Archive for Recipes


Listening To My Guts

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There are a lot of different ‘bugs’ going around all the time, and with the spectre of flu raising it’s ugly head again this season I became concerned when I started to feel very uncomfortable intestinally last Wednesday. The food I was eating lost it’s taste; my stomach and intestines hurt; and I was uncomfortable bending over.

So I started to assess the situation with questions to my body, about my body. Does this feel like flu? No. There is no feverish feeling, no bone aches, and accept for the discomfort in my alimentary canal, no other complaints. Did I eat something spoiled? No. There is no rapid onset of pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or cramping – not to mention sweats, dizziness or general weakness. Hum-m-m, what does this feel like? My body has stopped digesting food and the food I ate has not gone anywhere!

How did I come to this conclusion? I am burping and it smells and tastes like what I ate more than three hours ago. Everything in my stomach should be gone in three hours, passed on to the small intestines. I am starting to bloat and it feels like the food in my stomach is fermenting instead of digesting. What to do?

Stop eating was the first step. Then I took some enzymes that cover all of the various foods I have in my system to help them digest fully. Next I took a mild antacid like Tums to calm and sweeten the stomach.  Drinking ginger and/or peppermint tummy tea always helps.

[One of the best stomach and intestinal teas is made with bay leaf, mint, and periwinkle leaves (vinca minor). Put equal amounts of bay leaf and periwinkle leaves in a cup or teapot (i.e.: 1 big bay leaf and 3 smaller periwinkle leaves); add as much mint (peppermint, spearmint) as you like; and steep for 6 to 10 minutes. This can be drunk hot or cold as often as you wish. This is fine for all types of tummy complaints since it contains bay leaf for gas and bloating, periwinkle for relaxing the intestinal cramping, and mint as a soother for the whole alimentary tract. Other good tummy soothers you can add are ginger, licorice, fennel and anise.]

This time home remedies were not enough and after a whole day of this regime I realized it was probably a closed Ileocecal valve, the valve that goes from the stomach to the intestines. Sometimes it can also be a mucus plug that stops the ‘action’; however I was not particularly full of mucus at the moment. So off to my favorite chiropractor and sure enough that was the problem. Luckily this is a quick fix with a practitioner that knows what s/he is doing!

Ah-h-h-h! Feeling good again! It’s so nice to be able to assess myself and have a good idea of what I can do safely to either confirm or rule out various possibilities! It helps with my Grandchildren as well. Just last week my youngest Grandchild was cranky, teething, and ‘off her feed’. I was able to explain to my daughter that chances are she had a ‘mucus plug’ that was stopping her digestion and she would feel much better after she threw up. Several hours later when she suddenly did throw up, settled down, took a nap, then ate with a hearty appetite, my daughter wasn’t scared or concerned. It went exactly how I described that it would for a mucus plug.

Use deductive reasoning first when faced with a health concern. Use your intuition and try low-level, non-invasive  and harmless alternatives before going to the emergency room. Ask a Grandmother! Use your own knowledge of your body before assuming the worst. And remember emotions, work, stress, poor eating habits and environmental toxins also play a large role in how we feel. Ask yourself helpful questions and use past experiences as good ways to assess something you are facing. One of my two doctor Uncles told me something very useful when I was a girl. He said to remember that Doctors could not keep up with every condition and disease as there was too much information! When you get sick, he went on, become the expert on what you have. Do the research yourself so that you get the care you need! Don’t depend on the Doctor to know everything! And that was back in the ’50’s!


Update on Yeast Making

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My Mother’s Betty Crocker Cook Book, circa 1940 has this tantilizing paragraph under Evolution in Methods. I found it when I decided to make my own bread again. Paying up to $4.00 a loaf added to my determination! I know there is inexpensive bread, I just don’t want all the chemicals and ‘extras’ in my bread. In my mind, the staff of life has a few pure ingredients-that’s all!

“In the Old Days, women made yeast at home-usually from “hops” or, as some old cook books express it, from the “emptins” of the beer keg!” -Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book, p. 88.

Now that we know where it came from, we just need to know the how…stay tuned….

Categories : Making Yeast, Recipes
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Feed A Cold; Starve A Fever.

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This was a common expression when I was young and helped govern what happened when we got sick. There were different foods given to us depending on the ailment and they were all easy to digest and assimilate. For intestinal ailments that involved nausea and/or diarrhea, ginger ale or mint tea with honey were given first, sometimes by the teaspoonful. Next came chicken broth or beef broth, and then a small amount of milk toast or a very ripe mashed banana was added provided all went well. For babies and young children the pediatrician advised a solution of one quart of distilled or boiled water with 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar, or honey if the child was old enough, as often as possible to prevent dehydration. This was all that was given until 24 hours after the last bout of diarrhea, and absolutely nothing else. Giving anything else would cause the diarrhea to commence again which increased the chance of dehydration.

For head colds, all dairy and wheat were eliminated as these caused alot of mucus. Anything with vitamin C was consumed and healing soups were recommended. We could eat most foods provided they were easy to digest (not too fatty or rich). If a fever was present, liquids and broths were the only sustanence until the fever broke since it was believed that the digestive system needed to rest so that the body could use all of it’s resources to fight the illness.

Later I heard that the actual expression (from Hippocrates?) was: If you feed a cold, you will have to starve a fever. This still makes sense to me and since the foods changed even for a cold, it seems my Mother and Grandmother also believed this. Another thought was that you didn’t give kids treats when they were sick because it would make them want to be sick!