House cleaning is like stringing beads with no knot at the end of the thread.

"Usually the Lord gives us the overall objectives to be accomplished and some guidelines to follow, but he expects us to work out most of the details and methods." -Ezra Taft Benson-

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Questions and answers on Grain mills and wheat/flour.

Thank you for last night!! It was fun. Here are more questions and answers :) I would like to do a bulk grain mill order, I have done 3 of these before for my homeschool group. Please share this info with others!! Especially if they are not on my email list :) The group grain mill order is extended to everyone, but picking up grain mills will be at my house, this way we save money on the large order and on shipping.

Kitchen Mill by Blend-Tec (the LOUD one)
FGM = Family Grain Mill (it was the one in the middle, cute, little) here it is with pictures of the attachments too!!!!

CLM = Country Living Mill (the big pretty one with the big fly wheel)

How much does each grain mill cost?

Country Living Grain Mill approx $410 FREE S&H

Kitchen Mill by Blendtec (the LOUD one) $200

Family Grain Mill (just the grain mill with hand crank base, no other attachments) $140 FREE S&H

with Motor $270

**IF you have a bosch or kitchen aid, the FGM has an attachment so you may use that as your motor!! ALSO, I have a place that will give me a deal on FGM and attachments if ordered together!

attachments for the FGM include: Flaker, Vegetable processor, and meat grinder usually about $75 EACH.. But again, I can get lower pricing if these are ordered WITH the mill.

If you could only get one grain mill, which one would you get?

Great question! At first I would say the CLM because I have always wanted it. But that would be my heart, not my practical mind. So in all honesty, if I could only get one, it would be the first one I ever got, the FGM. Why? I can do a coarse or fine grind, yes for bread I would have to do a fine grind and grind the flour twice, but that's ok with me. Also, the FGM is LIGHT, STRONG, easy to pack. I take this camping with us. I can set it up just about anywhere and use it. I would NEVER get the KM again!!! In all honesty I think this was cheaply made, and it is sooo loud! Even double ear protection hurts my ears. I love my CLM, but I can't use it for meat or as a veggie processor; and it is so heavy I wouldn't want it in my hand cart! The FGM is easy to pack, and if you just want it for emergencies, the price is good.

What protein content for wheat do you use?

First off, depending on where the wheat comes from and what kind it is will determine a lot! I do not like Utah wheat, the protein is about 12% which is the lowest for a hard wheat. It also is usually a bag full of rocks and dirt clumps!

You want to be choosy with your wheat. The best wheat is Montana wheat, it's protein is usually 15 to 16%, the highest you can get. I use Prairie Gold, which yes, is a hybrid, but makes wonderful bread. I order my Prairie Gold Montana Wheat or Bronze Chief Montana Wheat through Champion Grocer in Issaquah on Maple Street.

How much flour do you get from a 50-lb bag of wheat?

Ok, fun stuff.. 50-lbs is not even a bushel!! A bushel of wheat is 60 pounds, which usually makes 90 or more loaves of bread, alot matters, how fine the grind, humidity, how big the loaf is. AND if you use only hard wheat.

How do you make all-purpose flour?

Well, I just go out into my back yard, pick a bunch of grass seed and grind away.. NAH, just kidding. I use low protein, low gluten grains for my all-purpose flour. I use SOFT white wheat, barley, rye, triticale, kamut, buckwheat, oats and sometimes add in some rice. So the other day I used 2 cups of soft wheat, and 1 cup each of barley, triticale, rye, kamut and oats. It was close at hand. I mixed all the grains in a bowl, then add to my grinder. I also stir my flour before using.

When I tried to make whole wheat bread it didn't hold together well. I got my flour from costco..

Ok, the flour at costco is pastry flour. So in other words soft wheat, LOW gluten. You need gluten to make a gluten bread like a yeast bread. It would make better cookies than bread.

Your bread is so moist, how do you make it?

HA HA, well I watched Grandpa Harry make it several times, but he used white hard flower from a mill in Seattle. And he used a big Hobart mixer...I don't have either of those. But he did teach me how to handle doughs. BUT I have only changed how I roll my bread, I still roll my rolls the way he taught me. I have been making bread from scratch for 11 years now, everyother day, except Sundays.. ok, not true, sometimes i make french bread on Sundays (cravings).. When I say by hand, I mean at home; I use a bosch type mixer. I use 8 cups hard white spring wheat, I also use 7 cups of my all-purpose flour. Sometimes I use sugar, sometimes I use diastatic malt (I'm out of it right now). It's hard to explain. I could come to your house and teach you with your own equipment.

