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I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from whence shall my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.  He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.  Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.  The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.  The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.  The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.  The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.

-Psalm 121

This week has been a rough one, but also one of joy.  I was witness to another birth of a baby boy. 🙂  We celebrated Deladis’s fifth birthday (pictures to come), and I received my test results for my bloodwork.  I haven’t had a lot of time, and this next week will be busy as well.  I’m just trying my best to keep up.

The bloodwork says I have low blood sugar, my adrenals are shot, of course there’s my thyroid, and a few other minor things.  The low blood sugar is a shocker.  From what I understand it is connected to the function of the adrenals as well.  So, one is causing the other, or one is the symptom of the other.  I think the adrenals came first.  Anyway, I have to see another doctor Wednesday that is about an hour away.  I’m supposed to eat every two hours, which is going to be very difficult for me to do.  I just don’t get hungry like that.  I’m one that eats breakfast at 8am and doesn’t eat again sometimes until 2 or 3pm.  I do have this shake stuff to drink in between meals to help regulate my blood sugar, so that will help.

The most depressing thing for me is that I have to be off of dairy for 3 weeks.  I didn’t show an allergy, but she expects that I might be having some sensitivity to it because I’m not digesting well.  Have I ever mentioned that I love dairy?  I truly don’t know what I’m going to eat now.  I live off of milk products.  Now, this isn’t good from a traditional foods standpoint, because pastuerized and homogenized milk is so tampered with that it is hard for any human being to digest or utilize properly.  I don’t have access to raw milk products, and that is one piece of eating traditional foods that I have never been able to adopt.  Rather than go without dairy, I just ate conventional dairy.  I have been pointed in the direction of the PETA website called Milk Sucks.  I suppose I need to check it out.  I know conventional dairies are cruel.  I know these three weeks won’t kill me, but…. Did I mention I love dairy????

I have been having these episodes of dizziness and such that is related to my blood sugar, and I’m tired.  I’m lifting my eyes to the mountains, and pushing onward.  Whatever manifests in our body has its beginnings in our inner work.  I believe that thoroughly.  Healing is a time of inner work as much as it is getting well physically.

I posted a comment on Mama-Om and she was gracious enough to share with me some of her experiences with being a parent and not feeling well.  I wanted to share them here.  Sometimes I think us mothers tend to hide our pitfalls, and things that aren’t just so.  There’s nothing to hide.  Mothers are people afterall, and we all have work to do in this life. 

Mama-Om:

Thankful Anyway and Unraveled

A gal has her first moon time and is initiated either gently or suddenly into womanhood.  A woman experiences pregnancy and birth or feeling love for someone more than any love she has ever felt for herself or another – a different love – and she is initiated into motherhood.  Today, I was initiated.  I took another step out of the speeding rat race of the world back into the days when woman, wife, and mother were words for many other jobs as well.

Yesterday was a blessed and sunny day.  We spent the day outside, enjoying our chickens who have finally started laying and setting.  The house chickens have found a safe nest – their third try.  The barn hens began using the nest boxes and sticking close to the barn.

House chickens - Roy and Little Girlfriend - on the bird table

The other day we found six of Little Girlfriend’s eggs in Lars’s doghouse.  She wasn’t setting, so we ate them.  She moved the nest under the old coop.

The girls played in the sandbox.  I planned for a breastfeeding workshop I am giving soon, sitting next to them in a straight backed chair with my lap desk and the sun giving the perfect light.

This morning it was gloomy.  The rain clouds came overnight.  John was preparing to leave for the weekend, and we had just finished our pancake breakfast.  Our neighbor, Brett, walked up on the porch in time to finish the last of the pancakes.  He wasn’t coming to eat though.  He was coming with photos of a hawk, down in the barn, killing our setting hen.  Brett wasn’t able to stop it.

We work really hard at getting things just so.  It seems to go better, then the natural world reminds us where we are in the scheme of things.  It didn’t take me long before I had a plastic grocery bag in hand and shoes on my feet to walk down to the barn.  I got there and realized the hawk hadn’t broken her skin, only her neck.  I picked her up by the feet, put her in the bag, and brought her up to the cabin to be prepared for eating.

