Hump day my people, be daring.
Love hard and play, it’s Wednesday.
Back in Sellersville, Pennsylvania Dutch Country, the day before Ash Wednesday was fasnacht day. Time to use up the fat in the larder and fry up a huge batch of german donuts before repenting for 40 days of Lenten sacrifice (we never did that part). We did it for good luck, the same way we ate pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day. My Grammy who lived with us growing up made them every year and only once a year. They were a real treat and I loved them.Grammy typically made a recipe with baking powder instead of yeast. She fried up lumpy hard donuts, like the kind they call “old fashioneds” and we topped them with a bucket of powdered sugar and ate them up before school. The original breakfast of champions. We washed them down with full fat vitamin fortified cow’s milk before we walked to school.
The next day, Lots of the other kids had ashes on their foreheads. (We didn’t do that either) and I never understood until I was older that the two rituals were actually connected.
Today, no fasnachts, no Grammy; but I thought of both of them all day with love and longing.
The Milk Processor Education Program has announced that “Got Milk?” the slogan they’ve used since 1993 is being replaced. The lobby’s new slogan “Milk Life” will attempt to recast milk for a hyper-competitive food and beverage marketplace. Expect ads that look more like Gatorade commercials that suggest consumers reach for “milk instead of an energy bar in the morning.” Good lord, what a crock of hooey – HOW MANY THINGS ARE WRONG WITH THAT! Perhaps milk consumption is down (more than 25% since the 1970’s) because we’re getting smarter as consumers. Maybe the corporate dairy industry should be focused on making their milk better for us and be honest about their product and additives. Consider this happy non-GMO Dairy cow from Straus Family Creamery.
While he’s smiling and munching grass in the field, his corporate cow pals are likely standing in pens of pooh up to their elbows pumped up on antibiotics to reduce boils and infections, ingesting GMO corn and soy feed so they bulk up and produce more milk. This falls under animal cruelty and corporate greed, not public health. Not only is the feed (try dehydrated garbage in some cases) cause alarm but these operations are condemning us to ingesting antibiotics on a daily basis, not to mention unlabeled GMOs. (No horror pictures here….you can search the web for those. Back to another happy cow from Clover Organic Farm)
I think our friends at the Weston Price Foundation get it just about right;
“Once you understand how modern milk is produced and processed, it seems logical to just avoid it altogether. But Real Milk–full-fat, unprocessed milk from pasture-fed cows–contains vital nutrients like fat-soluble vitamins A and D, calcium, vitamin B6, B12, and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid naturally occurring in grass-fed beef and milk that reduces body fat and protects against cancer). Real milk is a source of complete protein and is loaded with enzymes. Raw milk contains beneficial bacteria that protects against pathogens and contributes to a healthy flora in the intestines. Culturing milk greatly enhances its probiotic and enzyme content, making it a therapeutic food for our digestive system and overall health.”
Dairy consumption is a very personal choice. Choose wisely and pay attention to your body. It’ll let you know whether you’ve made the right choice.
P.S. Goats make milk too.
What a day! Forty pounds of cabbage later we each took home over twelve pints of goodness. We made pints and pints of pickled cabbage and sauerkraut.
I strained my apple scrap vinegar from Make it and Take it; surprisingly delicious, just ask sister. You should see the mother in that tank! WOW. I just ordered some oak barrels for my next batch, tasty homemade vinegar from apple peels – love that!
It’s a busy afternoon and takes about 4 hours including clean up, and it’s worth every minute. Hanging out with fun folks, getting our hands all in the dish and spreading the love. Thanks Rick, for the amazing cabbage massages.And we even labeled everything!
Cooking with friends. I could do it every weekend. How about you?
We gathered around the table earlier this week to celebrate MIchelle’s birthday. Shelley made a delicious and amazing salad I’ve been thinking about ever since. (see below for recipe) We gals love a good birthday dinner potluck don’t we? There have been quite a few over the past several decades, starting in the 1960′s.
The nineties were fun too. Girl power was strong.
