Healing Boo-Boo Salve

With two little ones this recipe for Homemade Boo-Boo Salve from Mrs Happy Homemaker is just the perfect thing to have on hand.  Give it a try and let me know how you like it.

“Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup dried comfrey

1/4 cup dried calendula

2oz beeswax (equals out to 2 of the 1oz bars or 4 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons of honey

10 drops lavender essential oil (optional)

jars (I use these)

Instructions

In a medium pot – mix the coconut oil, olive oil, dried comfrey, & dried calendula. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Strain the herbs from the oil using a cheesecloth or coffee filter. Discard of the herbs.

Wipe any remaining herbs from the pot you used, and add the oil back to the pot. Turn the heat to medium. Stir in the honey until completely combined. Then, add in the beeswax – stirring until completely melted. Mix in the lavender essential oil, if using.

Pour the mixture into your jars. Stir it occasionally while it cools to ensure even settling. Seal once set.”

via Healing Boo-Boo Salve – aka Homemade Natural Neosporin.

Sweet Touches

photo credit: Adriana Lennon Photography

photo credit: Adriana Lennon Photography

I adore special little touches like these custom made labels.  They are made in the USA by a sweet military wife.  Go check her out on her Facebook page Stay above the Frey.  Just one more way to show our support to our country and to the families that sacrifice so much for us.

Foo Foo For Feathers

I was very surprised to see today that Williams-Sonoma has come out with a line of designer chicken coops.  They are made in America, pricey and very cute.  Now to get all those pesky ordinances banished that don’t allow chickens on typical family sized lots.

“Handcrafted in the USA from certified-sustainable wood, the Alexandria coop provides room for up to six hens and will keep your flock safe and dry year-round.”

via Alexandria Chicken Coop & Run | Williams-Sonoma.

 

No-knead Dutch Oven Bread Recipe

photo by Roger Dorian

I’m a huge fan of Mother Earth News.  They always have the greatest articles and this No-knead bread recipe by Roger Dorian is a great example of just that.  We’re eating gluten free now but I may have to try to convert this recipe and see how it turns out.

“1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting.  You may use white, whole wheat or a combination of the two.

1 1/2 tsp salt

Cornmeal or wheat bran for dusting

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the flour and salt, stirring until blended. The dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at least 8 hours, preferably 12 to 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

  2. The dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it. Sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for about 15 minutes.

  3. Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface or to your fingers, gently shape it into a ball. Generously coat a clean dish towel with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal. Put the seam side of the dough down on the towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another towel and let rise for about 1 to 2 hours. When it’s ready, the dough will have doubled in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

  4. At least 20 minutes before the dough is ready, heat oven to 475 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the oven as it heats. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven and lift off the lid. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up. The dough will lose its shape a bit in the process, but that’s OK. Give the pan a firm shake or two to help distribute the dough evenly, but don’t worry if it’s not perfect; it will straighten out as it bakes.

  5. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaf is beautifully browned. Remove the bread from the Dutch oven and let it cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.”

Easy, No-knead Crusty Bread.

Bubbies Dill Pickles = A taste sensational treat!

I am a dill pickle aficionado.  I confidently say this because well, I have eaten a LOT of pickles.  If there was a pickle and popcorn diet I’m pretty sure that instead of my “fluffy self” I’d be a dead on double for Twiggy or Calista Flockhart only maybe not so cute.  😉   I’ve however been a little turned off lately when I’ve looked at the ingredients that pickle makers have been shoving into my jars of deliciousness.  The number one problem I have is the use of High Fructose Corn Syrup.  Which I can pretty assuredly say is liquid GMO.  So fast forward today while I’m doing my shopping at Sprouts and I see they have a pickle section near the deli.  There in the refrigerated section is a cloudy bottle of Bubbie’s Kosher Dill Pickles with a photo of a little Jewish grandma or Bubbie on it.  I pick it up and guess what the ingredients are???

  • Cucumbers
  • Artesian Well Water
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Dill
  • Spices

What no HFCS?  On closer inspection I read about the fact that it has lots of good probiotics and is gluten free.  Fantastic.  I take note that they also sell other products like sauerkraut, pickled green tomatoes,  and horseradish.  Fast forward to my getting them home and opening the jar to eating FOUR yes FOUR pickles in one day!  But they are amazing.  So amazing I had to tell everybody about them.  Thus this post.  They will be a staple item in our refrigerator for sure.  I hope you enjoy them as much as me.  🙂

“Perfectly Perplexing Pickle Facts

Americans have been eating pickles ever since Christopher Columbus discovered the land. Since then, the pickled cucumber has become a favored snack, available in more than 36 varieties. Even teenagers and toddlers love them. In a recent study teens have identified pickles as one of their favorite vegetables. (Some call pickles a vegetable, but Supreme Court U.S.A. has ruled that they are a fruit of the vine.)

