Posts tagged ‘GMO’

Why You Shouldn’t Homestead

Basic Homemade Pasta Recipe & How-to

Making pasta is so easy, you are going to wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. The recipe is ridiculously simple and the prep is a cinch. I am embarrassed that I did not start making it years ago. However, let us not dwell on the past! I am making it now and I will show you how you can, too.

The Recipe

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons of water

See? That’s literally all you need. Combine the flour and the salt, then make a well and add the lightly beaten egg. Mix these together, then add the water and work it until a stiff dough forms. (It’ll be very crumbly, so keep working at it with your hands until all the flour is incorporated.) Once you have a ball of stiff dough, knead it for 4 minutes and then let it rest for at least 5 minutes so that it is a little easier to work with, otherwise it’ll be too difficult to roll out.

pasta1

After the dough has rested, roll it out with a rolling pin until it is thin enough to fit in between the rollers on your pasta machine when they are set at the widest setting (on mine, this is 7). If you don’t have a pasta maker, just keep rolling it out. If you need one, this one is like mine.

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When it’s thin enough to fit between the rollers, just roll it through.

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Dialing down the settings on the machine, decrease the space between the rollers so that the pasta gradually gets thinner and thinner. Once mine gets down to 4, it is usually pretty long, so I cut it in half.

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You can make the pasta as thick or thin as you want. I usually stop at 2, where it is thin enough to see my hand through. The picture below is on 3.

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The end result is two very long, very thin pieces of dough.

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Now, I feed them into the fettuccine attachment on my pasta maker and cut them out. If you are not using a pasta machine, then once you are done rolling (which will take quite a while), you can then use a very sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut your pasta noodles out.

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Once they are done, put them in a bowl, dust with flour and toss them to coat so they don’t stick. You may still have to pull some apart.

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From this point, they can be prepared, frozen or hung and dried. I hung a few batches the other day so that I can store them. I don’t have a pasta drying rack (yet), so I just sterilized two plastic hangers and used them. Worked just fine.

pasta2

If you dry the pasta, it needs between 8 and 24 hours to dry, depending on how thick it is and the humidity factor in your home. When they dry, they are pretty brittle, so be careful when handling them. You can add basil, spinach or many other herbs to the egg before you add it to the flour for an added zip. Bon appetite!

Starting Your Homestead: Which Animals Should You Raise?

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Once you’ve decided to start your homestead and found your land, it’s time to start planning what sort of crops and animals you are going to raise. You might have a broad range of animals and plants you could raise, or the region and restrictions could make it a bit narrower. For us, the Midwest is fertile soil for just about any crop and the land we’ve purchased has no zoning restrictions whatsoever on animals so long as they are fenced appropriately and treated humanely.

After you’ve researched your land’s viability and zoning laws, it’s important to consider what you want your homestead to do. If you want to sell produce at a local farmer’s market or create a breeding program from the animals you raise, you will probably want a larger diversity in the type of each that you have. If your homestead is only intended to support your family, that makes a difference.

For us, it has come down to self-sustainability. The point of self-sustainability to us is to eliminate the use of cash as much as possible. This means we will only be raising animals that can give back to our little eco-system, so that we are not losing money. Because of that, we have to decide which animals are the most economical. For instance, my children would dearly love a horse or two, and while I’ve not said no, there would not be much use for a horse. We have ten acres but we don’t plan on planting huge fields of crops or anything like that, and there is nothing to clear. There just wouldn’t be much work for a horse to do, if any. We certainly wouldn’t eat him, so he would be an 800lb pet that we have to pay to feed and care for. I love horses; he would be loads of fun and wonderful to have, but he would also be expensive to keep and that needs to be kept in mind at all times.

We have decided for sure on chickens and ducks, both for laying and eating. We’ve decided to keep goats as well; goats give milk (which can be consumed but can also be used to make all manner of wonderful natural beauty products) and they can also be eaten if need be. We have discussed having one cow, but thinking economically, there is just no need for a cow if we have goats. We could not butcher a cow ourselves and I would never send an animal off to strangers to be slaughtered, so her contribution would be milk only. Goats make this not necessary. We have decided against pigs for the same reason: too difficult to butcher alone. Plus, for me personally… I have seen too many factory farm videos involving pigs to ever be able to kill one, even though on my homestead they’d live like kings. I don’t eat pork very often at all; pigs are too intelligent and I just don’t have the stomach for it. If we are not going to eat them, they just become pets we have to feed. Big pets.

