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steward
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Location: Missoula, MT
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This is all I could grind without resorting to a face mask yesterday. (Do people do that?!) Had to grind outside so I would cough less. Lips were still burning hours later.

The dark ones were donated; don't know the variety except that they are hot! The lighter ones are cayennes from a market.

I made a coarse grind to use in place of red pepper flakes. It's amazing how many dishes are more flavorful with a pinch of these puppies. Including curtido, a Latino-style sauerkraut, first in the second picture below.



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peppers!
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curtido, sauerkraut, ginger carrots (2012)
 
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I think that the Paleo diet maybe a good idea for my family we are really trying to reduce our sugar intake.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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We've grown some awesome melons here (thanks Fred and Kai!). This one we keep forgetting the variety name. It's smooth and green on the outside like a honeydew, but orange inside like a cantaloupe. Yum.
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melon grown at base camp
 
steward
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That looks amazing. So glad you're getting some food from your gardens!
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Earlier this summer, a number of people helped us organize our garage. This was put near the food. They didn't know we don't eat it. So I added a note on top.
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shortening not for food!
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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We're continuing to step up our food game due to:

http://www.permies.com/t/53216/md/Paul-cervical-radiculopathy-advice.

Currently, I plan on getting us 3 cups of veg with every meal. I think today's breakfast is 'level achieved.'
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greens and eggs
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Paul enjoys treats, and I wanted to make some with whole food, real food healthy ingredients. So I bought this:

White Mountain 4 QT Hand Cranked Ice Cream Maker (affiliate link that supports the empire)



We've tried it twice - and this, the second batch, was the best.

We used this recipe as the base, Paleo Leap Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream, with just 3 ingredients: full fat coconut milk, egg yolks, vanilla. We doubled the base recipe.

Then we had frozen peaches (2 small bags) I'd roasted in a crockpot, that were roughly crushed with their liquid. We added the peaches about halfway through the cranking and it was creamy delicious! Not very sweet at all, though we enjoyed it that way. One person drizzled some honey on top.

I didn't get a picture before it was mostly gone and melting in the bowl, though I think Sharla and Evan took some pics. Thanks to Sharla, Evan, Kai and Jim for all the hand cranking!

Oh, and I had cooked down and blended some blueberries, added some cinnamon and almond extract, and we used that as a topping. No extra sugar there, either!

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homemade, hand cranked peach ice cream
 
gardener
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Something that my family finds greatly increases the ease, and so quantity used of vegetables is to precook them. Just keeping a big bowl of kale in the fridge that has been cooked till it just starts to soften triples our kale consumption. When starting from scratch we usually find we need to prewilt it anyways before adding faster cooking items.

We also find ourselves likely to grab a bowl of cold broccoli or cauliflower as a snack if it's been cooked. This approach works best with large chunky vegetables.

Then there's my mother's veggie crisps, which are more labor intensive. Toss long skinny vegetables (strips of sweet potato, green beans rather than flat slices) with dried herbs and then bake in a single layer until they are completely crunchy... never had a batch last to the end of the day. If you're interested in this I can try to get time and temps from her, but I think it's mostly a matter of observation because every batch is gonna be a little different.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Oh, now I want to bake up some veggie crisps! We do enjoy kale chips, or other seasoned dried veggies, so this sounds right up our alley!

I'm not a fan of leftover cooked greens, nor leftover cooked brassicas. I read somewhere how the nitrates increase somehow, in storing cooked greens (was that it?). And for some reason, the stronger flavor is not a very happy thing for me.

I do, however, like cooking up batches of caramelized onions (we have crockpot caramelized onion thread the cooking forum!), or having diced onions or other washed and chopped veggies on hand.

Leftover cooked veggies are excellent additions to fritattas (how is that spelled?) or soups, though I must say, I'm not always that great about snacking on them cold.

