Friday, October 29, 2010

Curried Apple Soup

Speaking of Nourishing Traditions, tonight we tried out a new recipe under the Soups section. The verdict: Success. Even for my non-soup-adoring husband. (He partakes but is not thrilled to the core of his very being at the thought of a steamy warm bowl of liquidy goodness like some of us are). Since I have an overabundance of apples I am still trying to work through, (Overabundance: having so many boxes of apples on your front porch drivers-by stop to ring the doorbell and ask the price of the apples I'm selling... my response being a bright red face and embarrassing stammer that I just need to make applesauce and a subsequent phone call to my husband to move the apples to the back deck out of sight of the general public) I was in the mode to utilize those supplies in desperate need of utilization. Hence, Curried Apple Soup. Perfect for Fall, perfect for slightly denting an exhaustive apple supply and perfect for our (mostly) soup-enjoying family. I had made chicken stock the day prior in preparation for this soup. I reserved some of the cooked chicken and served it along side hearty portions of quinoa to round out the meal.

Curried Apple Soup

6 tart apples, peeled and quartered (or not-so-tart, depending on what you have on hand)
4 Tblsp. butter
2 medium onions, peeled and copped
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 tsp. each dry mustard, turmeric, ground cumin and ground coriander
1/4 tsp. each cloves, cinnamon and cayenne
1-1/2 quarts chicken stock
juice of 1 lemon
sea salt
creme fraiche or sour cream (I used plain yogurt)

Saute onions in butter until soft. Stir in spices. Combine onion mixture, apples and stock and simmer until apples are soft. Puree soup with a handheld blender (unless you do not own such a device and then try not to make a mess while you scoop it into a blender and puree in batches). Add lemon juice and season to taste. Ladle into heated bowls and serve with cultured cream. Serves 6.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Life changing? Perhaps.

So over at our household there have been a lot of changes- some gradual, some abrupt, definitely a lot still-in-process. And some changes are just plain ol' being resisted (who, MY husband? Nahhh.) I can recall this journey really getting into the swing of things about a month or so after Selah had been born. I pinpoint this time in particular because right when Selah was 2 months old I spent about 3 days in the hospital with her, in isolation since she had some sort of bronchiolitis, most likely RSV. During this time I did little other than care for her, catnap in the highly-uncomfortable-but-who-cares-at-this-point-I-just-need-sleep chair and read an 800+ page tome of frugality titled The Complete Tightwad Gazette. It's a collection of newsletters that had previously been published over several years and then finally all included in this one book. It has some great ideas, resources and food for thought. One part in it that changed my life? Washing Ziploc bags. Oh yeah. See, growing up I was under the impression that you only reuse such things if you can't afford to just throw them away. Then I kinda realized that is a ridiculously indulgent, wasteful attitude- not just for myself or regarding finances but also resources, the earth- all that green stuff. I know I'm called to be a good steward of what I have been given and not just a massive consumer. So I lathered up and started washing Ziploc bags. And washed. And washed. (I throw ones that have had meat in them out). And now it's kind of a game to see how long one bag will last. I loved how the author/editor wrote that even the richest millionaire/billionaire should wash his Ziplocs (or at least hire someone to do it) because to do otherwise would be wasteful. And I think we have enough of that in our world.

So having just finished that ode to frugality (which aside from Ziploc washing included ideas such as buying in bulk, cooking from scratch- you show me your coupon bargains and I will show you how to make it cheaper by scratch- and various others attitudes for frugal living), Mike and I spent an evening watching the documentary Food, Inc. As a result we were faced with the question: Where does our food really come from? We swore off fast food and felt healthier immediately. :)

As I was mulling over the question of the origin of our food I was pointed in the direction of the book to end all books (insert drum roll, please): Nourishing Traditions. To the enlightened ones this is no great surprise, this being the foundational go-to book for those on their quest towards true health. But to the masses still unaware of the revelations in this book I say: Check it out! You have nothing to lose! (Especially if you just borrow it from the library). :) If I could be so bold as to try to whittle it down to a nutshell of information, NT is basically a cookbook whose premise is that the Western diet as we know it (heavy on refined grains, high sugar/corn syrup, low-fat eating) is what is making us more and more unhealthy, diseased, fat and unhappy. Instead we should imitate the practices of traditional societies and soak our grains (to break down phytic acid that binds up all the healthy enzymes/nutrients in the grains), eat fat (butter, whole milk) and basically try to eat things the way God made them. Not processed. Not into a big cookbook? Pick up the easy read "In Defense of Food, An Eater's Manifesto" by Michael Pollan or his other book, "The Omnivore's Dilemma". I was more than surprised- dare I say shocked?- at some of the things in America's food industry. I will end this part by saying Read It. Any one of them. It just might change your Life.(style). :)

Family pic

We so rarely get a picture of all four of us together (AND one that has actually turned out) but a couple weeks ago we visited my grandparents' farm and had a great time soaking in the crisp Fall colors, complete with warm sunshine and brisk wind. Eileigh picked out a pumpkin for us and then we spent the evening thoroughly enjoying family fellowship around a delicious meal! I love this season.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Lunchtime was upon us and Selah was still sleeping so Eileigh and I headed out for a mother-daughter picnic in the backyard. Eileigh was pretty thrilled to be picnicking, mostly due to the full cup of (only slightly) diluted homemade grape juice she proudly carried out and sipped with greater pleasure than the most intent wine connoisseur. I in turn was happy to discover that the bugs for the most part remained unaware of our lunching and so Eileigh and I were quite the contented pair. Aside from our homemade grape juice (Eileigh polished off the rest of my glass with a big grin) we lunched on leftovers: Ginger, Sesame Seed and Soy Sauce Salmon and sauteed garden zucchini, summer squash and tomatoes with whole wheat spaghetti. Great meal and even better company. This may have been our last picnic of the year... Fall has definitely arrived!

Grape juice 'stache

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bath time

Even happier in the tub

This babe may not crawl (or move much at all, really...) but her posture can't be beat!!! :)

Generally sports a pretty sweet post-bath 'do

Every time I see this picture I think: Why... so... seriousss? :)

Eileighbaby at 6 mos.

She likes having her hair wrapped like Mama

Having a blast with cousin Boone after a long day of play

Check out their filthy faces... obviously NOT been in there long enough... :)

Friday, October 1, 2010


Yesterday I spent the late afternoon and evening comforting a sick Selah Rae. I think the egg yolk she had for lunch did not agree with her and a few hours later the poor babe had quite a bit of projectile vomiting in response... all over herself, me and several areas of the house. Since Mike was on shift and not able to come home right away, my Dad was able to stop by a little later and brought pizza for dinner. Selah seemed to be starting to feel better by that point and so Eileigh, Dad, Selah and I sat around the table and chatted away while munching on pepperoni and sausage. As is our custom, Dad was sharing about his day at work and brought up a friend who is going through some incredibly difficult circumstances. Knowing that Eileigh was listening, my Dad glanced in her direction and said, "She is truly going through 'H'." Eileigh gazed steadily back at him and replied, "I."