Friday, May 28, 2010

Homemade Summer

Having watched Food Inc. earlier this year, I haven't been able to get many of its images and ideas out of my head. It immediately prompted us to seek out and purchase over 60 lbs. of grass-fed beef from Hedgeapple Farm.  I won't purchase conventional beef ever again to feed my family.  Period.

Historically, Duncan and I have never been every-day-processed-food kind of folks. Sure, we've eaten our fair share of fast food and Doritos. We've also been known to enjoy Oreos and frozen pizzas.  And since we've had kids, animal crackers, pretzels, goldfish and other store-bought snacks have become staples in our home.  However, we've never purchased many pre-packaged mixes nor frozen foods and have had nearly exclusively homemade bread for the majority of our marriage.  So, we've started out this new portion of our food journey with the idea that over processing is BAD and homemade and from-scratch is GOOD. 

An idea from Food Inc. struck me more than any other, I think.  The gist of it is that human diet has changed more in the last 50 years than in the previous thousands of years before it.  Seriously?  Yes.  With the invention of mass-produced food, we've traded wholesome and quality with over-processed, nutrient-lacking crap.  Pardon the vulgarity.  But "progress" has poisoned us.  And is poisoning us.  And will continue to poison us.  Think of it--food allergies and intolerances seems more prevalent than when I was kid, as does autism.  Infertility seems rampant.  And obesity?  (Including my own!  And yes, I'm considered "obese" by medical standards in that my BMI is over 30.)  Type 2 diabetes?  I don't have anything to back up these "claims," rather, I think it's interesting stuff worth considering.

All this to say, I've been on a mission to become more aware about from where our food comes.  And while I'm not growing my own wheat to harvest and grind (yet), I do buy an awful lot of flour, both white and whole wheat.  (King Arthur is our choice.)  I'm also not mining my own salt, but buying that as well.  However, with these staples, along with others like sugar, yeast, baking powder, and others, we are able to make a lot of things in our kitchen that we used to buy at the store.  As I've mentioned many times before, Duncan makes 99% of our bread.  In the last six months, he's added crackers and doughnuts to his repertoire.  I've had a recipe for flour tortillas for a couple of years that I've tried several times, but haven't really liked.  I recently made corn torillas and they were yummy!  This inspired the recent purchase of a tortilla press.  Still waiting for its arrival.  Of late, I've made our own hamburger and hot dog buns, as well as pita bread.  I always make my own pancakes, waffles, and muffins in huge batches in order to freeze some to have for future breakfasts.  As I've gotten into cake decorating, so I've also gotten into homemade cakes and, more so, frosting.  Oh, heavens!

But recently, we're stepping it up a notch.  If you are friends with me on Facebook, you may have seen my recent status updates including my forays into homemade-ness.  This past week, there's been laundry detergent and pretzels.  And there's much more to come!  So stay tuned for details of the detergent, pretzels, and much, much more!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Forward Progress

If you don't know Amelie, Duncan or me and if you don't know the struggles we've had, than this longish (2 minutes or so) video won't mean much to you.  Please don't feel like you have to watch it.  I'm posting it here so that those of you that know and love Amelie can share in the tremendous success that she had yesterday at school.  At Amelie's school, all kindergarteners do a Family Tree Presentation. For Amelie, this was no small challenge.  But she worked hard and persevered. She has come so far over the last couple of years!  Duncan and I are ever so thankful at how the Lord has been working in her life and for the adults surrounding her whom God has used in the process.  So, without further bragging and mushiness...

Introducing, Miss Amelie Salada!