Pickle history dates back to 2030 B.C., when inhabitants of Northern India brought cucumber seeds to the Tigris Valley. Shortly thereafter, cucumber vines were growing all across Europe. People then learned to preserve the fruits of their labor by pickling them in a salty brine.

During the 17th century, the pickle came to the “New World.” By the 1820s, colonists had grown so fond of pickles that Nicholas Appert constructed the first pickle plant in America. In fact, America was named after a pickle peddler: Amerigo Vespucci. Vespucci was a ships chandler, outfitting vessels scheduled for long explorations with vitamin C-packed pickled vegetables (particularly cucumbers and cabbage) to prevent scurvy among crew members.

You can experience a piece of early American history each time you open a jar of Bubbies Pure Kosher Dills or Bubbies Bread and Butter Chips.

Consumption:

More than 67 percent of all households eat pickles.

American households purchase pickles every 53 days.

Americans consume more than nine pounds of pickles per person annually.

The Land:

Approximately 100,000 to 125,00 acres are devoted to growing pickling cucumbers in the U.S. They are grown in more than 30 states, with the biggest producers being in California, Colorado, Michigan, North Carolina and Texas.

Cucumbers are a cash crop at the grower level. Growing them requires no government subsidies.

Health:

Pickles are fat-free and low in calories.

Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, believed pickles contributed to health and beauty.

Particulars:

Pickling is one of the oldest forms of food preservation, discovered at the dawn of civilization, thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia.

North Americans prefer pickles with warts while Europeans prefer them wartless.

Refrigerated versions account for about 20% of all pickle sales.

International Pickle Week is one of the country’s longest running food promotions. It has been observed for more than 50 years. IPW runs for ten days during the last two weeks in May.

The pickled vegetable industry has its own trade association: Pickle Packers International, Inc.

During WWII, the U.S. Government tagged 40% of all pickle production for the ration kits of the armed forces.

Good pickles have an audible crunch at ten paces. This is measured using an Audible Crunch Meter. Pickles that can only be heard at one pace are known as denture dills.

Ingredients

Cucumbers

Artesian Well Water

Garlic

Salt

Dill

Spices”

via Bubbies.

After writing this post some questions came up about whether or not Bubbies contains any probiotics so I began a little search and found this statement by Bubbies:

“Bubbies Bread & Butter Chips are vinegar brined and are a pasteurized food product, so there are no live cultures in that particular item.  Our Pure Kosher Dills, Dill Relish, Pickled Green Tomatoes and Sauerkraut are all naturally fermented and cured in salt water brine using a lacto-fermentation process. These products contain live cultures and the enzymes that form from a natural fermentation.

The Pure Kosher Dills, Dill Relish and Pickled Green Tomatoes are 100% raw; the Sauerkraut in the jars has been flash heated but not pasteurized.  This means that the Kraut is neither pasteurized nor raw.  Bubbies Bread & Butter Chips are vinegar brined and pasteurized and are shelf stable.

We were forced to begin heating our jarred Sauerkraut to calm the cultures inside because they were causing the kraut to continue to ferment too much in turn causing a buildup of gas that then results in brine leaking all over our distributor’s and retailer’s equipment and shelving.

When we heat our jarred Sauerkraut, it is quickly raised to about 135-140 degrees and then sealed in the jars.  The goal here is not to eliminate all the beneficial cultures, but rather to stifle them so they won’t cause the jars to leak.  When our Bread and Butter Chips are pasteurized the pickle chips and brine are heated to a boil and then allowed to simmer, to 212 degrees.  This process is designed at eliminating any potential cultures and is the style of preparation for that variety of pickle. While the heating we do for our Sauerkraut is only intended to calm the gas producing nature of the product with the specific goal in mind not to eliminate the beneficial cultures.  We do not claim that this product is raw for these reasons, but it still does have live bacteria.  From our testing, it is above 140 degrees that you really begin to eliminate the cultures present in our products on a massive scale.

It is important to note that our Sauerkraut is very crisp.  It is crunchier and able to maintain its crunch for far longer than other brands.  This is because there are still vegetable fibers left intact in the cabbage which are the complex carbohydrates that break down into the simpler food that the lacto bacillus cultures feed on during the fermentation process.

Hopefully this information will help in your continued enjoyment of our products and make it easier for you to remain a loyal customer.

Wishing you the very best in Food and Health!”