I used a Buck knife my daddy gave me to remove her head.  She was our sweetest and prettiest hen.  The knife wasn’t the type I needed, but the best I have.  I tossed her bitty head, with cute tufts of beige feathers that stuck out from her cheeks, into the trees.  I made a quick phone call to my dad for some reminders and instructions, and John and I took her to the creek to gut and pluck her.

I remembered my great grandmother, Golda Johnson, and her deep fear of chicken feathers.  I remembered the story of my Uncle Vince ringing a chicken’s neck, and its body flying off and into my great great grandmother’s well, ruining the water.  I remembered my grandmother’s (Ida Hansel) disgust at a chicken and her druthers of not fixing it to eat.

John stood by to observe, and I stuck the Buck knife into her soft belly slicing downward.  The knife hit a shell.  When I opened her, I pulled out a perfectly formed egg.  The one she’d lay today.  I set it to the side.  With two fingers I began to remove her innards from the cavity of her still warm body.  I understood for the first time how much of her little body was devoted to making eggs.  To being a provider of life and food.  I held her tiny, healthy heart in my hands a moment to look at its perfection.

Plucking was harder.  It took me a minute to get the hang of it.  I finished her in the house, after a scald in the pot.  Plucked, drained, gutted, and washed, I placed her in a freezer bag to be fixed when John comes home.

I knew at some point we’d eat some of the animals we raise.  Deladis took it well.  She knows where her food comes from, and she likes meat.  Ivy cried a little, but I think she sensed my downtrodden mood.  I wasn’t ready to do it today.  Not without numerous diddles running across the field following their mama.  Not without a fridge full of eggs.  I couldn’t let her go to waste.  She wouldn’t leave her nest.  She couldn’t run.  In her death, she’s giving us a most healthy meal, and a perfect egg.  Both will be prepared with love.  We will consume her and know her.  We will know personally our food.

I think of the Appalachian women whose job it was to kill and prepare chickens.  Appalachians mostly ate hogs, but on a Sunday, fried chicken was a nice dinner, especially if you were expecting company.  I wondered at their chore of feeding the chickens, holding them under their arms, gathering their eggs, wringing their necks, plucking feathers, and preparing them into a special dinner with all the love they had to give.  It was the least I could do for our hen.

Later on, we stopped at McDonald’s after a prolonged doctor’s visit.  From the drive-thru I saw a mama dog with heavy teats wagging her tail at every stranger that passed by, hoping for a bite.  She hadn’t gotten anything, and she was begging so politely.  Hungry to the core as only you can be when nursing a baby, and yet she begged with more humanity than some people I’ve encountered on the city streets. We got our food, eased the truck next to her, called her over, and the three of us females donated half of our meat portions to her and her pups, wherever she had them waiting.  She ate without chewing, her front paws on my seat.

I’ve been initiated.  It’s hard to wash the smell of blood from your hands.

There’s nothing like six or more inches of snow to give you a hankering for a treat from your childhood.  Here in the mountains a big snow provides an easy way to make an iced cream treat that is as good as it is cold.

Snow Cream

Snow cream is simply made given you trust the snow to be clean enough to consume.  The way I make it, all of the ingredients are estimated.  The important know how is the concept I suppose, then you can make it to your liking.

Start with melting a sweetener of your choice into some heavy cream or whole milk. (You can also use low fat milk, but I don’t think it would taste near as good or be very nutritious for you.  Treats should not be empty calories in my opinion, so go for the gusto!)  The sweetener we use is honey and/or maple syrup. (We use only unrefined/moderately refined sweeteners that hold plenty of nutrients such as iron or enzymes.)  Since our sweetener is already liquid it doesn’t require a lot of heat to completely mix with the milk.  Allow the milk mix to cool, and add a little vanilla… or a lot if you are like me and love strong flavors.  Next, gather your snow in a large stainless steel bowl or pot.  You will want to compact it a bit and gather a large amount.  Scoop from the top layer of snow only, being careful to not dig down too close to the ground.  At least 4 inches should be on the ground for making snow cream.  I was always told not to eat the first snow of the year as well.  Once back inside, slowly mix the milk soup into the snow stirring thoroughly, but with a gentle touch.  Keep mixing until it is to your desired consistency, then eat and enjoy!  The Haywoods certainly enjoyed their snow cream this year.

