Friday, February 28, 2014

Plastic in your Food, and some recipes

  Bet you didn't know this, over 500 foods in your grocery store have plastic chemicals in them. The stuff is called ADA or azodicarbonamide.  It's been added to bread, hamburger and hot dog buns, bagels, tortillas, pizza, and pastries to name a few.  This is a potentially hazardous  industrial plastic chemical., It has been banned in many countries, but of course here, I really think our country wants you sick so you will be paying hefty prices for medicines that cause many side effects, calling for more medicines to fix that,  and on to infinity.   Greed and money seem to fuel our country instead of striving for the good health of all of us. This stuff is also used to bleach flour, and is used in making shoes and yoga mats.  It causes asthma and allergies among other  illnesses. You can write to your congressmen, and refuse to eat foods containing the stuff, might help.   We touched on this last week, Subway uses it in their  "healthy" sandwiches but has said they will be removing it at some point in time.
   Got some honey in your cupboard?   Did you know you can use it to moisturize your skin? Just smooth it on a freshly washed damp face. Dab some on a pimple to speed healing.   Add 1 tablespoon  of honey  and 10 drops of lavender essential oil to  your bath tub, to ease muscle strains and aches. It's a good wound healer, just put over cut, scrape or injury. And you thought it just sweetened things up!
  If you have gas or bloating issues, make tea with  1/2 teaspoon each of  coriander, fennel and cumin seed, steep, and drink a cup before  lunch and dinner.
  I recently moved a big desk that had been sitting in the same area for many years, on carpet. The grooves in the rug were bad. So I tried something I had heard of and it worked like a charm. Put ice cubes in those ruts, spaced fairly close together and leave over night.  Use a fork, and gently comb the flattened area then vacuum, no more ruts.
   Keep hoping winter will end soon, but until it does, here is a recipe for anti oxidant rich soup to keep you well til spring.
 In 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sauté 1/2 cup chopped red onion til soft, add 2 minced cloves of garlic and 1 inch of grated fresh ginger. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1 bay leaf, and 1 and 1/2 cups of lentils you have soaked overnight.  Add 1/2 of a butternut squash, diced  and 5 cups of stock, home made is best but you can buy some with low salt.  Simmer til the squash is soft and enjoy. 
   Had a little excitement around here yesterday, a neighbor  started some trash burning and left , it was breezy. Soon it took off and started a pretty good fire.  First time since I have lived here that we had fire trucks and other fire fighting vehicles parked up and down our road.   Created a thick smoke for a while, was glad when the fire was out.  We are usually in a very quiet area, with nothing more exciting than an occasional deer or copperhead in the yard.
   There are leaves forming on the snowball bush, and weeds coming up in the driveway, spring must be getting close. The tomato fields are plowed and ready to plant.  Will be glad to get outside again, cabin fever is setting in. Had a few nice days as a teaser but so far they are few and far between.
  Have a great week, see ya next time.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Not more warnings, yep "fraid so

