Friday, July 11, 2008

Redmond RealSalt

My dear friend, Jackie, asked me to post about my use of sea salt, as opposed to iodized table salt. I suppose I should make a disclaimer by stating that my use of sea salt is based on none other than the testimonies of other like-minded individuals, and a little of my own rationale. I prefer any food that I take to be minimally processed, salt being no different. Some sea salts are not as heavily processed as table salt, so they retain trace minerals that are usually removed in the refining process (a health benefit!). Also, most commercial salt manufacturers add iodine (which we get enough of already due to the highly processed American diet) or anti-caking additives like silica or bleaching agents. Since I've been using Redmond Sea Salt for four years, I have developed a discriminating palate. Commercial iodized salt actually tastes bitter to me now. Also, with Redmond RealSalt, I don't have to use as much, which means my sodium intake is naturally decreased. There are many forms of sodium that will raise blood pressure and cause edema (fluid retention) if you have issues with those things, sea salt included. However, based on testimonies, sea salt seems to have less of an adverse effect. Still, as in all things, moderation.

Lastly, salt is essential to life. Our blood is made up of 0.9% saline, which is why it is given via I.V. infusion to normally increase blood volume in ill patients. God amazingly designed our bodies! Sea salt soaks are recommended for a variety of ailments and wound healing. It is a effective treatment for psoriasis and eczema, and well known for its cleansing properties.

Try it!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Egg blessing!

I received a phone call from a friend tonight that she was on the way home from the nearby dairy farm with milk...and 15 dozen eggs that the farmer offered to her. FOR FREE! I love free, and I love farm fresh eggs. So many people have a difficult time imagining me as a Florida farm girl, but I was for three years, just to try it out and have access to food where I could control its integrity. It was a fun hobby, but a lot of work. My chickens were my favorite. It was always a thrill to go out and lift the fanny of a hen to find an egg. I know, it doesn't take much to excite me.

Imagine my excitement to crack open some of those FREE eggs tonight and notice that they were all double yolked eggs. Betcha' never see those from the grocery store!

I am making big plans for my FREE eggs. Currently, I have four loaves of pumpkin-zucchini bread in the oven. The house smells like a farm house, the air laced with pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. Mhmmm.

Tomorrow I will make popovers. If you've never experienced a popover (hollow puffy rolls), you should!

Also, eggs can be whipped up and frozen, defrosted for use in a later recipe. For convenience, I freeze the eggs in two-egg portions.

Yes, this was an egg blessing! They will be put to good use!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My, how spoiled I have become

My bread machine paddle is missing. This has happened before, many years ago. I most likely pitched it out by accident with the end of a loaf. When this happened 5 years ago, I was able to buy an identical bread machine at a local thrift store for $5, from which I scavenged the paddle. Pretty thrifty, considering that a new paddle from a parts warehouse would have cost $20 plus shipping!

I am in the same position again, except that my bread machine is now 15 years old, and I have to wonder if I should just replace the entire unit. I used to see them all the time at thrift stores, or yard sales, but not so much now that I am looking to buy. And I am spoiled. I have a Kitchenaid with a dough hook, and I have the stoneware baking pans. The only problem with that, is that I have to heat up the entire oven to make it the old fashioned way, and I have to be here to babysit the loaf.

So, what should I do? Replace with another machine, or buy a paddle for $20, or just buckle down and do it the old fashioned way?

Or...should I delegate the job to Jordan, who has taken a fancy to bread making?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My frugal menu plan for this week 7/6 through 7/13

Sunday - Navy Bean Soup and homemade croutons, salad
Monday - Chicken and Yellow Rice (made with leftovers), broccoli, garlic bread, fruit cocktail
Tuesday - Spaghetti and tomato sauce with italian sausage, garlic bread, salad
Wednesday - more Spaghetti and tomato sauce (my family loves, loves, loves this!), gelato
Thursday - Gorditas (made with Old El Paso dinner kit)
Friday - Accidental Pie (like Shepherd's Pie, but with cheese), vegetables, applesauce
Saturday - Barbeque sandwiches, shredded taters and cheese, green beans

Of course, there are "fill-ins" with the meals. Homemade bread always seems to make a meal more special. Desserts are occasional here, but still make us feel like we've had a special meal. The Navy Bean Soup is not our favorite meal, but it was actually good with the croutons (oyster crackers from Aldi, lightly toasted in butter and garlic powder). The Gorditas were a pantry item from a Publix BOGO months ago. They need to be used up!

Lunches are either frozen chimichangas, sandwiches, or leftovers.

Breakfasts are easy here from an abundance of cereal or bagel stockpile. When we want a change, I will cook up some eggs and toast or make up some homemade muffins or waffles.

Snacks are either fruits, nuts, yogurt or popsicles.

This week I made homemade yogurt in my crockpot. From that, we had smoothies with fruit that was on the verge of being overripe. I also made Zucchini Pineapple Bread. That was a real high fiber, nutritious treat!

I do have an extra, unexpected $27 that I received for payment for Opinion Outpost surveys that I completed in the past quarter of 2008. With that money, I will have some wiggle room if Publix has an absolutely incredible sale that I can't pass up for things we need and use abundantly. God is good!

This pantry challenge is rather exciting to me, just to see if I really can stay out of the store unnecessarily for a week!