I so appreciated all your comments on your experiences cutting things out of your diet. I think it’s so interesting how experimenting with cutting just one thing out of your diet can make such an effect on the way you feel. If you haven’t yet tried eliminating anything from your eating habits, you might consider giving it a try. Just for a week at least, just to see if you detect any changes. Even if you don’t think you have any problems to fix. Maybe (hopefully if it’s a food you like) you won’t feel any different, but maybe, as some people have written, it will eliminate some headaches or joint pain or asthma. You never know until you try, right?
After at least 20 days off of wheat, I think I can say that giving up wheat for me personally, doesn’t make a huge difference. Well, it certainly has eliminated my spring allergy sore throat, but I think I’ve actually gained weight this month! I was hoping to get rid of a pound or two as we’ve been thrown full swing into swim suit season, but instead my shorts and tank tops are fitting a wee bit tighter! Maybe it’s from substituting corn chips & nuts instead of crackers and bread.
My son’s asthma is still active, but still seems less active than normal. My daughter’s eczema, which is the entire reason we’ve started this experiment hasn’t been eased at all. Poor thing.
Maybe we haven’t been eating wheat but we have been eating from the garden! After parenting three toddler’s we can say that shelling beans (these are favas) can hold a two-year-old’s attention a surprisingly long time!
Thanks for your diet comments, keep them coming!
The days around here have been non-stop the past two weeks. The Littlest got sick, then the Biggest, followed by the Middle one. The Middle one had a birthday, which he was sick for, the next day the Biggest broke his toe at TaeKwonDo practice. After a full afternoon at the Doctors getting x-rays and waiting for hours with a potty-training, non-napping two year old alongside, we were told there is nothing you can do about a broken toe. So we went home. The next morning I took the Middle one back to the Doctor for an eye exam to find he needs glasses. ‘Oh good!’ I said excitedly, ‘We’ll be twins now!’ Eager to pick out some adorable little boy glasses we headed to the kids glasses display where the Littlest had a potty training accident right there on the carpet and then immediately spilled her apple juice that the seemingly well intentioned nurse gave her. What followed was a classic body twisting tantrum of epic proportions. We couldn’t pick out frames fast enough and get out of there!
Through the chaos, we’ve been able to gather together the past two weekends as a family for harvesting walnuts. It’s a pretty nice few moments, after a whirlwind week, to work together under shady trees finding and hulling walnuts. Walnuts usually lead to picking tomatoes, peppers, melons, cucumbers, squash, one thing leads to the next.
And of course a bit more honey. These couple frames of honey tastes so much different from the last. It’s strong in flavor and we are in debate about whether we like the taste at all. What have they been feasting on the past couple of weeks?
(Honey laden beeswax for the girls to clean off and lavender stalks for the bees to perch on for drinking water. All in my new top feeder)
Luckily the days have slowed down back to their normal pace. The toe is almost back to normal, the glasses turned out to be cute as a bug on him and the Littlest one is back to napping. The potty training is going pretty well.
I’ve gotten back to work on some more body care recipes I can’t wait to share with you. I’m hoping to develop five solid recipes into a little booklet with labels to print. Hopefully it will be perfect for Holiday present making. How does that sound? I have a new lip balm recipe that only calls for 3 ingredients and I’m seriously addicted to! It’s really incredible. I’m putting the finishing touches on a face scrub that has my skin feeling like silk and I figured out how to turn my trusty Beeswax Lotion recipe into a body butter that goes on just like, well, butter. And there is a little something for the men in our lives I’m trying to perfect too. I’m excited about all of them. I’ll keep you updated!
(Artichokes are starting to make their way into our dinners.)
Have a great weekend!
Spring is here in full force, whether the calendar agrees or not. Every time I look outside at the garden I feel like I’m in a marathon race with the ever growing weeds. The soil around here is clay, so there is a small window of opportunity to easily pull weeds after a rain shower. Our window was late last week and on Saturday. By Sunday our window was up. It feels overwhelming, this big vegetable garden full of weeks. Sometimes I feel defeated already, that the weeds have already won this marathon, but as Scott reminded me the other day, we just need to work at it little by little everyday and we’ll get rid of them.
Meanwhile, let’s turn our heads away from the weed filled veggie garden down to the weed filled narcissus and daffodils that popped up this late winter. There are about four rows at the front of the vegetable garden that popped up and many large clumps that appeared all over the yard. I wasn’t all that familiar with narcissus before now, but their smell is out of this world! So fragrant! Put them on your must plant list!
The asparagus is also shooting up, everyday we go out and pick a thick handful. This is only one of two large, long rows. We’re spoiled. We planted three meager asparagus plants at our last house, now I have learned that it’s best to plant more than you’ll think you’ll ever need. You can always share with friends, right?
