Tuesday, January 31, 2012

From Farm to Table: Shopping Miscellaneous + Produce Delivery

Throughout the month of January my mom has picked up a few items for me here and there when she's been out. I have to say, I am blessed that she lives right near me!  It allows me to purchase a few items from stores I wouldn't ordinarily go to (that she goes to), but they have a good product at a good price.  On occasion, I forget to pick up something (dishwashing detergent), or I underestimate and we run out (milk)--so instead of me having to run back out to the store, if my mom happens to be going out she will pick it up for me.  I also buy things for her, so it works out nicely. 

$6.89 organic jam
$7.98 two boxes natural dishwashing detergent
$3.39 grass-fed heavy cream
$7.38 two half-gallons of grassfed, organic, non-homogenized milk

Total: $25.64


I also had another produce delivery for the month (I order 2 each month).  All produce is organic and as locally grown as is possible (harder during the winter season).

~3 lbs. yukon gold potatoes
2 pints grape tomatoes
2 broccoli crowns
4 avocados
2  12-oz bunches of fresh spinach
2 heads romaine lettuce
1 pound asparagus
1 large bunch collard greens
1 large bunch kale
1 large "European" type cucumber

Total: $47.50


All my shopping costs so far this month:

Beef: $25
Grains: $10
Co-op: $95.58
Trader Joes: $45.33
Produce delivery 1: $46.25
Dairy delivery: $41.25
Trader Joe's: $56.34
Odds + Ends from my Mom: $25.64
Produce delivery 2: $47.50

* Minus the recalled cream: $4.50
* Minus the kale that was out of stock on the above co-op order: $2.39

Grand Total: $386.00  (out of a budgeted $450).





Amanda's Breakfasts.

Since I've been sharing my weekly menus with you, I thought it might be helpful for you to hear another wife/mom's menus.  I asked my friend Amanda, a similar-minded whole foods friend, to write 3 simple posts on breakfasts, lunches and dinners in her home.  So today's post (and the next two days' posts) will be my friend Amanda sharing her menus and meal ideas with you. 

I know we all think and work differently--and at times we all need fresh inspiration--so I always find it helpful hearing the way others approach whole foods meals in their homes.  I hope you benefit from Amanda's ideas!  Cute kids, eh?



Breakfast time!
We are far from creative when it comes to breakfast in our house. It’s been the last meal to get a whole foods makeover mostly because it either takes forethought the night before or more time and effort in the morning than I’m willing to give cooking. But we finally made the jump from boxed cereal every day to more nutritious whole foods and here are the regulars:
  • Fried egg sandwich on homemade whole grain bread—mine with butter, the rest of the fam likes mayo and mustard
  • Scrambled eggs and pumpkin or banana bread
  • Oatmeal—almost always with fruit (apples, bananas, peaches, blueberries, strawberries, whatever we’ve got), chopped nuts and sweetened with honey
  • Soaked whole grain waffles—found a fabulous recipe I make and soak right in my blender—served with real maple syrup
  • Soaked whole grain pancakes and maple syrup (I try to make enough that we have leftovers to put in the toaster oven the next day)
  • Eggs, bacon, gravy and biscuits—this is really our special occasion breakfast but we have eggs and biscuits more often. I found a great biscuit recipe that tastes just like Pillsbury Grands but they’re soaked whole grain and freezable!! All around winner!
  • Organic corn grits and eggs—my hubby is from Georgia, gotta have grits!
  • Yogurt and fruit—I make my own yogurt and we top it with fruit, nuts, and honey.
  • Smoothies
  • Whole grain muffins with apples, peaches, berries or bananas in them often served alongside scrambled eggs or a smoothie
  • Homemade sourdough English muffins—the kids like jam on them, the hubby and I like eggs
  • Good ol’ boxed cereal—I usually keep a box of Trader Joe’s Organic O’s or shredded wheat around for the mornings we are rushed to get out the door!

Seems the best way for me to get a good-for-the-family breakfast on the table is to plan ahead and often bake ahead. I can make two loaves of pumpkin bread or a couple dozen muffins and spread it out over the week when it’s paired with eggs. And as you can tell, we eat a lot of eggs. If you can find a friend with free range chickens to buy eggs from, you will eat a lot too!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Natural Home Remedies: Soup

For the month of January I have been running two series: "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments," which you can read about here. To catch up to date on both of these series, just click on the labels (posted on my sidebar) titled "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments."

Homemade chicken soup with dumplings.
This is the last post in my series, Natural Remedies for Common Ailments.  I hope you have enjoyed the series!  But just because this is the last post does not mean it's not important.  Don't forget about good old chicken soup!

As soon as a cold strikes our house, I immediately start a fresh batch of chicken stock. Chicken soup made with a nutrient dense stock will aid your body in fighting off germs and infection.

If you don't have any stock on hand, an easy way to make chicken stock and soup is to place a whole chicken or drumsticks/quarters in a crockpot. Add 1 carrot, 1 quartered onion, and 1 bay leaf. If you have chicken feet, throw those in too! Consider adding one more onion plus 6-8 cloves of smashed garlic for an extra medicinal boost. Cover with water, turn on high and let simmer 4-6 hours (or if it's a whole chicken, you may want to let it go for 8 hours). Strain the liquid off, and there's your stock! (Don't forget to save the chicken meat.)

If you want to proceed and make a very simple chicken noodle soup, strain the stock out of the crockpot and right into a soup pot. Dice 2-3 carrots and celery stalks and add them to the pot. Place the pot on the stove and bring the stock to a boil. Let simmer 10 minutes, then add noodles. (You can always add some extra water if needed.) Let simmer 10 more minutes, or until the noodles are tender. While the noodles are cooking, gather some of the chicken meat from the crockpot and tear or cut into small chunks. Add salt and pepper to taste. An easy homemade chicken noodle soup to serve your family while everyone recuperates! 

Another simple soup that will benefit the sickies in your house is this Spin-off of Classic French Onion Soup.  Made with chicken stock, onions, mushrooms, thyme and garlic, this soup will give your immune system a hefty boost while you fight off germs.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

From Farm to Table: Weekly Menu Plan 4

For the month of January I am running two series: "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments," which you can read about here. To catch up to date on both of these series, just click on the labels (posted on my sidebar) titled "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments."