Or, you can do like I did as a kid wanting snow cream.  Take your favorite pancake syrup and a spoon outside, squeeze some into the snow, and chow down.  🙂

I’m wonderfully optimistic about the year to come.  I think I’m finally coming to an understanding of what it means to let go and let God.  To kick off the new year, I have decided to start a series of posts on things we have a right to know about (in fact in many situations our life depends on it), but for whatever reason they are kept “secret” whether through planned secrecy or by tactful exclusion of information.

John and I spent the evening on the couch last night watching our new Netflix arrival – Food, Inc. .  I’ve been waiting on this movie since it came out a while back.  This film demystifies our current system of industrialized food and the problems that arise from our expectation of fast and cheap food.

It was a little over a year ago now when a prolonged illness of mine prompted me to switch our diet to a traditional foods diet as proposed by The Weston A. Price Foundation and authors like Sally Fallon and Nina Planck.  Since then, I have noticed a tremendous change in my health and well being along with that of my husband and children.  I have lost and maintained a 100 pound weight loss (though I was already losing weight before changing my eating, I contribute most of it to traditional foods).  I have more energy.  My gums no longer bleed when I brush or floss my teeth.  But, the most noticeable for me is my relationship to food.  I no longer fear food making me fat, because I know that what I am choosing to eat is real food and not something fabricated in a factory.  I enjoy my food and I eat plenty of it.  I’m eating things the diet industry tells us will make us obese and sick – butter, bacon, red meat, and whole fat dairy.

This approach to eating (I don’t call it a “diet” in the terms of how most of us view the word) has changed my life so completely that I can’t help but get excited about sharing it with others.  However, all to often I have noticed people don’t want to hear the truth about where their food comes from, and I tend to get tuned out.  Instead of accepting that there is a problem here and we are in need of huge change as a society, they continue to eat from the conventional store shelves food that more often than not is some kind of factory made variation of corn or soy bean products and they wonder why they are sick with things like diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, or obesity.  Why is that?

The fact of the matter is that we have a right to know where our food comes from and under what conditions it is being processed for our consumption.  Our food is life.  What we put into our body directly affects how we are able to live our life.  However, now that our food supply is being controlled by just a few multi- million (billion) dollar corporations that treat their farmers and factory workers like second class human beings, who don’t care at all about the health of the animals they process for meat, and treat our meat, produce, and dry goods with a variety of chemicals to give them unnatural shelf lives, we are being kept in the dark of food practices that if they were public knowledge would incite the citizens of this country to demand a change.

The truth is that 1 in 3 children in this country born after 2000 will develop diabetes1 in 3 children in this country are either considered overweight or obeseLow-income Americans (under $30,000) a year find it hard to afford a healthy diet.  This comes along with the idea of fast food being cheap.  You now can buy chips for a lesser price than a head of broccoli, and then there are dollar menus at fast food restaurants.  The question of food availability also arises.  Living in rural Appalachia, I find it extremely difficult to find food I feel is appropriate for my family, and I have to make too many compromises.

Our country is facing an epidemic that is inexcusable.  We owe our children a better chance at a healthy life than this.  We owe it to ourselves as well.  While industrialization has brought about many good changes in our way of life, when its principles are applied to certain more personal areas of our lives, we find we are detrimentally affected by its lack of concern for the greater human good as opposed to the low cost production industry holds so dear.  A few profit from the loss of many.

After viewing this film and others like it, I can’t help but encourage others to become informed as well.  Know where your food comes from.  Know that in one pack of ground beef there is meat from 50-100 cattle.  Know that most chickens raised for commercial slaughter for companies like Tyson never see the light of day or feel grass under their feet.  In fact, they are lucky to be able to bear their own body weight on their brittle legs.  Know that the tomato you are buying that is so pretty and red was shipped to your location in many cases over thousands of miles, and picked while still green.  It was ripened chemically.  Know this, and decide to change it.  There are farmers out there with answers to this problem.  We can have normal, affordable, healthy food.  We can live without the fear of food related disease.  Arm yourself with knowledge.  Then, cast your vote for the foods you want every time you choose your purchases at the grocery.