Why do you make bread and everything from scratch?

um... I need to. My daughter and I are allergic to corn, although I still sometimes eat it in short amounts, I am not as reactive to corn as she is. Corn is in EVERYTHING, whether in its whole form or scientifically made. Corn syrup, dextrose, maltose, food starch, sorbitol, xylitol.. ALL CORN. I found out from my corn allergy board that there is corn in all-purpose flour too!! So we no longer use that stuff. It isn't hard, and it is actually healthier for us to eat this way.

How do you store wheat and the flour after you grind it? Can I grind the entire 50-lb bag and store it?

ALL food storage should be kept under 60 degrees, ideally 40 degrees, but in reality, some people are lucky to keep it lower than 70 degrees. The higher the temperature the shorter the shelf life. You want a dry area, do not store any food items on cement or on the ground, moisture will permeate, and cement has some toxic stuff in it that will transfer through plastic, and metal will rust. Light, heat and moisture are enemies of food storage!! I store my wheat in white food safe buckets and in canning jars (they look pretty that way, and I use those up usually in a week or less). I store my beans this way too.

If you can fit 50-lbs of fresh ground wheat in your fridge, then sure go ahead and grind it and store it; IF not, then only grind what you need, and keep leftover flour in the fridge in airtight container (canning jars with lids work great!). Flour goes rancid quickly, and loses more and more nutrients and vitamins as it sits out. You can also freeze leftover flour.

We also stopped buying flour from the store as usually it is rancid before you buy it (yum).

How often do you grind wheat and or make bread?

I grind wheat or other grains daily. I make bread about everyother day. I make 6 loaves at a time. First I make up my all-purpose flour and grind 7 coffee cups full (extra flour goes in the fridge for later use, usually all used in a day!) then I put that flour aside and grind 8 or 9 coffee cups of hard white wheat. Again, extra goes in to the fridge.

What is vital wheat gluten and do you use it?

Vital wheat gluten occures naturally in all wheat and wheat derived white flours. Some white flours have more or less than others. In a dry form, it is used to give the yeast a boost because it contains a high amount of gluten forming proteins. Vital wheat gluten only does one thing, it helps improve the rise and texture of bread.

Use it in your heavier breads that rise slowly, such as rye, whole grains, or ones loaded with sugar, dried fruit and nuts. Do not add it to regular bread recipes. Some use it all the time for their bread machines especially when using whole grain. Generally if you are using store bought white bread flour, you don't need to add any, BUT sometimes whole grain flours need it.

I use Vital Wheat Gluten in my rye breads, and sometimes in my everyday whole wheat bread. ONLY 1 teaspoon per cup of whole wheat flour is needed!!

The bread I made for the meeting did NOT have Vital gluten added. My gluten strands were amazing and it didn't need extra gluten added.

Anymore questions please ask!! Love to help you,

Grains.. the staff of life!

ALL PURPOSE FLOUR: When bought from the grocery store, this stuff is nasty! Did you know that flour from the store can and usually does contain corn starch as a cheap filler? I can’t use that stuff. So make it at home, so easy, just grind a bunch of different grains (except hard wheat) together: barley, kamut, triticale, oats, rye, buckwheat, spelt.. whatever you want to! Fresh ground flour makes wonderful foods. Higher in nutrients too.

AMARANTH: can be cooked as a cereal, ground into flour, popped like popcorn, sprouted, or toasted. The seeds can be cooked with other whole grains, added to stir-fry or to soups and stews as a nutrient dense thickening agent. Amaranth flour is used in making pastas and baked goods. It must be mixed with other flours for baking yeast breads, as it contains no gluten. One part amaranth flour to 3-4 parts wheat or other grain flours may be used. In the preparation of flatbreads, pancakes and pastas, 100% amaranth flour can be used. Sprouting the seeds will increase the level of some of the nutrients and the sprouts can be used on sandwiches and in salads, or just to munch on.

To cook amaranth boil 1 cup seeds in 2-1/2 cups liquid such as water or half water and half stock or apple juice until seeds are tender, about 18 to 20 minutes. Adding some fresh herbs or gingerroot to the cooking liquid can add interesting flavors or mix with beans for a main dish. For a breakfast cereal increase the cooking liquid to 3 cups and sweeten with Stevia, honey or brown rice syrup and add raisins, dried fruit, allspice and some nuts.

