17 Jun

Farmhouse Lemon Pudding

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I happen to love lemons, I put one whole lemon in my green juice daily. My peels go into a jar with white vinegar to create my power cleaner, literally degreases everything. I let mine marinate for about a month. My gluten free, toxin free life also led me to pudding, lemon pudding that was a hit. I took a picture of my evening snack the other night and posted it to Facebook and the recipe was requested so I am obliging.

My kitchen evolved to one that cooks  with fresh things from our farm and local farmers who have animals that I do not, namely a milk cow but I want one. Just need the strength and energy to keep up with one and I don’t have it right now.

I recently found I have Hashimoto’s Thyroid on top of RA and Lyme and was instructed right away to go gluten free. I need to lean towards the Wahl’s Diet for autoimmune function as well as one gentle on my damaged gut that still struggles to heal. I am creating my own recipes in hopes that some of you with the same problems find ideas, I am always starving for them! I need new things to eat, I am a foodie that lives in this prison, not kidding. I am the gal who joked I could live on baked good and coffee, I love them both that much.

Sometimes I find a recipe that works, a new thing, I try not to duplicate the things I miss, I pretend they died. I have had decedence and loved many chocolate things and fondly recall our relationship but it is over.

On this recipe I am going to try honey next as the sweetener, I will keep you all posted. I used only about 1/4 cup sugar in mine, I steerr from too much, bad stuff but we do have to live. the land of complete deprivation is hell, I won’t lie to you..

That said, enter pudding. I can have pudding. Now so can you!

Much love,

Marla

Farmhouse Lemon Pudding
Author: 
 
You will need a double boiler , nesting bowls and a fine mesh bag or sieve
Ingredients
  • 3 large fresh pastured egg yolks
  • ½ cup organic sugar
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups, fresh raw milk
  • ½ cup lemon juice (fresh is best)
  • 2 tbsp, softened organic butter
  • Soft whipped cream
  • Fresh organic berry sauce
Instructions
  1. Start a 2 qt double boiler, water in the bottom bring to a soft bill. Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks in a bowl and set aside. Whisk top of double boiler add sugar, cornstarch, and salt, add a little milk to make a paste then stir in the rest of the milk slowly. Whisk until it thickens and simmers, allow for 2 minutes scraping often.
  2. Remove top of boiler and take 1 cup of milk mixture and add to egg yolks. Mix well then add to top of boiler with remaining milk mix. Put back over heat and simmer again until it thickens, wisking very slowly to consistency of sour cream. Remove and add in lemon juice.
  3. You can strain in fine mesh to remove the liquids.
  4. In nesting bowls, make an ice water bath for the pudding to rest in, don't slosh water over the sides until it cools, stir gently if needed.
  5. Pour into individual bowls or single dish, cover the surface with saran wrap pressing against the pudding. (keeps from forming skin)
  6. Top it off with berry sauce and whipped cream~ enjoy

 

P.S. Here is a link to an awesome article about lemons too!

http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/45-wonderful-benefits-and-uses-of-lemon/