I’ve been experimenting with sourdough bread making with great results.  I made my own starter.  Bacteria from my surroundings cultured my starter and gives it a distinct flavor.  It is one plus to living off grid.  I don’t have to worry about bad air ruining my adventures in friendly bacteria. 🙂  I made my starter with rye as per the instructions in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook.  It stews for seven days on a counter top, covered with a cloth to keep bugs out, until you have around three quarts of starter.  You use two to make three loaves of bread and save the other quart for next time.  I use whole grain spelt flour to make the bread.

My lovely starter

My lovely starter

As you can see here, the starter develops yeast naturally from what already exists in your surroundings.  The dough rises beautifully with nothing else added.  I flipped when I first saw this look in my starter, but was reassured, and then began to notice that it looks quite a bit like packaged dried yeast, just moist and gray.

I’m out of batteries in my camera so I don’t have a picture of a finished loaf, but it looks like the milk and honey sprouted wheat bread that Jenny has blogged about at The Nourished Kitchen.  The bread is a bit more dense than store bought breads, but oh so tasty.  Mine has a distinct cheesy flavor of a sharp variety.  Almost like a dry Asiago or sharp cheddar, but better than cheddar.  Yours will taste different.  That’s the adventure.  I have heard that you can get unique flavors by creating starters in different containers and setting them in various locations around your home.  Ummm… bathroom sourdough.  I’m kidding. 🙂

Storing your starter for next time is fairly simple.  Place it in a glass container in the refrigerator.  It can keep a month or so without feeding it, but I wouldn’t go any longer than that.  The starter is a living thing and needs fed.  That becomes obvious and so interesting when you actually put your hands in the dough to knead.  It breaths and pushes back.  🙂  You can also order starters online.  Cultures for Health has a wide variety of affordable starters for sourdough and other creations that I’ve been dabbling with lately – namely yogurt.  I recommend purchasing a starter if you live in a place with lots of traffic, pollution, or an area that is not well ventilated.

We are enjoying sourdough here, and I am quickly learning that we don’t have to be afraid of real, fresh food like we have been taught to fear our grocery store food.  Knowing from where our food comes makes all the difference in the world and is why I’m loving my kitchen experiments.

Monday was our first day of homeschool pre-school, and we took a field trip.  Not being tied to a desk in a classroom and movements on the sound of an electric bell, is the first plus I have seen from our short experience.  I can already see how much more can be learned by doing and going than by trying to focus on a teacher in a room full of distractions.  We went to Lexington because John had to drop off some artwork for a showing at ArtsPlace .  I wanted to tag along with the girls and make it a day in the city that we could enjoy as a family.

Our theme for the week is cats, and Deladis is pumped about it.  She was focused on noticing and absorbing everything around her.  It was great to watch.  At ArtsPlace, we walked through the gallery looking at the various pieces.  Eventually, we found ourselves in an open oblong room that reminded me of a ballroom.  Deladis entered it first and exclaimed, “Oh, my!”  I stepped in and looked in the direction of her eyes, and above us was an open ceiling that was covered in a thin, white gauze pulled upward and gathered in the center like a huge canopy.  It was beautiful. The way the natural light shone through it made it appear as a textured mist.  She circled the room with her eyes to the ceiling the whole time.  They were also getting ready to hand out the horses for a new horse mania, where various artists paint life sized horse statues to be placed around the city.  Deladis and Ivy both adored looking at those horses.

Next, we ate and went to Michael’s craft store to buy some remaining school supplies.  It satisfied me so much to be there with Deladis.  Everything we bought, you would have thought was a gift wrapped in shiny paper.  Deladis was so excited and she is anxious to use what we bought.  Most of what we needed was tempera paint, modeling clay, and felt.  I had went to Wal-Mart in the neighboring county to where we reside to get the first batch of stuff.  I was grounded by the difference in price.  Michael’s was much cheaper.

