Friday, September 27, 2013

Pepsi, Quaker, ah ha, do you trust them?

  There is a great station on tv called Veria.  It shows how organic gardening is much more productive, and safer, than fields using chemicals.  Farmers have been brainwashed into believing they need chemicals for bigger yields. Not so. Go to any of the 30 countries that ban GMO's and look at the differences.  For example, in the Himalayans, one acre will support 4 crops, Instead of being neatly planted in rows as we do here, they are bunched together in groups. And the yield is fantastic, in the TONS for an acre. The only thing used on those fields is cow manure. Oh yes, there are bugs, but they are beneficial ones, lady bugs, honey bees, and those bugs help control the "bad" bugs. The fields with chemicals are killing all the bugs, good ones too. DO you wonder why we are loosing our honey bees? And without them to pollinate crops, we will loose valuable crops too.  I remind you of the tomato crops grown in our area, picked green, ripened in ethylene gas, and packed in cans with white linings, also poisonous. And then, they spray the fields of ripe tomatoes they don't want with a deadly poison that kills the plants in 2 days, putting up signs saying if these are picked and eaten, you will die. And of course, then that poison is turned back into the ground.  If this does not make you think about canned tomatoes, I am shocked. There are organic ones available , look for them instead. The price is not that different. And the taste is superior.  We are lucky, grow our own and can for use.
  Yesterday my son brought me a huge, heavy basket of gorgeous ripe pears. I put up 14 pints, plus 3 more pints of sauce. Will be nice for winter eating.  It takes time to peel and chop them all, but well worth it. My hands and arms are still sore today, but not complaining.
   If you think you are being healthy by eating oatmeal for breakfast, make sure it's not Quaker. Interesting, I got into a live chat with a rep from there last week, checking to see if they are GMO free.  He told me they did not use GMO seeds. BUT _____ Quaker is one of the top 5 companies that support not labeling for  GMO's. Pepsi is in that same  category, along with  Ed Rendel, Rick Perry, Barack  Obama and George Bush.   Don't take my word for it, check it out at  Scary reading , and enough to  make me angry. Why are so many(at least 30) other countries wise enough to ban these harmful products, but not the US?  We are so brainwashed  by big business.  Quaker oats are not grown with GMO seeds but are stored with sulfuryl fluoride, enough  to emit 19,000 pounds per year. And it's in your oats.
  Thinking it might be nice to move to the Himalayans.  In some respects, the US is a good place, but I do not feel we are now a place that is of the people, by the people and for the people.  We have little say in anything these days, guess we just have to stand up and keep yelling. 
  We have had a lovely taste of fall lately, cool nights, upper 40's or 50's, and in the 70's daytimes. The days are shorter, I used to leave for town to shop before 7 am and it would be light, now its almost an hour later, and it gets dark much earlier too,  but love the temperatures.  Fall and spring are my favorite seasons, wish they lasted longer. Planted a squash vine this week, hope we have enough time for growing a crop before winter sets in.
 I have been fighting a gnat invasion, and the pears yesterday drew in a lot more of them, so today I have been swatting and setting out containers of honey water to draw them in. Don't like using sprays and chemicals in the house, hate the smell and it's not healthy.
 Are you seeing red leaves yet? The news this am talked of  snow in Washington state, wow, think CO may have had some already too.  So now we start thinking and planning ahead for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Time has a way of flying by,  that's a good thing, change keeps us on our toes. I have done most of my Christmas shopping and have even wrapped a few things. It's easy because I only buy for the very young grandkids and great grandkids. Otherwise we do calls, visits and maybe share canned goods or consumables. We all have so many possession's we don't want  more.  My faves are always pictures, or coffee or tea. Hope you are enjoying these lovely fall days, with the bright blue skies and crisp air, take care, stay well. Watch what you eat!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Helps to get through the winter naturally, and healthfully

 This is the first week end of fall, it's raining here, and has been lovely the last week or so.  Cool nights, 50s to 60s and around 80 daytimes. If I could pick the nicest weather of all, it would be just this.  Hope it lasts for many weeks before we face winters challenges.  But with this time of year, colds, allergies, flu and all that come along, so I am reminding you today of things to do to stay well, and to help get you better when you are feeling icky.