  Well, it has been an interesting week. This time last week, we had snow. Now its in the 60s and 70s and we have had our first tornado warnings along with thunder storms and rain. Like this better than snow. I have yarrow and tulips and some herbs up, and the vinca vine that creeps down my front yard is creeping. Should bloom soon. Nice to see sun and warm again, even if we  will still have a few lapses.
   Been watching Veria living again, it's a great station, if you can find it, there are some shows well worth watching. I have a favorite cooking one, and a guru, plus one called Simply Beautiful that runs down what the ingredients in most cosmetics do to our bodies. They do give good alternatives to make yourself. Last night we were warned to read our jars of face and body creams and lotions, look for  Propylene Glycol, if it's in your product, toss it. It causes kidney and liver failure and other serious health problems. If you would like to watch the show, or get more info, go to   So much good stuff to learn there.
  Was also watching Dr. Oz today, when you hit the grocery store, take Clorox wipes with you, those carts are amazingly dirty, you can get all kinds of viruses, some quite serious. Wipe anything you will touch or your food will touch. If your store does not offer wipes at the door, carry some with you in a baggie.  Never put a baby or child in one you have not cleaned, The conveyor belt at the store is also suspect, someone's chicken may have leaked before you get there so put your produce in bags and wash everything you can when you get home. If you are earth friendly and use cloth bags, be sure and wash any that had meat in them before using again.
  From Rodale, I found an interesting article on my computer home page this week, scary foods.  Pop you already know, has so many bad side effects.  Salad dressings may contain chemicals found in paint. Canned mushrooms have maggots, and its allowed by the FDA. Just buy fresh ones.  Cheese contains things grown with herbicides and pesticides, and milk contains unsafe sex hormones.  Bread can be made with human hair or feathers, also found in cake mixes. Gives the product "texture."
By now you must be aware that yogurt with fruit contains crushed bugs to get the color. Most beef is cleaned with ammonia to kill bacteria, oh that's a good one, Shrimp can be grown in filthy pools, then cleaned with chemicals to keep you from getting sick. Popcorn bags for the microwave have a coating on the inside to stop sticking, bad stuff. Also watch out for any colorings or flavorings that are not pure and natural.
   Ok, it's spring, we will be outside more, and so will our pets. Here is a safe flea killer that can be used on your skin or your pet.  I am not good at conversion, so giving the original recipe and hoping you can convert it. In 1/2 liter of alcohol(vodka etc) soak 100 grams of whole cloves for four days, shaking twice a day. Then add  100 ml of oil, sesame, olive, almond etc. Rub onto skin to prevent getting bitten.
  Ancient Egyptian plant that lowers blood pressure?  Fenugreek.
  Started spring cleaning this week, have one bathroom and my bedroom and walk in closet done. Whew, big job. Did the living room a couple of weeks back so have a bedroom I am working on for my grand daughters, the kitchen and laundry room to go.  The bedroom needs redecorating, looking for girl things. Right now it's brown and green, used to have grandsons come, but they have grown up and moved on, miss seeing them. The girls are little so need something enchanting for them. May ta this old brain more than I wish. 
  Hope you are having some sun, and warmer days. Sure is nice to turn the heater off for a change. Take care, get some fresh air and sun. See you next time.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Shoe soles, sawdust, human hair, beaver glands, yep, all natural

  This has been an eye opening week, and maybe I would like it to have been less so. It's just incredible the junk that is put in our foods, and yes, it can be labeled "all natural."  Jamie Oliver, a chef who helps us feed our families better foods, verified this week that ice cream  can be flavored with beaver anal glands. If you are a label reader,  it is listed as castoreum.  Might want to read a little more carefully.  And Subway, can you believe they have admitted to using  material used to make shoe soles and floor mats in their bread, to improve the texture? They are going to take it out, but when?  And when those two blew my little mind, I went searching for other "natural"  additives. It's frightening. Here are a few:  Fish bladders give beer its color, Wendy's chili contains sand, called silicon dioxide, Jello is made from pig skin, gum has sheep secretions, which are also used in sunscreen and baby products. Bread can be made with duck feathers and human hair, and many potato chips contain ingredients found in toilet bowl cleaner.  In case you think I stretch the truth, check out this website, there are even more wake ups: Glad I can grow a good percent of what I eat. And of course you know by now, if you are eating the yogurts with fruit, the color comes from crushed bugs. Buy the plain, one ingredient kind, organic milk. I like Fage, Chobani got off my list when they were called for having mold in their yogurt.  The fewer ingredients, the better, and just things you know and can pronounce. I shop the produce aisle for the most part, organic when possible. Making stuff from scratch sounds daunting but after you do it a while, the taste of canned and boxed processed stuff is yuck.  If you don't like plain yogurt, add honey and vanilla or your own fresh fruit. I am lucky enough to have lots of strawberries, and hopefully the blueberry bushes will start bearing this year. I do buy pomegranates and freeze the seeds, love those. They have a thick skin so are safe enough.
  Recipe for this week, Tub and Shower cleaner. Heat  1/2 cup white vinegar in microwave 90 seconds, add 1/2 cup blue Dawn. . Put in spray bottle. Spray tub, shower, sink etc and let set 30 minutes. Wipe or rinse off. Clean, shiny and disinfected. No chemicals, and cheap. It's just amazing what can be done with vinegar, baking soda, peroxide and other household items.
  Our area has had a wild ride weather wise lately. GA has seen ice that really crippled their area. We had snow instead, woke up yesterday to about 7 inches. More than we have had for some time, weather man said since 1996.  More due tonight, but only small amounts. Which is good, as this will take a while to melt off. And they now say by this time next week, 70's.  Our weather seems to be more and more extreme, last summer we had so much rain our gardens molded. Our church is having a mold problem in the basement because of all the moisture.  Most likely we will hit a dry year soon to make up for it, and wish we had a little rain. We can only take what the Good Lord sends and be grateful. I am so looking forward to getting outside again, seems like a very long winter already. Sit here looking out the window at white as far as I can see up the mountain.
  My oldest son and his wife both have birthdays this last week, she is a Valentine.  They shared supper last night, did an easy, not too bad main dish. Cut mushrooms in slices, and a red onion in wedges, seasoned with pepper, and thyme, laid pieces of chicken(thighs, boneless, skinless) on top, sprinkled a little olive oil and more thyme over the top and baked for 40 minutes in a 450 degree oven, Not too bad. Had oven roasted Yukon potatoes and a side of fresh broccoli and carrots. And pumpkin pie for dessert.  Watch a few cooking shows these days, can't believe it took me nearly 70 years to learn to prebake pie shells for 7 minutes before filling. What a difference. Pot pie too..
  Maybe by next week we will have less ice and snow, hope you are staying warm. Happy Valentine's day!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Milk, it does a body good, right? WRONG!!!!!

