Food and stuff.

Always a lot happening in the world of food around here. Sometimes I wonder if it's weird to think about it so much. Like, there's just so much in my life that, when whittled down to its core, is all about the food. I suppose it's strange to me when I consider the staunch contrast between the relationship I have (and am growing) with food and the relationship that I could have with food (that it could be essentially an afterthought). I wondered if we were abnormally preoccupied with it. I don't think so, though. Really, I think we are supposed to have a living active relationship with it. I remember when my relationship with food was unhealthy. It was before I thought so much about it. It was when I thought too little about it. Mindfulness, really, has been my healer when it comes to food. And then, through mindful eating, I've found so much truth. Through the story of food- from the growing, to the thanking, to the eating, in all parts of the life process and then the consumption- I discover so much. So much of life's wisdom to be had there! 

So yeah. All that complexity and then down to just what's in my kitchen this week. Funny like that. Sort of like- "Before enlightenment: Chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: Chop wood, carry water." All still just about the doing. 

I'm making more of an effort to focus on frugality lately. We have a lot of incentive to save whatever pennies we can, and so I'm trying to make it work on very little without sacrificing quality. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Porridge- a mix of oats, wheat berries, barley, rice, millet, and (recently) sorghum. I soak it for a day (or just overnight) in warm water and a splash of whey (or something acidic like vinegar or lemon juice). Read all about why to soak your grains here. This will help us to stretch our eggs more. We are egg people. But the kids love porridge, and we can make it sweet or savory, so it's great. I'm back to soaking big batches of this and dry beans each week, cooking them up and then using them through the week.

We are getting lots of eggs! Still, we rarely have a surplus because we eat so many. 

Trying at sourdough again. I think I identified one of the problems, which is too much chlorine in our water. I think it weakens my cultures. The latest bread I made had great flavor, but didn't rise well. I'm not giving up.

I'm focused on just figuring out the starter, right now. I'm saving about half of it each day to make simple crepes with (which we've turned into a variety of meals, they are a new staple around here!). Anyway, I'm determined to wake this baby up. I've got a rubber band to mark the starter so I can see if it grows at all. It has yet to grow more than a half an inch. But I'm dechlorinating the water, working on feeding it more, and there is definitely activity. I'm hoping a little time will get it really going. If anyone has tips, I'd be so grateful.

Not dead. Just not sure if it'll make a good loaf.

Tried my hand at making creme fraiche the other day. Ridiculously easy.

Cream. A little of the cultured creme fraiche (from a commercial source or from your last batch). Room temperature for a day or so. Amazing! I think, if it's cost effective, we may just completely replace our sour cream purchases with this.  

Water kefir grains. We love the stuff, and the kids just gulp it down. The grains weren't growing much, but once I figured out about the chlorine in the water that all changed. They have gone from just a couple of tablespoons to this in a few weeks!

Second fermentation of water kefir with a little juice and blueberries for flavor. Yum!

Anyway, just some simple updates. I'll be sure to talk more about money saving stuff in the near future. I'm hoping to reduce our food expenses by half, so we'll see!

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