I really enjoy putting hot food over fresh spinach, or fresh baby greens of kale, chard, etc. When it's a meat sauce, or gravy, or some kind of meat and veg sauté, the heat wilts the greens just a little and I like that. When fresh greens are added to the bottom of a bowl of hot soup, it cooks them just enough for me without them getting that overly strong, sometimes bitter taste from being cooked in the soup for a while.

We made a greens smoothie yesterday, with a few berries, coconut milk, flax seed meal and some added stevia and it was pretty tasty. We're getting in that mode again where we crave greens - even Paul! It's a great place to be in, because craving veggies always seems to balance things out so that, for me, any way, I'm not craving so much junk or sweets or even fats.

Though if someone could just make an easier to clean blender, I might make smoothies more often. For some reason, cleaning the blender puts me off of making smoothies very much.


 
Mother Tree
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:Though if someone could just make an easier to clean blender, I might make smoothies more often. For some reason, cleaning the blender puts me off of making smoothies very much.



Put some water in the blender the moment it's empty, put the lid back on, switch it on for a few seconds. Pour out the water. Maybe rinse, maybe repeat. Let the blender do the work for you - the problem is the solution and all that.
 
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:This is all I could grind without resorting to a face mask yesterday. (Do people do that?!) Had to grind outside so I would cough less. Lips were still burning hours later.



This is a reply to an old post, but I couldn't resist.

Yep, we grind chillies and use a facemask too. Here’s a picture of some volunteers that I roped in. I like to remove the stems, break the chillies in half and swish them, crispy, around in a big dry basin, and then grind more of the skins than of the seeds. We grind them in a blender, which works great for large quantities.

We can get a big bright red chilli from Kashmir here, that I find most delicious, but locals prefer a type of dried yellow chilli from the next state over, that I find has less flavor but more bite, and they usually grind them with the stems on.

The one time we made kimchi using typical pre-ground commercial red powdered chilli, the kimchi was drastically less delicious, so now we mostly grind our own.

BTW for shakers, we use discarded jars — empty peanut butter and nutella jars left behind by American student groups are lovely! I put holes in the lids with a hot nail.
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Jocelyn Campbell
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Rebecca, I love that picture, and hearing about your peppers and all. Thanks for sharing!

Also, this might sound crazily stupid of me, but I'd much rather use a bandana instead of those white, little domed face masks used in workshops, etc.

I ordered the 75# of organic romas in this picture and they arrived today. And I am not the one in the house who is on drugs. WHAT was I thinking?! $19 for 25# organic is what seduced me. Plus trying to feed Paul and myself 9 cups veggies each per day!
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romas for days
 
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Time to fire up the dehydrator and the canner...

Julie
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Yup! Or something. ..

Right now I have four crockpots going (and people wonder why we have five!).

1. Tomatoes cooking down into sauce/paste for homemade, lacto-fermented ketchup (Paul loooves ketchup!)
2. 8 diced onions with 2 sticks of butter
3. Chicken tortilla soup (sans tortillas)
4. Chicken broth/stock

The chickens are stewing hens from our friends Noah and Mary's SweetRoot Farm. My coq au vin leftovers are being reworked.

I buy everything in bulk when I can and just bought 40 more pounds of onions. I like to cook up batches of caramelized onions to keep on hand in the freezer.

I'm thinking lacto-fermented cilantro salsa is called for, though I need some more peppers and cilantro.

I might make a jar of fermented onions, too. Last time I didn't inoculate / start with whey or sauerkraut brine, and a bunch of onions went 'off' (got moldy). So when I heard the cabbage family naturally has the right bacteria on it (usually) and other veggies might not, it was an "aha" moment for what happened with the onions.

The crockpots are my favorite because I can leave them be, and go do my accounting. (Theoretically, that is. If I don't have another crockpot to fill or more veggies to preserve... )


 
pollinator
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..."Though if someone could just make an easier to clean blender, I might make smoothies more often. For some reason, cleaning the blender puts me off of making smoothies very much"...