Amaranth has a "sticky" texture that contrasts with the fluffier texture of most grains and care should be taken not to overcook it as it can become "gummy." Amaranth flavor is mild, sweet, nutty, and malt like, with a variance in flavor according to the variety being used.

Amaranth species are cultivated and consumed as a leaf vegetable in many parts of the world. There are 4 species of Amaranthus documented as cultivated vegetables in eastern Asia: Amaranthus cruentus, Amaranthus blitum, Amaranthus dubius, andAmaranthus tricolor

BARLEY: Barley is a wonderfully versatile cereal grain with a rich nutlike flavor and an appealing chewy, pasta-like consistency. Its appearance resembles wheat berries, although it is slightly lighter in color. Sprouted barley is naturally high in maltose, a sugar that serves as the basis for both malt syrup sweetener. When fermented, barley is used as an ingredient in beer and other alcoholic beverages. In addition to its robust flavor, barley's claim to nutritional fame is based on its being a very good source of fiber and selenium, and a good source of phosphorus, copper and manganese.Great website on BARLEY, too much to list.. 

BUCKWHEAT (RAW): Energizing and nutritious, buckwheat is available throughout the year and can be served as an alternative to rice or made into porridge. While many people think that buckwheat is a cereal grain, it is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel making it a suitable substitute for grains for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens. Buckwheat flowers are very fragrant and are attractive to bees that use them to produce a special, strongly flavored, dark honey.

Medicinally, buckwheat is great for helping with reducing hemorrhaging and high blood pressure. It also helps people who suffer from Type 2 diabetes. Buckwheat and other whole grains are also a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the body's use of glucose and insulin secretion. Great site on Buckwheat!

MILLET: Although millet is most often associated as the main ingredient in bird seed, it is not just "for the birds." Creamy like mashed potatoes or fluffy like rice, millet is a delicious grain that can accompany many types of food. As with most grains, millet is available in markets throughout the year.

Millet is tiny in size and round in shape and can be white, gray, yellow or red. The most widely available form of millet found in stores is the pearled, hulled variety, although traditional couscous made from cracked millet can also be found. HIGH in protein! To use it, you have to rinse it under cold water in a fine sieve for 5 to 10 minutes. This is to wash off the saponin which protects it from predators. Saponin is very bitter and will ruin your dish. After rinsing, it is best to toast it; do this by draining WELL and then putting into warm cast iron skillet, stirring constantly until it is dry and not steaming anymore. Then cool. You can now grind it or cook it as cereal. The toasting adds depth to the flavor.

Millets are some of the oldest of cultivated crops. The term millet is applied to various grass crops whose seeds are harvested for food or feed. The five millet species of commercial importance are proso, foxtail, barnyard, browntop and pearl. In China, records of culture for foxtail and proso millet extend back to 2000 to 1000 BCFoxtail millet (Setaria italica L.) probably originated in southern Asia and is the oldest of the cultivated millets. It is also known as Italian or German Millet. Its culture slowly spread westward towards Europe. Foxtail millet was rarely grown in the U.S. during colonial times, but its acreage increased dramatically in the Great Plains after 1850. However, with the introduction of Sudan grass, acreage planted to foxtail millet decreased. Today, foxtail millet is grown primarily in eastern Asia. Proso millet is grown in the Soviet Union, mainland China, India and western Europe. In the United States, both millets are grown principally in the Dakotas, Colorado and Nebraska.

We use millet in place of corn meal ALWAYS!! Great site on Millet!

OATS: What better way to gain the strength and energy to carry you through a hectic morning schedule than with a steaming bowl of freshly cooked oatmeal. Oats are harvested in the fall but are available throughout the year and can add extra nutrition to a variety of healthy dishes.Oats, known scientifically as Avena sativa, are a hardy cereal grain able to withstand poor soil conditions in which other crops are unable to thrive. Oats gain part of their distinctive flavor from the roasting process that they undergo after being harvested and cleaned. Although oats are then hulled, this process does not strip away their bran and germ allowing them to retain a concentrated source of their fiber and nutrients. Great site on Oats!

QUINOA: Although not a common item in most kitchens today, quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Quinoa is available in your local health food stores throughout the year. Like Millet, you must rinse quinoa for 5 to 10 minutes under running cold water before using it, DRAIN WELL, then you can either toast it in a medium hot pan until it stops steaming ( I use my cast iron skillet for this) or just throw it into your soup or boiling broth or apple juice.

Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It is a recently rediscovered ancient "grain".

A recently rediscovered ancient "grain" native to South America, quinoa was once called "the gold of the Incas," who recognized its value in increasing the stamina of their warriors. Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Not only is quinoa's amino acid profile well balanced, making it a good choice for vegans concerned about adequate protein intake, but quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this "grain" may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.Super info on Quinoa!

RICES: brown and white. Either way it’s rice 

ARBORIO RICE: is an Italian short-grain rice. It is named after the town of Arborio in the Po Valley, where it is grown. Cooked, the rounded grains are firm, creamy, and chewy, due to the higheramylopectin starch content of this rice variety[1], thus they have a starchy taste of their own, yet blend well with other flavors. It is used to make risotto, although Carnaroli and Vialone Nano are more commonly used to prepare the dish. Arborio rice is also used for rice pudding

BROWN/WHITE RICE: Brown rice and white rice have similar amounts of calories, carbohydrates, and protein. The main differences between the two forms of rice lie in processing and nutritional content. When only the outermost layer of a grain of rice (the husk) is removed, brown rice is produced. To produce white rice, the next layers underneath the husk (the bran layer and the germ) are removed, leaving mostly the starchy endosperm. Several vitamins and dietary minerals are lost in this removal and the subsequent polishing process. A part of these missing nutrients, such as vitamin B1, vitamin B3, and iron are sometimes added back into the white rice making it "enriched", as food suppliers in the US are required to do by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). [1] One mineral not added back into white rice is magnesium; one cup (195 grams) of cooked long grain brown rice contains 84 mg of magnesium while one cup of white rice contains 19 mg. When the bran layer is removed to make white rice, the oil in the bran is also removed. Rice bran oil may help lower LDL cholesterol.[2] Among other key sources of nutrition lost are small amounts of fatty acids and fiber. In addition to having greater nutritional value, brown rice is also said to be less constipating than white rice. Great site on rice!

WHITE RICE: is the product of fully hulled rice kernels. Sometimes polished; comes in long, medium and short grain. If choosing a white rice, stay away from parboiled and instant, they have very little nutritional value and raise your blood sugar rapidly.

SPELT: A wonderfully nutritious and ancient grain with a deep nutlike flavor, spelt is a cousin to wheat that is recently receiving renewed recognition. Spelt products can be found in your local health food store year-round.

Spelt is an ancient grain that traces its heritage back long before many wheat hybrids. Many of its benefits come from the fact that it offers a broader spectrum of nutrients compared to many of its more inbred cousins in the wheat family. It can be used in many of the same ways as wheat including bread and pasta making. Spelt does not seem to cause sensitivities in many people who are intolerant of wheat. Site for Spelt!
TEFF: Teff is a fine grain, about the size of a poppy seed that comes in a variety of colors, from white and red to dark brown. With a physiology that can withstand high heat and bright light, teff thrives even in unpredictable and difficult climates. Teff grows predominantly in Ethiopia and Eritrea. As such, teff comprises the staple grain of their cuisines. Ground into flour, teff is used to make the traditional bread, injera - a flat, pancake-like, slightly sour bread that complements well the exotic spices found in the food. One pound of teff can produce up to one ton of grain in only 12 weeks! This amount is hundreds of times smaller than that required for planting wheat. This productive potential and minimal time and seed requirements have protected the Ethiopians from hunger when their food supply was under attack from numerous invaders in the past. Some is now grown in Idaho, by the snake river. Terrific Teff site!
WHEATS: Six classes bring order to about 30 thousand varieties of wheat. They are: Hard Red Winter, Hard Red Spring, Soft Red Winter, Durum, Hard White and Soft White. Soft wheat is for cookies, muffins, pastries and non-yeast breads. Hard wheat is for yeast bread and artesian bread.

FACTS: Crackers main ingredient is unbleached flour from soft red or soft white wheat.

The graham cracker was named for its inventor, Sylvester Graham, a 19th-century American clergyman and nutrition advocate.

The state of Kansas is the largest wheat producer in the United States with North Dakota a close second.

One bushel of wheat weighs approximately 60 pounds.

A bushel of wheat makes about 90 one-pound loaves of whole wheat bread.

