"The researches of so many eminent scientific men have thrown so much darkness upon the subject that if they continue their researches we shall soon know nothing."

- Artemus Ward

“If you aren’t confused about health and nutrition, then you haven’t studied it long enough or deeply enough.”

- Matt Stone

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pretty Paleo cookies

I love being able to have my grandson visit and spend the night. When he was here last time I wanted to bake cookies with him! Such a grandmotherly thing to do. But I don't keep wheat in the house anymore and won't eat it or feed it to my grandson while he is here. I wanted to make gingerbread men but realized I no longer had any cookie cutters that shape, and ended up with only hearts and circles.

I don't measure anything when I make these things, so can only tell approximations. Recipe was:
- glob of softened coconut oil (about 2-4 tbsp or so)
- about a tsp each of ground ginger and cinnamon
- a pinch of salt
- some coconut flour (couple tbsp or so)
- some blackstrap molasses (maybe a tbsp or a bit more)
- an amount of almond meal to make the dough a rollable consistency

I rolled this out and we cut them and baked them at 350 for about 10 minutes.

We rolled them very thin, almost like Moravian cookies. So a couple of them burned a bit. But most came out nicely crisp and gingery, and only mildly sweet. My grandson was fascinated with the process and enjoyed eating a couple.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Farm Fresh Eggs

Well one of my hobbies has helped me solve another issue down here in Florida! I'm a birder, and a bird feeder, and I made a visit to the closest Wild Birds Unlimited store to buy a bluebird house after seeing bluebirds in my yard! Seeing bluebirds was awesome. But best of all the store had information there about a local farm selling farm fresh eggs! Wow, just what I'd been looking for. I called the number and spoke to Manny, the farmer, and he invited me right on over to the farm for a tour, just a few miles down the road.

He gave me directions, which were good. But of course the sign was also hard to miss. I was there on a Friday but it was before 4 PM, but Manny said I could come right in anyway, and he would give me a tour so I could see the chickens myself!

They are not totally free-roaming as the predators would get them. In fact Manny and his wife lost their first two sets of chickens to predators. But they are kept in large open-air coops where they have plenty of room to move around, plenty of space to roost and to perch. They get fed a natural diet, including plenty of access to bug and worms and other forms of protein that chickens need to help make their eggs nutritious.

There were even a few big old roosters strutting their stuff among the hens, and crowing away. Manny and his wife sell at various farmer's markets, but also from the farm on Tuesdays and Fridays, and the farm itself is actually closer to home for me than any of the markets they sell in. But when I told my son and DiL about them it turned out they had already been buying their eggs at the Nocatee Farmer's Market!

The eggs were $5.50/dozen for Jumbo, $4.50/doz for large, or $3.50/doz for small/medium. I went for the small/medium since I'd read somewhere that eggs all mostly have the same sized yolk, and the size difference is the result of more white. And since the yolk is what I want, and I don't care about the white, why pay more for extra white? :-)

Manny said he occasionally gets someone who stumbles in, and says "Why should I pay you these prices when I can get eggs for $1.29 at Walmart?" but those folks are rare, and by the time most people find him they are already well educated on the benefits of eggs from properly nourished and healthy chickens.

This was a great find, and a fun place to visit. I look forward to going again, though I bought two dozen eggs my first visit, so don't have to go again immediately. LOL.

P.S. Now down 130 pounds as of this morning.

Friday, October 14, 2011

New Kitchen

One of my serious dislikes about my new home was the kitchen cabinets, as shown above.. I thought they were *seriously ugly*. But if they have been functional I could have painted them or done something to them to live with them. But they were also pretty useless. A very small number of cabinets. Only *one* base cabinet with a single drawer. Lots of "dead" filler space on either side of the stove. I have a nice high ceiling in the kitchen with plenty of space for cabinets, but the cabinets were short and stubby. So I decided to just bite the bullet and have all new cabinets put in right away, before I even bothered trying to unpack any boxes!

I ended up working with Oxley Cabinets of Jacksonville. They were great to work with and were very affordable. I got new cabinets to replace my old ones, new countertops, and I added "stacker" cabinets on top of the new replacements, and additional cabinets on the blank wall of the kitchen which gave me much more storage space as well as more countertop! I also got cabinets on either side of the stove rather than dead filler.

What a difference in looks. When I saw how lovely it was turning out I couldn't even bear to reuse the old stainless steel sink I had before. I didn't like it in the first place, and it was dingy and dirty looking, so I went out and bought a cast-iron sink enameled in white and I love it so much better!

Best of all I got to finally unpack all those boxes that had been cluttering up my kitchen for 6 weeks now, and was able to set up a table and chairs. I also replaced the light fixture over the table, which had been hideously ugly before. So for the first time since I moved in I was actually able to sit at a REAL TABLE and eat a meal!

So here is the breakfast I made for myself to celebrate. It was great sitting there and eating it while I looked out at the birds in the yard. I saw a red-bellied woodpecker, which is a new yard bird for me. I used to get red bellies at my old New Jersey home, but didn't know if I would see them around here.