I had the same dislike for cleaning the blender, thus I seldom made smoothies. Then someone told me to run the blender with water in it to clean it out. So that's what I do now, but I add one more step because things get moldy so fast here in my house. I store the blender (not the motor part) in the frig or freezer, whichever happens to have the space. That way any teenie food particles down deep inside don't mold. Thus the blender is always ready for use. It made a big difference for me. I'll now tend to make a smoothie for lunch or a pick-me-up, especially if I'm in a hurry.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Great tips on using a blender, Burra and Su Ba! I recently scored an excellent deal on far too many strawberries, so I might just have to make some smoothies (or daiquiris? ) with some that I've frozen.

I probably spent far too much time over the weekend on food, food preparation, and recipe considerations for Paul and myself and Monday feast night. Even though I do accounting for a small amount of truly wonderful clients; somehow, food things are more fun and more relaxing.

On Saturday, I picked up romanesco and strawberries that were an incredible deal.

(Hm, that overhead photo was too out of focus to fully show the fractal beauty of the romanesco...)

Which meant my weekend included:
  • washing, chopping, freezing strawberries
  • washing, chopping, cooking strawberry sauce (unsweetened)
  • washing, chopping, adding honey from the lab to strawberries (for shortcake on Monday)
  • washing, chopping, blanching and freezing romanesco
  • washing, chopping and brining romanesco with red peppers, onions, garlic (we grew the garlic here at base camp)
  • thawing meat for Monday's meatloaf
  • soaking, rinsing, cooking lentils for Monday's lentil-nut loaf
  • soaking, rinsing, roasting nuts and seeds for lentil-nut loaf
  • cooking down remaining roma tomatoes (from a batch of 75 pounds purchased two weeks prior!) and whirring into paste for meatloaf

  • Let alone all of the meal preparation for Paul and myself.

    Despite some weekend prep, and loads of help Monday (BIG shout out to Sharla who helped with all the meatloaf ingredient prep earlier in the day, Monday!), and my starting at 3 p.m. in the afternoon, things were still a bit haphazard on Monday for the feast night.

    I made too much meatloaf. It overloaded the oven and was taking too long to cook. So I had to remove some of the loaves and turn up the oven.

    There were not enough oven racks to bake the meat- and lentil-nut loaves, plus roast asparagus and romanesco, plus roast sunchokes. I keep meaning to order an extra rack or two. (Why did this thing only come with two oven racks?!)

    While things were baking, the group of us made meatloaf glaze, sunchokes three other ways in addition to the roasted ones, plus a green salad, and homemade biscuits for the shortcake. Plus all the cleaning as you go that needs happening just to be able to function in a small kitchen.

    So, the asparagus was overcooked, the romanesco was a bit undercooked, the roasted sunchokes were undercooked, the mashed sunchokes were a bit pasty, the biscuits were cooked at too low a temparature (I forgot to change the oven temperature for them! ).

    In an ideal world, the meat- and lentil-nut loaves would have been completely prepared either Sunday or Monday morning, and baked off earlier in the day for the most part. Then the veggie roasting could have happened alone, with more attention and more room. Or, if I knew our (electric) roasting oven a bit better, I could have had that going separately, though space is an issue with that monster!

    There were absolutely no complaints, and these are very much first world problems, of course. The thing is I attempted to work as much of the day as I could, and then crank out a ridiculously expansive feast in a couple hours. So my flailing about in the afternoon made for a meal that was a bit less than what it could be. Haphazard does describe it.

    The huge upside is that immediately before dinner, Kai and Sean harvested the sunchokes from the hugel berms here at base camp and we tried them a total of FIVE ways!
  • raw slices
  • roasted chunks
  • deep fried slices
  • mashed
  • fermented (not ours - from a friend - thanks Samantha!)

