Power of Fermented Foods

We’ve been following “Nourishing Traditions” for quite a few years, and have seen amazing changes in our Autistic son’s overall health. He’s achieving beyond all expectations this year, reading at a 6th grade level, and more important to me, has a real heart’s desire to please the Lord. That’s going to serve him well throughout life.

If I could point to any one thing that has helped him with his typical Autism digestive issues, it would fermented foods – not only a valuable part of our diet but a NECESSARY one.

When I asked people, “What do you think of when I say ‘fermented foods’”, I get answers that vary from “never heard of it” to “doesn’t sound very good”. I certainly didn’t understand, back when we began this journey, that I’d enjoyed fermented foods throughout my life – soy sauce, yogurt, old-fashioned barrel-aged pickles, traditional French bread, and cheese, just to name a few. The term describes the process of how a variety of breads, grains, vegetables and even meats are converted into healthy products that put more nutrition and energy back into the body, than what they take out. Instead of putting stress on the digestive tract, like highly-processed dead-nutrition foods (boxed, canned, single-yeast bread), fermented foods are naturally easier to digest, their starches, fats, proteins and sugars converted into forms more easily assimilated into the human body and utilized by the digestive tract.


Death, Justification & Cockatiels

Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eats, thereof you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:16-17)

Today, I held the penalty of sin – death – in my hands. It struck down my 19-year-old Cockatiel, Minnie, her wings spread uselessly, breathing labored, face-down on the bottom of her cage. I’m thankful I found her in time, that I was with her when she took her final breath.

Even though the Lord, always generous with His mercy, prepared my heart weeks in advance, showing me what was to pass, I wasn’t ready. Instead of bowing my head in submission, saying, ‘Yes, Lord, I will be still”, I begged He’d spare her for just a little bit longer….

Nineteen years is the longest I’ve shared my life with any pet. In hindsight, our time together was but a blink of a star.


Reprobate & Depraved Minds

“Why are you always so surprised at this fiery trial”, asked the Apostle Paul, his question valid for all time. 1 Peter 4:12

I shouldn’t be, but I am, surprised that Christian friends are surprised by the amount and intensity of perversion spewed out against Sarah Palin, and to a lesser degree, John McCain. Talk shows, newspapers, magazines and comedy venues have reached a new low.

Let love be without hypocrisy, abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good….. Rom 12:9-10

Not that long ago, even the most wretched of souls would have exerted self-control, clamping their lips tightly together in the “mixed company” of those who held more conservative, less subversive views.

Gloria Steinem, Sarah Bernhardt, or Randi Rhodes, Steinem being the least offensive and Bernhardt and Rhodes tied for needing the most prayer, are but a few examples of people who have shown themselves to be foolish in the eyes of the Lord, generating sickening comments over the last few weeks, their hatred stunning. They, with their peers, are bringing their picnic baskets to the Coliseum of the American media, feeding each others egos and sense of pride in that they, who consider themselves so noble, wise and worthy, are bolstering one another up in their starving frenzy which increasing rage, it seems only blood-soaked ground will satisfy.


Traditions.....

It’s that time of year – birthday time – when my daughter asks only for one thing, that I make her favorite cake, Boston Cream Pie. There’s been one year in the last 13 that I’ve not made her birthday cake. That was what I call the “Coveting Year”, the year she discovered that some people have store-bought cakes for their birthdays.

Walking through the Costco bakery, always a child who was wonderful at memory games, she jumped excitedly at the Costco refrigerated sheetcake cooler, pointing at one particularly garish, “Happy Birthday” rainbow cake which had enough red #40 to cause behavioral disorders for the next 20 years. “That’s it! That’s it! That’s the cake Margret had for her birthday! And I want one just like it! No! No! There’s one with balloons! Oh, how I love balloons. Please?”

At that point, we still had 9 long weeks left before the Blessed Event. She became more obsessed with the notion, cutting decorated cake pictures out of magazines, chopping holes in the middle of the Costco magazine, transporting cakes from their pages to her persuasive letter-writing campaign sent to me. “Dear Mommy. In order to give you a break from all the cooking you do, I’d like a Costco cake.”


Welcome Home Chicken Dinner

This is my favorite late summer, almost-fall dinner. When the first harvest of apples and peaches coincides with farm-fresh cantaloupe, as well as fall-harvest raspberries, there’s nothing better to celebrate those flavors in a apricot-jam and yogurt dressing fruit salad alongside a huge pile of cinnamon-dusted rice and coconut-rolled chicken tenders.