After Michael’s, we went to a pet store to look for kittens.  We saw every small animal you could imagine, but there were no cats and dogs – an abundance of guinea pigs free with the purchase of a cage and food, but no cats.  Deladis and Ivy ran from cage to catch gently looking in and waving to the animals.  Ivy hasn’t seen many things like that, and she hasn’t even been to the zoo at an age where she could thoroughly enjoy it, so she was having a blast.

Now, if there is anything to be missed by not living in the city, it is a network of mothers, a good bookstore, and a natural/health food grocery.  If I didn’t have a thousand things on my list of what to be when I grow up, I would be the one to bring all of these things to my hometown in the mountains.  We need these things here.  Our next stop was Joseph-Beth Booksellers where John and I both looked and mourned our inability to buy.  I did buy a Dover Press coloring book of cats.  Dover Press does the best affordable printings of classic literature and coloring books.  The illustrations are realistic and beautiful.  It’s not your typical mindless coloring page.

Then, we moved on to Whole Foods Market.  I was shocked at the price differences being so much cheaper there than the prices for things at Food City (your typical mainstream grocery with limited organics), where I have to shop now.  I was almost moved to tears.  I know, crying in the grocery store is a silly thing, but sometimes we forget our limitations and are reminded of them when we are faced with what could be.  Out of sight, out of mind.  I stocked up on so many things I can’t find around here.  I understood, despite my best efforts how compromised our diet is compared to the one I’d like for us to be eating.

The long trip home was a quiet one.  We got in, I put the sourdough in the oven, and started on the chalk drawing for the next day’s circle time.  It was cathartic, doing something I’ve always enjoyed doing,  but never made the time for as it falls outside of my usual priorities – drawing.  I went into sleep excited for the first time in awhile about my day ahead at home with my children.

Today, we woke up, ate, did dishes (Deladis helped), and had circle time.  I unveiled my chalk drawing of the sleeping kitty to “oohs” and “aahs” from both Deladis and Ivy.  Ivy said the word “cat” for the first time.  Before today, every four-legged creature was a “doggie”.  We went to the library for books about cats, did a little shopping in search for some colored chalk, and made it home to clean the girls’ room before noon.  It has been a lovely day.  I know we’ll have our troubles with homeschool.  They’ll come, but I can rest in knowing that for now, I love the decision we have made to start early and with Waldorf education.

The best photo I could manage around two excited little girls.

The best photo I could manage around two excited little girls.

This has been the most rainy summer I can remember – and cool.  I’m not going to complain too much though because summer heat makes me miserable.  Summer is usually my least loved season.  We did most of our fall garden planting and the rain is good for those freshly planted seeds, but knocked us out of taking Deladis to see a movie for her birthday yesterday and lake swimming.  The weather and being tired of too much zucchini, squash, lettuce, and cucumber in our diets contributed to my wanting to make what, for us, is typically a cool weather supper.

Soupbeans and cornbread is an Appalachian staple.  I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t in my diet.  It was hard for me to understand how so many people I encountered from outside of this area didn’t have a clue as to what it is.  Soupbeans are commonly confused with bean soup, which is a very different dish.

Soupbeans and cornbread was a meal that was born of necessity.  With hard times came, the need for cheap and nutritious meals.  Beans and corn meal were things that most people kept on hand or were easily acquired.  Mountain cooks worked their magic and made this a meal that is not only extremely cheap, but absolutely delicious.  It is my favorite Appalachian meal, and we certainly enjoyed it last night.

soupbeans1Soupbeans (not to be confused with bean soup): Feeds a family of four for about 2 days

  • pinto beans (2 cups dry)
  • bacon fat and/or salt pork (fatback)
  • onion
  • water
  • salt and pepper