Here is what we ate this week, starting with Sunday, Jan 22:

Sunday:
B - Leftover breakfast cake; milk.
L - Leftover chicken pot pie; pears, oranges; water.
D - Sourdough cinnamon rolls to celebrate our little snowfall; milk.  B + I later had popcorn.


Monday:
B - Leftover cinnamon rolls; milk.
L - Assorted leftovers--cleaning out the fridge! Water.
D - Beef + barley soup; milk.


Tuesday:
B - Oatmeal with cinnamon, apples + raisins; milk.
L - Hubby: leftover beef + barley soup; Kids/myself: pesto grilled cheese sandwiches; apples; water.
D - Pasta w/ bolognese sauce + spinach; romaine salad; milk. *For the first time ever, my produce delivery failed to arrive!  We simply had pasta bolognese--not quite a balanced well-rounded meal, but I just went with the flow. I contacted our produce delivery and got my box the next day.


Wednesday:
B - Oatmeal w/ peaches (frozen from summer picking) + walnuts; milk.
L - Last of the chicken pot pie for B; pasta bolognese + oranges + sunflower seeds for kids; I had a hankering for a fried egg and salad. 
D - Moroccan-Inspired Baked Lentils (has lots of veggies); milk.


Thursday:
My husband and I left after dinner Wed, night for our annual January retreat to study, plan and re-evaluate various categories of our lives.  The kids stayed with my parents.


Fri:
We returned home in time for dinner.
D - Leftover pasta bolognese + lentils; milk.


Sat:
B - Baked oatmeal with blueberries (frozen from summer picking); milk.
L - Leftover barley soup for B; cheese + crackers, cucumbers + peanut butter, apples, raisins for kids + myself.
D - Chicken + brown rice; tomato-avocado salad; milk.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Natural Home Remedies: Ear Aches + Infections

For the month of January I am running two series: "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments," which you can read about here. To catch up to date on both of these series, just click on the labels (posted on my sidebar) titled "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments."

Garlic oil drops can work wonders for ear aches and infections. I first read about using warm oil drops on Dr. Sears' website and then ended up researching it more. 

The following may contain affiliate links.

When either of my older children (who can talk) get a cold and complain of a sore ear, I immediately prepare some garlic oil.  Simply warm a small amount of olive oil in a very small pot (I have a tiny pint-sized pot which works great) with 1 whole clove of peeled garlic placed in the oil.  Carefully peel the clove, making sure you don't smash the clove, as you do not want pieces of garlic floating in the oil that might get dropped into your child's ear. Watch the oil carefully as it heats on the stove, and lower the heat if it starts to bubble.  You just want the oil to remain nice and hot for about 15-20 minutes to allow for some of the garlic's properties to be released into the oil.  Then remove the oil from the stove and let cool. 
Remove the garlic clove and pour the oil into a small very clean (or sterilized) glass jar to store.

I normally administer the first dose of drops as the oil is cooling.  Just be very careful and test a drop on yourself on a sensitive spot like your inner wrist.  You only want a just-warm oil that will soothe, nothing that would hurt. Have your child lay on their side with the affected ear facing up.  Administer 2 drops to the ear--I drop the oil off the tip of a spoon.  Have them lay still with their ear facing up for 5-10 minutes.  Rub their head or back or let them watch a quick movie in that position.  You want that oil to be able to roll down well into the ear.
To re-warm the oil to administer another round of drops, just place the jar of oil into a saucepan of water and warm on the stove, just as you would warm a baby bottle on the stove top.  As an alternative, I have heard you can buy garlic oil drops, but I've never looked into that. 

Most times one round of drops has been enough to alleviate all pain. I normally do one more round of drops after my child has stopped complaining of pain. I administer the drops 3 times a day: morning, mid-day, before bed. My kids have not developed a full-blown ear infection since I began this practice, though I will note that neither of my older two were particularly prone to ear infections.

Important Note:  Do not put oil in an ear that is oozing or if you think the eardrum may have burst.  At that point the oil may do more harm than good.  

Please remember I am not a medical professional or a doctor. The information I am sharing is information I have learned from studying and reading that I have found to be helpful for my family. Please discuss any remedies with your doctor or other medical professional prior to use. Pregnant and nursing women need to take extra precautions.

* If you liked this post, you may also enjoy viewing:
Homemade Natural Mosquito Repellent Oil
Cold & Flu Season - a list of simple natural and herbal recipes and remedies
Soapnuts | Making Liquid Solution - easy "ice cube" laundry detergent
Inexpensive, All Natural Handsoap - it's super easy, too!
Breakfast Quinoa with Pumpkin, Cranberries & Walnuts - a nutritious start to your day!
Naturally Keeping Pests from Your Garden | Bugs

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Natural Home Remedies: Immune Boosting Teas + Proper Doseage

For the month of January I am running two series: "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments," which you can read about here. To catch up to date on both of these series, just click on the labels (posted on my sidebar) titled "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments."

As I mentioned in my last Natural Remedies post, it is important to dose herbal teas properly, especially when administering them to children and babies. 

An adult dose of medicinal herbal tea (of leaves or flowers) is 1 tsp of the herb placed in 8oz of boiled water. Cover and allow to steep for 15-30 minutes. Drink this tea 3-4 times a day.



Andrea Candee, author of Gentle Healing for Baby, has a detailed chart listed in her book for dosing children appropriately. She states that a child's dose must be figured by weight.  An adult dose is based on a 150 lb adult. To determine your child's proper dose, divide his/her weight by 150. For instance, for a 50lb child: 50/150 = 1/3. Thus a 50 lb. child would receive 1/3 of an adult dose of tea.

So instead of giving this child the adult dose of 1 cup (8 oz.) of tea 3-4 times per day, you would give this child 1/3 cup of tea 3-4 times per day. (I have to say, if you haven't picked up on it already, I highly recommend Candee's book! It is extremely informative and covers just about any ailment a child could have.)

If you are a petite adult, as I am, you may want to consider dosing yourself by weight as well.  For instance, based on weight, I should only take 3/4 of an adult dose.    

Yesterday I mentioned yarrow and elderflower teas as beneficial for reducing fevers.  Elderflower is also beneficial for colds.  Echinacea is another good tea to keep on hand, as it boosts your immune system.  (Just look for the tea made from the leaf.  Teas made from roots require a bit more work to brew.)  Rosehips are good too, as they provide vitamin C.