The subject of rabbits has also come up a few times. Rabbit poop is excellent fertilizer and – while my family probably would not eat a rabbit in a regular situation – they can be sold for meat or eaten if necessary. We will probably end up keeping a few for the valuable fertilizer these little guys produce. It can be added to the compost pile or just put directly into the garden.

Don't let him fool you. He is a rodent assassin.

Don’t let him fool you. He is a rodent assassin.

We do have a few pets, but even they have jobs. Our two dogs, Sage and Char are excellent guard dogs and they will earn their keep by protecting our homestead. Our cat Jake is a terrific mouser and he will keep the pest and rodent population down – and be happy to do it, by the way.

Everybody has their job on the homestead, even the animals. If we look at it like that, planning becomes much easier.

Our Public School System: How Far is Too Far?

It is no secret to many of you that we homeschool our youngest son. The reason for this is multi-faceted. The main reason is because our son has been “diagnosed” by the school as having an “autism-spectrum disability” (he was not diagnosed by a doctor, however; the doctor concurred with us that our son was not disabled or delayed in any way), and because of this “diagnosis,” the school endeavored to have him put into a classroom in the basement of the school with no windows with children who could not speak or communicate with other people. No sunshine, no friends to play with, stunted curriculum far below his level… this is a boy who has been reading, spelling, adding and subtracting and much more since he was 3, a child who drew a complete – and correct – diagram of the internal organs on himself with a permanent marker at the age of 4 (yes, I have pictures lol) and could name every organ. He is not delayed, he is advanced. The school was either unable or unwilling to recognize this. So we pulled him out and have never regretted it.

There is another reason, however, and it is what I would like to talk about today: The school system’s continuing overreach into people’s personal lives. A perfect example is the school “diagnosing” my son with autism. The school and their employees cannot diagnose anyone with anything; they are not doctors. They have no business attaching labels to children – a label, I might add, that in our case a medical specialist did not agree with. Schools also often want to conduct home visits and myriad other things. They are the school, not the police. I homeschool specifically because I do not want or need the government or their employees in my home.

Today I read a story online about Leeza Pearson in Aurora, Colorado. Ms. Pearson sent her child to school with a packed lunch just as she does every day. The lunch consisted of a ham and cheese sandwich, string cheese and a 4-pack of Oreos. On this day, however, Ms. Pearson received a note from the Children’s Academy in Aurora, Colorado. The child was apparently prohibited from eating the Oreos because the school stated they weren’t nutritious enough.

The school also apparently sent a note home that read:

“Dear Parents, it is very important that all students have a nutritious lunch. This is a public school setting and all children are required to have a fruit, a vegetable and a heavy snack from home, along with a milk. If they have potatoes, the child will also need bread to go along with it. Lunchables, chips, fruit snacks, and peanut butter are not considered to be a healthy snack. This is a very important part of our program and we need everyone’s participation.”

The school has now backtracked on this issue, saying that no such note should have been sent home to any parent.

Aside from the obvious absurdity of insisting on potatoes and bread (two starches is healthy? OK…), what right does the school have to be involved here at all? It’s not rat poison, it’s 4 cookies. Four cookies. This is a massive overstepping of boundaries on the part of yet another government institution: the public school. This is becoming more and more common and people have got to push back against it or we may find ourselves no longer in charge of our children’s lives.

My 6 year old nephew – 6, not 16 – was sent home from school the other day because he threw a tantrum that included saying something about killing. My sister was told that she had to take him to a mental health evaluation or he could not come back to school. She was also told the school would call child protective services if she did not comply. My sister did as directed by the school. The doctor’s response? “This the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. The school needs to learn how to control a child throwing a tantrum.” Just another ridiculous overreaction from people who have no business making themselves the authority on subjects they apparently know absolutely nothing about. Do any of these people even have kids?