To begin, soak 2 cups of dry beans in enough water to cover them over night or preferably 24 hours.  My grandmothers called this “getting the gas out”.  They were exactly right.  Soaking makes the beans easier to digest and causes less bloating and gas.  I like to soak my beans long enough so that they sprout.  I have noticed this takes the unwanted side effects of beans completely away and cuts down on cooking time.  On the day of cooking, put the beans in a large stock pot.  Cover the beans with water, then add as much water as you want for soup.  Cut up some onion and add to the pot.  Add salt and pepper to your preference (I use unrefined sea salt for valuable nutrients.)  Then, the most important ingredient is added – fatback and/or bacon fat.  Traditionally, this was a piece of fatty pork cured in salt.  If that wasn’t available grease from the morning breakfast would suffice.  Most often bacon grease is what I have on hand and I use it generously.  Bring the ingredients to a boil and then, turn down the heat to a low-medium.  Cook the beans until they are a light reddish-brown color and soft.  This will take 2-4 hours.

soupbeans2

The food accompanying soupbeans are just as important as the main dish.  Soupbeans are traditionally served with cornbread.  The cornbread is often eaten as a side, and another piece broken up into the beans to sop the soup.  Sauerkraut is a great addition to a bowl of soupbeans.  I can’t have this meal without making fried potatoes and onions.  Both of these foods were traditionally served with soupbeans.

A great plus is all of these food items are very cheap.  This meal can easily cost under $10 and will feed a family of four one meal for around two days.  It is a hearty meal, but I warn you… it’s very easy to overeat because it is so very good.

Take a look at my page of favorite recipes to see how to make my cornbread.  I hope you enjoy this beautiful Appalachian meal created out of our great ability to “make-do”.

The weekend held more canning for me.  Not in the way you might imagine, however.  There was no vinegar or boiling and sealing jars involved.  I used an even older method of preserving food through lacto-fermentation or fermentation through lactic acid.  It is a far superior way of canning to today’s methods in terms of nutrition.

“The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.”

-Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions pg.89

So far, all I have tried is cucumbers and of course made dill pickles.  We have eaten two jars already and I have ten more in the works.  I plan on trying to do lacto-fermentation with kraut next. Yum!  It’s really good in a bowl of soup (pinto) beans with cornbread.

It has taken me a couple of tries to get my recipe right for my pickles.  The website that coincides with Sandor Katz’s book Wild Fermentation has been a big help.  I used the recommendations there and the recipe in Nourishing Traditions to develop my own.

pickles1

Line the bottom of some wide mouth canning jars with leaves that are high in tannins.  I use blackberry leaves as that’s what I have in my backyard.  Grape leaves are suitable as well.  These will keep the cucumbers crispy.  In the bottom (for a pint jar), place one clove of garlic and 3/4 teaspoon of dried dill.  Slice cucumbers into 1/4 inch slices and stuff the jar leaving about an inch of space from the top.  Fill with water to cover the cucumbers, but keeping it an inch from the top of the jar.  Add 3/4 tablespoon of real sea salt (unrefined), and put a smaller lid on top of the cucumbers to hold them under the water (it is important they remain submersed).  Put on the lid.  Then, leave the filled jars sit in a warm spot for 2-4 days.  My last batch had to go for four.  The first batch went three.  Taste them after a few days to see if they are to your liking.  It is normal for them to be bubbly.  Any scum that might form on the top, just skim off.  It will be obvious if something has went wrong and they are no longer edible from smell.

The pickles are delicious and the closer you get to the bottom of the jar, the more you can taste the flavor of the garlic.  It makes me happy knowing that I am eating a pickle that is more beneficial to me than a boat load of sodium, artificial colors, and other preservatives.  This experience has made me brave enough to try other fermented veggies, and I might even buy some kefir grains as I get serious about kicking my coffee habit.

If you’d like to know more about fermenting vegetables, check out this video with Sandor Katz.

*The following is the first part of a two part post dealing with the degradation of culture equating in the degradation of the quality of life.  This first section is about food.  Part Two is about mountaintop removal.  Both of these issues are extremely important to me, but the issue of mountaintop removal has been the hardest to address because of the weight it carries in my east Kentucky home at the present.  Please, leave your thoughts in the comments section of these posts.  Good, respectful discussion is the key to finding answers.