All of these herbs can be purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs.  I have been very pleased with their quality over the years.  If you order through the link above or through my sidebar, I will earn a small percentage, but that is not why I recommend them.  I was recommending them long before I became an affiliate, because I have ordered from them for at least 4 years now and have always been pleased with their quality and prices.  The only downside is that their shipping runs a bit high.  To counter this, I typically order a large order once or twice a year, and I often order with my mom or a friend so we can split shipping costs. 

Please remember I am not a medical professional or a doctor. The information I am sharing is information I have learned from studying and reading that I have found to be helpful for my family. Please discuss any remedies with your doctor or other medical professional prior to use. Pregnant and nursing women need to take extra precautions.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Two good whole foods reads.

If you are on a really tight budget--say $250 a month for a family of 4-5--you might find this post encouraging by Stephanie from Keeper of the Home.  In the post she explains how she would feed her family of 5 on a budget of $250.  Now, keep in mind it is all whole foods, but mostly not organic.  However, if you make the jump from processed foods to whole foods, you will be doing yourself and your family a world of good. Don't feel like that is not "good enough."  It may not be "the best" but it is definitely better!  With just $50 more per month, you could probably afford to buy organic butter, a bit more meat, and organic for the "worst" of your produce.  Anyway, it's not an all-out detailed monthly menu plan, but hopefully it will encourage and inspire you.  You can still do a lot with just a little bit of money.

If you are new to whole foods, or are just trying to figure out where to begin making changes to your diet, here is a really un-overwhelming, useful blogpost over at Simple Organic.  It's simply 10 ways to "clean up" your diet.  Tackle one per month and before the year is out, your diet will be transformed! 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Natural Home Remedies: Fevers

For the month of January I am running two series: "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments," which you can read about here. To catch up to date on both of these series, just click on the labels (posted on my sidebar) titled "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments."

Fevers are a common childhood occurrence. Many fevers are mild, but please do take care with high fevers and consult your child's pediatrician. 

Fevers can often be reduced simply by warm herbal baths, bringing relief to a fussy, uncomfortable child. In the book I have referenced a few times before (Gentle Healing for Baby & Child) , Andrea Candee recommends adding 1-2 drops of chamomile, lavender or peppermint oil* to your child's bathwater. My understanding with warm baths is that the water should be a lukewarm temperature--not cool, as you don't want to chill your child, but not too warm either, as you are hoping to bring down their body temperature. This tactic should also, of course, bring some relief to you if you are running a fever.

(* Peppermint essential oil should not be used on small children or babies.)



My sister Jessica (a Holistic Wellness Practitioner) also recommends giving your child a tea made from elderflowers or yarrow, both of which are fever-reducing herbs.  But she stresses how important it is to dose herbs correctly for children, especially those 2 years old and younger. For instance, proper doseage for my 9 month old daughter is just a tiny 1.5 tsp!

I will discuss how to properly dose herbal teas in my next Natural Remedies post.  And keep in mind that these remedies for fevers are also beneficial for adults.

Essential oils can be bought from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Please remember I am not a medical professional or a doctor. The information I am sharing is information I have learned from studying and reading that I have found to be helpful for my family. Please discuss any remedies with your doctor or other medical professional prior to use. Pregnant and nursing women need to take extra precautions.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Last chance to win one of my favorite books!

Today is the last day to enter to win your own copy of Better Basics for the Home--a fabulous resource for natural living, and one I utilize on a regular basis!  It's easy-peasy to enter to win...if you subscribe to my blog, just click here and leave a comment saying you do.  You can also get a 2nd entry by posting your favorite WFoaB post on facebook--just leave a second comment telling us you did so.

We'll be announcing the winner on Tuesday--good luck!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

From Farm to Table: Weekly Menu 3

For the month of January I am running two series: "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments," which you can read about here. To catch up to date on both of these series, just click on the labels (posted on my sidebar) titled "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments."

Here is what we ate this week, starting with Sunday, Jan. 15:

Sunday:
B - Whole wheat sourdough toast w/ pb + honey; milk
L - We went to lunch at my parents'.
D - Kids ate leftover meatballs, rice, pears; milk.  B + I had our traditional popcorn + a movie once the kids were down for the night.

Monday:
B - Oatmeal w/ peaches (from the freezer--picked last summer); milk.
L - My husband took our older two plus their 2 friends (brothers) out to Chik-Fil-A for lunch and back to our house to play.  Our friend (the Dad) is currently away for 2 weeks doing mission work in Uganda, so this was a way we could help give our friend (the Mom) a break! 
D - We went to my in-laws' for dinner.

Tuesday:
B - Toast + eggs for hubby; kids and I had Trader Joe's O's (cheerios) w/ bananas + milk.
L - Pesto grilled cheese sandwiches; cucumbers; water.
Kids' snack: Crackers.
D - Roast chicken, potatoes, carrots, beets; milk. (Hubby was out late at a working dinner.)



Wednesday:
B - Cinnamon-Sugar Sourdough muffins; milk. (Recipe coming in February!)
L - Leftover chicken and vegetables; apples; home-roasted sunflower seeds + raisins; leftover gourmet pizza B brought home from last night's working dinner; water.
Kids' snack: Crackers, cheese.
D - Southwestern pinto beans and brown rice w/ fermented salsa (made quite a while ago), sour cream, cheese, olive oil-preserved jalapenos (from our summer garden); sweet roasted tomato-corn salad.
* We all had cookies for dessert (yep, still have a few of those Christmas cookies left!)

Thursday:
B - Baked oatmeal; milk.
L - Leftover pinto beans, rice, sweet roasted tomato-corn salad; water.
D - Kids and I had salmon croquettes, peas, sourdough toast; milk. (B out at a rehearsal dinner.)

Friday:
B - Our favorite breakfast cake with blackberries, but this time a sourdough version (been working on this and will share in February!); milk.
L - Hubby: leftover beans & rice; kids: went with my parents to a museum and ate out; me: cheese  & crackers; a pear.
Kids' snack: Bananas, crackers.
D - Chicken potpie; milk. Cookies for dessert.  After dinner I was really hungry again and ate 2 oranges and an apple with peanut butter. 

Saturday:
B - Leftover baked oatmeal; milk.
L - Leftover salmon croquettes; cheese + crackers; apples; water; cookies for dessert.
D - Kids went to in-laws for the evening; B + I attended a wedding, which served dinner.