  Please keep a good supple of onions and garlic in your kitchen and cook  liberally with them. Both of these veggies are considered natural antibiotics, and can help your system stay well. I am lucky to have fresh ones from the garden to use when ever I like. Last night I did a pasta dish ala Mario on The Chew.  Started with a bowl of fresh tomatoes, cored, and an x cut on the bottom, dipped in boiling water about 6 seconds, then plunged into ice water, peeled and chopped and set aside. In my skillet, I chopped  green onions and whole yellow onion, and celery. Sautéed that until soft, then added the tomatoes. Now the pasta gets cooking, slightly less than called for on the package, 2 minutes, rule of thumb. When pasta is ready, drain and add to tomato mix, then add fresh herbs, I have rosemary, oregano and thyme and basil. Add a scoop of the pasta water and cook slightly. Remove from heat, plate, drizzle with olive oil and grate some parmesan over the top. Yum, and takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. So much better than jar stuff.
  When you are shopping in the produce aisle, pick up a piece of fresh ginger. This can be brewed into tea, or added into muffins, bread etc. I made pear ginger muffins this last week. Ginger is good for inflammation and pain, so use as much as you can.  If I have more than I can use, I grate it and freeze in tablespoon amounts for tea or other recipes.
 Menthol, and eucalyptus are great for congestion, you can put a pot of water on the stove, and when it boils, lower the heat and add essential oil of either type, let simmer and breathe deeply.
  I found a blend of herbs a few years back that I make for my daughter and sister, it's equal parts of dried yarrow, mint and elderberry flowers, brew  10 minutes and drink several cups a day if you feel a cold coming on, this needs to be early on to back off the cold.
  If you have a sore throat, chew on a small bit of fresh garlic for instant relief. It coats the throat and gives instant relief.
  Natural aids for aches and pains include feverfew and willow bark, both of these can be had at Swanson Vitamins, or Mountain Rose Herbs.  They are good for headaches, fever etc. No side effects.
 Any one read Woman's Day magazine? There are fall decorating ideas in the new issue, and the cutest frog choir made from acorn squash. Cut them in half, shape out the mouth on both top and bottom half, create eyes from the cut out pieces and toothpick to head, and make a tongue of a bit of the squash flesh. Put the halves back together. Put tea lights inside and sit a row of them on your table, so cute.
  My sons dog is healing nicely from the snake bites, but sure makes us watch for the snakes when working outside. This is the first year since I moved here that snakes were a real problem. I used to have a fish pond in the yard with a fountain, loved the sound of splashing water to sleep to at night, but so did a lot of critters, including snakes so the fish pond, which was a horse tank, got turned into a sweet potato garden. Anyone need a stock tank heater?
have one for sale cheap. The sweet potatoes  should be ready to harvest soon, looking forward to a supply of those.
 The iced tea will soon be replaced with hot tea, and the heater will be used instead of the air conditioning. Seasons change, sometimes I forget to be grateful for each one I get to see.  There is so much beauty in our world, if we just look for it and give thanks for it. Possessions have lost their hold on me, I have far too many things. Instead, I treasure the songs of birds, the grandeur of the mountains, and the beauty of the changing seasons. Take time to enjoy what we have been given, time is an uncertain thing, and tomorrow is sketchy at best.  Have a great fall, and start now to stay well!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Gluten free or chemicals , home made suasage, tuna and snakes

  Let's start with snakes, my son has a big dog, 90ish pounds. Actually he has 2. Last Sunday night the dogs were raising heck just before bedtime, they were tethered for their last outside visit before night. When  my son flipped on the porch light to see what was going on, there was a copperhead on the porch between the dogs. It bit  one of the pups on the face and mouth several times. Oh sure, it's night, vets are closed etc. So he got in touch with a friend of his that works at the animal shelter, and followed her instructions til morning. Dog's face and tongue got really swollen causing problems eating and drinking, but after treatment and a course of anti biotics, he seems to be recovering., This does raise some odd thoughts, why are snakes right up on the porch, and how likely are we to encounter them in the yard while working. It's been a wet, snaky summer.  I am not fond of the critters, so will be glad to see them slither off to their dens for the winter.