The most informative blog (for my needs) that I have found so far is Nourished Kitchen.  Jenny blogs about “real” food and the ways of traditional food preparation.  She writes from a place of well researched thoughts, and a recent post she made added some flame to thoughts I had been having recently.  Prisoners in the Illinois prison system are being fed a soy-based diet where they are eating upwards of 100 grams of soy daily.  This isn’t normal for any person of any culture.  What makes it even worse is Illinois has started a pilot program of this sort as lunches for children.  What is so horrible about that?

Watch this 4 part video on the dangers of soy from the president of the Weston A. Price Foundation – Sally Fallon.

Get it straight from a world renown doctor – Dr. Joesph Mercola.

As if that wasn’t enough… Have you incorporated soy as part of a low fat diet?  Do you have thyroid issues?  Read this.

All this cheap, fake food is lining the pockets of big food corporations and the Illinois governor, making the rich richer at the expense of people in need of rehabilitation and our children!  Some of you may be of the mind set that prisoners are being punished, so why not feed them as cheaply as possible.  Not every man or woman in the prison  system is there because they consciously chose to commit a  crime.  We also must think that the majority of prisoners will be released one day.  Do we not want them on the road to rehabilitation?  John and I watched this Frontline two part documentary about that subject recently.  About the children – for goodness sake they are growing beings making physical and mental leaps and bounds on a daily basis.  They should be fed the best food possible to insure their future health.  That is our responsibility as their caregivers.  It’s not our lives we are taking in our hands, but the life of another.

I could write a book of ranting on the issue of food alone, but I think this is one symptom in the disease of America and other industrialized nations.  It is the disease of the industrialization of culture.  It’s embracing the easy road like there is some kind of prestige in a life that contains too much leisure.  It is the replacing of the “real” with manufactured impressions.  It is a sad state, and it is deteriorating any joy, love, and meaningfulness that we can glean from life on earth.

We can see the symptoms all too clearly when we take into consideration the lives our children lead and the things they contend with today via the media.  Think back on your childhood and the images that filled your days.  We are quickly becoming a nation void of culture that is outside of the culture that popular industry would have us adopt.  Traditions are being lost and replaced with those that perpetuate capitalist ideas and goals.  For example, the after Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza.  What is the need, really?  Who are you benefiting by putting yourself in debt or spending your money on frivolous things?  How long will that feeling of joy last, if you even obtain it at all?

We are a nation that puts to much faith the system of gaining and utilizing monetary wealth.  We listen to what industry tells us are the quick fixes to all our problems from our looks to the food we eat.  It is not a wonder that we are becoming the most obese nation with the myriad of health and emotional  problems that come with that.  It is unnerving the many ways this diease affects our lives and the way we have become dissensitized to the effects.

Please check back tomorrow for Industrialization of Culture – Part Two (Coal).

Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?  Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance.

Isaiah 55:2 (New American Standard)

harvestWe are getting some serious amounts of food from our garden now.  It is a delightful abundance!  What you see above was grown without pesticides of any sort natural or otherwise, and without any fertilizer or “plant food”.  This isn’t even the half of what we’ve harvested the last few weeks.  Here you see yellow crooked neck squash, cozocelle zucchini, potatoes, and calypso pickling cucumbers.  We have gotten scallions and salad bowl lettuce as well.

In the summer months we naturally gravitate to a lighter fare of fresh foods, but none lacking in flavor.  Perhaps it’s because of the heat or because it’s readily available and fresh.  Either way, it’s a good thing.  Meals in the summer should be simple, quick, and very tasty.

Here is what I did with our abundance for this evening meal.

porkchopAll the veggies are from the garden except the grape tomatoes and the white onion.  The vegetables are cut, wallowed in olive oil, salted, peppered, and sprinkled with garlic powder.  Then, they are roasted on a cookie sheet in the oven at about 400 degrees.  The salad… well you know how to make a salad. 🙂  The pork loin chop is browned in an iron skillet in bacon grease that I save from breakfast every morning.  I sprinkle it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and basil.  This meal is finished in 30-40 minutes and is wonderfully delicious.

I am beaming with satisfaction and thanking God for all of it.

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About Me

An Appalachian woman born and raised, mothering two little girls in a place that is non-existent to AT&T or UPS. Happily working toward a sustainable lifestyle and writing on the demand of a loud muse.

December 2021
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