Take a lesson from these things, parents. Pay attention to what is going on with your children before it’s too late.

Monsanto Shill Claims Herbicide Safe to Drink But Refuses to Drink It

“You can drink a whole quart of it and it won’t hurt you! What? No, no… you can drink a whole quart of it, I said. Not me. I’m not an idiot.”

Alkaline vs Acid

Here is a pretty extensive list of alkaline foods. “Every single person who has cancer has a pH that is too acidic.” -Dr. Otto Warburg (Winner of the 1931 Noble Prize in Physiology)

Foods to Buy Organic

organic

 

usda

Braised Balsamic Chicken & Jasmine Rice

FotoFlexer_Photo

Today was my husband’s birthday and for dinner he asked for balsamic chicken. It’s one of my favorite dishes and it’s so delicious. I’m writing this with a hugely full belly. So, so worth it. When done right, this dish is restaurant quality. Here is how I make it.

  • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 large onion
  • fresh rosemary
  • fresh basil
  • garlic salt
  • 2-3 tbsp butter
  • paprika
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup jasmine rice

chicken

Melt the butter over medium heat and get it to a good sizzle. Season both side of the chicken with the garlic salt and paprika. Brown the chicken in the butter, a few minutes on each side. Chop the onion and add it to the skillet with the chicken and cook until the onions are golden brown. Cut up the tomato and add it to the skillet with the onions and chicken. Add the vinegar and the herbs. Simmer a little while and then add the broth. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear; 15+ minutes depending on your stove. Cook rice according to the package directions. Spoon the mixture over the rice and serve.

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NOTES: I use everything organic. I always use dark meat but you can use breasts if you like. The butter can be substituted 1:1 with oil. You can use black pepper in place of paprika. If you don’t have balsamic vinegar, you can use apple cider vinegar and add sugar to it. That’s actually the way I prefer to do it. If you don’t have jasmine rice, you can use another type; basmati rice works well too, but jasmine rice adds a sweetness to this dish and it is excellent.

A Ham For Christmas? Not This Year

I usually make a ham for Christmas. I also make one for Thanksgiving (I’m not a big turkey fan). This year though I’ve started making hams more regularly than just holidays because economically, they make sense considering how many days’ worth of food you can get out of just one. Because of that, I’m just a little sick of ham. Sick enough of it to want to make something different for Christmas dinner, anyway.

I started thinking about what that could be. It needed to feel festive and it needed to feel “fancy” enough to be Christmas dinner. Then I thought, why not a nice roast beef? We don’t eat beef very often in my family; only about once a month. And does anything look better than a juicy grass-fed roast beef?

I scoured the internet and found what looks to be a great way to cook it. I think with some red skin mashed potatoes and carmelized apples, carrots and onions, it would be delicious. After I read it, I remembered a friend had actually told me about this method before but I’d never tried it. Since I thought some of you might want a change this holiday season, I thought I’d share the technique. You can use any cut of beef for this and any size. It will create a perfect medium rare roast beef. If you like it a little more done than that — lots of folks do — you can increase the time to 7 or 8 minutes per pound. Experiment with it and see what works for you.

Important pre-cooking instructions: Let your roast sit out until it is room temperature before you put it in the oven.

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Wait for a few minutes before you put the roast in, so that the oven is as hot as possible.

2. Put the roast in a shallow pan.
3. Cut onion into thin rings, and put all over the top and sides of the roast using toothpicks if necessary. OPTIONAL
4. Season to your liking.

5. Put roast in the oven on the middle rack.

6. Bake at 500 degrees for 5 minutes per pound, then shut off oven, and let sit in the oven for 1 hour. DO NOT open the oven door. VERY IMPORTANT!

7. After you turn off the oven and your roast has baked for l hour, take it out of the oven, and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.

Ta-da! That’s it. Enjoy!!
PS: If you do make a ham, check out our Entrees section for a delicious potato-ham chowder recipe to make with your leftover ham.

Backyard Medicinal Herbs

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