Freezing meats

By Cat, July 2017

I have been wrapping meats with parchment paper, then placing in a plastic freezer bag to put in the freezer. But I’m trying to become plastic-free. I bought some freezer paper but found out it was plastic coated, so I’m back to square one.

My Mom had worked as a meat-cutter in the 1940s-50s, and I remember she used brown butcher paper. Butcher paper generally differs from freezer paper in that butcher paper is wax (paraffin) coated while freezer paper is plastic coated. I’m hoping wax is safer than plastic, even though the paraffin is made from petroleum.

Now I have a few practical questions about using the butcher paper. Continue reading

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Moringa Latte

Moringa tree and leaves

By Cat, July 9, 2017 (Image, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Never heard of Moringa? You’re not alone. Moringa oleifera is a fast-growing tree native to South Asia, but now grows throughout the tropics. Its leaves (or the powder made from them) have many health and nutritional benefits (see below for more detail). Mixing the powder with hot, frothy coconut milk, makes a great latte beverage.

See also: 1. Beverages menu; 2. Coconut (About); 3. Coconut Milk Continue reading

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Minimizing dental cavities and the pathogens that cause them

By Cat, June 25, 2017

The following is from an Izabella Wentz newsletter (The Thyroid Pharmacist):

One of the keys to dental health is balancing the PH in your mouth. You could try making an alkaline mouthwash [see her recipe below].

She also recommends using a PerioBiotic toothpaste (comes in fennel or spearmint flavors, available on Amazon) and EvoraPlus Probiotic for Oral Care (also available on Amazon)  to balance the bacteria in your mouth, much like you would use probiotics to balance the bacteria in your gut.

I currently use Squigle Tooth-Builder toothpaste after reading Chris Masterjohn’s recommendation (sorry, I lost that link), and it has helped my oral health tremendously – my dentist was impressed.

See also: 1. Personal Care Menu Continue reading

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Preserving eggs for long term storage

Chicken Eggs in Straw

By Cat, June 26, 2017 (from a post by Cat on The Essentialist, July 21, 2012) (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

As we explore ways to reduce our energy consumption, we may wonder how to preserve fresh eggs for long-term storage without refrigeration? How was this done in earlier times?

A popular suggestion currently circulating on the internet is to rub eggs (on the shell) with mineral oil to protect the egg itself from contamination and thus store them indefinitely without refrigeration.

But this is bad advice; there is a better way to preserve cheese; read on for more.

See also: 1. Miscellaneous Menu;

Continue reading

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Preserving cheese for long term storage

Cheddar Cheese

By Cat, June 26, 2017 (from a post by Cat on The Essentialist, July 21, 2012) (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

As we explore ways to reduce our energy consumption, we may wonder how to preserve fresh cheese for long-term storage without refrigeration? How was this done in earlier times?

A popular suggestion currently circulating on the internet is to wax cheddar (and certain other) cheese with paraffin or cheese wax to store them indefinitely without refrigeration.

But this is bad advice; there is a better way to preserve cheese; read on for more.

See also: 1. Miscellaneous Menu; Continue reading

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Slippery elm syrup to treat kidney failure in cats

Charlie Cat

By Cat, June 2017 (Photo, right, by Cat)

My cat Charlie has been showing signs of kidney trouble for a couple years:

  • always thirsty;
  • pees large volumes and frequently;
  • licks my container of epsom salt;
  • licks salty skin on my arms for several minutes, then repeats 30 minutes later;
  • prefers my salty water-softened tap water to my reverse osmosis filtered water unless I add unrefined sea salt or a tiny bit – just a few grains – of epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) to it;
  • has ‘Charlie horses’ in his hind legs, sometimes so severe he appears to be having a seizure;
  • pulls out bits of fur on his back in area of kidneys;
  • is somewhat constipated, and has an upset stomach (pukes) at least once a week.

I finally got my vet to do a blood test. Yesterday, the results indicate elevated kidney markers, which means he has kidney trouble, and it may be kidney failure.

