Saturday, March 19, 2011

Man's Best Friend Food

Penny - Wild Dog
Penny Food - Wild Elk
Penny is the Mexican Chihuahua that daughters Jennifer and Maria rescued from a nearby branch of the Arizona Humane Society. When the girls found her she was very little, very weak from two surgical procedures, and pathetic looking - just laying on your arm or shoulder not wanting to move around too much. I do not know what these girls were thinking then but Penny is now MY BABY!

My goal is to turn her into a very uncharacteristic Chihuahua. I give her marrow-filled raw bones, which she chews on with gusto and intensity and then buries in the dirt and digs up later. We take her lots of different places in the outdoors. She hikes up and down mountains in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve and does very well jumping around on the rocks and boulders. She spends time outdoors doing the things many dogs never get to do in order to fulfill their  true "doghood". She is about as wild as a Chihuahua can get! She is a primal dog with adequate training.

This requires a lot of energy. I have elected to not subject this magnificent beast to the SADD (Standard American Dog Diet). She eats the innards, skin and meat pickings from the organic chickens we buy, mixtures of salmon or tuna, and beef. She eats eggs when we eat them. We mix the meats with a small amount of rice sometimes and always larger portions of cooked squash, assorted vegetables, or pumpkin. Raw beef bones are supplied on a regular basis.

So how does gathering enter into this post? The food seen above is from another recently discovered  bag of frozen elk. These pieces of meat are very flavorful, but our human jaws would seize up trying to chew them. Not the best cuts of elk. Penny makes short work of this meat. The carbs are from a leftover Halloween pumpkin stored in our freezer. Don't mess with this Chihuahua.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Use 'em or Lose 'em

Roasted organic butternut squash seeds the easy way - on the stove-top griddle of our gas range. Keep moving them every so often, use a little coconut oil or grass fed cow butter, and a sprinkle of salt at the end.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pan-Seared Elk Chops in a Spiced Marinade

We thought all of our elk was gone. One last (we think) package was found hidden in our freezer. So we wanted to get this final gathered meal "right". We found this recipe on a site we visit often. If only this recipe had been posted when we first started preparing this elk! After a simple to put together, but very complex tasting marinade, the chops or steaks are pan-seared and then finished quickly in a hot oven . We also prepared some grass fed organic beef the same way. The beef was very good, but not nearly as savoury as the elk. The rosemary is from a plant just outside of our house. We hope someone in our home gets an elk permit this coming season. Served with roasted and buttered butternut squash, a deep green salad with orange peppers and red tomatoes, with a coconut flan for dessert. We were able to share this meal with Kyle, his chihuahua Bella, and our wild-dog chihuahua Penny. A good time was had by all - really.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hunter-Gather Health Care Plan

Yeah, take some time and consider what is being communicated here. The current debate about health care, and who pays for it is MISPLACED. There is room in between these two women for someone not down on her knees in adoration of the ideal, but rather someone simply living her life the way she was designed to experience it. This would be in an active lifestyle of growing, gathering, foraging, hunting, preparing, moving... you get the picture. This activity would be legitimate moving around for the purpose of maintaining nutrition and standard metabolic functions. Personally, we take no prescription medications, we seldom ever see a health care professional, we feel good, we do not experience the manifold "dysfunctions" advertised on the  nightly news programs, and our health care costs are primarily non-monetary. Our "costs" are the time it takes to plant, grow, hunt, prepare, and enjoy part of what we eat.  Additional costs are walking on varied natural terrain up and down hills,  lifting heavy things, resting when we need to, and not putting garbage into our bodies. And we seek to understand our lives, enjoy our time on earth in simple ways, and share life with others. Maybe we just are not sophisticated enough to understand all of the "real" problems related to the Health Care Crisis - maybe.

What makes more sense, digging/lifting/reaching/raking/walking/carrying/dragging  outdoor activities to put food on the table, OR walking very short distances into the grocery store and back to the car, to the fridge, or sitting on ones ass in the fast food lane in order to eat  caloric dense "food" of suspect origin, content, and preparation.

Here are some articles and abstracts about how to regain health in authentic ways in natural settings. Picture yourself up and about, sweating, a bit dirty, maybe even sore sometimes - but healthy. - Portugal

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Aloe Vera First Aid

My wife is no wimp. She gets hurt, stung, bruised, broken and she just deals with it. So when I actually saw her wince the other day as she arrived home from sampling and selling tea - I knew something "not good" had happened. She burned the back of her fingers using someone's teapot. She was in real pain. She got out of the car and went directly to the back yard where our Aloe Vera plants reside. I grabbed some large scissors and cut some off, slit & split it and applied it to her burn. Instant relief. It works much better than the goop in the bottles.  I think we are going to consider growing some other medicinal plants if they work as well as the AV plant. Let us know if you have any recommendations.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hope Springs Eternal

We are making an attempt to eat food that is actually good for us and the ground and place it comes from. Organic or natural is always preferred. This is why we grow food in our yard, we know where it comes from. This is another reason why we hunt wild game. I have harvested large and small game animals and birds over the years. We respect what we eat and we do not waste what we take. We support conservationist efforts in our State and nation. The food is natural and definitely "FREE RANGE" living the way it is supposed to live until the end of its life. We go get the game, field dress it, bring it home and process and store it ourselves. We think this is a very authentic and honest way to provide our food.

In Arizona we must enter a draw to try and get a permit to shoot big game animals with firearms and some archery permits. Some people do not get drawn for years. It can be mentally and emotionally taxing for some. So this year we increased our odds by having both husband and wife apply for permits. In times past someone did not take the time to train someone else (who WAS DRAWN) in the accurate use of a high-powered firearm. It is a good thing that the experience was not being videotaped. The should have been trainer was not always the good person he should have been. If she gets selected this year she will receive a lot of patient, thoughtful, dutiful instruction. I promise. We will keep you posted. Check out the older post of the Elk Tenderloin Roast to see why we hunt.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More Fruit Philosophy

                   Here are some before and after pics of our figs.  They look like little soldiers in the before pictures.  In the after photo they are mixed with frozen blueberries and some of our gleaned pecans. The figs and blueberries are covered with unsweetened full cream coconut milk. The coconut milk turns into ice cream when it comes into contact with the frozen berries. The figs add a chewy texture and the pecans a crunch factor. The blueberries and figs have lower Total Metabolic Fructose Loads so they are better fruits to eat. Apples have over 3 times the TMF load of the figs and the blueberries are almost as good as the figs. The excellent fat in the coconut milk is a good balance for the fruit sugar. This is a dessert you need to make - and eat.