Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving with your family.  I feel like we had so very much to be thankful for this year.  The drought has taken quite a toll on farmers here but we were blessed with a very productive garden and crops did better than expected.  Our ponds are down so low it scares me.  Our ponds are our only water source.  We should be ok for another year but after that we're in trouble. 

I must confess, in all my preps I never really worried about water until this year.  With a 17 acre pond it never dawned on me that a couple years of drought and several month's of 100 degree days could dry it up as much as it already has. 

We put our garden in 1 1/2 month's earlier this last year and I also felt impressed to heavily multch as we went.  I didn't water except for taking grey water out like the dish rinse water or the rinse water from the laundry to water the tomatoes extra.  But it produced and we are still taking broccoli out of our garden but I think today will be our last picking.  tomorrow is suppose to start some very cold temps that should take the broccoli on out. 

But we are doing well and making it when so many things are happening.  I pray for so many in weather related crisis and so many losing their jobs.  My family has been truly blessed.  Hope your Thanksgiving was lovely and you have a blessed Holiday season.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Taking care of animals during a crisis

When it all hits the fan and you can't buy feed for your animals what do you do?  Hopefully you have planned your food storage to take care of your animals.  I have created a good diet for our dog.  I'm certain I've already posted that but I will repost it here as this is labeled for animal crisis care.

Here's my recipe...Makes enough for 10 days of meals.
Dahlia's All Natural Dog Food

2 cups brown rice
2 cups barley
6 cups rolled oats
2 cups millet
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 small sweet potatoes
1 cup dehydrated or cooked carrots, diced
1 cup dehydrated or cooked spinach, chopped
1/4 cup sea kelp
1/3 cup beef liver, chunked

In a pressure cooker, cook the 2 cups brown rice and 2 cups barley on high for 24 minutes with 8 cups water.

In a large pot, cook the 6 cups rolled oats and 2 cups millet with enough water to cover for 12 minutes or until millet is cooked through.  Add 1/4 cup coconut oil to the hot oatmeal mixture.

Meanwhile, combine the sea kelp, cooked or dehydrated spinach and carrots in a large mixing bowl. (You can divide the food into 2 large bowls, for easier stirring.) Once the rice and barley mixture is done, add it to the  mixing bowl. 

Add the rolled oat mixture and mix well. Don't strain the extra water from the pot. Cut the sweet potato into 1/2 inch cubes, and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes or until tender. Add those in as well. If you need more liquid, use the water from the sweet potatoes. 

Mix all ingredients well, and allow to cool slightly before filling your storage containers. I use about 1 1/4 cups per portion.

Add chopped up liver or other meats to it as you serve it.

Our dog has become much less hyper and his coat is shiny now.  And more important he loves it!  

Now the cats is a new thing all together.  Cats require a meat diet.  They don't eat grains or grasses.  They eat mice, birds and other small critters.  I can't afford to store meat for the cats.  I do try to store cat food.  We only give them 1 small scoop daily for the 3 of them to share.  We count on them eating all the mice they can find.

Now for the chickens, etc.  They require at least 13% protein and they need calcium to produce eggs.  I have finally settled on making cornbread for them.  We have GMO free cornmeal in our storage and I grind wheat up for the flour.  I use their own eggs fully.  I run the eggs throught the blender with water instead of using milk.  I save all egg shells to add to the ones I use making the cornbread  I add what ever fat I have available.  I never waste fat when cooking meats up.  I save it all to use in the chicken feeds.  I don't add sugar.  They don't need it and it's unhealthy for them.  

My chicken cornbread recipe:

3 cups Corn meal
3 cups flour
4 Tablespoons baking powder or soda 
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fat (off meats or shortening, etc)
3 to 6 eggs
3 cups water

Mix dry ingredients.  run eggs through the blender with 2 cups of water.  Add to dry ingredient and then rinse blender out remaining water to get all the egg shell into the mix.  Add fat and mix, add more water if needed.  pour into bread greased bread pans and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 35 minutes.  
After cooled down break each loaf into half and break each half into pieces and run through food processor.  I do this to keep the chickens from grabbing pieces and running off to eat it.  I feed in the evening so they all come in and I can lock them all up for the night.  

If you have horses or cattle you will need to know what they need and store that.

