Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Menu

December 24: Menu Plan:

Roasted Organic Turkey au Jus (following
Cranberry Sauce (process in food processor with dates to taste - a raw food)
Fennel Purée (cut, steam, mash)
Butternut Squash with Honey Pecan and Ghee Topping (cut, bake, top, bake)
Creamed spinach with bacon bits (with whipping cream 24-hour yogurt)
Medley of pickled vegetables
Green salad with radishes and garlic vinaigrette
Fruit Spice Cake-- or it is Spice Fruit Cake?
Apple "pie" crustless, but with nut topping

Boxing Day:  Update/Post-mortem on Christmas Menu

Turkey was great.  Roasted it with loads of cloves and allspice, and the apple stuck with cloves where the stuffing normally goes.  Loads of salt, at least to my mind since I grew up in a low-salt household.  But it was just right. For once, did not overcook the turkey.  The carrots, celery, onion and garlic head halves that made a bed for the bird were addictive and more than made up for the lack of stuffing. Total success.

Forgot to make the cranberry and date sauce although it only takes 2 or 3 minutes.  We had pomegranate seeds instead, which was really good.  Today I'll make the c.s. to have with leftover turkey, of which there is A LOT, since it was enormous - less cooking for me in the next few days, he he.

Fennel purée: I made it in the food processor and added about 1/3 navy beans to thicken.  Total success.

Butternut Squash with sweet nut topping: everyone called it the Sweet Fauxtatoes.  Even more delish than the real thing.  I had baked the butternut slices the day before, so all I had to do was pull of the peels, mash with a potato masher right in the pyrex casserole, sprinkle with pecan pieces, drizzle with the melted butter and honey mixture, and pop in the oven for 20 minutes.  Total success.

Creamed spinach was wonderful.  I had cooked the spinach the day before, sprinkled with a little lemon juice and stored in the fridge.  Cooked the bacon in the morning, with the breakfast bacon, just 2 extra slices.  Just before serving, warmed the spinach to warm enough, not hot, so the probiotics in the whipping cream yogurt wouldn't be harmed.  Mixed in the yogurt.  Total success.

Pickled veggies: didn't serve them, no room on table.

Salad - just romaine and peelered carrots (peel carrot, throw away peels, then keep peeling for very thin slivers).  Good. Nothing new there but we have a green salad with almost every meal.

Apple Non-Pie was great.  It's just the recipe for Baked Apple Slices in Breaking the Vicious Cycle, except that I use 1 apple per person, almost no honey, and add 3 prunes per person.  Let soak overnight in the lemon juice after mixing well.  Just before dinner, sprinkle with cinnamon and put in oven for 20 minutes.  Total success.

Fruit and Spice cake: didn't get a chance to make, and anyway DD had made 2 kinds of cookies.  Her own recipe and she improves it every time.  They were sweet and chewy and very tasty.  She promises to write the recipe as a guest poster soon.  The great thing about non-grain, non-starch cookies and bread is that they don't dry out. 

Oh, and I did make a great loaf of Lois Lang's Luscious Loaf, but forgot to serve it, so today we'll have TURKEY SANDWICHES FOR LUNCH!  Yum.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Perpetual broth, part 2, and Kombucha, part 0

So as I wrote in my last post, I tried Perpetual Broth with a whole chicken.  This was a "mature chicken" with relatively less fat on it than regular chickens.  On day 5, I had to throw it all away. It looked and tasted burned and had a thick layer of fat on it.  Not that I mind fat.  But this fat didn't smell good.  Just to make sure I had to throw it away, I drank a cup of it for breakfast, after adding salt and a little garlic, and unfortunately I can still taste it as I write at 10 p.m.

My crockpot keeps a temperature of 180F on "Warm", which is where it has been since day 1 of Perpetual broth-making.  This morning we woke up to an unpleasant burnt smell, the broth was very dark, and tasted burnt.  What went wrong?  Was it because we haven't developed a habit of drinking several cups of broth a day and just left it slowly simmering for all those hours?  I did get 3 nice soups out of that mature chicken, 2 more than I usually do, so I'm still ahead. 