  • It seems the favorites were deep fried and fermented! With more attention the roasted and mashed might have been tastier. Hopefully Evan will post a picture of the meal in his thread a bit later. I was too preoccupied.



     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Speaking of Evan posting pics, his HUGE ant village thread contains loads of feast night plate pictures.

    I'm copying a few recent photos here (and will do my best not to critique each haphazard meal as I critiqued last night's meal. ).

    This was the meal on 2/07/16 from Evan's post here. With yummy, garlicy kraut that Evan made and contributed!


    This was the meal on 2/16/16 from Evan's post here.
    In this picture, the yellow, long rectangle on the left side of the plate is the top view of des oeufs roulé avec fromage - which is the far better name from Sharla than the unfortunate recipe title of "egg roll." The chicken are culled layers from a local farm.


    This was the meal on 2/29/16 from Evan's post here. That's peanut sauce, chicken, garbanzos, Asian coleslaw, and some forbidden black and basmati rice underneath there.


    Okay, I think I might have food things out of my system and can return to work now.

     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Because sometimes you just want lambsquarters and dandelion greens instead of kale.

    All these grown here at base camp. The lambsquarters and saskatoons from Arrakis, the rhubarb and dandelion greens from the hugel berms.

    Woulda/coulda picked more berries but I was too hungry for (a more well-rounded) breakfast!
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    Base camp greens, rhubarb and berries
     
    pollinator
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    That's what I want to see, edible stuff that's growing there!  I have dandelion envy.



     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Had to put the rhubarb and saskatoons into a clafouti - one of our favorites!

    I'll try to post more of what we're growing, Tyler!
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    rhubarb-saskatoon clafouti
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    So, I am on a rhubarb binge. We have huge plants in the hugelberms and I really haven't been using it as I could (should).

    Paul looooves rhubarb, so he's coping.

    The steak was not grown here, and this didn't show the green salad (mostly grown here) we had on the side.

    Not shown is the rhubarb-ginger chutney for later.
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    Flank steak over rhubarb cooked in red wine and maple syrup
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    Rhubarb upside-down cake
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Here's what the saskatoons look like on the bush (from last night).

    Love these!

    This bush is north of our junkpole fence, north of the house in a shady area so the berries ripen later than most.

    Wild edibles, no irrigation, no fuss for the win!
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    Saskatoons aka juneberries aka serviceberries
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    As I wrote in the Haybox Cooking thread:

    Jocelyn Campbell wrote:I had bone broth in our haybox cooker for 9.5 hours. SO much better than simmering in the house on a hot summer day!

    Took it out this morning and the pot was still hot to the touch.

    Candy thermometer showed the broth was still at 150 degrees F!

    (By the time I could wrangle my phone camera the mercury had gone down a bit in this still kinda crappy pic.)





    Jocelyn Campbell wrote:Here's a few comments about what works and doesn't work for me.

    My favorite stock pot is an old pressure cooker where the pop-up thingy broke and fell out and it lost its little pressure release bobber, too. It's a heavy, good stainless pot and the rubber lid seal is still excellent.

    When this pot was put in the unwashed wool in the haybox (I know, we should wash that wool or give it a higher purpose - it's quite beautiful!), without covering the two holes in the top, and with the wool on top, well...the oats or beans tasted like unwashed wool. D'oh. And blech.

    This put me off of using this handy thing for over a year.

    In the picture, I have an old CLEAN blanket that I used on top. The blanket has big holes in it, though when folded this size, they don't matter. And, I taped over the holes in the pot lid.

    Voila! Excellent heat retention and no tainting of flavor!

    I took this picture also to show that I like that Sam built this at deck rail height. It's so much easier to move a heavy stock pot at rail/counter height than to bend over with it to a low box.



     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Some times we get to review cool gadgets around here.

    See my review of the Solavore Sport.



    Now that's some joy of cooking!


     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    This was one meaty jack-o-lantern! (First pic.)

    Not a sugar pie pumpkin, but it still makes lovely pumpkin puree all the same.

