Thursday, October 31, 2013
Waking up to a chilly house and going out to milk in the barn on these crisp mornings makes me feel like baking. I don't do a lot of baking in the summer months because I try not to heat the house up very much. But in the fall and winter I am ready to warm the house up with the smells of crusty home made breads, yummy sweet treats and stock pots full of warming chilies and stews that simmer on the stove top all day long.
As I do some cooking and baking thru the winter I will try to remember to record what I make and share it here on the blog. Today, I am going to share with you my families favorite Apple Cinnamon Millet Muffin recipe. If you wish to see why we grind wheat to bake bread fresh or use certain things in our recipes you can look at this post here.
2 1/2 cups freshly milled flour (I grind hard white wheat for this recipe but hard red works well too)
3 Tbs hulled millet
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk (I use goats milk because that is what we have)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (or oil you love to bake with)
1/2 cup real maple syrup (honey works well in this or sucanat)
1 apple - pealed cored and chopped pretty well
1/8 cup sucanat blended with 3/4 tsp of cinnamon. This is basically cinnamon and sugar. (if you don't use it all on the tops of your muffins use it up on some butter toast for a few days. :)
2 table spoons hulled millet
Put all your dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix or Kitchen Aide with the whisk attachment and mix on low.
Place by spoonfuls into oiled muffin tins.
Take the topping portion of hulled millet and use a spoon or fingers and sprinkle the millet generously over the tops of your muffin batter.
Then sprinkle on the cinnamon and sucanat. (If you don't put the hulled millet on before the cinnamon and sucanat the millet does not stick very well.)
Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
Pop them out to cool.
Then enjoy them!
This is one of my families favorite muffin recipes. The millet really makes it taste nutty and special. Sometimes I take out the cinnamon and apple and replace with with banana and use just sucanut and hulled millet as the topper and it is really good as well. I get kind of creative with it. I have also used blue berries, cranberries or carrot with great success.
Blessings and Happy Farming!
Saturday, October 26, 2013
There were a lot of tables set up with old cool engines and motors on them.
This one was really neat.
Love this old truck!
Neat engines...some of them working.
I have never seen a high tractor before like this?
Or anything quite like this one.
It was a really pretty day to just be out and about looking at all the wonderful ways people used to farm and the equipment they invented and relied on. Amazing really.
Blessings and Happy Farming!
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
A lot of people come to my home to learn how to grind wheat and bake bread. Many people are trying to make more food at home from scratch to try to avoid or stay clear of the processed foods in the stores.
I must admit I have run the gamut in our daily preparations of food and how we eat. Years ago, I made everything from scratch, from salad dressings to breakfast cereal, even baking all our own bread every other day. To tell you truth we ate well. It was healthy. But with such a large family I wore myself out and was always in the kitchen from morning till dark trying to feed my family with everything made from scratch. I began to dread getting up and going into the kitchen for the day. I felt like I ran a restaurant. I also had other things I had to do like keep a clean well ordered home, home school the children and manage our small farm. I got totally burned out after several years.
Also, healthier ingredients are often more expensive so our budget was sometimes straining to support the organic grains, veggies and meats we were trying to eat.
I finally came to a time in my life when I realized I could not do it all and had to simplify and compromise some things. To do what we could, to eat as healthy as we could, and not fret over buying a loaf of bread because I could not bake that week. We eat all things in moderation and eat as much home cooked as possible. The things written below are just my opinions and reasons why we do things the way we do.
One of the most used pieces of kitchen equipment that I own is our grain mill. One of the biggest things we do here is grind wheat to flour to bake with. My husband was handed down his grandmothers grain mill when they moved off their ranch in North Dakota many, many years ago. It is a monster of a thing and loud but does a great job.
You can make flour out of many types of grain for baking. But wheat works the best.
We grind wheat to bake with because the flour one buys in the store was ground a long time ago and has had a chance to oxidize. The longer you wait after wheat is ground the more nutritional value it looses. So fresh ground just before baking is best. Also the white flour in the store is fluffy, fine and bakes wonderfully light baked goods but it is just one portion of the wheat. A wheat kernel has three major parts to it. Bran, germ and endosperm. In the stores, in white flour, you only have the endosperm. God made us to eat it in its entirety. The bran helps provide fiber to the endosperm and the germ is the oils in the grain that gives us wonderful vitamin E if used fresh. But the flour companies split the grain into three parts, using the endosperm for white flour. Which causes troubles with our blood sugars and causes constipation when eaten in high concentrations alone. So then people buy high fiber cereals, that bought the fiber from the flour factory and eat that to help them out... then our skin is often dry, so we buy the germ from the lotion and cosmetic companies to oil up our bodies and keep our skin in good shape and they bought the germ from the flour company. Kinda funny. Anyways...We prefer to take the time to buy the wheat and grind the flour for our bake goods when we do bake. Receiving all the health benefits as the Lord created it and intended.
There are hard wheats and soft wheats. We have used mostly hard red and hard white over the years and have found we only want to keep one versatile wheat around to grind to simplify things. So chose hard white years ago and have been happy with it.
