you what you should be doing in your family.  Change because you are convinced.
So..... THE EXTRA STEP - PHASE 1 - pH levels

Pick one or two articles.... read a little, think a little, pray a little.  Let all of us know how it goes.  Sharing our success and failure as a community binds us together...... no matter where we live..... on to pH

The reason you want your pH neutral is for optimal health.  If your pH is too acidic or too alkaline, your body does not function well.  It is as simple as that.  If it is too far one way, weird things can grow.  If it is too far the other way... the plumbing doesn't work well.  Your blood HAS to stay at 7.3 or 7.4.  Your body will rob from everything else to keep it there.  Don't make your body rob from your bones or organs to keep your blood neutral.   Just figure out a simple diet that works.

This first article is a good, light article on using baking soda and some of the benefits of  keeping your body at a neutral pH.  Remember, don't feel a need to buy any expensive thing anybody is selling.  A simple paper strip is sufficient for the average healthy person to keep tabs on where they are  in the pH dept.

Dr. Mercola does have an annoying pop up add if you are not on his e-mail list, but his information is so good that it is worth it to me.  He has a great web site that covers a multitude of good information, including pH and baking soda. 

This article from Dr. Mercola gives a good overview of Dr. Simoncini.  Some of the research of Dr. Simoncini has heavily influenced me.  Personally, if I had cancer anywhere from my mouth throughout my digestive tract, I would be using a baking soda therapy as part of my treatment.  If you only have time to read one article, this is a good one.

Here is a further one on baking soda and cancer if you want to continue on this vein.

And finally, here is one from a kind of odd web site.  A little out there.....  

I hope this helps you.  Some of this information is so good, and as a first step in your healthy lifestyle, this one is good.   

Be blessed and healthy