Continue reading

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Sockeye Salad, with Apple and Goat Cheese

Sockeye Salmon: Ocean and Spawning phases

By Cat, June 20, 2017 (Image, right, from Wikimedia Commons (3))

I stopped by the local fish-counter to buy some Bristol Bay sockeye salmon today, and there was a recipe card for a salad (1). I always eagerly await the arrival of salmon from Bristol Bay, as it is one of the best fisheries, especially for salmon. A few years ago, it was feared that oil/gas drillers had their eye on those waters. Then it was put under protection by President Obama. Now we fear the Trump administration will open up the precious fishery to the Pebble mine. So I try to do all I can to support that fishery. See Save Bristol Bay (2) for more; click on Stand Up for Bristol Bay on their webpage (2) to send comments.

See also: 1. Fish & Seafood Menu; 2. Salads Menu  Continue reading

Posted in Apple, Pear, Baked, Berries, Dairy, Dried fruit, Fat or oil, Fish, Grilled, Leafy Veggie, Stove top, Vinegar | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fish Bone Broth (Stovetop Method)

Halibut Steaks

by Cat, June 11, 2017 (image, right, from  More-to-Door in the UK (4))

Bone broths have become all the rage, especially for those who are dealing with autoimmune disease, and fish broth is one of the most flavorful. Adding veggies and herbs is optional, but definitely enhances the flavor.

In general, you can use any broth recipe, but if you are doing an autoimmune protocol, replace any butter or ghee with olive or coconut oil, and eliminate any wine or other alcohol. You may also need to eliminate some herbs or spices, especially those that come from seeds.

About ingredients and equipment for bone broth

  • Fish carcass/bones: use all the throw-away parts including head and eyes (cut off the gills), bones, fins and tail. Don’t use parts from farmed fish.
  • The veggies (onion, carrot and celery) are simple but should be organically grown (especially celery because commercial celery is heavily treated with pesticides/herbicides). You can coarsely chop them or leave them whole to save time (if using a crockpot).
  • A small amount of raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) is added to draw the nutrients out of the bones. Unrefined sea salt is added just before drinking, to bring out the flavor.
  • You can add herbs and spices if you wish, but if doing an autoimmune protocol, be sure not to include any of those on the ‘avoid’ list. It is best not to use herbs/spices from seeds (like mustard, coriander, cumin, etc.)
  • It is very important to use filtered water (the best is reverse-osmosis filtered water which removes problematic chlorine and fluorine, especially for your thyroid).
  • Use unrefined sea salt, such as Himalayan, Celtic or Redmond (Real) salt. If these are not available, use table salt that has NOT been iodized, or Kosher salt.
  • Use a regular stock pot on your stove-top rather than a crockpot, because the fish parts cook too quickly for a crockpot.
  • A mesh stainless steel strainer lined with a loose-weave cotton (like good-quality cheesecloth) is used to strain the broth; you can also use tongs or a slotted wooden spoon to remove the large chunks before straining. If you want to stir the broth while cooking, use a wooden spoon.

Fish Bone Broth (Stovetop Method)

This is an adaptation of my Fish Stock recipe, with hints from recipes by Dr. Kelllyann (1), Maria Atwood (2), and The Paleo Way (3). My original Fish Stock recipe includes butter (for sautéing the veggies) and wine. However, if you are making the bone broth as part of an autoimmune protocol, butter and alcohol cannot be included. Instead, use olive or coconut oil for the sauté and I’ve omitted the wine.

Dr. Kellyann (1) sautés the veggies before adding the fish trimmings, because the short cooking time for the broth is not enough for raw veggies. She also makes the following recommendations:

  • Do not use bones and trimmings from oily fish like salmon, because it will give the broth an off-flavor if they cook for a long time (the oils become rancid). Instead, choose from halibut, cod, sole, rockfish, turbot, or tilapia.
  • Do not use a crockpot, because the fish trimmings cook very quickly.

Maria Atwood on Selene River Press states in her article, Fish Broth and Your Thyroid (2):

  • “Don’t overcook or your house will smell for days. Most people seem to think that because bone broth is cooked for long periods, so is fish broth. But once the head and bones are immersed in boiling water, 1–1½ hours at a low simmer is long enough.
  • Leave the lid off the pot, and shortly after immersing the fish and allowing it to boil a few minutes, skim off the scum that forms at the top—these are impurities. After skimming, place the lid on the pot slightly askew and turn to a bare simmer for the duration. Continue skimming any further scum that forms.”