30 Sep

Whey to Go

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Hello Friends and Foodies~
This is Moo or Knuckle as my son calls him, he was a knuckle baby. He arrived at our homestead a few weeks ago and his story is one fraught with tales of the sad state of the dairy industry. I will tell Moo’s story later.
He is who I chose for my post though, look at that face.
How did we ever let the agriculture industry to go so wrong.
The family cow was a respected member of the American farm family. The family cows generated meat and milk. From the milk you could, drink it, make cheese,, butter, yogurt, buttermilk, ice cream, whey, sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese and then fed the pigs with the rest.
The grocery revolution rolled in about the same time as the family farm was being disseminated by the beginnings of Big Ag. A perfect storm.
I am on a mission to restore the family farm and teach America how to feed itself again. Corporations woo and charm us then betray us, our food landscape has become a field of landmines that exploded in our faces.
We can no longer trust what we were told and must find a way to restore the good health of our families with the right blend of quality nutrition and wholesome value filled lives.
I recently learned more about one unknown member of the dairy family.
Nourishing Traditions , the book by Sally Fallon  has become my latest obsession. She is a lacto ferment wizard and speaks of why whey is so beneficial.
Whey has so many benefits to your body and is high in minerals, one tablespoon is enough to begin to improve your digestion.
Let me list some other reasons to add this good member of the probiotic family to your life.
*Keeps muscles pliable and strong
*Restores good health to the gut
*Adds healthy ferment to your canned goods, chutneys, beverages, marinades, pet food,  and grain dishes (bear in mind heating removes the lacto benefit)
and then there is this…Any runners out there? Weight lifters?
Who wants to lose fat and build healthy muscle? We all do. A strong, healthy body from the inside out radiates and doesn’t need trends or glitter. When you glow and your clothes just fit right who needs anything else.
Whey is a muscle builder, it will help reduce fat and build lean muscles if combines with exercise. it reduces hunger by reduced levels of ghrelin (a hormone that tells your brain you’re hungry.)
I found reports and other studies that in controlled groups were beneficial to those fighting some forms of cancer as well as helping seratonin levels that regulate mood and depression.
Lastly, I have found it helps the immune system. My health journey has taken me to some interesting places, this is one of the best so far.
This was so easy it is not funny. I got raw grassfed milk from a local farmer, and filled a 2 quart mason jar but any 2 qt container will do.
Now you have to wait, allow it to stand for 2 or 3 days (depends on the temp in your kitchen). Mine stood for 3 days before it separated, it must to separate into white curds and yellowish whey.
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I lined my bowl with cheesecloth, making sure there is enough to tie off later.
This needs to sit and drain out for several hours. The whey will drain and leave all solids behind. Don’t give in to the natural urge to squeeze it. Mine seemed still to wet so I let it sit a little longer with no negative resutls.
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Gather the corners and extra fabric and tie over a wooden spoon. Have a larger container ready to rest the spoon over for the drip time. This takes a while, be patient.
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Here is the final result, a soft cream cheese that I will blend with garlic and herbs and use in sandwiches or stuff endive leaves for a treat.
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Some nice ideas for the cheese would be to add in a blend you like. Some ideas would be smoked salmon, crab, garlic, pepper, think of a dip you like and play around. There are healthy versions of add ins such as ranch seasoning to make a dip. Imagination is a wonderful thing, make the kitchen your playground!
Make every day a journey and take someone you love along for the ride…
Blessings and good health~
Marla
02 Aug

Washing Up

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Laundry….it never seems to end when you live on a farm.
My husband is Mr. Project, constantly at something. My son is restoring his Farmall H Tractor, in love with them since he was small, buying one to fix up was his dream. So every day he brings in the days dirt, as does his Dad and our two dogs. I help with my trips to the garden and barn. Hence my love affair with the broom and my washer.
I like to hang it in the sunshine on the line, yes it takes longer but there is a romantic side to hanging wash. As I hang each piece  I think about it. If it is the guys stuff my thoughts are on them, I pray for them and send them love. Doing my own wash is fun, I think of where my clothes came from, a shirt from Jessamy, shorts from Mindy, something Terry bought me, it is memory lane and I send love to them too.
No I am not Pollyanna but I do admit the “Glad Game” works, any task can be made to be fun if you try. I recall my first week at my former job, a woman I worked with said, “are you going to be like this all the time? (happy and cheerful that it)
I smiled, looked her in the eye and said, “yup”. She never mentioned it again.
I bring that process to most everything, drudgery is a choice and a mindset.
Anyway back to the wash, I go through alot of detergent and am environmentally conscious. That said my favorite brand gets pricey so I found one to make that works great~ What is better is I support a local business too. My friends Joe and Mandy at Ballangee farms make an array of wonderful scented soaps, read about them here.
Here are my ingredients
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One bar of handmade soap
4 cups Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
4 cups Borax
essential oils to correspond with soap
Next I grate the soap with a box grater
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This yields about 2 cups of soap from the bars I use, you need 2 cups too.
Then the grated soap goes into the food processor with one cup of each powder, just to get it going. Pulse it and grind it all up to as fine as it will go.
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I do this to help the soap get to a powdery state as seen below. Add your essential oil now too, I used  a bar of lemon soap, so I added 10 drops of lemongrass and 10 drops of lavender.
I will add one more cup to the processor and keep going, I don’t want it to get sticky.
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The last step is to add the soap mix from the food processor into a larger container for storage, it is now that you add the remaining powders.
I use an old ice cream tub, then I can seal it and shake it well.
This is my final product, I use about 1/4 cup to a load unless it is really dirty.
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I also make green juice so I have lemon peels left over, you can just cut up lemons unpeeled and do this too. I keep them in a jar, marinating in white vinegar, after 2 weeks I strain it into a bottle I can dispense from, (I save then and reuse).
We all know that vinegar cleans everything so I keep this on hand for very dirty wash. I add 1/2 cup to loads I want to get very clean.
I use this for my floors and general cleaning as well, it goes into my homemade window cleaner too.
That’s it! I hope you enjoy my laundry tips!
Blessings,
Marla

 

31 Jul

All Hail the Holy Basil

Hello Sustainable Choices readers!
My name is Jessamy and I’m excited to be guest blogging here today. Many thanks to Marla for the opportunity to stop by and chat a little bit with her followers. Last week I made an impromptu stop to visit her one afternoon. As she took me on tour of the various things she was growing I was particularly captivated with something I found in her herb garden. Basil! Yes, she had your usual big-leaved sweet basil, but it didn’t stop there. I found a handful of varieties I’d heard of though never experienced before. So, it got my wheels turning about these new-to-me varieties and after a week of messing around with them in the kitchen I thought I’d like to share my thoughts and discoveries.

