Winter moved in with a vengeance this last week, we were told 2 or 3 inches maybe, and when I went to bed Tuesday night, that's about what it looked like. Wednesday morning was a shock, we got more in the night, almost 5 inches. For Tennessee that is a whopping amount, the most in many years, and the temperatures took a real drop, the coldest in 20 some years, around zero or below. SO, we woke up Thursday to no water, despite leaving the faucets dripping. Mine came back on later in the day, not sure if my son has any yet.. He lives higher on the mountain and has more feet of water line. We still have icy roads, no school, and snow on the ground. It will be warmer so should start melting the next day or so. We have learned here, that being ready for strange weather and other things that affect our daily lives, is essential. I buy distilled water in gallon jugs for my floor steamer, and when they are empty, I wash them out and fill with our well water and store in my pantry. I also keep about 4 jugs of water in the back of my frig, just as a back up for drinking. I don't like using plastic for storage, but for this use, it seems to be the best way. And a lot of this is not drunk but used for washing dishes, flushing toilets etc. I would love to have an alternate heating source, in case our power would go our for long periods, so far that has not happened. The house came with a fireplace(wood burning) but we opted to leave it out and have the floor space, dumb move. I have also learned to keep an extra few weeks of food stored in my pantry and freezer, always have beans and rice, and our summer veggies provide a lot of winter eating, both frozen and canned. Atlanta has had a particularly bad siege, the South is not prepared for this kind of weather. It will be February in a few days, and another month will have us looking at spring.
Looking at my new Mother Earth Living, they are saying the canola oil I thought was healthy is not, hmmm. Olive oil is the best choice. Grapeseed not bad, and those who can eat coconut can use that oil for cooking. I have an allergy to it so avoid it in or on me. The best sources of good fats are still nuts, avocados, dark chocolate, mackerel, herring etc.
There has been a lot of talk this week about avoiding wheat. Dr. Oz had a good show on weight management, and suggested avoiding wheat. You can still have things you like, here is a "flour" formula to use instead of wheat: 1 and 1/2 half cups sorghum or brown rice flour, 1 and 1/2 cup cornstarch, and 1 cup tapioca flour, mix together and use as you do normal flour. There are so many options, oat flour is one too, as are amaranth, buckwheat, barley and bean flours. Bob's Red Mill makes a lot of good organic ones, you can look that up on line. Some stores carry his products. Arrowhead Mills, Eden, just look up organic flour and see how many there are out there.
Looking for a quick, delicious supper? Try this. In an ovenproof skillet, slice up a package of mushrooms, and slice a red onion into wedges. Put in the pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle fresh thyme over that. If you don't have fresh, use dried. Put four chicken leg quarters on top of that, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and bake at 450 degrees for about 40 minutes. This would be good with some home grown sweet potatoes and a salad.
Here's hoping the south thaws out the next few days, it's been a much colder than normal winter here. That followed a very wet summer, and as the temperatures go up this week end, we have rain moving in again. Wonder how this summer will shape up? Would be nice to have some rain when needed, but not so much that our crops leaves mold again. Being picky, I know, have to take what we get. Stay warm, brew up some home made soup and grab a good book or a craft project. Hope next week finds you well and warm.