Ingredients & Equipment

  • 1 pound combined:  fish bones, fins and heads from non-oily fish
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 -2 celery stalks, with optional leaves
  • 1 medium onion, without peels, halved or sliced
  • 2 Tbsp butter or ghee (or olive or coconut oil if making for an autoimmune protocol)
  • 1 – 2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • optional: bay leaves, or bouquet garni* of thyme (or tarragon), ½ bay leaf (or 1 small bay leaf) and parsley
  • whole black peppercorns
  • 6 cups filtered water
  • Unrefined sea salt
  • Equipment (see notes, above)
  • stock pot
  • wooden spoon (optional)
  • strainer

* A bouquet garni is a collection of fresh herbs tied into a bundle, or wrapped into a bit of tied-up cheesecloth, then immersed into the cooking broth.  It is easily removed all in one bunch, when needed.

Method:

  1. Wash fish heads and cut off gills. Wash fins, tail and bones.
  2. Coarsely chop carrots, celery and onion.
  3. Using stock pot over a low heat, sauté veggies in melted butter/ghee or olive/coconut oil, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
  4. Add fish trimmings and add enough cold filtered water to cover by 1″. Stir in apple cider vinegar. Don’t cover the pot – or keep the lid askew. Raise heat to medium just long enough to come to a slow simmer. Skim the film off the top.
  5. Add herbs and reduce heat to low. Cook at a slow simmer for about 50-60 minutes, skimming off any film at the top as needed.
  6. Off heat and remove all bones using a slotted spoon.
  7. Strain through cheesecloth.
  8. Add salt to taste, OR wait to add salt when ready to drink the broth.
  9. Cool, covered, on countertop, then refrigerate if not using right away. Skim off any fat that has solidified at the top. It will keep, refrigerated, 4 – 5 days, or it can be frozen for 3 or more months.

References:

  1. Dr. Kelllyann: Fish bone broth: (drkellyann.com/paleo-recipes/2015/12/03/fish-bone-broth)
  2. Selene River Press: Fish broth and your thyroid (seleneriverpress.com/fish-broth-and-your-thyroid)
  3. The Paleo Way: Fish Broth (Stock) (thepaleoway.com/recipe/fish-stock)
  4. More-to-Door image: “moretodoor. co.uk/shop/halibut-steaks” (link deactivated because site contains malware)
Posted in Fat or oil, Fish, Herbs, Leafy Veggie, Medicinal, Onion family, Root Veggie, Stove top, Vinegar | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Bone Broth, Crockpot Method

Marrow Bones

by Cat, June 11, 2017 (image, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

I’ve always made my stocks/broths in a stockpot on stovetop. But I will soon be doing a dietary protocol to help me heal from an autoimmune disorder, that requires drinking bone broth every day. Using a crockpot makes it very simple to make and requires little of your own time doing prep work.

To make the broth, you can use marrow bones stripped of their meat, or  leave the meat on. Adding veggies and herbs is optional, but definitely enhances the flavor.

Posted in Beef, Buffalo, Bones, Equipment, Fat or oil, Fish, Game, Health, Herbs, Lamb, Leafy Veggie, Medicinal, Onion family, Poultry, Root Veggie, Vinegar | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The wonderful effect of music on the brain, movement, and soul

Wurlitzer jukebox in the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, Havana

By Cat, June 10, 2017 (photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

This is not a food recipe, but rather a look at how music is the food of our soul.

My love of music goes way way back. My parents owned a bar that had a juke box; I listened to every song, learned the words and melodies so I could sing – and dance – along. But even before that, I listened to my Mom sing – horribly out of tune – to help me go to sleep. I even found music in the hum of her Singer Featherweight sewing machine as she stitched together garments.

Music can make me smile or cry, and exhibit all the emotions in-between. It can improve my mood when I’m feeling down. And I find music in many things that are not really musical, like the cawing of the ravens or chattering of squirrels in my yard; the sound of the lawn mower in summer.

So you can imagine how touched I was by the first video, below, especially the last few minutes of an elderly man with deep dementia, singing along to a favorite song from his younger years.  Continue reading

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