DURUM WHEAT: the hardest of all U.S. wheats, is seeded in the spring and contains a high amount of protein (12 16%), which is good for pasta products macaroni, spaghetti, and other noodles. Durum wheat is grown mainly in North Dakota and has subclasses such as Hard Amber Durum, Amber Durum, and Durum wheats.

HARD RED SPRING WHEAT (berries): IF you think you are allergic to wheat, it is actually most likely that you are sensitive to the natural tannins in red wheat. IF you are sensitive to RW, try white instead. Nutritional composition of hard red and white wheat is the same.

Raw wheat can be powdered into flour; germinated and dried creating malt; crushed or cut into cracked wheat; parboiled (or steamed), dried, crushed and de-branned into bulgur; or processed into semolina, pasta, or roux. Wheat is a major ingredient in such foods as bread, porridge, crackers, biscuits, Muesli, pancakes, pies, pastries, cakes, cookies, muffins, rolls, doughnuts, gravy, boza (a fermented beverage), and breakfast cereals

Contains the highest protein content (13 16.5%) making it an excellent bread wheat with superior milling and baking characteristics. Hard red spring wheat is grown mostly in Montana, the Dakotas, and Minnesota. This wheat is seeded in the spring and may have either a hard or a soft endosperm. Subclasses are Dark Northern Spring, Northern Spring, and Red Spring wheats.

Great site on Wheat!

HARD RED WINTER WHEAT (berries): is the class of wheat used mostly for bread and all-purpose flour. This wheat is fall-seeded, has medium to high protein content (10 13.5%), and can have either hard or soft endosperm. Hard red winter wheat accounts for more than 40% of the U.S. wheat crop and half of U.S. wheat exports. This wheat is produced in the Great Plains, between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains, and from Texas to the Dakotas and Montana. It has a wide range of protein and good milling and baking qualities. The flour is used to produce bread, rolls, some sweet goods, and all-purpose flour.

HARD WHITE SPRING WHEAT (berries): is the newest class of wheat to be grown in the United States. Hard white wheat is closely related to red wheats except for the color genes and has a milder, sweeter flavor, equal fiber, and similar milling and baking qualities. Hard white wheat is used in yeast breads, hard rolls, bulgur, tortillas, and oriental noodles.

KAMUT: is a wheat!! In fact all wheats come from the genus TRITICUM. This heritage wheat is sweet and great in bread, cookies, muffins, and just about anything. Nutritionally superior, it can be substituted for common wheat with great success. Kamut brand wheat has a rich, buttery flavor, and is easily digested. A hard amber spring type wheat with a huge humped back kernel, this grain is "untouched" by modern plant breeding programs which appear to have sacrificed flavor and nutrition for higher yields dependent upon large amounts of synthetic agricultural inputs.

Although the Kamut brand wheat is thousands of years old, it is a new addition to North American rain productions. It's origins are intriguing. Following WWII, a US airman claimed to have taken a handful of this grain from a stone box in a tomb near Dashare, Egypt.

Kamut Brand Wheat can be found in cereals, breads, cookies, snacks, waffles, pancakes, bread mixes, baked goods, and prepared and frozen meals. Because of the inherent sweetness of this grain (referred to by some as "the sweet wheat"), no sugar is required to hide the subtle bitterness associated with most wheats and whole wheat products. Many are utilizing the natural firmness of the kernels to produce tasty pilafs, cold salads, soups, or a substitute for beans in chili. Great website on Kamut!

RYE: is a cereal grain that looks like wheat but is longer and more slender and varies in color from yellowish brown to grayish green. It is generally available in its whole or cracked grain form or as flour or flakes that look similar to old-fashioned oats. Because it is difficult to separate the germ and bran from the endosperm of rye, rye flour usually retains a large quantity of nutrients, in contrast to refined wheat flour. Wonderful info on Rye!
SOFT RED WINTER WHEAT (berries): is seeded in the fall, has a low to medium protein content with soft endosperm, and is used to make cakes, pastries, flat breads, and crackers. It is grown east of the Mississippi and has no subclasses. Ohio is the leading producer of soft red winter wheat followed by Arkansas, Illinois, and Missouri. Ohio wheat is known for making higher-quality flour than that coming from any other soft red winter wheat-producing state.

SOFT WHITE WHEAT (berries): is used much the same way as soft red wheat (for bakery products other than bread) and is grown mostly in the Pacific Northwest and to a lesser extent in California, Wisconsin, Michigan, and New York. Soft white wheat has low protein and high yields. Subclasses are Soft White, White Club, and Western White wheats.