    The pumpkin was store-bought this year, but the turnips were grown here! (Second & third pics.)

    Did you know turnips were the first/original jack-o-lanterns?


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    Two crock pots from one jack-o-lantern!
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    More volcano road turnips - large mug in the middle for size reference
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    Samhain Sam carved by Fred!
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Kai and Ben made a HUGE vegan, gluten-free pumpkin pie for our Thanksgiving feast yesterday. It was a lively time!

    The pumpkins came from Sean's ant village hugelkultur gardens, the apples used to sweeten it were foraged by Fred and Kai from nearby.

    Steve made his family's favorite cranberry relish, Janet made lovely garlic mashed potatoes, Fred brought cashew cheese and mustards he'd made from mustard seeds he harvested and ground, plus Fred made a vegan Lebanese soup, we had two other natural/lacto fermented cranberry sauces from cranberries harvested by Josh (one with lab honey!), plus turkey, stuffing, gravy, and green beans with onions and chantrelle mushrooms.

    After dinner, we sampled some organic flathead cherry wine and a rose liquor (liqueur? ).

    I was too busy enjoying myself to take more pics.
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    Kai (foreground) and Ben (caught unaware in the background) with a mega pumpkin pie
     
    Lab Ant
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    Man oh man am i glad them pumpkins got put to a good use! we had a good time here as well. missing you all! you are all defiantly in my thoughts.
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Sean Pratt wrote:Man oh man am i glad them pumpkins got put to a good use! we had a good time here as well. missing you all! you are all defiantly in my thoughts.



    Yay! Good to hear, Sean! We missed having you and Ginny here, too. Sending big hugs!
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Dreaming of more spring flowers that haven't quite appeared yet.

    Last June, I made this super simple banana cake and "frosted" it with flowers for our 2016 wheaton labs/pdc/atc pot luck. It was a big hit.

    (I thought I'd already posted it somewhere on the forums, but couldn't find it.)

    The ox-eye daisies were tastier than I thought they would be. Other flowers include pansies, violas/johnny-jump-ups, pea blossoms (might be field peas), nasturtiums, St. John's wort.

    edible-flower-cake.jpg
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    banana cake "frosted" with edible flowers
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    We are gearing up to feed about 45 people at the PDC and about 35 people for the ATC (see the thread about our 2017 Homesteaders PDC and ATC for more info). Which means automating some things.

    And peanut butter. Lots of peanut butter!

    Any way, today I tested out this Kitchenaid Sprializer attachment, which is pretty awesome. (Buy at Amazon here.)


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    Kitchenaid spiralizer attachment
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Davin did an amazing job both plating and photographing the 2017 PDC and ATC food. His posts start here.

    PDC meals by Stewart Hung:






    ATC meals by Katelin Ginther:




    All organic food, all the time.

    Stewart loved using the rocket oven and griddle built at the 2016 ATC. Jessica Peterson brought humanely raised rabbit and demonstrated humane killing/harvesting. Then the rabbit was browned before stewing in the next picture.

    Katelin made pies from rhurbarb grown in the hugel berms right outside the Fisher Price House.

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    rocket stove browned rabbit humanely raised and harvested
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    rhubarb pie beautiful buffet at the ATC
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    The wild greens have been soooo lovely here!

    Lamb quarters, dandelion, mustard, prickly lettuce in here (with store bought onions, asparagus and bell peppers - my asparagus is still a bit weak) with nasturtium and chive blossoms from the garden.

    Paul loooves rhubarb sauce! This was from one stalk harvested and cooked yesterday with a bit of apple juice concentrate. If it's not sweet enough for Paul, he'll add some stevia.

    Unfortunately, we did not grow these strawberries, but we planted more plants this spring since we lost some in last year's drought.

    The green goo in the jar is a fermented hot sauce and there is a dab of sauerkraut on the other plate.