Friday, January 20, 2012

* Giveaway *

There's still time to enter the giveaway my sister and I hosting!  We are giving away a copy of one of our favorite books: Better Basics for the Home, which I talk about here

There are several ways to enter, but if you already subscribe to my blog, it's super easy!  Go here and leave a comment saying you're a subscriber to my blog, and you're entered for a chance to win.  Pretty easy, eh?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

From Farm to Table: Shopping Trip 5

I went to Trader Joe's once again, and here is what I bought:

a box of Joe's O's (cheerios): $1.99
a jar of blueberry juice: $4.69
2 tubes of SLS & flouride-free toothpaste: $4.58
1 tub organic plain yogurt: $2.99
3 jars organic peanut butter: $11.97
frozen peas: $1.29
2 boxes crackers: $3.98
1 pint non-hormone cream: $2.49
4 lbs. organic oranges: $3.79
dried unsulphured apricots: $6.99
4 lbs. organic apples: $5.48
8 bananas: $1.52
4 lbs. organic onions: $4.58

Total: $56.34

I want to note 2 things:
* I don't normally buy juice, except for the occasional freshly squeezed orange juice.  I can not find a compelling reason to drink juice, only reasons to not drink juice (namely, the sugar).  However, when I'm pregnant drinking plain water often makes me nauseous, so I buy juice and add a splash of it to a glass of water sometimes to make it palatable for me. 
* I had to buy cream because the cream I got from the farm on my last delivery was recalled that evening by the farm.  So I had to dump it.  Non-hormone is all that's available at TJ's, so that's what I got.


Totals for grocery shopping:

Beef: $25
Grains: $10
Co-op: $95.58
Store: $45.33
Produce delivery: $46.25
Dairy delivery: $41.25
This trip to TJs: $56.34

* Minus the recalled cream: $4.50
* Minus the kale that was out of stock on the above co-op order: $2.39

Total spent for January so far: $312.86

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Natural Home Remedies: Kids, Fluids, + Sore Throats

For the month of January I am running two series: "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments," which you can read about here. To catch up to date on both of these series, just click on the labels (posted on my sidebar) titled "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments."

** Don't forget that my sister Jess and I are giving away one of our favorite books this week!  For details on how to enter, click right here. **
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While I love the ginger tea, I know my kids would say it's too spicy. (It is.)  So when my kids complain of a sore throat, I brew them a mild rooibos or honeybush tea, let it cool to a lukewarm temperature and stir a little raw honey into it. The warmth of the liquid, the flushing of the tea and the raw honey will all help to alleviate sore throat pain.



I also keep my kids drinking lots and lots of water. (I do the same when they have colds.) Sometimes we'll make a game out of it.  Here are two ideas we've used:

1. Every half-hour have your child drink a small cup and mark it off on a chart.  Set a goal for the day, and see if they can reach it. Sometimes just marking off a chart is all a child needs for motivation.

2. Every time your child drinks a small cup, they get a sticker for their shirt or some other small reward.  Or make a bigger goal: once they drink 5 cups, they get to watch a movie or play a favorite game with you. 

Anything to keep the fluids coming, which is so important for little bodies fighting off germs! 

Two other tips for sore throats:

1. Slowly sucking on or licking a teaspoon of raw honey can also help soothe a sore throat or help stop a dry, scratchy cough. Thick raw honey works best here, and make sure it is raw honey, as raw honey has beneficial elements a pasturized honey will not.  (Remember not to give honey to children under 1.)

2. If your child is old enough to gargle, have him/her gargle with warm, salty water several times throughout the day and before bed at night.  This, of course, is a great treatment for adults as well. Salt water works wonders on sore throats!

Please remember I am not a medical professional or a doctor. The information I am sharing is information I have learned from studying and reading that I have found to be helpful for my family. Please discuss any remedies with your doctor or other medical professional prior to use. Pregnant and nursing women need to take extra precautions.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Giveaway!!

This week my sister Jess and I are hosting a giveaway of one of our favorite books!  You may remember me talking about "Better Basics for the Home" (particularly in this post about making all natural sunblock).  But this is an awesome book with information on natural housecleaning products, recipes for any sort of cleaner you might need, numerous recipes for homemade lotions and skin care products, natural ways to eliminate pests, and way more! 

For details on how to enter to win a free copy for yourself, read here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Natural Home Remedies: Ginger Tea for Colds or the Flu

For the month of January I am running two series: "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments," which you can read about here. To catch up to date on both of these series, just click on the labels (posted on my sidebar) titled "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments."

A couple years ago my neighbor Sara shared with me her mother's recipe for a strong tea to take when you have a cold or the flu. I've made this tea quite a few times since, and it has become one of my go-to remedies when I feel a cold coming on.  I literally feel physically better for 1-3 hours after drinking this tea. 




This is a simple tea, requiring just four ingredients: 1whole ginger root, 1 lemon, honey and water. 

Grate an entire root of fresh ginger (yes, the whole big clump of it!) into 2 cups of water and let simmer, covered, for an hour.   Let cool to a very warm, but drinkable, temperature.  Then squeeze in the juice from the lemon and stir in honey to taste. Sip on the tea over the next hour. You will feel a strong kick at the back of your throat from the ginger, but boy does that ginger warm and strengthen you!

Please remember I am not a medical professional or a doctor. The information I am sharing is information I have learned from studying and reading that I have found to be helpful for my family. Please discuss any remedies with your doctor or other medical professional prior to use. Pregnant and nursing women need to take extra precautions.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

From Farm to Table: Weekly Menu 2

For the month of January I am running two series: "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments," which you can read about here. To catch up to date on both of these series, just click on the labels (posted on my sidebar) titled "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments."

Here is what we ate this week, starting with Sunday, Jan. 8:



Sunday:
B - Whole wheat sourdough toast w/ butter, pb, jam; milk.
L - We went to my parents' for lunch.
Kids' snack: apple, banana
D - For the kids I made eggs, peas, corn, crackers.  My husband and I ate popcorn.  Every Sunday night once the kids are down, we have popcorn and watch a movie.  (If you've never popped popcorn and added melted butter and coconut oil (1/2-1/2) and salt, you should give it a try. Reminiscent of movie theater popcorn without the fakey flavor!)  I was starving again, so I also had cheese and crackers.


Monday:
B - Whole wheat sourdough toast w/ butter, pb, jam; milk.
L - Taco meat, salsa, cheese + guacamole wrapped in whole wheat tortillas; carrot sticks; water.
D - Pasta w/ green beans, pearl onions, sliced (organic, preservative-free) pepperoni, in a creamy parmesan-bechamel sauce; milk.