  We had a discussion this week about a lady who is gluten intolerant. She was on vacation in a European country and salivating over their gorgeous fresh baked breads. Finally decided to taste even if it made her sick. No bad results. She ate more, and then tried other kinds, no problems. After questioning the baker, she found that GMO's are banned in most foreign countries so all goods are wholesome, and non poisoned. Back in the states, she can  not eat the breads, grains etc. We have such a strange way of treating people here. Go ahead, feed us bad stuff, make us sick, then hand out mega medicines that cause more trouble. And cost a lot.  Our country is run on greed, by manufacturers and our government. People don't seem to count for much. Of course, there are millions of people who don't read or know about our food chain, and continue to eat what they like, at the cost of their health. I am grateful that we grow most of our own veggies, and fruits too.  I volunteer for the agency on aging here, and call and chat with people who are alone and not well, so many are so much younger than I am and in such bad shape, bad backs, arthritis, cancer, aches etc. My constant hunger for knowledge on foods and health has been good to me.
  Have you ever thought about making your own sausage? Buy a pound of lean ground turkey, and add to your taste garlic powder(or fresh finely chopped), oregano and fennel seeds to taste. No salt needed. I would put the seeds in my mortar and pestle and smush them up , not fond of the whole seeds in stuff.  You can shape this into patties, or sauté loose for use in casseroles, soups or eggs etc.
  Instead of the usual burger, try a tuna burger. I look for the bags now, no water or oil, and there are organic ones in the store. Anyway, mix 4 chopped green onions, 3/4 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon of chopped dill, a splash of lemon juice and a little salt and pepper. If you like spice, a little hot pepper sauce can be added. Shape into patty's and sauté in a little oil. Use on whole wheat buns with lettuce, onion slices, tomato slice etc, whatever you like and have a great tasting, healthy burger. This for me would require at least 2 bags, maybe 3 of tuna. Recipe calls for 2  5 ounce cans. I would also add an egg to bind ingredients together, this recipe does not add that. Topping with cabbage slaw sounds good too.
 Halloween is fast approaching.  My magazines are full of creative ways to make a pumpkin festive, most are no longer carved, but stenciled, decoupaged or painted. Some in stacks, some are white, just use your imagination, maybe create a theme and run with it to decorate your porch or windows. I fancy the white ones with green designs, fresh.
 Our pears are golden on the trees this year, usually they fall off while still green.  It's been about 5 years since I did a lot of canning with them, but looking forward to making pear butter and canning up some for the winter again, I like adding cinnamon to mine.
  A while back my son told us how to use the tomato skins to create a dry  tomato paste powder, so I have some of that set aside. Now I find you can take the peels and cores of your apples and make your own apple cider vinegar.  It's fairly simple but takes a while, if this appeals to you, a lengthy set of instructions can be found on Grit magazine's site. Mostly it's easy, just letting the peels sit until they process,  changing out the tops on the jars once in a while. It's nice to know that so much of what we normally toss out can be used to make healthy products.
 We had a few cracks of very loud thunder last night, some lightening and rain, didn't last long and was not severe, but it ushered in a cold front. The air is cool and fresh this morning, sitting here by the window and my bare feet are chilly. Feels so good! The next week will be much cooler, near 80 days and in the 50's at night. Plan to leave the windows up and pull up a blanket. My cat went under the bed at the first crack of thunder, and stayed til the storm had passed by. After that she was tucked in next to me for the night. She is good company, and if I talk to her I am not crazy, like being alone and talking to the walls.  She is always close by, sitting by my feet or waiting to chase a string.  Pets are good for your health, keep your blood pressure down and make good companions. It's sad the world is full of abused unwanted pets, much like kids.  Compassion people, find some. Look after others, help those you can, make our world a better place.  Sometimes a kind word or a smile can lift some one's dark mood and make the day better for them.
