Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fanatical adherence (why we can't trust labels)

Many people when starting SCD ask, "Why can't we just believe what's on the label?" There are a bunch of reasons, but a quick Google search turned up a couple that I'd like to share with you.

Based upon evidence uncovered by the government. Beech-Nut, its president, and a vice president were indicted late in 1986 by a federal grand jury for marketing as apple juice a product that in reality was nothing more than sugar water and a blend of chemicals that simulated the taste and look of apple juice.

Nice, huh? You can read the story here.

The worst part is that during that time, Beech-nut was trying to capitalize on an increasingly aware market. Nutritionists had been howling about the amount of sugar and starch added to baby foods. Beech-nut started touting itself as an all natural provider of baby foods, and publicly removed sugar from all products except those marketed as desserts.

So, they were telling everyone what a health-conscious supplier of food they were while their executives turned a blind eye toward their apple juice supplier.

The executives did this knowingly, in the hopes of saving the company from bankruptcy. I wonder if they thought the jail time was worth it?

But wait! I mean, come on, that was like 20 years ago. Stuff like this isn't still happening, is it?

Of course it is.

In 2005, in response to consumer concerns about trans fat labeling, the Florida agriculture and consumer services commissioner had his department analyze 33 food products to determine if the trans fat labeling was accurate.

Out of the 33 food products, ONE of them was labeled correctly. The rest? Wrong.

I wrote another post for you about how labeling can be legally deceptive. But this is about illegal deception. And it happens every day, everywhere. We've only just recently noticed that practically every toy out of China is full of lead. What else are we missing?

Fanatical adherence. That's why all of us moms are in our kitchens day in and day out, cooking with ingredients we know and trust, chopping up veggies and meats that don't have long hyphenated emulsifiers, stabilizers, or chemicals to enhance shelf life, using nuts and eggs that don't have hidden additives or other possible tricks of the food industry trade that they don't have to tell us about.

We just make food.

French artist probiotics

In lieu of actual content, I will post this IM conversation I just had with my husband this morning. See, when I got up, my yogurt had just hit 110 degrees. So I thought I would turn off the heating pad for a while. I realized I never reminded my hubby to check on it, so at 10 a.m. I sent him an IM (he works at home).


Me: check my yogurt?
Husband: ok
...I forgot all about it. I have ruined it. it's at 95. I'm sorry! :-( :-( :-( :-(
Me: not necessarily
Me: turn the heat back up to high
Me: tuck the towels around it
Me: we'll see how long it takes to get back up to temperature.
Husband: ok
Me: it should still be OK
Me: I will just have to ferment it a couple hours longer
Me: once it gets back up to temperature
Me: so...hopefully it will be back in range in an hour
Me: then we can turn it down again
Me: and it should be fine if we can keep it in range until tomorrow morning then.
Me: never easy rar
Husband: you sure they won't have all died or whatever?
Husband: it just went down to 94 ... -_-
Me: no, they only die if it gets too hot
Husband: oh
Husband: phew
Me: if it gets too cold then they just don't digest all of the lactose
Me: so when they warm up they start snacking again
Husband: picky little bitches!
Me: serious!
Husband: no, we can only eat when it's warm out! nyah!
Me: haha
Me: is OK
Me: in fact, it's kind of a good thing
Me: I would have had to put the yogurt away around 11 p.m.
Me: now that it got too cold it needs to add a few more hours
Me: so that puts it at 2 a.m. for 24 hours
Me: but then I can let it go until 6 a.m. which is 28 hours
Me: because you can't let it go longer than 30 hours or the bacteria start to die because they are out of food see
Husband: yeesh
Me: they are sensitive!
Me: they are artists!
Husband: and you need the bacteria to eat the yeast inside
Me: they are probably french
Me: the bacteria eats the lactose
Husband: oh god
Husband: too funny
Me: :)
Husband: I actually lolled at sensitive artists
Me: they wear tiny berets!
Me: eet ees freezing in zhair, they say
Me: i cannot vork in zees condeeshons
Me: vhat do zhey expect
Husband: oh good god
Husband: so hilarious

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I know, I know...

So I haven't posted in a while. I'm sorry, I really am. I've been incredibly busy, and I've been working overtime pretty often. I'm also hoping really hard for a new job (!!!) and I tried some cooking experiments that went awry.

I just finished another Pendant Audio script for season 2 of the Kingery, and I'm way behind on recording my lines. Basically, we've been working most nights until about an hour before bed time. And then a situation at work has me kind of angry, so when Clark decided to get up at 2 a.m., I kept myself awake thinking about stuff. I got up at 3 a.m. and played Super Mario Galaxy for an hour. And then I watched half of a really bad sci-fi movie before calming down enough to go back to sleep at 5 a.m. for another hour or so.

But I can post a couple things for you all. :)

First of all, this here is the BEST reason to make egg free brownies:

Licking the bowl, yay! Isn't it strange how the smallest things can make us feel a little more 'normal'?

I also made almond milk. I roughly followed a recipe I found online.