    The shot glass contains a different type of "medicine" - supplements for this and that.

    Last but not least, the peanut butter cookie is gluten free sweetened only with honey from the lab's bees.

    Ahhhh....(happy sigh)
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    FPH breakfast 1
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    FPH breakfast 2
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Rose petals from the garden on top of plums, mild spring turnips, spicy local greens (with a few wild greens from here) for just a beautiful salad at the first homesteaders pdc dinner.
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    Rose petal plum salad
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Fruity beety salad with pineapple sage on top. Didn't have the courage to mix in the sage. (Maybe I'll figure out the selective focus one of these days - ha!) Hoping this will be worth the beet-pocalipse in the kitchen!

    Beet greens went into greens and eggs for breakfast.

    #locavore #localfood #permies #pdc #eventfood #organic #homestead #seasonalfood #beetsfordays
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    Fruity beety salad with pineapple sage garnish
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    It's gonna be in the upper 80's or low 90's again today. C.E. picked some saskatoons the other day and I was dreaming of several good ways to feature them; you know, in something baked and yummy. But baking on a hot day? Uff.

    Thankfully, there's a rocket oven outside my door which means no need to heat up the house with using the oven in the kitchen!



    I think saskatoon scones are now my favorite flavor of scones.

    These are even vegan.

    I also made WF (oat flour and tapioca starch) vegan applesauce-sweetened saskatoon scones that weren't quite as pretty but were still tasty.

    For those who are curious, my favorite vegan butter substitute is Nutiva's Organic Coconut Oil with Buttery Flavor (affiliate link).

     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Sprinkle ground seeds on your yogurt or cereal, she said. It's easy she said!

    (Ala seed cycling to help with hormonal balancing - as discussed  here.)

    Ha. I don't eat yogurt and I think cereal is to people what feedlot treatment is to animals. Just. Say. No.

    Compound seed meal butter on GF DF pancakes for the win! Take that silly recommendation!

    Breakfast might be my favorite meal to cook. I know this isn't necessarily seasonal or local, but I thinks it's yum. Cinnamon apples cooked in apple cider canned by Fred last fall. Chives from my garden and home fermented red onions.


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    breakfast joy
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Some folks were asking for some recipes, so I'll link a bunch here and write out one more.
  • stevia lemonade (a post earlier in this thread)
  • Switchel recipe
  • polydough - this is the bread dough we use for pizza crusts, plus dinner rolls, hamburger and hot dog buns, bread sticks, rustic bread loaves, etc.
  • recipes for surplus eggs - esp. Dutch babies
  • Allrecipes.com Ratatouille - we had a LOT of leftover mozzarella cheese from the pizza party - HA! So I put mozzarella on top of this to make it more of a main dish.


  • Overnight Oats
    These are cooked overnight oats, not the soaked overnight oats that are not cooked. This is breakfast cereal I can get behind! I think I first learned the basics of making these from Katelin Ginther who has cooked for our events several times and to rave reviews.

    One of my five (!) crockpots has a warm setting that I use overnight for these oats. This warm setting does not scorch the edges of the oats as some of my other crock pots do. Alternatively, bring the liquids to a boil and pour over the rest of the ingredients in a thermos or thermal cooker, or bring all to boil in a pot on a burner and then put the pot in a haybox cooker over night.

    These ingredients are based on two cups liquid to one cup old-fashioned rolled oats - the slow cooking kind, not instant or quick cooking. The apples technically do add a bit of liquid, but if you prefer three cups liquid to one cup oats, you might wish to increase the liquids a bit more. Basically, it's substituting half the water measure with full fat coconut milk. If you prefer steel cut oats, adjust the total liquids to four cups liquid per one cup steel cut oats, of course, again, with half the liquid being the full fat coconut milk. Steel cut oats - the kind that cook even slower than old-fashioned rolled oats! - do get fully done with this method, too.