  Forty years ago a co worker introduced me to soy milk powder, that was before you could buy alternative milks ready to drink.  Our whole life, we have been indoctrinated to believe that milk is the end all do all for good health. That is so far from the truth. Lately, there are shows on tv and news items telling of the bad things milk does to your body.  It's  a serious threat to drink it. To start, it does not build strong bones, just the opposite, it weakens your bones to the point of being brittle.  It also causes a much greater risk of cancer.  Because of the hormones and other additives, our young girls are starting their periods as early as 8 years old now, half what it used to be age wise. 75% of us  lack the enzymes to digest milk properly causing bloating, gas, and inflammation.  It's long been known that milk causes a build up of mucus so if you have allergies or asthma, it increases the discomfort of these problems. And if you are drinking skim milk, thinking it keeps you from gaining weight, that's also wrong. Your body needs some good fat, not found in milk, and because you are not supplying it, you will eat it elsewhere.  Cheese, ice cream and yogurt are made from milk. I find the soy cheese in the vegetable(fresh) area to be every bit as good. And there are yogurts, made by So Delicious  and Greek God's, They also make soy ice cream. Takes some looking but you can find them. To get more information, pull up Dr. Oz's show from 1-31-14 and watch . If you surf, you can find a lot more information on line.  Would be worth trying a good alternative, hemp, soy, rice or almond milk, cheese and yogurt, just to see how your body responds to it. Think about this, a calf starts out small and spindly but rapidly grows into a hefty critter, ready to become steaks and roasts.  Cows are much larger than people, so do the math and calculate the results.  Goats are much more our size, so even goat milk is better for you.
  Do you eat oranges? What do you do with the peels?  If you strip them off and dry them in your oven or dehydrator, then grind to a powder in your spice grinder, you can  put the powder in a jar and use in your home made face and body creams or add to food. The orange peel is very high in vitamin C. If you are eating or cooking with them, use small amounts.  You can also use half  peels of oranges, grapefruit lemon and limes as a pot for starting seeds, just add soil. And plant the whole thing, it will decompose and enrich the soil.
 Your recipe this week is for air freshener, no chemicals to inhale.  Put 1/2 cup of white vinegar, and 1 and 1/2 cups of water into a container(spray) and add your favorite essential oil or a combination to make a scent you like. Will take 12 to 15 drops of oil.  I like lavender and rose, with a touch of clove.
  Have been attending a lovely little church here for most of the 12 years I have lived in the area. We have a problem. Our interim minister of 9 years retired. Our congregation is mostly older folk, and we tend to be afraid of ice, cold, and driving at night. We have not been able to recruit new members, our younger people have grown up and gone to college, so we see them only once in a while. And because our number is shrinking, we are in real danger of loosing our church.  I am praying for guidance and help, we need to work together and "grow" the church into something bigger. How sad it would be to loose a vital part of life because no ones cares enough to help.
  Hope you are not in the no electricity area,  it's been a tough winter for so many. Much colder here too than normal. It's almost time to start those spring seedlings, at least it feels like we may war up some day. Stay warm and well!