TRITICALE: Triticale (trit-ah-kay-lee) is a close relative of wheat that results from pollinating durum wheat with rye pollen, then using that cross in a breeding program to produce stable, self-replicating varieties. It is a man-made crop. Triticale is a hybrid that is a cross between wheat and rye and is used in grain production or more commonly as forage. Washington is the leading grower of triticale in the United States. Currently some triticale- based foods are available in health food stores and in some breakfast cereals. Triticale is a deep-rooted crop with almost twice the root mass of other cereals. As a rotational crop, it reduces soil erosion, can capture excess soil nitrogen, and requires very few pesticides. This makes it a good crop for organic farming. There are both spring and winter varieties. Triticale is produced in Adams and Franklin counties.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Something to do....

I want this to be an awesome summer for my kids, this is our last summer before ALL of my kids will be in public school or college. That said, I had planned on travelling and camping! I want to go to Eastern Washington, Idaho, and down hwy 101... to a point in Oregon then come back north. BUT, ya know what? camping might be cheaper than a hotel, but dang it still is expensive!! Then you have the cost of petrol, propane, briquettes, and food.
So, today, we went strawberry picking up at Harvold's Farm. It was AWESOME!!!  I am so bummed I forgot my camera, our hands were pinkish red from juice, We were all flushed from the heat (ya it's warm and sunny today, amazing in itself) and we had fun! So today we will be making pectin FREE jam, and maybe some ice cream and have strawberries at dessert tonight.
We go through so much fruit over here with all these kids it is amazing! In the 10 years I have been going to Harvold's this was the first time we picked from this field. So the kids learned about how they rest the ground, rotate and that it takes 2 to 3 years to have good berries on the plants, and usually the 4th year is the peak harvest, then they put the field to rest. Wow.
I love Nancy's berries, the flavor is amazing!!! No we don't go to Remlinger's. Every time we do, their berries are small, hard and well, cardboard has more flavor.
Before going to Harvold's, we used to go to Grandpa's Farm in Hobart, but we haven't seen signs for a few years, so we think maybe he passed away, and his kids and grandkids did not do the berry fields. Which is sad, his berries were the absolute BEST we have ever had. Harvold's are a close second.
We will be saving some tops and planting them, and hope we get a nice strawberry patch of our own, even if small, it will still be ours :)
So the rest of today, we are making jam with OUT pectin.. And tomorrow the kids want to go on a hike. I am thinking we might go to Snoqualmie Falls, or maybe we'll do Tradition Plateau.. I don't know. We'll wait to decide tomorrow, after we see if we really do still have sun!

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's Summer... supposedly

Today is the first day of summer and I have goosebumps, my kids have goosebumps and my dogs have goosebumps. No we are not out in the woods camping, which would make sense to have goosebumps! No we are at home, inside the house while it is threatening to rain again. My barometer says high pressure, but all we see are clouds.
BUT, how is your garden growing? I don't know, whenever I am home, it's raining, so I am inside sewing and cooking, grinding grain and baking. I would much rather be out in the sunshine playing with the kids, but instead we are doing puzzles, playing the Wii (waste of time and sucks your brains out!), and cleaning (kind of).
I hope today with visiting teaching, shopping at Jo-Anns with the girls, then coming home to grind more grain and make bread, and finish the binding on yet anothe project, that I remember to get outsite and check the garden, weed, spread more oyster shell and pray the slugs have not eaten all my zucchini  plants, AGAIN!
Maybe I will even add to this post pictures of my little gardens later :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Oil, toxic to our bodies?

Well not all oils are toxic to our bodies, but many are! I have been researching oil, why? Why not? So I use olive oil, lard (yes, I save my bacon drippings in the fridge!), coconut oil and palm oil; I use these for sauteing, baking, and cooking.
I was trying to figure out why pioneers didn't suffer from heart attacks, diabetes, and bunches of other health problems when it came to me. Our diets changed, dramatically! No longer do we eat fresh meat (sorry but that meat in the grocery has been dead for weeks and months!), beans, fresh veggies. No now we eat frozen this or that (gross), meat that was raised questionably, no beans, no fresh veggies (unless you count iceburg lettuce and carrots).
Our ancestors ate meat, cooked in grease from that meat, along with fresh veggies brought up from the root cellar,  and whole grain breads that were usually made sometime that week, so usually as you were getting to the last loaves of bread mom would make  more gravy or soup type dinners to soften it. They cooked grains and ate them... WHOLE.. they didn't have to have everything powdered before eating it.