Tuesday:
B - Oatmeal w/ bananas, walnuts, coconut, sucanat; milk.
L - Leftovers from yesterday's lunch; apples and oranges; water.
Kids' snack:  My mom popped over with some (healthy) homemade rhubarb-berry crisp for the kids, along with a new story to read to them while they ate their snack. A nice surprise in a very ordinary day! 
D - Risotto w/ fresh arugula pesto, parmesan and cream; stuffed portobellos (cherry tomatoes + more); whole grain sourdough toast; milk.


Wednesday:
B - Baked oatmeal (I used milk, eggs, sucanat, walnuts + raisins); milk. New recipe, very yummy!
L - Leftover pasta from Monday's dinner; stuffed portobellos from last night's dinner; cucumber slices; apples and oranges; water.
D - Arugula pesto-roast beef-cheese-whole wheat sourdough panini; steamed broccoli with butter and lemon; romaine with dressing; milk.  Later that night I was starving again, so I made myself a less sugary-whole milk version of this smoothie.


Thursday:
B - The rest of the baked oatmeal from yesterday.
L - Leftovers (Finished off taco meat & tortillas; broccoli); cheese; apples/oranges; water.
D - Kids had eggs; kiwi; crackers; oranges.  My husband and I went to a going-away dinner for friends of ours who are leaving for overseas mission work.


Friday:
B - Green smoothies (used arugula in place of spinach); toast; eggs; milk.
L - Yogurt; oranges; cheese; crackers; walnuts.
D - Meatballs w/ cranberry bbq dipping sauce; buttered brown rice; broccoli; cucumbers; milk. Later that night (do you all see a theme?) I was hungry and ate 2 oranges, and then my husband found a pint of Ben & Jerry's that was tucked in our freezer from about 2 months ago--there was just enough left for us both to have a little. Score! 


Saturday:
B - French toast; eggs for hubby; milk.
L - Leftover meatballs, rice, broccoli; pears; water.
D - Kids ate at my in-laws, who were watching them while my husband and I went to our friend's house for our monthly dinner club (her turn to cook).

*Just like last week, the kids have been finishing up those remaining Christmas cookies, enjoying one a day at either lunch or dinner.

From Farm to Table: Shopping Trip 4

Like Shopping Trip 3, this really wasn't a shopping trip.  It was another delivery.  I ordered some items from a local farm that delivers.  You can also buy straight from the farm, but it's a good 45 minute drive away, so I happily pay the delivery fee to have it delivered to my door.  Here's what I ordered:

3 dozen eggs @ $3.50 each
2 lbs. ground turkey @ $4.25 each
2 gallons of milk @ $7.50
1 pint cream @$4.50
delivery fee: $2.75

Total: $41.25

I don't always order from this farm, but I do at times--depending on whether I'm running out of items, or whether I'm ordering from another co-op/farm, or if my mom happens to be running out to our local Whole Foods.  At our Whole Foods you can buy the same quality milk and cream (different farm) for $6.75 per gallon milk and $3.70 for the cream.  Since it is a bit cheaper, she picks that up for me or I order through a co-op from another farm where I get milk for $6.50 per gallon. 

To sum up the month's expenditures so far:

Beef: $25
Grains: $10
Co-op: $95.58
Store: $45.33
Produce delivery: $46.25
Dairy delivery: $41.25

Total:  $263.41


Friday, January 13, 2012

From Farm to Table: Shopping Trip 3

This really wasn't a shopping "trip" because I didn't go anywhere.  Yay!  I received a produce delivery, the total: $46.25.

All the produce is organic, grown in the US, most locally or at least in my general region.

8 yukon gold potatoes
2 pints grape tomatoes
2 broccoli crowns
9 beets (no greens)
4 large portobello mushrooms
2 large bunches of arugula
1 head of romaine lettuce
3 cucumbers
4 cara cara oranges
4 d'anjou pears

Just as a reminder, I use a produce delivery service not for its low price, but for its convenience.  I adjust my order online, and it's delivered right to my door.  In this case money is time--I save time, it's worth the added cost!  I also appreciate this service because they buy as much as possible from local farmers, so most of the year I am supporting local area farmers.  (Not much can be grown in the winter here, so during this season, they do pull some produce from further away.)

Review of what I've spent so far this month on groceries:

Beef: $25
Grains: $10
1st trip: $95.58
2nd trip: $45.33
3rd trip: $46.25

Total Spent: $222.16


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ground Cherries for the Garden

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I'm in the beginning stages of planning my garden for this year--choosing what to plant again, what to nix and what new plants to try.  In light of that, I want to share with you a discovery I made this past year that's a definite keeper.  Ground cherries. 

Prior to last January, I had never heard of ground cherries.  Have you?  I found out about them when shopping last January for heirloom seeds for my garden.  They intrigued me, so I thought I would give ground cherries a try.  Apparently they were very common and popular back in the 1940's in family gardens because they are quite hardy and prolific, which makes for an easy crop of "cherries."  They are also easily grown in pots, if you don't have a garden plot. 

The plant grows somewhat bushy and squat and very leafy.
 Soon these small pointed flowers appear.
 And after a few days they start to droop downward.
 Then before you know it, a light green pod has formed.
 Over the next week or so, the pods change from green to pale yellow...
 ...until they finally turn a parchment color and fall to the ground.
 Pick the pod off the ground (hence the name ground cherry), split open the paper-thin pod and inside is a berry a bit smaller than a cherry or grape tomato.
  The berries taste lightly sweet and fruity, with a hint of pineapple.
What's really neat about ground cherries is that you can gather the pods and keep them in a cool place for weeks before opening them.  The fruit will remain ripe as long as it's sealed inside the pod.   
While I would love to grow rows of ground cherries (for making jams and pies and cobblers!), we only had room for two bushes.  So we viewed them like our 'snacking peas.'  Every day I gathered several pods off the ground and tossed them in a bowl on the kitchen counter. Every few days we would have a full bowl, which we ate during lunch or at snacktime.  We really enjoyed them, and they are definitely going into the garden again this year.

If you are interested in ordering them, you can find them here, here or here, and probably more places as well, though I haven't yet found any other colors besides the yellow (there are red and purple varieties).  It's interesting, I'm already seeing them in more seed catalogs this year, so I think they might be enjoying a comeback.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Natural Home Remedies: Sinus Relief

For the month of January I am running two series: "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments," which you can read about here. To catch up to date on both of these series, just click on the labels (posted on my sidebar) titled "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments."