The wonderful thing about this recipe is it is as good served cold – maybe even better – the next day for lunch. When my children took their first bite, at tonight’s dinner, they both lit up with recognition exclaiming, “Oh, this dish! I remember this! It’s my favorite!”

The original was a Better Homes & Garden, but needed some updating – getting rid of the corn flakes and using sourdough breadcrumbs with the coconut for the chicken-coating.

This dish easily doubles, which I always do because the leftovers are so flavorful, even cold, right out of the refrigerator.


Women Know Your Limits


Finally! A Candidate Worth a Vote!

I haven’t been this excited about a political candidate in I don’t know how long. Sarah Palin’s speech to the Republic Convention was well done, well delivered and well deserving of my support and vote. Up until Palin’s speech, I can say that I was not at all excited about the options open to me in the upcoming election. Now, if she can continue to present the same message, with the same classy, competency displayed last night, she will be a good reason to head to the polls come November.

“Jay Severin”, a local talk-radio host said it best in this morning’s blog

But even more enjoyable than Palin’s mastery of stage last night was the hilarious glumness and nastiness of the reactions by virtually all the “journalists” on TV: Keith Olberwellian, Chrissy Matthews, Gene Obama Robertson, Rachel Mad-Ow, et. al. all looked and sounded like children who had just lost their best friend.

And maybe they have: little Barack.

SHE WAS MEAN!”
SHE WAS NASTY!”
SHE WAS SARCASTIC!”
SHE WAS NEGATIVE!”

Exactly.

Translation: she was EFFECTIVE.


Greek Baking Powder Biscuit Piecrust


This is one of my favorite pie crusts when making vegetable-based tarts or quiches, such as my Garlicky Tomato Tart, which is a reformed Cooking Light recipe. Just like the tart needed some healthy updating – adding back grass-fed farm-fresh nutrients provided by properly-raised eggs and milk – the pie crust also needed some reclamation work, bringing it back in line with nutrient-dense foods of yesteryear, nearly lost to the industrialized, mass-produced, nutrient-deficient foods of today’s modern civilization.

Grinding my own grains, and soaking them in an acidified solutions goes a long way toward making the grains healthier and more easily digestible, explained in one of my favorite Weston A. Price articles, Be Kind To Your Grains.


Summer Time is Garlic Tomato Tart Time

Labor Day has come and gone, and with it, the end of summer. Radio ads are warning, “cold temperatures are just around the corner”, but my calendar says that nearly 1/3 of the summer remains, and I’m determined to enjoy every last minute of it, my favorite season.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6

Besides, I’m not finished with my summer traditions, one of which is to make a lovely Garlicky Tomato Tart using fresh local produce from “our” organic CSA (Consumer Supported Agriculture) farm.

The original recipe goes back to my Dark Days of Food, when I was convinced that Cooking Light magazine knew what they were talking about when it came to “healthy” food, removing all things fat, substituting “light” foods void of fat. While not all fats are healthy, the right type of fats are essential to life, explained in The Skinny on Fats, a classic article written by Sally Fallon, author of “Nourishing Traditions”.


Fresh Blueberry Lemon Sour Cream Pie


Today, with a heavy heart, I pulled the last bits of summer’s blueberries from the highbush branches towering above my head. Four pounds of berries later, I said my goodbyes, giving a prayer of thanksgiving for the blessing of the place, both its abundant fruit and tremendous beauty. Taking one last look around at the hundreds of branches still loaded with fruit – far too many for one small family to harvest – I marveled that for the past month, we had been the only ones picking fruit from public lands. Others knew of its existence, often stopping along their nature walks or bike riding, checking our progress, their interest tinged with amusement in our family’s “old fashioned” activity. “It’s so much work,” most commented, while others queried what “one does with them beyond a pie…”.

2 Thess 3:10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.

Not that long ago, I was several generations removed from having a hand in the planting, raising and gathering of our food. Picking berries is just one small way that we have changed the way we eat, and where we acquire our food. Watching my children gathering berries is far more satisfactory than chastising them for picking up every brightly colored package of synthetic factory-food off grocery store shelves. Foraging some of our food gives them a connection to the “living history” books and museums we’ve visited, providing real-life meaning to demonstrations and descriptions of a not-too-distance past where survival throughout the long, cold New England winters was dependent on self-sufficiency skills.