Archive for May, 2009

I’m a Very Bad Blogger

May 26, 2009

woman gardening

In spite of my best intentions to post 3X/week I have clearly not done that.

I have lots of excuses.  One is that I have been busy wrapping up our homeschool year.

The main reason, maybe a silly one, is that I have not been able to figure out how to add to my blog roll and other info to my sidebar.   This blog has not felt like “home” without all the nice things I used to pretty up my blogger blog.  I have finally learned how to add more links, and once I figure out how to include images and text, I will be ready to roll!  I feel better already, and I will be adding lots more links in the near future.   And now that I have more summer freedom and flexibility I will be blogging more too.  I feel that I’ve gotten this little blog off the ground several times, only to have it crash into the dirt, so my hope is that I will finally be consistent.  I enjoy blogging too much to let it fall by the wayside.

News from here:

I am so excited to be finished with our school year and I am truly enjoying every minute of summer vacation.  It is so fun to watch my children delve into self-directed learning on their very first day of no formal lessons.  I am mulling over how to translate that enthusiasm to our normal school days when we begin again in August.  I’ll never be an unschooler, but I certainly appreciate the appeal.

Today I picked the first ripe red tomato from my garden!  I am so excited.  Yellow squash is not far behind.  I still have herb seeds sprouting, a month after planting.  Calendula, borage, basil, and dill are growing quickly.  I’m super excited that my venture into slightly exotic veggies seems to be successful so far.  I planted amaranth and malabar spinach, both of which seemed well-suited to my greenhouse-like environment.  It’s doing well so far and I’m looking forward to eating all those yummy tropical greens.

Well, I don’t need to squander all my new-found time on the computer, so I’m off to clean out my little fella’s closet, which has been overtaken by family hand-me-downs.  All those things will be going to the attic, and he will have his own closet space again.

I’ll write again soon!

Steel Cut Oats in Bulk

May 13, 2009

goldilocks

I’ve wanted to start soaking more of my grains, and I figured oatmeal would be the logical place to start, since we frequently eat it for breakfast.  I read on another Real Food blog that regular rolled oats tend to be too mushy when soaked, so I spent $7 dollars for a little over a pound of steel cut oats, just to see if we liked them.  They were delicious and stick to the ribs much better than regular oatmeal! But the price…Even though they go a lot farther than rolled oats, they are like gold if you buy them off the shelf from a regular grocer.

Lo and behold, steel cut oats are available on Amazon in bulk for just over $1 a pound, with $4.49 shipping. It’s not organic, so I am not sure about the GMO status, but it’s a good start.  Truthfully, it won’t take my hungry crew that long to eat through all these oats.  I tried 2 cups of water to 8 cups of oats, but it wasn’t enough to cook down to a nice porridge…And I had too much left over.  Next time I will try 1 1/2 cups of oats to 8 cups of water.  I told you it goes a long way!   Even with eggs, fruit, and raw milk (which is not cheap), I can supply breakfast for our family of 6 for about $2.  Not bad.

A question for those more knowledgeable about soaking grains:  I read in one place that oats could be soaked in plain water and in another that whey or some other acid should be added in order to effectively break down the phytic acid.  Which is correct?  And does the whey affect the taste?  I’m not sure tangy oatmeal would fly at my house.

Read more great tips for eating real food at Real Food Wednesday.

Spring Picnic

May 2, 2009

picnicfood

We’ve had spring weather here for a couple months now.  With most of the Northern Hemisphere just now getting a good dose of spring, it’s almost summer where I live.  For weeks we’ve enjoyed backyard picnics.

picnicsky

Laying on a quilt in the dappled shade is  the perfect break in the midst of our homeschool day.  We are all tired of school and ready for a nice long vacation.

picnicglass

We eat, swing, sun.

picnicplums

Even better, our picnic tree is a Japanese plum…which bears in early spring.  I don’t think I’d had a fully ripe one till this year…And let me tell you, once I did, I became addicted.

It will soon be too hot for midday picnics, but these times sure have been sweet!