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Basil, part of the Lamiaceae family, is believed to originate from central Africa and southeast Asia. There are numerous varieties and cultivars available for culinary and landscaping purposes. For most of us, we best know basil as applied to Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. It is part of the symphony of flavors in most of the pasta sauces we know and love. It is also a component of popular fare like bruschetta and Caprese salads. The flavors supplied to these dishes typically come from a sweet basil such as Genovese or Lettuce Leaf.

Upon my last visit to Mahantango Creek Farm, I was pleasantly surprised with the opportunity to see and sample a variety of basils I’d never seen before. These included, cinnamon, holy and lemon basil. After experiencing other cultivars of basil it was clear that we can use these to step outside the box and take advantage of a new range of flavors and applications.

First let’s take a look at cinnamon basil. This type of basil is a beautiful addition to your garden if only for its beauty. With deep purple stems, lush green leaves, topped with purple spires and lavender blooms the landscaping value is clear. However, aesthetics is not all this plant has to offer. This cultivar contains methyl cinnamate, the same property that gives the cinnamon we often associate with baked goods its scent and distinct flavor. Ramona Werst, of Love Your Basil, shares a recipe for an icebox cookie that uses cinnamon basil which sounds like a real treat! The recipe can be found here: http://www.motherearthliving.com/in-the-garden/love-your-basil-cinnamon-basil.aspx#axzz3948Zn1i4
Consider also, some sources report that cinnamon basil deters mosquitoes. Try rubbing the leaves on your skin or growing the plant in areas where you often spend time outdoors in the summer months.
I have also read that cinnamon basil can be soothing to several health issues including gastro-intestinal trouble, joint pain, and respiratory problems such as colds or allergies. For this reason, I chose to dry a large bundle for future medicinal tea making.
Next, we’ll examine Tulsi or “Holy” basil. This plant is a very important part of Hindu culture and as such is commonly grown in places like India, where it is native. This particular cultivar has a clove scent to it and a darker green hue and matte appearance to the leaves than Genovese. This type of basil is widely regarded for its health-promoting properties. In fact, Organic India actually carries a Tulsi tea variety that can often be found at health food stores. This is a wonderful herb to dry and keep on hand for medicinal tea making. It is alleged to be very useful in treating colds and the flu.

Finally, a look at lemon basil. This variety of basil is a very bright, light green color and matures to have pale, white flowers in spires. Brush against it and you’ll release a magnificent lemony scent. The scent of this plant is so clean and fresh you may want to bring it inside your home. Snip some long cuttings from the plant to tuck amongst flowers from your garden for a lovely bouquet, or gather a large bunch of basil alone to place in a vase on your  counter top. Warning: your kitchen may feel cleaner than it is thanks to the brilliant scent released.
Personally, I’m very taken with this variety of basil at the moment and have been experimenting with culinary uses for it. So far my favorite use is the recipe that follows which I came up with last night.

Summer Vegetables in Lemon Basil Cream Sauce

2-3 cloves garlic
1 large red onion, chopped
2 small to medium zucchini or summer squash, sliced
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 + 4 Tblsp butter
3 ounces cream cheese cut into cubes
3 Tblsp milk
salt & pepper
1/2 lb angel hair pasta
1/4 cup lemon basil leaves, thinly sliced into ribbons
Peel and finely chop garlic, allow to rest 10 minutes (to activate aliinase enzyme and associated health benefits).  Meanwhile boil water to prepare your pasta according to package directions.
Melt 1 Tblsp butter in a large skillet, add garlic and onion, cook 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally until softened. Add zucchini and broccoli, cook 5 minutes or so stirring occasionally until softened. Season with sprinkling of salt and pepper. Add remaining butter and cream cheese to pan, stir to incorporate as they melt. Once melted, add milk and stir. Turn heat to lowest setting and put a lid on the pan allowing all the ingredients to simmer and melt together another minute or so. Remove lid and sprinkle in half of the lemon basil, stir to incorporate with vegetables and sauce.
Serve immediately atop a bed of the angel hair pasta and sprinkled with additional lemon basil.
All of these basils and other herb varieties can be found at Mahantango Creek Farms. Consider picking up a bundle with your next Sustainable Choices order and experience some new flavors!