Researchers at the University of Colorado found that when people go on low-fat diets, a fat-storage enzyme called lipoprotein lipase becomes more active, causing the small amount of fat you eat to be stored more easily, thus increasing fat storage in the body. It's ironic that we avoid eating fat to lose weight, but end up gaining more body fat in the process.
It's a mistake to think of fat as a poison. On the contrary, it is a necessary nutrient. Fat is an essential nutrient just as much as protein, vitamin C, or calcium. We need fat in our diet to maintain proper health. With out fat in our diet we would all sicken and die from nutrient deficiency. With out fats the body suffers from deficiency disease symptoms which include skin lesions, neurological and visual problems, growth retardation, reproductive failure, skin abnormalities, and kidney and liver disorders.
Fat is also necessary for the digestion and absorption of many essential nutrients, it is through the fatty portion of foods that  we get our fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K, as well as other important nutrients such as beta-carotene. No fat, no absorption.

Our bodies are suffering because of how we as Americans started eating differently.

Before the Second World War soybean and other polyunsaturated oils were used almost exclusively for industrial purposes. Then chemists found a way to make oil based paint from petroleum and soybean farmers were going to suffer. So the farmers started to feed it to their animals, in hopes of making a cheaper feed. It showed promise, not only did corn and soybean oil add more calories but also had an antithyroid effect taht caused the animals to be fattened at a much lower cost. BUT they also developed tumors and degenerative health problems. So the cattle industry stopped using vegetable oils.

Now what to do? Well, I might get a little off topic, so go read the Prep Pro article on this.  It's about coconut oil. But I am not done sharing. Please, read on

Do you know where Crisco comes from? I gagged when I found out. It is from, originally, hydrogenated cotton seed oil. The name for Crisco comes from that. Shall I tell you how they make it? Ok, here goes:
Proctor & Gamble developed the process of hydrogenation in 1907. It was a new process that could transform a liquid vegetable oil into a solid fat that resembled lard. The first use of hydrogenation was to transform cheap cottonseed oil into a solid fat that could be used in place of lard and tallow in making of soap and candles.
It was a success! So they reasoned that since hydrogenated cottonseed oil resembled lard, why not sell it as a food. So in 1911 they introduced Crisco shortening. The name Crisco was derived from the words CRYStalized Cottonseed Oil. They distributed a cookbook to get people to switch from butter and lard to this shortening. They said it was more economical and healthier (with not proof!!). The depression helped them, alot! crisco and margarine were cheaper than butter.  MOST of the research done on vegetable oils was sponsored by Proctor & Gamble. 

So to make Crisco:
The process of hydrogenation begins with a refined vegetable oil. Now most are made from soybean oil. The oil is mised with tiny metal particles, usually NICKEL OXIDE (which is VERY toxic and impossible to completely remove), to act as a chemical catalyst. Under high pressures and temps hydrogen gas is squeezed into the oil and chemically bonded to the fat molecules. Emulsifiers and starch are then forced into the mixture to give it a better consistency. The mixture is again subjected to high temperatures in a steam-cleaning process to remove its horrible odor. The hydrogenation process is now complete, BUT the resulting oil is a gross gray color, like a jar of axle grease, so it is bleached to give it a more appetizing white appearance.

MMMMmmm doesn't that sound tasty? Oh my I'm gagging again.  These are some the most toxic fats ever known!

Now shall we start in on Olestra (a.k.a. Olean)???  You may have seen in on the WOW! potato and corn chips. This artificial fat is known to cause a laxative effect, to the point of severe dehydration! Proctor & Gamble have received more than 13,000 reports of adverse reactions from customers. An even bigger danger than abdominal cramping and loose stools is the fact taht olestra prevents absorption of important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

There is more info, but I am not going to write it all out for you. Please read Preparedness Pro's article. If you want to know more, research it.

Info from:
Dr. Fife
Dr. Walter Willett, Harvard School of Public Health
University of Colorado, researchers
New England Journal of Medicine, November 20, 1997
Harvard School of Public Health & Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, researchers
Dr. Mary Enig

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Strawberries and bulk canning lids!

I have it!! The list of bulk orders for the year :) Right now we have berries, but this one was short short notice! IF YOU'D LIKE TO ORDER, EMAIL ME!!!!