To clear out your sinuses, there is a simple remedy you can use...if you can handle it.  ;)  This is one of those ones that weirds some people out, but other people swear by it.  Personally, I can't do it, but my husband uses this whenever he gets a cold.  And I must say, as someone who used to be prone to sinus infections, he's not had a sinus infection since.  He also finds it to be very relieving to his sinuses in the midst of a cold.  My grandmother was the first one who told us about this.  She has used it and found it to be helpful as well.  Basically, you are going to flush your sinuses...similar idea to a neti pot.

Begin by boiling 1 quart of water in a small pot on the stove.  It is very important to boil the water!  You need clean, uncontaminated water because you are flushing your sinuses, which are very near to your brain--you don't want to give yourself an infection or introduce bacteria to your sinuses.  I have also read that you can use distilled water, but I prefer to boil the water myself.  I generally cover the pot, leaving a crack for the steam to escape, and I let the water boil for a solid 10 minutes.  Cover the pot completely and let the water cool.  Once the water is lukewarm or room temperature, add 1 tsp of baking soda and 1 tsp of salt and stir to combine.  (Remember to use very clean/sterile utensils, and measure carefully as too much of either soda or salt can end up stinging.) 

Next is the fun part--ahem.  Wash your hands well.  Cup your hand and pour some water into your hand.  With a finger pressed over one nostril, snort the water up your other nostril and then spit it out. (Instead of your hand, you can also use a large clean/sterile spoon.) Repeat this several times on each nostril.  If you have not contaminated the water, cover it and keep it to use again.  Flush your sinuses in this way 3 times a day. 


Please remember I am not a medical professional or a doctor. The information I am sharing is information I have learned from studying and reading that I have found to be helpful for my family. Please discuss any remedies with your doctor or other medical professional prior to use. Pregnant and nursing women need to take extra precautions.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

From Farm to Table: Shopping Trip 2

I went to Trader Joe's to pick up some items:

2 loaves whole wheat sourdough: $5.98
3 packages pasta (2 organic, 1 reg.): $3.57
2 boxes crackers: $3.58
1 bag organic tortilla chips: $2.49
1 box Trader Joe's O's: $1.99
2 tubs whole milk organic yogurt: $5.98
2 packages frozen peas (1 organic, 1 reg.): $3.28
1 package frozen pearl onions: $1.69
1 package frozen organic corn: $1.79
dried unsulfured apricots: $6.99
organic dried cranberries: $2.99
mustard: $.99
bananas: $1.52
organic onions: $2.49

Total: $45.33

Total spent this month: $140.91

I forgot to mention on my first shopping trip post that when we make our cow purchase for the year (normally late summer/early fall), I divide that total up between 12 months and deduct that off the top of our monthly budget each month.  Similarly, I made a huge bulk purchase of grains earlier this year, and have done the same with that.  So...

The monthly cost of beef is: $25
The monthly cost of grains: $10

So, in actuality, from our $450 for the month of January I've spent:

Beef: $25
Grains: $10
1st trip: $95.58
2nd trip: $45.33

Total Spent: $175.91

I know that seems like a lot since we're at the beginning of the month, but here are the expected expenditures for the rest of this month:
Dairy/eggs from farm: ~$40
2 Produce deliveries: ~$70

That takes me to roughly $285, so I still will have ~$165 for another smaller TJ's trip if needed, the few odds and ends my mom picks up for me, as well as a Vitacost order I'll be placing soon.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Natural Home Remedies: Stuffy Noses + Nighttime Coughing

For the month of January I am running two series: "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments," which you can read about here. To catch up to date on both of these series, just click on the labels (posted on my sidebar) titled "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments."

My oldest daughter's 4th Christmas--not feeling so good and a nose 'ouchie' from blowing too much.







When my kids have colds and their noses are stuffed up or they are coughing at night and can't sleep, I run a humidifier in their room to which I've added several drops of eucalyptus oil.* I will also rub their chests and/or bottoms of their feet with a little oil (like olive or sunflower oil) to which I've added a few drops of eucalyptus radiate and peppermint oils.* An appropriate dose for children from what I have read is: 1 tsp of carrier oil, 2 drops of eucalyptus radiata oil and 1 drop of peppermint oil, and use half the oil at one time.* For children under two, try 1 tsp of carrier oil with only 1 drop of eucalyptus radiata oil, and only use 1/4 tsp at a time.  (Always dilute essential oils into a carrier oil, such as sunflower oil or olive oil. Never apply to the body full strength.)  The humidifier and chest rub both bring relief (and therefore better sleep) to my kids consistently.  And of course, this works for adults as well!  Just double the dose of essential oils in the 1 tsp of carrier oil.

Essential oils can be bought at Mountain Rose Herbs.

*Young children and babies should avoid exposure to peppermint. For young children use Eucalyptus Radiata as opposed to Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus Globulus), as it is safer for little ones. Eucalyptus Globulus can strain the liver of little ones.

Please remember I am not a medical professional or a doctor. The information I am sharing is information I have learned from studying and reading that I have found to be helpful for my family. Please discuss any remedies with your doctor or other medical professional prior to use. Pregnant and nursing women need to take extra precautions.

Post contains an affiliate link for MRH.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

From Farm to Table: Weekly Menu 1

For the month of January I am running two series: "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments," which you can read about here. To catch up to date on both of these series, just click on the labels (posted on my sidebar) titled "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments."

Here is what we ate this week, starting with Sunday, New Years Day, Jan 1.  The week started out a bit unusual as we were easing out of the holidays, but life (and our eating) is getting back to normal. 

Sunday:
B - Whole wheat sourdough (storebought) toast w/ butter, honey, pb, jam; milk.
L - Kids went to my parents'; my husband and I went out to lunch with friends who were in town, then drove them to the airport. 
D - We rejoined our kids at my parents' for a special New Years Day dinner.  My mom made everything, lucky me!  :)

Monday:
B - Whole wheat sourdough toast w/ coconut oil, pb, jam; milk
L - Quite unusual to eat out 2 days in a row (let alone twice in one week), but today was our last day of Christmas vacation, so we ordered lunch from our favorite local whole-in-the-wall, a gyro salad. The kids opted for leftovers from Saturday night's dinner: bbq chicken (homemade sauce--subbed in sucanat + molassas for the sugars), peas and sweet potatoes.
D - Pancakes for dinner!  I added raisins, oats, walnuts and spices and made them quite small.  We call them oatmeal cookie pancakes and like to top them with freshly whipped cream; milk.

