Archive for November, 2009

gratitude for my kitchen

I am grateful for my family, and for my kitchen.   Today I hosted my first Thanksgiving.  It was awesome.  It was different without my dad here, but it was nice celebrating with my sister, brother in law,  three nieces, my mom, and my family.  We had a “rural Pennsylvania thanksgiving,”  from this month’s Gourmet Magazine.   Oh my goodness, it was an incredible edible experience, and even more so because I cooked it with my mom and fed our family from my kitchen. My kitchen is rather small, and more than two people makes it crowded, so although there was a lot to do, we just put on some good music and got to work… I will not bore you with all the details of preparation, except to say my  mom and I had a super fun time cooking such goodness.  And even though we read two different turkey preparation recipes, with different times and degrees, it still came out super juicy.  And even though I bought half and half rather than creme…dinner was still splendid!!!

It looked like this- everything from scratch: (except the whipped creme which came from a can from our way too close to our house 7-11, bought at 7:25 tonight)

crispy nuts, tzaziki dip with toasted pita, deviled eggs

green salad, cranberry-orange relish, bacon smashed potatoes,  kale with pan fried walnuts, carrot casserole, stuffing with walnuts, apples, raisins, mushrooms, sweet potatoe bisquits

18 lb. beautiful turkey and gravy

apple and pumpkin pies


"my plate"



Gratitude for my kitchen and for my family…

Dinner was good… a nice walk, a game of scrabble for the adults, movie for the kids= a memorable and wonderful Thanksgiving.

…going to bed in anticipation for tomorrow- my girl is turning “6”  —-good times


a most perfect lunch

This morning’s post is about apple cider vinegar, also commonly known as ACV.  I was reintroduced to apple cider vinegar this past spring because after my hospitalization and antibiotic treatment, my body was very acidic.   My naturapath recommended Apple Cider Vinegar to  alkanalize my body.   After a few weeks, I noticed a difference.  I now use it most regularly in my soups, bone broths, salad dressings,  and sometimes I just take a swig or add some to water for a little kick.


 This website  answers most questions one would have about apple cider vinegar, including  history , recipe and random uses.   It does a much better job than I ever could…  

Currently I am using apple cider vinegar almost daily on a tasty salad that I make up for lunch and/or dinner.

Here are the ingredients: apple cider vinegar,  coconut oil, carrots, sunflower sprouts, 

soft cheese, and the best packaged organic dehydrated sprouted sunflower bread ever, made by Lydia!!!!


all local -within 75 miles (except Braggs)


add 1 tbs clarified coconut oil to 2 tsps. apple cider vinegar—- pour over grated carrots and mix.  It is a most splendid and nutritious salad this way,  or do as I did in the “most perfect lunch,” and put in on some cheese and  bread and top with sprouts… DELISH… and super easy!


"a most perfect lunch"

The Sugar Fairie

Last weekend was Halloween:


"historical figure halloween"--- Ancient Egypt

And this week is the week after Halloween, which if often filled  with candy stories and  sometimes sick kids. Iwas hoping to avoid the latter, so I tried something new this year.



The Sugar Fairie



The Sugar Fairie stopped by… She took all my kids’ candy during the middle of the night, because rumor has it that she melts the candy and paints beautiful fairie scene pictures, similar to those of Robert  BelAirs.    She also left them 86 cents, 3 pieces of candy, and a book.  They loved it!!!  And so did I.”

fyi- she offers three packages, A, B, and C

A- $$$

B- gift

c= surprise, but it could be nothing

My kids chose the surprise package… and they recived two great books.   I ordered these here, which is my most favorite kids’ book catalog.

I will be calling her next year…



    "pretty in pink"

A buckboard wagon for four

We made our way to my father in law’s house because he is a wood worker and is working on a wagon project with the kids.  Here is another reason why we love to homeschool.  Their Poppy, as he is affectionately known, is an amazing artisan woodworker.  We enlisted his help early on in this homeschool journey of ours and he has helped T make a skateboard,  an oar boat:

the "Nature Boat" at Comanche

"the Nature Boat"

and this year’s project, is a Buckboard Wagon.  Ambitious, it was L’s idea,  since now she is a homeschooler as well. We got the designs from this company and then they adjusted them to fit their desired measurements. This project is expected to last about 10 weeks, and Poppy has broken down each week’s lesson down so that each child learns vocabulary, math, and wood working skills such as sanding, gluing, clamping, planing, cutting, etc.  I hung around today and had fun watching them work in the woodshop.  Today they cut, planed, and glued the sides together.  


cut wood for the floor and sides




clamping down

Today also brought some light rain… the season’s starting to change.

a million miles away…

This morning started out like most… B got up and took baby to the bathroom. He then went on a bike ride while I played with baby in bed and waited for the big kids to come into bed.  When they jumped in about an hour later, and B came home, we hung out and talked about dreams. We then got up and they got dressed for the day while I started breakfast. A scrambled egg yolk for baby, and this morning:  a special treat, in their eyes, cheerios and raw milk.  Now,  I beat myself up for buying cheerios knowing full well what they are made of and how they are made, (thank you sally fallon), but  I still love them… and so do my kids.

 After breakfast the kids got started on their school work and I put the baby down for her morning nap.  And then I was going to take a shower and tackle the morning chores, BUT today I decided to take a bath… and I don’t know why I don’t do that more often.  It felt like I was a million miles away.  It was fantabulous!!  And all it was… was a 2o minute bath.  Time enough to think some thoughts through and let the hot water and steam surround my body.



Kid Made Root Beer

Despite all the warnings, people still drink soda…   I am grateful that my own children do not like soda or juice too much. Of course, I am sure they would if given the opportunity, but I do a good job of extolling the value of real drinking water and always having it readily available, especially in their own Klean Kanteen water bottles.  These bottles are the original stainless steel containers and they were designed and are sold  by friends in my old college town. And by the way, here is another product made by friends in Chico that is both groovy and green.

Back to soda talk:  I know a lot of people have tried kefir soda pop made with water kefir grains, and to be honest I have tried it, but am not yet a fan.  I want to try it again, and hope that my experience would be similar to that of homemade kombucha…which I now love.  However, it too was definitely an acquired taste.  So today’s post is another soda alternative for the kids and one that they can help make (if they are old enough)…  I found it in this awesome  book which we are using as part of our homeschooling science (herbs and plants) curriculum. The herb sasparilla is very healing to the liver, skin, and blood.  All of the ingredients can easily be found at a natural foods store.

Natural Root Beer

sasparilla, water, anise seeds, and cinnamon bark is all you need.

simmer 1 tablespoon sasparilla in 1 1/2 cups of water covered for 15 minutes

add 2 teaspoons anise seeds and add 1 piece of cinnamon bark

pull of heat and steep covered for 10 minutes

strain and add 1/4 cup carbonated water

let cool


The kids did all the measuring and watched it simmer on the stovetop:


It smelled so good...

And then they watched it cool and drank it up:


"kidmade root beer"

Have fun and enjoy!!

Posted as part of REAL Food Wednesdays hosted by  Cheeseslave.