Monday, April 27, 2009

We’re Back!

It’s been a busy, busy month. The garden, of course, has taken up most of my time, digging new beds (all with a shovel, not a rototiller—we love our worms!), planting seeds and transplants, moving sod from the newly dug beds to the bare patch in our yard, and so on. Illness struck Tristen for about five days—fever and sore throat, then hit Rowan, though she was sick only a day. (Hmm, could that be because she eats 99% raw and he eats only about 75% raw??) Car troubles, tax return troubles (The IRS screwed my return up, still haven’t received our refund and it was in by the 2nd week of February. Hrrmmmph! ), other paperwork issues, yadda, yadda, yadda, rent, rent, rent.

We’ve tried a few new raw recipes--strawberry granola, sour cream and salsa, corn-lime chips, bbq chips, garlic-almond crackers, cashewbutter squares, goji-maca-cacao bars, and Portobello sausages. All turned out great. I plan to attempt a mashed potato using jicama. I’ll let you know how that transpires. The best discovery was the garlic almond crackers. This has the BEST TEXTURE of a cracker, and with some tweaking, I could probably come up with a good soda cracker. Here’s what I do, to the letter:

First I make almond milk using a cup of almonds. I grind almonds with water and pour this into my nutmilk bags (I use doubled up paint thinner bags --MUCH cheaper than nutmilk bags, 2 for a buck and a half). I squeeze the milk into a bowl then I pour the milk back in the blender and finish adding my salt, oil, honey, and water, and dump the pulp into the bowl. Nutmilk done, I grind about half a cup of flax seeds in the coffee grinder and add it to the pulp. At this point, I could mix and spread for a plain cracker (soda crackers!), but I blend a clove or two of garlic with just a little water and add that to the batter. You may need a little more water, but I like a thick consistency. This is then spread with wet hands on dehydrator sheets (the wet keeps your hands from sticking) in either small round spoonfuls or larger sheets that are then scored before drying. Sprinkle on a little salt, and again later when you flip ‘em. Again, the texture is remarkably like a Ritz or a heavy soda cracker. But don’t take my word for it!

The berry rootstock is/are planted: 40 strawberries, 5 blueberries, 4 raspberries, a gooseberry and a boysenberry. Most of my veggies are in or started indoors for transplant later. Next on my todo list includes digging beds for flowers—chamomile, bachelor buttons, zinnias, cornflowers, and other cut or edible flowers. The herb garden is pretty well established. The best surprise was finding out how much rootstock I had in my overwintered parsley! Whew! I was able to plant 16 plants in the veggie beds and kept about 5 larger plants in the herb garden by the house. I will definitely pot some up again next winter.

Hope you’re keeping as busy! We’re off to hunt for morales.

Keep it raw,


DID YOU KNOW: The Jerusalem artichoke contains inulin. which helps stabilize wildly erratic blood sugar levels, keeping them smooth and even. Diabetics, take note!

UPDATE: Another plant that contains up to 36% inulin is chicory--you know, the common roadside weed with the stunning blue flowers. You can add the leaves to a salad. The root is used medicinally, and some add the roasted root to flavor coffee.