Horses will need hay for the winter time and oats.  Not rolled oats but oat groats.  Yes you can buy oat groats in 50 lb bags. 

Cattle will also need hay for winter time (lucky is the person who lives in the warm areas that don't have winter!)  They also like corn.  Not corn meal or popcorn but field corn.  

If it all hits the fan you need to be able to feed your animals.  Make sure you have them taken care of.  I didn't mention pigs.  They are so easy to feed table scraps to.  Anything and everything you have left over they will eat.

You also should learn how to butcher your own meat.  Knowing how and having the right equipment will make your life more livable.  Also knowing how to preserve it and having what you need to do that.  

Have fun taking care of your animals!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

For my GF DF friends

I keep trying recipes and experimenting with Gluten Free Dairy Free recipes and had a winner today, my first great DF GF cake.
Frankly I haven't had much to cheer about this week but by gummy this cake was really worth cheering about!  Maybe I'll get brave and try making bread again!

One Bowl Food Processor Carrot Cake! {gluten free, dairy free}

This recipe makes two cakes, or a cake and 12 cupcakes.
Or 1 fluted  bundt cake or about 24 cupcakes. :-)

 Now this was a British recipe so here's a grams to ounce conversion chart:

Grams to Ounces Conversion Chart

If you cannot find the number you want in the chart above simply multiply your grams by 0.0353 to get the weight in ounces.

If you don't have a scale a good rule of thumb is 1/4 cup is 4 oz.

400g carrots, quartered
4 large eggs
80g macadamia oil (or other light flavoured oil)
1 tsp vanilla
180g honey* This was about 1/4 cup and I could not taste any sweetness at all so added 1 cup of Brown sugar -I use to use 2cups brown sugar in reg. recipe

Blend well in food processor.

300g chunks of fresh pineapple  Or 15 1/4 oz can drained pineapple chunks 
380g plain gluten free flour I used Red Bob but you can use your own blend- see below
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp sea salt
150g walnuts (unchopped)
Note: for a nut free cake, leave walnuts out and add a couple of handfuls of shredded coconut with the sultanas instead.
Optional: stir in raisins/sultanas.  80g raisins or sultanas

 Ok I baked this at 325 degrees for 60 minutes in the bundt cake pan.
Cook for approximately 30-40 minutes for cupcakes, and an hour and a half for cakes, depending on your oven. Check by poking a skewer into the centre - it should come out nearly clean when the cakes are done. If the cake is getting too brown on top, just cover it with foil and keep baking til done. Don't cut it straight away while hot - it will be very moist inside. Let them cool, even in the fridge, before icing and eating, and the texture will be better.

I just made up a simple Butter cream Icing using coconut oil for the butter.   I am allergic to eggs also but have discovered I can get away with eggs occasionaly.  Eggs made a world of difference in bake goods.  I was very pleased that this cake raised up like a regular cake would and the texture was the same.  My husband who can't stand gluten free stuff said this was a keeper!  

Now for gluten free flour mixes.  I have experimented a lot.  A good friend told me to use equal parts brown rice flour, corn starch and white rice flour.  I discovered very quickly that I don't like rice flours because they are very grainy in texture.  I very much like Sorghum flour and Garbonzo Bean flour as they feel most like regular flour but you can't use them alone.  I usually use half of one of those with a mix of other flours like buckwheat(not related to wheat at all) and tapioca flour/starch and maybe a little rice flour.  Using a little of the gum's helps baked goods a lot.  The most popular is xantham gum.  I get it at my local Amish stores but you can find it online also. 

Knowing your allergies and how allergic you are is helpful.  I found out that gluten was my #1 allergy much worse than all the rag weed and pollen allergies that have given me so many problems all my life.  But the dairy and eggs was a very mild allergy.  I have also learned that milk is much worse for me than cheese.  Cheese doesn't have the live lactose but it does have casein. So if I'm going to cheat in dairy I would use a little real cheese but I stick with using my coconut milk.  I do still use rice cheese most of the time.  Eggs I can use sparingly as long as my other allergies aren't going crazy.  I am taking allergy shots to get rid of the problems I have with pollen, molds etc.  making it easier for me with my food allergies. 

Hope this helps anyone who is having to go dairy and gluten free!