So I did some research (Google research) and must inform you, there is a difference between bone broth and meat stock.  Dr. NCM recommends just a few hours of simmering for the meat stock.  So did my bone broth turn bad because I used a whole chicken and not bones? 

Last question: I received an ad for a supplement that uses eggshell membrane as a source of glucosamine, chondroitin and collagen.  Anyone know how to use eggshells to extract those goodies from the membrane?  Could (free-range) eggshells be dropped in a broth or stock for example?  My mother says during WWII in her country people would crush eggshells to a fine flour to add to children's food, for the calcium.

So... Perpetual Broth: Not.  Well, not even the week it was supposed to last.  But, not a loss either.  I'm ready to try again.  Might add a dimmer to my crockpot to tone the temp down to 160F. 

KOMBUCHA: it is my intent to make some of this awesome drink at home.  So I obtained the starter,or "mother", called SCOBY, from a fellow Kombucha maker.  Looked up instructions on various websites and from the email of the nice SCOBY sharer.  Hmm.  Need a gallon glass wide-mouth jar.  Biggest one I have holds 7 cups.  And after the tea & starter sit for a while I'll need swing-top bottles to pour the kombucha into so it will get fizzy.  So, this is why this is part zero: stuck on GO for lack of bottles.  Yes, I could order them from Amazon, but that's a capital investment I wasn't counting on and which would pay for a quite a few store-bought bottles of Kombucha.  Which taste really nice, have great flavors like Ginger and Lemon, and when you think about it, are one of the VERY FEW THINGS you can buy ready-made when following GAPS nutrition protocol.  Am I just

Friday, December 9, 2011

Perpetual broth, pickled veggies

I've been toying with the idea of the perpetual broth for a long time so this post
really made sense.  So yesterday morning, I dropped a whole "mature chicken" in my six-quart crockpot, covered it with water, and set in on Low.  The mature chicken is skinny and makes great broth.  No salt, no herbs, no veggies, just the chicken and the water (filtered).  That evening, I ladled out a beautiful golden broth into my Vitamix, added a couple of cloves of garlic, 4 nice sprigs of cilantro, root and all, a half-inch piece of ginger root, and salt, as well as a few tablespoonfuls of leftover pureed carrots.  Whizzed it all to velvety smoothness, added about 1/2 cup of coconut milk.  Voilà!  Cilantro always gives a lovely color and heavenly taste to soups.  Everyone loved it. 

As I cleaned up after dinner, I poured water back into the crockpot to cover, and left in on Low all night.  Tried the cup-o'broth thing in the morning but I haven't acquired the taste for it yet.  It may come. 

This morning, I pickled small cucumbers with chopped garlic, dill (dried, didn't have fresh on hand), fresh thyme and oregano, and a bit of hot pepper.  Poured the salted water on top, with the kefir starter as directed by Dr. NCM in the GAPS book.  I also made a half-gallon jar full of broccoli, carrots and onion pickles, and a third jar was just plain beets.  I put them in a cupboard, away from sunlight, to ferment.  That cupboard shelf used to hold cereal boxes.  GAPS frees up kitchen space!  But enterprising GAPSTERS will quickly fill it up. 

Yesterday's "The Nature of Things" hosted by David Suzuki was about the new outlook for autism: the gut connection.  Didn't quite get to the GAPS nutrition protocol, unfortunately.  So the word really hasn't gone around enough.  There's lots of money going to research, looking at what exactly is going on in the brain, how the gut dysbiosis affects neurons, and many other different angles.  A sad story about a boy who experienced a few weeks of remission after being treated with a targeted antibiotic, but returned into autism because the antibiotic cannot be taken for extended periods.  Tragic for the poor mother who got to see the real boy inside for a little while.  Wish she had known about GAPS.  Now the boy is in his mid teens, probiotics have helped him, but he's still very impaired.