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.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How much fruit?

This post may be a struggle for some of you. On the way back to our home office this morning I had the radio on NPR where some experts were discussing the new government guidelines for telling us how to have a healthy diet. I find it deeply disturbing to find out how our tax dollars are being "invested". One bit of advice was to load half of our plate with fruits and vegetables and cut way back on red meat, especially meat with saturated fat in it. I think most of us can agree on the vegetable part, but some of us may not agree on the other two food types.

I shall briefly address the fruit part of our diets. We grow apples, oranges, figs,  grapes, and now blueberries. We like fruit. But we want to be wise about how much we eat and how we consume it. Too much sugar, even the homegrown kind from our yards and orchards can be detrimental to health. So here is one approach that we take to drinks- Squeeze half of an orange, grapefruit, or lemon into a cold glass of filtered water, and only if you like, add a minuscule amount of pure stevia. You will get the taste of the fruit, some of the nutrients, without the big hit of sugar to our livers that comes from 100% squeezed fruit juices. Check out these links for some "philosophy" regarding fruit sugar (and other sugars) in our diet. Some of this may be a bit controversial, but it may give you something to consider.
Scroll down to the section on Fruit Sugar
This is an informative table. Note the differences between oranges, lemons, and grapefruits.
Especially note #1 and #10 when considering the list on the last link.  This M.D. is way out there for many mainstream people, and I do not agree with some of his underlying philosophies, but he has some really sound data driven practical advice to ponder. The government experts would vilify this man! I find many of his ideas refreshing.