Tuesday:
B - Leftover pancakes from last night; milk.
L - Husband took leftover salad from yesterday's lunch. Kids and I had cheese melted on whole wheat flour tortillas, leftover sweet potatoes, clementines, walnuts; water.
Kids' snack:  crackers
D - Coconut lentil soup, sourdough toast w/ butter, small salad using up last bit of lettuce, cherry tomatoes and an avocado--dressed w/ half a lemon's juice, olive oil, honey, salt; milk.


Wednesday:
B - Leftover pancakes; milk.
L - Husband took leftover soup; Kids/myself: Yogurt, pears, crackers.
Kids' snack:  dried apricots and cheese
D - Roasted root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, beets); brussel sprouts with cranberries; mini meatloaves (modification of this recipe); milk.


Thursday:
B - Whole wheat sourdough toast w/ butter, pb, jam, honey; milk.
L - Leftovers from last night's dinner; kids/myself also had a coconut milk fruit smoothie.
D - Parsnip-Potato Latkes; milk. We were supposed to have green beans too, but I never got around to them. That's life!  We had tangerines and grapefruit afterwards.


Friday:
B - Whole wheat sourdough toast w/ butter, pb, jam, honey; milk.
L - The last of various leftovers (meatloaf, veggies, chicken, latkes), cheese, oranges, dried cranberries; water.
Kids' snack: apples
D - Butternut squash soup w/ sausage; sourdough toast; milk.
* Being pregnant, I was suddenly starving at 10pm and so I ate a bowl of Trader Joe's O's with a banana and raisins.


Saturday:
B - Oatmeal w/ raisins, walnuts + choc. chips; milk.
L - Cheese, crackers, kiwi, oranges, small pb&j's; water.
Kids' snack:  walnuts, raisins, crackers.
D - Hubby was out at a working dinner, so I made one of my easy fallbacks for the kids that they like--scrambled eggs and peas. 

I realize that I failed to list desserts...we still have Christmas cookies around, so the kids have been having a cookie for dessert for either lunch or dinner. This would be on the unusual side, a remnant of the holidays.  We don't normally have dessert on a daily basis.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Natural Home Remedies: More on Coughs

For the month of January I am running two series: "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments," which you can read about here. To catch up to date on both of these series, just click on the labels (posted on my sidebar) titled "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments."

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One natural remedy I have used often for coughs is a simple honey-onion syrup.  I've read about quite a few variations on the syrup, but they're basically all the same.  I will share with you how I make it.

I dice 1/2 of an onion (white or yellow) and put it in a small saucepan or pot.  Then I pour enough honey over top to just cover the onion.  Now I've often read to use raw honey, but that doesn't makes sense to me because you heat the honey.  To what temperature I'm heating the honey, I'm not sure, so perhaps I'm not heating it to a pasturization temperature and thus there might be more benefit to using raw honey. But don't stress over it if you don't have raw honey.  The brunt of the benefit is coming from the onion anyway. 

Next I warm the honey over medium-high heat for about 3-5 minutes.  Watch for the honey to change from thick to runny.  At that point I lower the heat to my lowest setting and leave it warming for 15-20 minutes.  The warmth helps the onion to release its juices.  Keep an eye on the honey as it can quickly begin to simmer.  If it does, just remove it from the heat for a minute or two and then replace it, keeping a close eye on it. Here's what it looks like in the pot as it's heating.


After the 15-20 minutes, I strain the honey and onions through a sieve into a small glass jar, making sure to press the onions into the sieve with the back of a spoon to really squeeze the honey and juices out.  Then I cover the jar with a lid and store it in the fridge.  One batch will normally last me for the duration of one cold for two kids.  I don't typically have much, if any, leftover.  I wouldn't recommend keeping it for very long, as I'm guessing the onion's healing properties probably subside over time.

I give my children 4 doses of 1 tsp each day: one with each meal and one before bed.  Now my children happen to love this syrup.  They ask for it at the first sign of a cold: "Mommy, can you make some honey syrup, please?"  Personally, I find it a little strong--besides being sweet, it definitely has an onion flavor to it, so it surprises me that my kids like it.  But they do!  I must tell you though...your kids' breath will smell like onions.  So be forewarned!  :) 

I think it is important to note that I have seen the most benefit from this syrup by administering it at the first sign of a cold.  When I do so, my kids will not develop a cough (or if they do, it is very mild and short-lived).  However, if I wait until they are coughing before I give them the syrup, they at times have still developed a chesty cough--the syrup just doesn't seem to be as effective at that point. So I have learned to make the syrup at the first sign of a cold and start administering it to my kids pronto. 

It is also important to note that because this syrup is honey-based, you should not administer it to children under the age of 1, due to a risk of developing infant botulism. 

Please remember I am not a medical professional or a doctor. The information I am sharing is information I have learned from studying and reading that I have found to be helpful for my family. Please discuss any remedies with your doctor or other medical professional prior to use. Pregnant and nursing women need to take extra precautions.

Linked to Traditional Tuesdays @ Whole New Mom.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Today I'm over at Bubbling Brook

For the month of January I am running two series: "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments," which you can read about here. To catch up to date on both of these series, just click on the labels (posted on my sidebar) titled "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments."

Today I have the privilege of guest-posting over on Jaime's blog Like a Bubbling Brook.  If you aren't aware of her blog, take a few minutes to explore.  She shares a lot of wonderful thoughts and ideas on whole foods, the home, faith, homeschooling and more.  I'm sharing with her readers my top 10 ways to make that whole foods budget of yours stretch.

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10 Ways To S-T-R-E-T-C-H Your Real Foods Budget

1. Determine which foods are of the most vital importance to you. If you're not sure, read up and do a little research on nutrition. Maybe it's raw milk that is most important to you or simply grass-fed milk, or grass-fed beef, pastured eggs and chickens, wild caught seafood, plenty of local produce, quality fats or organic grains. Whatever they are, make a list of the foods you want to buy, prioritizing from the most important down to the least important. Spend your money on the items at the top of your list and cut corners on the ones at the bottom.