One last thing about whole wheat flour. I often have people call or write me that they bought whole wheat flour in the grocery store and baked with it and baked a heavy brick. The whole wheat flour in the store is not the right proportions of the three wheat parts as if it was ground in your home. The flour companies don't want to give the customer the expensive germ or valuable, endosperm. So they give you mostly the high fiber bran part with a little of each of the other parts in it and so when the person contacting me baked with it, it came out heavy, not palatable and almost inedible. Like a brick. :)
Oils and Fats:
Many years ago we moved over to using Extra Virgin Olive Oil when baking and cooking. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the first cold pressing off the olives to get the oils out. It is not heated so therefore healthy and not cancer causing. It is actually a good oil for our bodies. The longer oils are kept at an elevated temperature (cooking temperature) the more carcinogenic they get. (can you think of how bad the oil is in the fry vats at the drive thru!!) If one does research on the oils in our baking isle one will quickly see most are very cancer causing because of the high temperatures that they are processed at. They are very carcinogenic. Also many oils in processed foods are hydrogenated and our bodies just don't know what to do with them and cause further troubles in our circulatory systems and bodies. The fats that we use most around here are Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Virgin Coconut oil, pure butter, and rendered fat from cooking organic meats. I save the fat from cooking organic chickens and such and use it to flavor rice. I also save the bones and cook them down to make bone broths out of.
There are many sweeteners we use here in our home depending on what we are making. But the one we do not use is refined white sugar. We do keep a small amount in our home for company to put into their coffee but that is about it.
Our sweeteners of choice are honey (raw and locally bought) or pure maple syrup. But both of those have gotten to expensive for us to use in large amounts on a daily basis. So we use the maple syrup on home made waffles, in oatmeal and on pancakes and the honey for oatmeal and certain baked goods. If I could afford it, we would only use honey, pure maple syrup and black strap molasses in our home. But our budget just can't take the expense. So what we use the most of, and it is still not as cheap as white sugar...is something called Sucanat. It is a sweetener made from sugar cane juice. The juice is extracted and then the moisture is evaporated away. It is brownish in color because it still has many of the solids and molasses in it. We buy it in bulk. Like I said, though not my first choice to feed my family, but better than refined white sugar.
Processed salt is very hard on our systems. White salts that is uniform in size and processed have most of the minerals stripped out of them and are very caustic to our bodies because of the chemicals used to extract those minerals. Years ago doctors noticed that there was a correlation between high blood pressure and table salt. So they put their patients on Sea Salt and saw improvements in their patients. Sea Salt has less sodium per grain because it has so many minerals in it that are good for us. It is much less salty than table salt. If you put a pinch of table salt on your tongue, your tongue will burn a bit. If you put Celtic Sea Salt (grey) on your tongue, it tastes quite pleasant and does not burn. Companies soon jumped on the band wagon and wanted to sell sea salt because doctors were saying to switch. So they started refining sea salt. Most of what you buy in the store labeled sea salt now, is pure white and just as bad for you as table salt because of the refining process and minerals stripped out of it. Is it from the sea? Yes. Is it sea salt? Yes. Is it good for you. No. Eating no processed salt is best. If these statements peak your interest you can research Redmonds real salt (reddish pink in color). Celtic Sea Salt(grey) and Himalayan Salt (pink) all three are natural and not tampered with. All three full of beneficial minerals. Celtic salt has a very smooth taste that really enhances the flavor of soups for some reason. Just my two cents worth. :)
We can not afford to buy all organic meat to eat. We have a very large family and meat is expensive. The cheapest way I have found to have good meats to feed our family is to eat deer and raise some of our own fowl to butcher, eat and make bone broths from. We also have a very good butcher in our area that does not spray his meats or add anything to them to keep them pink. We do buy from there some.
We do not always buy organic veggies. In the summer we have a garden but consume it all and can or freeze very little of it. We buy a lot of frozen vegetables and buy a lot of fresh produce locally. We have many seasons on the farm when the children pick, berries, figs, pears and grapes and eat all they want. We always have oranges and apples on hand and it is the one snack the kids can eat all they want of.
All in all, we do the best we can do. Bless our food and ask God to sanctify it and make it fit for our bodies. That it won't bring harm to us in any way and then we enjoy it. :)
Blessings and happy farming!
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Diagnosis’s are never text book are they?
Farm life can be hard. That is just the reality of it all. We have mostly happy days when everything goes well and right. We see baby chicks hatch and baby goats born. We raise them and see many generations from so many of them as we further our breeding program. It is all very rewarding. We also see the reality that often animals are born with problems and don’t make it. Or cherished ones we have had a long time grow old and pass away. It is the ebb and flow of farm life. It is a good life with a lot of hard work and some really hard days sprinkled in there.
I rarely have a sick goat around here, Praise God. We have raised goats for so long that God has helped us to learn a good management system for us and most treatments for the types of things that pop up occasionally around here. God is so good.
About two weeks ago our flashy little buckling Pacer started acting puny. He is the one laying down.