Above is a sign of progress that makes me a very, very happy woman. Drip tubing! Installed in two flower beds with a thick layer of mulch over the top.
What a nice Thanksgiving weekend we had. The weather has been spotty. Sometimes rainy, we’ve had plenty of fog and even some beautiful sunshine. All of it must have made me stay inside, because when I downloaded my recent pictures this morning, many were pictures looking out windows, like this one. Even in the few short days since I took this photo, that maple tree has turned to all yellow and red. It’s gorgeous out there! The favas are starting to pop up, the walnuts are pretty much all harvested, and Scott has been trellising more berries and grapevines.
Outside one of our bedroom windows is this pomegranate tree. I’ve always wanted a pomegranate tree, but could never find a place in our old garden. When we moved in this tree (or are they technically bushes?) had hundreds upon hundreds of blooms. I was starting to get worried about just how many pomegranates we’d get, but most fell off before setting fruit. We did however end up with enough pomegranates to fill a 10lb potato bag. With our recent rains we had to harvest them all because they were beginning to crack, and if left cracked on the tree they rot. What a waste that would be.
So we’ve been eating them in snacks and especially in salads with freshly cracked walnuts and blue cheese. So good! What’s especially good is cutting them in quarters and juicing them with the help of our Juice King! Now I’m off to find some recipes for pomegranate cocktails for tonight!
I have something fun to share with you tomorrow and we are currently working on a new culinary project, which I’ll share with you soon!
A couple weeks back I got clued into fennel pollen. Have you ever heard of that? I hadn’t. Apparently it’s a very expensive & coveted spice out there in the spice world, much like saffron. There is wild fennel growing all over the place right now and it’s it bloom. So I stopped my car at the side of a good patch, cut off a handful of blossoms, let them dry at home. Once dry I separeted the blossoms from the stems and poured them into a little spice jar.
I realize after having researched collecting wild fennel pollen a little more that what I should have done was simple shaken the blooms into a paper bag to get only the pure pollen, rather than the entire bloom. However it tasted great none the less. The taste is a sweet fennel/anise taste, which I tend to love. So good in home fries!
Now I have my own fennel pollen, but for free! And I plan on collecting much more. (make sure to carry some sissors or a knife when you go collect, using only fingernails to pinch the blooms off was rather tricky!)
If you live in California, or anywhere else wild fennel grows, go collect some and try it for yourself!
I got the camera back out today, it’s been in hibernation for a while. Things have finally gotten to the point in this cool summer where we are starting to drown in ripe fruit. We have felt this every summer, however we got used to the size of the bounty of our harvest in our old garden. In this one, it’s a whole new ball game! The blackberries started ripening last week, yesterday Scott walked in with the first three ripe pears, we’ve been slowly picking ripe gravensteins off the tree for a couple of weeks now knowing we’d be bombarded soon, and today I walked out and the entire santa rosa plum tree is ripe! Where do we even start?
How about we start at blackberry bars? So divine. I used this recipe (follow the link for Fresh Raspberry Bars) only I used blackberries and lime rather than lemon. I found them to be ridiculously good. That recipe is a keeper!
While typically Scott is the canner in our family, I have been watching him for so many years and helped out often enough that I have canned two batches of blackberry jam completely without help. It’s a great feeling to master a task that seems so overwhelming and hard. It’s really quite easy.
After keeping a tight budget and only spending on necessary house related expenses, we splurged on something ‘fun’ and had 5 yards of mushroom compost delivered last weekend. We swear by this smelly stuff. We’ve gotten into the habit of getting a few yards delivered every couple of years to boost our usual compost efforts and our garden has thrived on it. It’s been a family effort to spread this around the roses, the fruit trees, some of the flower beds and the back lawn. Scott’s been filling wheelbarrows of it, the boys have been filling red radio wagon loads full and with the baby girl tied on my back, I’ve been taking shovel full by shovel full to the front flower beds. The soil in this area is much different from our last house, it’s much more clay-like as opposed to our old house. It takes great effort to take shovel to ground here when the ground is dry, however I think this soil might hold nutrients better than at our old garden. We worked hard to get our old soil to retain moisture and nutrients, here, I think we might be trying to get better drainage. Funny what three little miles can do to the soil. Our hope in adding the compost is that by layering it over the dirt it acts as a mulch, adds even more nutrients, and lightens the soil so it drains properly and is easier to work.
A few interesting links I wanted to share:
This was a brand new idea to me, can you be vegan and be a gardener at the same time? Interesting to think about.
Inspiring post to read if you have a dream in mind.
What I’m thinking of making with at least a portion of those plums. Our family has a complete addiction to pot stickers, one of our only processed food vices, at least this sauce might make that meal a bit healthier.