  Change the world this week, do a good deed of some sort, anything helps.  AHave a good weekend and a safe week, see ya next time.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Truth in Advertising? Lets pick on some. Gentle face cleanser recipe

 Ever see those ads on tv for mascara? Your lashes go from blah to fab with just an application of this wondrous mascara. Well, guess what, they fake you out, the models are all wearing fake eyelashes to get the effect.  I fell into the trap, have bought the ones that say you will have triple the lashes, etc. We will never get the desired look unless we glue on false lashes before applying the mascara. I think that sucks.  You are not getting something they promise in the ads. Guess that's why mine are all in the back of my make up drawer. 
  I had a yen for lemon pudding last week, so while in the grocery store picked up a package of instant lemon pudding. This is way out of character, usually I do not buy processed foods, but had made this for my diabetic husband years ago. Well, AFTER I got home, I read the ingredient list. Aspartame. Jello, shame on you for using a poisonous substance in your mixes. It went in the trash. You could use stevia or agave. There are companies that listen, one brand of yogurt quit using corn syrup, some hot dogs no longer have nitrates, but you sure have to read labels to find ones that are better. It does show that we have a say in our foods, and make a difference if we stand up and complain.  It takes a lot of people but we can cause good changes.  In the mean time, if you put 2 cups of milk in a pan, and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, then choose the flavor, vanilla, chocolate, butterscotch, just add the flavor and sugar etc and stir til thickened, what could be easier and better for you. And they taste so much better.
 Back to the processed foods, are you still on the bandwave that says, I will eat what I want, the heck with what happens to my body?  Well, processed foods are well know to contain  transfats and those cause inflammation(yep, sinus, arthritis, all those things that make you feel yucky).  If you still buy processed, read the label, there should be no hydrogenated anything.  The label may read 0 transfat, but the law, allows it, under a certain amount, be sure it does not list anything hydrogenated,  even 1 teaspoon of this a day can cause heart attacks, inflammation and lots of illnesses. You really are what you eat.  It sure beats me why people choose to be sick.  All that pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers will get you sick fast. The first rule of good health is to eliminate  the 5 whites.  Flour, sugar , salt, rice and shortening.
  Heard a couple of good tips on The Chew this week for laundry. Like the show, but they are way too heavy handed with salt.  I use more herbs and less salt and find the recipes still work. Anyhoo, the wash, if you are doing colored clothes, turn all inside out and add 1 teaspoon of salt to the wash water to keep colors bright. When it hits rinse, add 1 cup of white vinegar to soften clothes, and when you get to the dryer, take about an 18 inch strip of aluminum foil, crumple it into a ball and toss in the dryer. It will come out much smaller, but you can use this sameball for about 6 months, to eliminate static cling.  If you use the 7 cents a load laundry soap I gave you the recipe for, this makes electricity(or gas) about the only cost.  Saves big bucks over a years time. And of course nothing to make you itchy.
  The debate goes on over safe storage containers. Plastic is not the best, and please don't microwave in it. There are some good products, Nordic ware makes some with silicone lids, can freeze, or microwave.  Pyrex glass is wonderful, goes in the oven too.  These all go back to the good old days, before plastic.
 I don't usually remember dreams, once I wake up there are fuzzy ideas, but mostly they disappear. Except the first of this week, I woke up remembering  clearly details, with images  in my head. I had been with my mom, helping her clean up her floor that was littered with gritty red sugar. The kitchen was large, high ceilings and cupboards that went way up.  I remember telling her I was moving closer and would be able to help her more, as I could just pop in without it being a long trip. And there were images of my home, also with tall ceilings, and big rooms.  That's all I remember, but it's odd because except for one house, my folks never had a big house, and mostly I have lived in small, cozy homes, so the space is making me wonder. Why is this sticking in my head. Mom passed on in 98, so has been gone a long time now.
  Can't leave without one recipe, let's make some Gentle Face cleaner. In a blender, put one cup of milk(mine would be soy or almond) 1/2 cup whole oats, and 1 tablespoon of honey. Blend until creamy. Keep in clean jar in frig, and use a small amount in the palm of your hand, massaging into your face well, then rinsing with warm water.
  Saw a cute thing from my son this am , we are now into hallothanksxmas season.  Summer is coming to an end. I actually have begun Christmas shopping. Little by little, bit by bit I am getting ready. Hope you  are doing well, take care until next time.