When goats feel healthy and well there tails are up and sometimes curled over their backs. Their ears are up and perked all the time and they rush to their feed pans at meal time. His tail was down a lot. He laid around more than usual and his ears were down like in the picture above. I looked him over and he looked fine. But was not acting fine at all. When one has a sick goat they need to act fast. Usually, by the time you notice they are sick, they are not well at all because they hide being sick very well. By the time most people notice, it is hard to turn the situation around, so it is best to treat for all possibilities. As once they are down it is really hard to pull them thru.
I did all the things I knew to do for a kid goat of his age. (he is about four months old) I checked his eye lids to see if he needed worming. If he was anemic but they were nice and pink. I dewormed him four weeks ago but I gave him some de-wormer just in case. He did not have diarrhea but I gave him some di-methox for coccidia just in case. His breath smelled a little sour so I dosed him with some baking soda in water just in case his tummy was off. I also gave him an enema in case it was constipation. Pour baby got it all, from all angles and he was already feeling poorly.
The next day he was much worse. He was so sick and weak he could hardly stand. But wanted to drink and eat. I have never had that happen before. Usually, when a goat is sick they go off feed. They drink very little and will hardly eat. He was standing weakly with his mouth in the water bucket trying so hard to drink but it was like his throat was paralyzed. He would try to eat hay and I would go out and pull ropes of hay and straw out of his mouth from down his throat where he was wanting to eat but again. It was like his throat was paralyzed and he could not get it down. So his mouth and throat were just packed with it all.
I was stumped. He looked very bad. The first scary thing that pops into my head was Listeriosos. Then Goat Polio or Rabies. Anyone who raises goats does not want a diagnosis of Listeriosis as it can be spread to humans and is very dangerous. The goat usually dies. It is rarely seen in a goat so young but just in case I was not going to waste any time and dosed him with an antibiotic and went to bed. The next day he was down. Carolyn and I worked on him all day keeping him hydrated with a syringe being very careful not to get it into his lungs. We don’t want pneumonia. I also started him on B-complex shots to give him some energy.
I spent a long time at the computer researching every aspect of Listeriosis, Goat Polio and Rabies. I ruled out rabies. And added to the list possible snake or spider bite.
The thing is, he had very few symptoms of any of the three. Very few symptoms of the neurological things described in Listeriosis or Goat Polio. Really it was just weakness, his protective white eyelid was drooping over his eyes a bit but that can be from weakness and he could not swallow. But was wanting to.
When we went to bed that night I prayed harder than normal for him as I just didn’t see how he could make it in the state he was in. I had braced myself for what I would find in the morning but hoping beyond hope he would somehow make it. To all of our great surprise, the next morning, he was up on his feet. Praise God! He was still very weak and not able to swallow. He had tried so hard to eat in the night and I had to pull just ropes and gobs of chewed hay out of his throat. I was stumped. But gave him a B-12 shot again for energy.
This intense care went on for almost two weeks. Him not getting any better. I had ruled out Listeriosis. He would have been dead by now. I ruled out spider bite and snake bite as he would have been dead or improving by now and I could not find an entry site. For two weeks he spent his days either laying down trying to nibble at hay only to have it congest his throat or him standing with his jaw in the water bucket trying to drink. :( it was very sad. Carolyn and I went out to the barn several times a day to try keep him hydrated.. I bought him hay pellets which he did much better with. We actually put him back on goats milk as it not only hydrated him but gave him some calories and nutrition. I also gave him probiotics daily to help his rumen.
There was one more thing it could be from all my research and that was Esophageal Choke. When a goat or animal tries to eat something and it gets stuck in their throat. So I took a tube and ran it down the poor things throat hoping it was that. But it was not. The tube went right down. Sigh.
Finally, after trying everything I knew to do and reading all I could about any possible things it could be, I got a prescription from our vet for Thiamine. Thiamine is the treatment for Goat Polio. It is one of the B vitamins and what is lacking and depleted in the gut of a goat causing the goat to get polio. I started him on the regime for Goat Polio. Shots of Thiamine around the clock. I also kept up the probiotics and guess what... He is starting to improve.
I guess the reason why he was just hanging in there and not totally getting better was because I was giving him a B-complex shot daily to keep his energy and strength up and in that B-complex shot was a bit of Thiamine. But not enough to get him over the Goat Polio. I feel badly he has been so sick for so long. He just didn’t present with any of the normal symptoms for the disease.
I am still just in bewilderment that we had a goat to get Goat Polio. As we do not over crowd pens or over feed grain. I don’t feed moldy hay. I don’t use co-rid or the few wormers on the market that can cause Goat Polio. I just never really thought deep down it really could be that or Listeriosis. I sincerely wish I had started treatment much sooner. He would be much stronger as he is still not out of the woods yet but so much improved. I am always learning and gaining knowledge. This whole case was just so puzzling. God is so good. I pray the little guy makes it now and recovers his strength, muscle and normal functioning of everything involved. Bless his little heart.
I pray that telling what we went thru the last few weeks can be of some help to anyone going thru a similar situation and possibly save your goat.
Blessings and happy farming,