Archive for October, 2010

298: Revisiting “Cool”

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

My blog dashboard tells me how many posts I’ve published. I’m so in the groove of posting my daily photos, that when I come to this blog I immediately enter the post number in my title. Today it’s 298.

Don’t you think blogs that give stuff away are fun? I do. I like winning stuff. Even if it’s something small, like a notepad. So when I make my 300th post, be on the lookout for a giveaway. I don’t know what, but I just want to give something away. I hope it will be cool, but I’m not very, so I make no guarantees. Now hear this, I’m not putting myself down. I do recognize that I’m cool in my own way, I’m just not stereotypically cool. Whatever that is….I am more and more out of touch with the definition of cool the farther I get away from high school. Thank you, Lord. What I think would be cool is a kitchen gadget, or fair trade chocolate, or one of my photos in a frame (would anyone like that?), or maybe a robot that does laundry, washes dishes, sweeps and washes floors, and shovels the sidewalk while you sleep. I don’t think I’d give that away. If I had one, I’d keep it for myself. No offense.

So stay tuned. A giveaway is on the way.

Getting Real About Raw Milk

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Those of you who keep up with my 365 Project might remember a post I made at the end of July about raw milk. Since that time, I got connected with another farm and had been getting between 1 and 2 gallons each week. For all the reasons I stated in the 365 post (and more), I really felt like I was doing something good for my family by getting milk straight from a source I trusted. I knew there were risks, but the benefits seemed to outweigh them. Raw milk is nutritionally superior to pasteurized milk, and I stand behind that statement.

When we left for Seattle, Wyatt was battling a bit of diarrhea. After a doctor recommended my mom (my parents stayed with the kids while we were gone) cut dairy out of his diet to give his gut a break, his symptoms cleared up. We didn’t know what the problem was, but were glad it was taken care of. The day after we got home, I got really sick. I also had diarrhea, and felt quite nauseated. Four days later, Markus was showing similar symptoms. At that point I went to see a doctor and he had some tests done. He seemed sure it was viral, but ordered the tests just to be sure. Public health called me the following week to inform me I had Cryptosporidium. I had to give a play-by-play of what and where I had eaten while we were on the west coast, so they could check other databases and see if my information matched up with any other reported cases. I assumed I had picked it up in Seattle, that Markus got it from me, and Wyatt’s illness was unrelated.

So what does this have to do with raw milk? Maybe nothing, maybe everything.
Maybe my initial thoughts were correct – maybe Wyatt’s problem was unrelated. Maybe I became infected on our trip, and maybe I passed it on to Markus.
Maybe the milk made us all sick. Markus got sick only 4 days after me, and the average crypto illness shows symptoms 7-10 days after infection. The timing of everyone’s sickness doesn’t seem to compute if it were unrelated to the milk.
I really don’t know where this came from, but I do feel unsettled about the milk now. Given the possibility that it made us sick, I’m not interested in taking the chance that we could get sick with something else. If it was crypto this time, what next – listeria? No thanks.

To be honest, I didn’t even want to post about this. I was fighting a battle, sticking it to The Man who said I couldn’t drink unpasteurized milk if i wanted to. Oh yeah, you wanna bet?! I was triumphant about beating the system and coming out of it with food that I felt was better for us. Now I have reasonable enough doubts to say it was perhaps not the best idea. I’m okay with that. Don’t we all do things that are unwise? While I sometimes feel like I’m out to prove something, I guess this just goes to show that all I’m proving is that I don’t know everything, and there is always room for us to learn and grow. And I’ll grow in spite of my pasteurized milk.

Pumpkin Scones

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Once upon a time, my sister Jude got me hooked on Starbucks Pumpkin Scones. I was determined to make them myself, and found a recipe online that was pretty similar. I’ve done some modifying myself, and now these don’t taste as much like the Starbucks ones. But don’t worry. They’re better. I never buy them at Starbucks anymore because they look so unappetizing compared to mine. Try them, you will love them!

1 C all-purpose flour
1 C whole wheat flour
1/3 C sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground ginger
1/3 C cold butter
½ C canned pumpkin
3 Tbsp half-and-half
1 large egg

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter in until the mixture is crumbly and no big chunks of butter remain. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half-and-half, and the egg. Fold this wet mixture into the dry ingredients. Form the dough into a ball – it’ll be sticky, so be prepared to get your hands dirty.
4. Pat the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle, about 9×3 inches. Slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough. For smaller scones, cut each triangle in half again.
5. Place on parchment covered baking sheet, and bake for 12–15 minutes, until scones turn light brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Plain Glaze:
1/2 C icing sugar
1 T half-and-half
Whisk the powdered sugar and cream together until smooth.
When scones are cool, use a brush to paint plain glaze over the top of each scone.

Spiced Glaze Drizzle:
To the remaining plain glaze, add:
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch ground ginger
pinch ground cloves
icing sugar to thicken

Whisk the spices into the plain glaze,and add extra icing sugar if necessary to get a firmer consistency. When the plain glaze has dried, drizzle this thicker icing over each scone and allow the glaze to dry before serving (at least 1 hour).

Makes 6 large or 12 small scones