Similarly, focus your money on the foods you eat most often. Make sure those are quality items. For the foods or condiments you eat but here or there, don't spend the extra money to make sure they are top quality. Skimp here and place that money towards the food items that count the most.



Please hop over to Jaime's blog for the remaining 9 tips!

Linked to Pennywise Platter.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Natural Home Remedies: Congestion + Coughs

For the month of January I am running two series: "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments," which you can read about here. To catch up to date on both of these series, just click on the labels (posted on my sidebar) titled "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments."

Countless times I've heard my grandma recount the story of the night my dad got very very sick. She was a young mom, pregnant with her second child, and my dad was just about a year old.  My grandfather was deployed, fighting in the Korean war, and so my grandmother and dad were living with my grandmother's sister Lucille and her family.  My dad had caught a cold, and the congestion in his chest had progressively gotten worse. As the evening came, it was really, really bad.  My grandmother was now scared, and Aunt Lucille told her, "I'm calling my maid. She will know what to do."


Aunt Lucille paid a sweet lady to come by a few days each week to help her out with some of her cooking and cleaning.  It was this lady whom Aunt Lucille called, and she arrived shortly thereafter. Once the maid saw my dad, she agreed it was serious, but she told my grandma not to worry. She asked for some onions and told my grandma to get two t-shirts for my dad--one that was very snug, almost too small, and one that was just a bit too big for him.

The maid sliced the onions and cooked them briefly on the stove. My grandmother put the snug t-shirt on my dad.  Together the maid and my grandmother slathered the onions over my dad's chest and slid the other t-shirt overtop to keep the onions in place. The maid told my grandmother to have my dad sleep in the onion-covered shirts overnight and in the morning she could remove it all.  She said the congestion should be much improved by morning and to call her if it wasn't.

Amazingly, by morning my dad's chest congestion had greatly dissipated! My grandmother was so relieved and so grateful for the practical wisdom of this maid.  The one thing, though, that she has always told me is, "Why in the hang I didn't think to ask Lucille's maid what she did, I don't know!  Over the years I've wondered so many times."

While Aunt Lucille's maid may have doctored those onions up with some additional remedy, it may also have just been as simple as it seemed at the time. In Gentle Healing for Baby and Child, the author Andrea Candee mentions simmering onions and laying them in cheesecloth on your chest to get rid of chest congestion. The first time I read that I called my grandma, "Nana, guess what I just read!" And when my oldest daughter caught a cold last year that settled in her chest, I tried out this remedy for the first time.  She asked for the onion packs several times because she said it relieved her chest and was the only thing that made her feel better. And it did appear to help break up that deep congestion.

Candee states to slice an onion thinly and simmer it for a few minutes until softened. Lay out cheesecloth or a cotton diaper, pour the onions on top and wrap the cloth into a small package.  Lay that on the chest and cover it with another towel to retain the heat.  I want to note that with small children you really need to make sure that the onions are not too hot. Hold the packet on your bare stomach for a few minutes to test it out--it won't feel warm at all at first, but after a few minutes the steam can really come through.  So proceed very cautiously with little ones. 

It really is amazing what help we can find for common colds and ailments right in our kitchens or backyards!  This is the first post in a 4 week series on battling common ailments using all natural items, many of which are right in your kitchen. 

Please remember I am not a medical professional or a doctor. The information I am sharing is information I have learned from studying and reading that I have found to be helpful for my family. Please discuss any remedies with your doctor or other medical professional prior to use. Pregnant and nursing women need to take extra precautions.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

From Farm to Table: Shopping Trip 1

For the month of January I am running two series:  "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments," which you can read about here.  To catch up to date on both of these series, just click on the labels (posted on my sidebar) titled "From Farm to Table" and "Natural Remedies for Common Ailments."


I made my first grocery purchase of the month, from a co-op.  Here is what I ordered:

Organic Kale $2.39          
Organic Sucanat, 15lbs. $32.85            
Amish Gouda, 3lbs. $15.87            
BioKleen Bac Out Enzyme Cleaner, 32oz. $10.39            
Amish Cheddar, 5lbs. $14.95
Organic Dried Green Lentils, 5lbs. $6.95            
Amish Butter Rolls, 2lbs. $7.18
Delivery Fee: $5.00

Total: $95.58

Monday, January 2, 2012

Come tag along with me as I go "From Farm to Table."

Happy New Year!!  I hope you enjoyed the holidays and are refreshed and ready to begin a new year.  We had a relaxing break during Christmas. We attended our church's Christmas Eve Service.  We spent Christmas Day with both of our families.  Both sets of our parents and a couple of siblings live within 10 minutes of us, so it's easy-peasy to split our day and have Christmas with both.  We love that!  My husband was also off work for two weeks, which gave us some much needed down-time at home and with our kids.

Well!  On to blogging! ...Back in November, one reader requested more specifics...What do we eat on a daily basis?  What do I cook?  What do I buy and how much does it cost?  Since I have often been asked those questions, I decided that for the month of January I am inviting you, my readers, to come tag along with me through my month as I shop and cook for my family. You will hear about my every shopping trip (list of foods, stores/co-ops and costs) and each meal we eat.  Exciting stuff, eh?!  Not really!  But it is practical, and I hope it will prove helpful.  I'm calling the series From Farm to Table.  I was going to call it From Store to Table, but as I was thinking about it, most of my food really comes from farms and co-ops (which purchase from the Amish (farmers) or other farms), so it made more sense to call it From Farm to Table.  Skip the grocery store--buy from local farmers!

Please remember as you tag along with me this month that I have not "arrived" by any means.  I am not perfect, nor do we eat perfectly (whatever that is). With this series I just hope to fill in some of those gaps...how do I get from $425 per month--eek! make that $450 (we upped it when I got pregnant)--down to food on the table three times a day.  I've got one way of doing it that works for us, and my hope is that perhaps seeing the nitty-gritty details will give you some fresh inspiration or trigger ideas that will work for you.

I generally post a very regular schedule, but for the month of January posts are likely to be erratic (and perhaps seem a bit scattered), as I will post when I actually buy food, and I will also post at some point during the weekend with a list of the meals we ate the previous week.  I will also be running the other series I mentioned: Natural Home Remedies for Common Ailments throughout January--look for two posts each week on that.  Sprinkled throughout there will also likely be some gardening posts, as I will be in the midst of planning my 2012 garden. 

It's gonna be a bit of a crazy month!  Hang tight!  :)