3

Crackers (Edie)

Make up about 12 cups mix of just about any combination of flours – I have them in the freezer and use whatever happens to be there:  whole wheat, spelt, kamut, oats, barley, millet, quinoa, rye, corn, rice, etc.  I have tried teff but found it a bit bitter.  
 
add 1 cup ground flax seeds, 1 cup sesame seeds, 1 tbsp baking powder and 2 tsp salt.  Mix well and store in the freezer.
Take 2 cups of the flour mix  
add 1/4 cup of olive oil and enough hot water to make 1 cup.  I have used 1 cup of grated cheese, about 1/4 cup of pesto, or crushed rosemary, or ground pepper to flavour the mix.  This is a place you can experiment with – I thought about balsalmic vinegar, other herbs, garlic etc.  but have not tried.
 
The dough will be quite soft – if it is too sticky, add a bit more flour
divide in about thirds, and on a well floured surface roll out till it is as thin as you can get it.  prick with a fork, sprinkle with salt if you want, or grate parmesan on top and roll in.  I use a pizza roller to cut into squares.
Put on a cookie sheet, and bake around 10 minutes at 350.  This time may differ according to what your oven is like.  You want to have the crackers crisp but not burnt – a balance that needs careful watching – in my oven the outside crackers cook faster so I take them off first.
 
Here is a photo of the dough:
Image
 
Stefan enjoyed eating it:
Image
 
Janelle helped cut them:
Image
 
Then the two competed to get the position of “lifter”:
Image
 
The finished product:
Image
 
The snacking:
Image
 
10 min later… they are a hit!
Image
0

Refreshing

Last Tuesday our group met at Liz’s place… a cool, but pleasant evening. This was our first meeting as a group, and I was amazed by the dynamic we created. Open sharing, learning, passion, and snacking!

The demo of the evening was Dawn’s… “Pumpkin” cashew Tart – otherwise known as carrot pudding! We were all surprised how deliciously rich this treat was. Today I found carrot juice at Simply Delicious in a bottle (see picture) that is good until mid-July so this is probably easier than getting it fresh from Nature’s Fare if you don’t have a juicer. I also got my coconut milk – the can Dawn suggested as having lots of cream on top that can be a substitute for the coconut flesh in the original recipe.

We chose Edie’s crackers as the demo for September. Since she shared her recipe with me, I couldn’t resist going out to purchase little bags of several different flours today. Millet, kamut, barley, rye… and I decided to try coconut flour too! Now I have my 12 cup mixture in my freezer to work from and churn out some delicious crackers; though I’m sure not as neat and tidy looking as Edie’s. She has perfected the cracker art for sure!

Kristy took home a huge stock pot – the take away gift of the evening! – from Liz! And we got to hear from Kristy about Vernon Permaculture (link on the right side bar somewhere…), learn about microplaners (for grating cheese, mincing garlic, etc.), the OXO salad spinner which a child can operate (thanks Karyn!), and meet Leanne’s prized teapot (from Ana’s “Functional Pottery“). The REBAR cookbook got excellent reviews, particularly the “chocolate cake”. And soon I will use Anita’s tip of pitting cherries using a (beer) bottle and the metal end of a pencil (with eraser removed). Did you know it helps to put salt on garlic before chopping it? I still haven’t tried this out… but I will keep my eye out for Edie’s old fashioned meat tenderizer which is the perfect tool for crackers and pastry.

WOW, so many hands-on tips to take home and use right away! Amazing. And I feel newly inspired to do more in my kitchen… my interest was definately waning with summer’s bounty slow to arrive and my 3 little ones at my feet!

Today I managed to “link” to Kristy’s local permaculture group… my next project is to create a “recipes” section so we know where to go when we want to make the Glory Bowl Dressing, Carrot Pudding, and Edie’s crackers! How come no one requested the “salsa with a kick” recipe?!? My husband ate the remaining in 2 sittings… impressive.

2

Firsts…

There are many “firsts” with food… tonight, my first kale chips! Amazing that a whole tray of kale can turn into a crispy treat… I wonder how to keep them so crispy? My husband says they are “awesome”! I think perhaps a good conduit for salt into my body… we’ll see what my girls think in the morning.

ImageI

Or the first time I discovered that I could melt my hardened honey – about twice a year I buy huge amounts of local Armstrong honey – and once I re-melt it on the stovetop, it stays nicely melted again in my cupboard jar!

Or my first raspberry jam – last year – thanks for the recipe Kristy!

Or my first time adding worms to my compost – thanks for the donation Susan! The worms are munching our compost, making it much more effective than it ever has been!

Or my first dandelion green smoothie… that was a great energy renewal Dawn!

Or my first time making tomatillo salsa – too bad my local supply has dwindled or I’d make it again for our next meeting… very “refreshing”!

I think food is one realm of life that I can count on so many first experiences remaining… woop! woop!

6

Pulled in different directions

What’s new in food for me? First thing this morning I picked up a huge container of “krispies” (essentially rice krispies but bought bulk) and the top was off… waterfall onto the table, floor… sigh. The best part was my 5 year old immediately offered “I can help, Mom”. This simple offer immediately relaxed my heart. I love her!Image

I find myself being pulled in different directions with food this week… while I love to be adventurous and try new recipes – like our raw cacao shake yesterday – I find myself disappointed when my new creations are met with hesitation of my youngsters, thus I am tempted to just repeat the same favorites. Boring for me, great for them! The raw cacao shake was rejected by my oldest, gobbled by my 2nd… and I found it to be a whole new food group! YUMM! 

My husband found the first mouthful a bit odd, but after that he enjoyed it too. A great cholesterol free snack for him; again somewhere I am pulled it 2 ways. On the one hand I’ve always enjoyed using butter, eggs, cheese and other organic dairy in my kitchen, on the other my husband was recently told to watch his cholesterol. Hence tomorrow I will try to make and integrate some new “cheese” (made of sunflower and almonds). I find butter, eggs, and cheese to be “real food” and it is challenging for me to switch to the often more processed, sweetened, etc. alternatives.

Third, I find my budget is pulling me to spend less… I toy with giving up buying organic altogether… how much cheaper would that be? Or do I stick to buying organic, unprocessed foods and give up buying any expensive treats like ice cream, prepared baking, even feta cheese! to try to bring my bill down.

Finally I am pulled to spend less time on food preparation, making easy things like salads and tonight’s “Spinach cheese bake” with steamed asparagus. Yet, I so enjoy everything homemade, and it all takes time… fresh oatmeal cookies last night for example, or our “scone party” pictured here – my girls loved these fresh maple date scones on Saturday morning in our yard. As did I!!

Alas, I find myself pulled in different directions and struggle to find the happy balance.