Thursday, February 10, 2011

Not So Easy

Experimenting with the recipes from Nourishing Traditions was far from effortless. I grew weary of all the pre-planning and time consuming food preparations.

Nourishing Foods filled the need I had for deliciousness and fullness. I got a bit hell-bent on richer foods after being on my fake food diet. And I loved being back in the kitchen, amidst the clatter of pots and pans, the science of fermenting and soaking, and the acrobatics of scrubbing down a well used kitchen filled with the aromas of honest cooking. This was such a welcome change after months of silently zapping bland, prepackaged meals and steamable bags of frozen vegetables.

I enjoyed the food, but eventually resented the time spent making it. Then I got lazy, but I liked the high fat foods. To sum it up; the holidays came and went, I ate everything, and my jeans got tighter.

Reading and making the recipes from Nourishing Traditions was an educational experience. But it didn't take long for me to veer away from time consuming food prep, and to feast upon heavy foods. Somehow I got lost in the tastes and experiences, and that opened a floodgate to eating whatever I wanted. I don't blame Nourishing Traditions. I think you can learn a lot reading the book and trying out the recipes. But making tasty, nutritious food needs to be easier for me.

I appreciate the love and thought and time put into making these recipes. I love the slow food movement and all it embodies. I just need to speed things up a little and trim some of the meat, butter, cheese and cream.

I chalk it up to a learning process. Figuring out what works for me is a good, good thing.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

More about pickles...

We had a lot going on, then my dad was in the hospital (still there), therefore the pickle review is late.

But the pickles were fabulous... better than Bubbie's Pickles! Thumbs up review from husband and kids. I think what made them better was the addition of several smashed garlic cloves.

The beet kvass and pickled beets I made are in the refrigerator but I haven't tried them yet. The sauerkraut was really good as well. If anyone is interested, the recipes/information I followed are from the book Nourishing Traditions and the Healthy Home Economist blog at

Monday, August 2, 2010


I just put up two jars of cucumber pickles using Sally Fallon's recipe in Nourishing Traditions. I added a few smashed garlic cloves to each jar and the garlic in combination with the fresh dill made them smell quite yummy already.

I've got yogurt cheese draining in a sprout bag (rigged to a kitchen cabinet and hanging over a glass bowl). This batch of yogurt was a runny one, so there was plenty of whey accessible in the bowl already - that's the whey I used to make the pickles.

In three days the pickles will be ready to refrigerate and on Friday we will taste them. My husband and kids love Bubbie's pickles and I'm hoping these taste similar. I'll post our pickle review on Friday.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

To market, to market

One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday morning is to hit the Farmers' Market. This week I picked up some...

nitrate free pastured pork sausage from Dream Catcher Farm
grass fed ground beef from Fox Hollow Farm
raw milk cheese from Kenny's Cheese
sugar baby watermelon
pickling cucumbers
green beans
homemade soap
rose conserve

I plan to pickle the cucumbers in an effort to add fermented vegetables to my diet repertoire (they are supposed to be excellent for digestion). At Whole Foods I purchased organic carrots and cabbage, soon to become pickled Gingered Carrots and Sauerkraut. All the fermented veggie recipes can be found in the book, Nourishing Traditions.

Not sure what to do with the rose conserve just yet. It's made with regular sugar, which I am avoiding. I will either serve it over brie (to sugar-eating company) or I'll gift it. It just sounded so girly - and if you live in my world (with a burly husband and five manly-man, lacrosse lovin' sons) anything that's pink, delicate, or makes me think "tea party" draws me in faster than a fly to a pie.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fake food, real food.

I am a "nutritional information junkie" who is confused by all the information I've read. I've spent a lot of time being overweight and undernourished, and I've tried to remedy this by following assorted low carb, low fat, low calorie, raw food, vegetarian/vegan diets. All of them worked for a time, but I walked away from each of these feeling frustrated, dissatisfied, and plagued by cravings.

Recently I lost 26 lbs. in 11 weeks on a low calorie, low fat, mostly "fake food" diet consisting of prepackaged meals, shakes, and bars. This diet also included some real food - a minimum of 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit per day. It worked for a time because it alleviated thinking/planning what I needed to buy or prepare to eat - a true "no brainer" type of diet. Initially I got thinner and I felt better. But somewhere around the halfway point I started feeling weak and unhealthy. I proceeded to the maintenance class. A majority of the folks in that class still had a lot of weight to lose. I wondered what we were all maintaining, aside from doughy bodies on a freak food diet. Feeling sick and tired, I felt like I was on a road headed nowhere (and an expensive road at that).

I desired health and decided to ditch the fake foods, tossing all the boxes, powders and bars.

Enter Real Food. My new approach to a healthful diet involves eating only real food. No fat free or low fat, no artificial sweeteners, and no processed white flour products. Back to eating the kind of food our great grandparents raised our grandparents on. Simply put - no crapola.

I am experimenting with the information found in the book Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig. I'm testing it out to see what works for me and what doesn't. It seems to make a lot of sense - though it's early to tell, so far, so good.