Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Using up last year's harvest...

One thing we always grow in our garden is sweet potatoes.  This time of year they are starting to sprout and I am trying hard to use them up so they won't go to waste!
Here is a nice recipe for a lovely pudding that I make with them.  The original recipe calls for cocoa and vanilla extract, but I cannot eat very much chocolate because I am sensitive to the caffeine and theobromine in it, so I use carob powder and almond extract, instead of cocoa and vanilla extract. Carob, of course, does not taste like chocolate, but it is very good in its own right and is also a very healthy food.  


In a high-speed blender, combine the following:

2 cups cooked sweet potato, boiled, peeled and mashed
1 1/4 cups plain plant milk (I use homemade soy milk)
8 pitted deglet noir dates (or maybe 4 or 5 medjool dates)
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/4 cup carob powder

Blend until very smooth and then refrigerate until cold, covered.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Winter bits from the garden...

We recently had a fairly severe cold snap with below zero temperatures that lasted for several days. When I went outside this morning I went to the garden to see if there was anything at all that could be salvaged.  I actually found some kale and pulled up a clump of onions. I used some of the onions in potato salad today and will be using the rest of them and the kale in some vegetable soup soon. I know there are lots of Jerusalem artichokes out there that could be harvested. It is so nice to realize that even though winter is upon us, there are still fresh things to enjoy.


A simple needle book...


I have a daughter-in-law whose name is "Elizabeth."  Everyone I know calls her "Beth." The other day I was watching a show where a little girl was called "Betty."  It sounded like such a pretty name.  I asked my daughter-in-law if she had ever been called "Betty" and she replied that someone had long ago. I asked her if I could call her "Betty".  She replied, "I would love that!"

I wanted to do something to celebrate this interaction, and after contemplating it, decided to make her a little needle book.  Do you know what a needle book is? It's a small fabric book where you can store your hand sewing needles. Then, they are easy to keep with your hand sewing project.

So, you see there, above, what I came up with.  She loves "Forget me nots" and so I embroidered a few of those on there and added her name. She said, when it came in the mail, "I absolutely love it!" She appreciates hand made things... it's so nice.

Here are a couple of pictures of the inside of the little book.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

More on our plant based lifestyle...

 Dietary advice is one of those things that often causes people's eyes to "glaze over."  Of course diet is not the only subject that will cause us to harden our hearts, but it's certainly one of them. My husband and I have been eating the Whole Food Plant Based (no oil) way of eating for nearly 4 years now. As I mentioned before, his angina is gone. My eyesight has been restored. I have so much more energy. 

In April of last year (2023) I ended up spending two nights in the hospital. I was experiencing some dizziness and my daughters were all concerned that I might have had a stroke.  As it turned out, it was caused by those little crystals that can form in your inner ear and sometimes get lodged in the wrong place.  Anyway... I had, I think, about every scan and test known to man!  I joked that they took enough blood to sell. After all of that, I found out I am in excellent health. My cholesterol, which used to be 280, is now 140. My heart output, measured by an echocardiogram, which is considered normal at 50%, was 65 - 70%. 

I am now 75 years old.  I take no medications at all. I weigh less now than I did when we got married in 1971. (In case you're curious, I am 5' 4" tall and weigh 122 pounds.) This is without going hungry. I never have to go hungry. I never have to "diet". I do go out and walk for about 45 minutes in the woods up and down hills most days, with our two dogs. I do a little weight lifting, as at my age, it surely is true that if you don't use it you lose it!

Please... I urge you to look into it. Be curious. Do what is the very best for your own health.  When I began this, I told my husband, "I am going to do this for ME.  There is no pressure for you to join me. I will cook for both of us.  And so, that's what I did for about 3 weeks and then he said he'd join me. I think he saw what it was doing for me and also he didn't want me to have to work so hard.  He's so good to me. 

Read The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall.  Also, go over to YouTube and watch "Forks over Knives." You can watch that for free. 

It's simple, it's easy to do if you want to do it, and it will  SAVE YOU LOTS OF MONEY.  Honestly, for the two of us, I spend less than $60 a week on food.  Truly. The food can be simple and be perfectly healthy. If you want to, you can cook fancy also, but the health results are the same. For my recent birthday, one of our daughters bought me a copy of Be a Plant Based Woman Warrior   by Jane and Ann Esselstyn.  It is great!  There is a whole world of cookbooks out there for plant based eating.  Just be sure you don't eat added oils. Don't eat processed foods.  Eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and if your weight is normal, you can have some nuts and seeds, but avoid those if you need to trim down. Same with avocados.  They are good for you, but avoid them if you need to lose weight.

If you have any questions, you know where to find me.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

The Survival Gardener post about our garden

I hope you enjoy this post from David the Good about our garden. 


Incidentally, the picture with the chicken is our granddaughter with her favorite chicken.  The woodland scene is where I take my walks in our woods.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Me and the corn 2023

 Here is a photo of me and this year's corn.  I am standing in front of our patch of "Bloody Butcher" flour corn. We estimate it is more than 12 feet tall! Over on the right you can see the bi-color sweet corn, which we are currently enjoying. The Bloody Butcher corn is what I use for cornmeal now. It's very good to eat and if nothing else, it's amazing to grow!  No one has ever said anything to us about it, but I really wonder what the neighbors think. :)  To my right is "Sammy", our sweet old Staffordshire terrier. In front of me are the sweet potato vines.  The garden is a jungle right now. I love this time of year.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Swiss Chard


Have you ever grown Swiss Chard?  It is a variety of beet that I grow.  You don't eat the root.  You eat the leaves.  They are very similar to spinach in flavor, and the nice thing is that they do not "bolt" when the weather warms up.  You can eat them all season and into the fall.  With some protection, they can even stand through the winter and you can eat them next year!  Of course, next year they will go to seed, but if you don't want that to happen, just keep cutting off the seed stalks. Like spinach, they have oxalates, so you don't want to eat these greens in large amounts every day.  Here is an excellent article all about them: Swiss Chard: Nutrition, Health Benefits, and How to Cook It (healthline.com) 

In the picture above you, can see our row of Swiss chard.  It will get much bigger than this, too, as the summer advances. To the right you see turnip greens, which are wonderful, also.

My favorite way to cook Swiss chard, other than just putting it in soup, chop it up with some sliced green onion, a few sliced mushrooms and some cubed tofu.  I sauté all of this in a little fat-free vegetable broth and then serve it on it's own next to some sort of starch... rice, lentil loaf, potatoes, whatever I have.  I put Bragg's Liquid Aminos on mine.  

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