    For 8 or so healthy oat eaters (or adjust for your circumstances), in a crock pot combine:
    --4 cups organic old fashioned rolled oats
    --2 cans (4 cups) full fat organic coconut milk
    --4 cups water (optional:  substitute half a cup of the water measure with half a cup of butter or butter flavored coconut oil or regular coconut oil - extra yum!)
    --3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
    --2-3 teaspoons cinnamon, or to taste
    --3 small or 2 large apples, cored and chopped (we prefer to leave the skins on)
    --1.5 cups raisins, optional (or add in the morning after cooked)

    I might stir just a bit to combine and distribute the seasonings. For large quantities like this, or starting very late in the evening, I use hot water and start the crock pot on high to get it up to a good, hot temperature to start. (I haven't found that necessary for smaller batches or earlier evening starts.) Just don't forget to turn it down to warm after about a half hour or hour! No need to stir again until just before serving in the morning.

    I think cooking the coconut milk, apples, and raisins makes the oats plenty sweet enough for me, though I see some folks adding sweeteners. In the morning, we typically put out these toppings for folks to choose from:
    --brown sugar, and/or honey, and/or maple syrup
    --shredded, unsweetened coconut
    --raisins
    --pumpkin seeds
    --sunflower seeds
    --chia seeds
    --flax seed meal
    --applesauce
    --whole milk, unsweetened yogurt
    --coconut or almond milk

    Paul and I eat leftover overnight oats cold out of the fridge as a snack - yum. Or I convert them to muffins or pancakes for workshop attendees.

     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Oh, and folks asked for two other recipes.

    Beans
    Here is what I do to cook beans - black beans, pinto beans, chick peas, etc. I usually start with 3 to 4 cups dried beans.

    Rinse the beans and pick out any green, dried out, or unappetizing looking beans, pick out any debris.

    Soak overnight in plenty of water with a splash of lemon juice (or a splash of apple cider vinegar).

    In the morning, drain and rinse the beans again, and add to crock pot with enough fresh water to be slightly less than double the soaked, rinsed beans measure. (I never measure the water. Add extra water if unsure or if you're going to be away from the crock pot all day. If the top layer starts to dry out, add more hot water.)

    In addition to the beans, add the following to the crock pot, too:
    --1/2 capful Organic No Salt Seasoning (from Coscto)
    --1 to 2 bay leaves
    --1/2 to 1 onion, diced
    --3-4 garlic cloves, minced

    Cook on high to bring up to temperature, then after an hour or two, turn to low and cook another 6 hours or so until tender. If your beans are stale, they might need to cook on high longer.*

    Do not add salt until beans are tender - then salt to taste, often 1-3 teaspoons, ideally at least half an hour before serving so that the salt incorporates into the beans.

    If making beans for Mexican food, adding cumin, coriander, chili powder, oregano, thyme, basil, etc. are fun additions, too.

    *Note, if your beans are a bit old or stale, they might not cook easily or could remain a bit hard after all day in the crock pot, even when the crock pot is left on high heat. If that's the case, and you have more stale beans to cook, either sprout your beans (more about sprouting beans here and here), or, add a "quick soak" method in addition to, or in place of, the overnight soak.

    A "quick soak" is boiling the beans for 10 minutes, then draining off the water and rinsing, then starting the actual cooking (on the stove or in the crock pot) with fresh water. I have added 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the "quick soak" I've been doing for some of our older, less fresh beans recently and I think it has helped, too.

    Hummus
    I'd cooked some chick peas as above, and had lots leftover for hummus. I made this recipe twice, the first time with fresh squeezed lemon in the amount called for in the recipe and the hummus was a bit too lemony. The second time I made it, I used about 2/3rds the fresh lemon juice measure called for and it seemed just about right.

    Easy and Smooth Hummus Recipe


     
    After some pecan pie, you might want to cleanse your palatte with this tiny ad:
    Rocket Oven plan download
    https://permies.com/t/rocket-oven-plans
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