On this particular occasion, The guys came along and we were so many folks we switched up the furniture and put the dining table in the living room and the kids on the front porch.
Citrus Celebration Salad
thinly sliced kumquats – about 6, no seeds please
4 seedless tangerines, peeled and separated into individual sections
4 chunks of candies ginger, diced small
2 tablespoons of dried cranberries, chopped
2 tablespoons sliced or slivered almonds, toasted or raw – chef’s preference
1 -2 tablespoons of diced red onion
Dressing: combine 2 tablespoons olive oil with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, season with salt and pepper
Method – combine everything and toss.
Christine made the spinach salad from the Jerusalem Cookbook, and I made minced vegetables with seitan in lettuce leaves. We finished up with Shelley’s hand made dark chocolate bark instead of cake. My my my, how we’ve changed. I’m proud of our cleaner eating habits in pursuit of a healthy future. WTG girlfriends and happy birthday Michelle! It’s going to be a beautiful year!
This picture is from my cousin Eva’s Wedding day back east in Pennsylvania. My California daughters, upon seeing the fountain in the front yard, stripped down naked and began a hearty session of water play.
Naturally I was mortified, but it was family, and highly entertaining, and nobody was bugging but me. So I let go and took that adorable snap. I really think kids make a wedding day more complete. Take this photo for instance.
The professional photographer By Cherry captured this moment with Dillard my baker. Dillard looks very happy! And lookie here at this little lady. There was a chicken coop in the back of the yard at this wedding that was very compelling for the youngsters and kept them very busy – who doesn’t love a little barnyard?
Now I understand your fear – this could happen. But that’s OK! A wedding is about love, community, celebration and family. A whiny baby or sassy toddler adds delightful flavor and diversity to the mix and if you’re not having a black tie affair, let the wee ones come, you’ll be glad you did. Someday soon my sweet bride and groom, you may want to bring your own.
Last week, I was part of a panel on sustainability for commercial production. Despite the fact that water bottles make us all tyrannical, we’re a calm, dedicated and driven group for change. The gals from EcoSet are making huge waves of change doing a few simple things we’ve heard before, REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE. That lovely lady next to me (I’m the dork with the re-purposed beverage hang tag as a name tag) could possibly be my new BFF, Eva Scott from Craft ECO - we run on the same juice – the “save the world and feed them well” elixir many food maniacs drink daily. There were other amazing members of Mother Earth’s Transition Team, and we all fight the same fight, trying to do enough, do more, keep doing.
But what about the fact that the corporations we’re working against, are often the companies that ultimately are responsible for our paycheck? How are we going to get water bottles out of the daily grind when we’re working with a cola company that produces the hideous bottles of filtered tap water? Tricky stuff.
True confession. We have a company we love that does print ads for umm… CIGARETTES. The budget is the best, it’s a sustainable set, and yet, ciggies, ugh. Life is a delicate balance, isn’t it?
We’re all dedicated to the fight for a sustainable future, but dang, where is easy street??
For starters, A brag alert, we had two tastings in the morning and I think we booked both of them. So the day started off well. Then I was off to Occidental College to watch my baby Hayden dominate in a St. Mary’s lacrosse game, and all my friends came to support!
OK, maybe not all, but quite a few, and my sister and her family and my mom too!
Then we had a Gaelebration (that’s what all the dorks call a St Mary’s party) dinner at the shoppe with the team and their families after the game since we were just down the street.
HOLY CRAP!! Hungry athletes can EAT!
Lots of parents came and everyone left with full bellies for the long ride back up to St, Mary’s. Chef Dill and Chef Santos went above and beyond getting more food on the table when the boys hoovered up the first round of goodness. YAY TEAM CATERER!
Oh, and WE WON!! Sports are fun. Eating with friends, family and sport enthusiasts – funner.
I love fermented potions and it’s difficult to get my mind around someone trademarking a folk remedy, or a way of life (the urban homestead controversy comes to mind).
And one more thing, I’d like to know who’s coming to the kraut making canning collective on the 23rd of February?
I think we should make fire cider too!