Unsweetened Strawberries in Juice

STRAWBERRIES: These are fresh strawberries from Mike and Jean’s Berry Farm in Mt. Vernon. They are cut up, packed in their own juice, and then packed in food grade buckets. These are NOT ORGANIC berries.

These berries are ready to make jam (both cooked and freezer types), to freeze in quart bags for smoothies or desserts, or to eat fresh out of the buckets. These are not individually frozen berries. These berries ARE IN THEIR OWN JUICE (note our emphasis since we get so many questions about this).

Order WITH money NO LATER THAN Saturday, June 19th !!!

15 lbs. $21.00 and ( a 2-gallon bucket size)
30 lbs. $37.50. (a 5-gallon bucket size)

These prices include the cost of paying the Berry Farm to transport our order in licensed trucks with staff.

You must PRE-PAY for the berries.

Order Confirmation: Lisa will confirm your order by return email. Every few days I will send an email notifying you when she receives your check.

----------------ORDER FORM FORMAT------------------------- (may cut and paste; print to paper and mail with your check or money order)

Your Name:_____________________________________

Name on your Check (if different than the name above)_________________________________

Check # ________________________ If Money Order, check here: ______________

Email address:

Telephone number where we can reach you reliably: ___________________


__________Strawberries 15# bucket at $21 each ______________

__________Strawberries 30# bucket at $37.50 each ______________

TOTAL ENCLOSED: ____________________

ORDER PICK UP JULY 1st !! Around 3pm at the Kenyon's.

Generic Bulk Canning Lids: We have been ordering and testing these bulk regular and wide canning lids for the past 2 years and are VERY happy with their quality. All canning lids available on the open market contain BPA (Bisphenol A) but these are coated a bit more lightly than the white enameled lids sold in the stores. They contain NO WRITING so you have a wide space to paste on your own funky labels for gift-giving.

They are packaged in long sleeves of brown paper (think of how Ritz crackers are packed in sleeves) and this is the price:

288 WIDE lids in one sleeve are $36.95 (this is 24 dozen)

345 REGULAR Lids in one sleeve are $35.95 (this is 28 ½ dozen)

Shipping is extra: Ordering two of these sleeves at one time will cost you about $12. thru the post office. With shipping last year, it worked out to an average of $1.65 per dozen lids. Pretty wonderful!

ORDERS: Gather your friends and family and order directly thru

Dutchman’s Store, 103 Division Street, Cantril, IA 52542-1024. Their phone number is (319)-397-2322. They accept debit and credit cards and ship promptly.

If you only want a few dozen, order thru Lisa Kenyon

You will pay your portion of the shipping when you pick up the lids from Lisa in Issaquah. I email everyone who ordered when the lids arrive and arrange a one-time pick up at my home in Issaquah.

Email your order for lids drop your check off to Lisa, or mail it to her. You will pay your share of the shipping when you pick up your lids. Deadline to order thru Lisa for lids is Saturday, June 19th (same deadline for strawberries in juice)

Email Format for the Canning Lids (example):

NAME: Susan Smith

PHONE: 425-123-1234

Geographic Area: Lynnwood

3 doz Wide
2 doz Regular

Canning Jars for the 2010 Season:

Check with relatives and neighbors who no longer can. Get as many jars donated for your use as possible. Check the prices at WINCO since it’s employee-owned and support the Washington economy because a large percentage of their money stays here in Washington.

Wal-Mart has excellent prices this year, cheaper than last year. However, it’s a giant conglomerate and has been cited for questionable policies as to health care benefits and hiring illegal aliens without documentation. This being said, here are there prices per a phone call:

One quart (regular mouth) are $ 8.82 dozen

One quart (wide mouth) are $10.00 dozen

12 oz jelly jars are $8.12 per dozen

1 pint (regular mouth) are $7.70 dozen

1 pint (wide mouth) are $8.76 dozen

How many lids and jars should I plan to keep on hand?

Guideline: If you had to pressure can and preserve everything in your freezer and garden for the entire season, how many jars would it take to save what you have on hand and have grown? It takes 2 ½ pounds of beef stew chunks per quart jar and 4 whole chickens make approximately 13-15 pints of boneless chicken and 8 quarts of light chicken broth. A five-pound bag of frozen berries will make at least 2 batches (sometimes 3) of jam if you use sugar or honey. If we had a major power outage you would probably lose most of your frozen vegetables.