1 cup almonds

Put the almonds in the blender. Add water to the four cup mark. Blend for 10 minutes.

I strained the almond pulp through a clean bandana. It worked very well. Do not try coffee filters. They will rip.

Clark LOVED the almond milk. I was really heartened by how easy it was, so I tried to make almond milk yogurt. This did not work. It separated, which is normal, but it also turned a weird shade of brown, which was not normal. Oh well, back to the drawing board. Marilyn on the Pecanbread list has some good suggestions, so I saved those for when I'm ready to try again.

I also purchased a five pound roll of ground turkey at Smart and Final. It didn't have any additives listed, so I thought I'd give it a try. I left it in the fridge for three days to thaw, and on the third day it leaked through everything in the world. -_-

So I cleaned it all up with help from my hubby and I decided to make a modified version of the chicken sausage recipe from the SCD Recipe site. I improvised with spices I had on hand.


5 pounds turkey
1 1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp ground celery seed
1/2 tbsp turmeric

I mixed it all by hand and then took four pieces of foil and plopped some of the turkey mixture onto each one. I then rolled each piece of foil into a sausage shaped log, and put them all on a cookie sheet. I cooked it at about 325 degrees for two hours. I didn't let them rest for 24 hours and I forgot to poke holes in the foil, but it turned out fine, and Clark loved it.

I didn't even really thoroughly mix the spices, so I didn't take a photo of the finished sausage 'cause I was embarrassed. :)

I liked it with ketchup. Mmm.

Also last weekend I made roast chicken, which turned out beautifully. I then discovered I really don't like roast chicken. I prefer my chicken dry, or fried, not moist. I know, I'm really not a foodie by any stretch. I then made a soup with a whole chicken, and that was no fun either. I am NEVER doing that again. No picking four bajillion tiny bones out of soup! I nearly screamed when I pulled the liver out of one of the chickens, and then later after the soup was done, I saw a vertebrae. A VERTEBRAE. I am so not in touch with my inner cave girl. *shudders*

So, it's back to parts for me, and I think I'm going to keep getting turkey parts, because I really love the flavor of turkey soup. Maybe I'm just sick of chicken. It's entirely possible. Understandable, even.

I've cut out eggs entirely for myself, and I think it's helping with my arthritis.

Oh, and Valentine's Day! I know how this makes me sound but...look, back when I got valentines, kids did not hand out candy with every freaking valentine! Clark was so disappointed he couldn't eat any of his candy, so I whipped up some SCD frosting for him right quick and put it on his brownies today. He was so happy.

SCD frosting (STAGE ONE)

2 tbsp honey
3-4 tbsp spectrum shortening
dash salt

Beat until well combined. Frost and eat. This will firm up HARD in the fridge, so be aware.

OK, that's all for now. I don't even know what stage to put these recipes. Give me some guidance, and I'll stick them where they need to go.

Thanks to the people who are checking up on me. I can only type so much in a day, because my right hand starts to really bother me, so I have to pick and choose sometimes, especially with the writing. I've been kind of all over the place emotionally and I am now having major cravings for non-SCD foods when I get my period. It's incredibly distracting. -_-

Sunday, February 3, 2008

More recipes, and of course - cooking marathon

Saturday I got a lot done. I went grocery shopping with Clark. I wasn't sure what to do, as we had four stores to go to, and we had to get perishables at three of them.

So I tossed our large cooler in the trunk of the car. At our first stop, I got frozen spinach, turkey parts, ground beef, and goat yogurt, so I put all of that in there. The second stop included frozen burritos, which were added to the pile. Third stop was Costco, where I picked up two gallons of skim milk for my darling husband. Those didn't fit, but since it was the last stop, it was no big deal.

We got home around noon, and it was time to start cooking. I hadn't made turkey soup before, so this is what I did.


3-4 pounds turkey parts (I used thighs and drummettes)
2 large onions
7-8 garlic cloves
1-2 pounds baby carrots
4 stalks celery
1 pound frozen spinach
8 oz white button mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp sage
2 tsp salt

In a large stock pot, put the turkey parts on the bottom. Add the onions (quartered), garlic cloves, carrots, and celery (cut into 2-3 inch pieces). Add water to cover and simmer for four hours.

Add the frozen spinach and mushrooms, adding more water to cover. Add sage and salt. Cook for one more hour. Cool and remove the meat from the bones before storing. Also don't forget to remove the onion and celery, as this is stage two.

This soup was really quite surprising to me. The turkey tasted good, and there was a lot of it, so since I usually bring my soup to work for lunch, I will probably be falling asleep in a tryptophan-induced stupor this week. The mushroom taste was pretty pronounced. I would like to try it as a cream-type soup, with pureed mushrooms. That would be really good I think.

Before I started the soup, I started a double batch of ketchup. It takes about two hours for the 12 cups of tomato juice plus 1 cup of vinegar to cook down to where I like it. I also put a large pan of pineapple in the oven for two hours, along with two whole (small) butternut squashes. This time I forgot to include the small amount of water I usually do with the pineapple, but it turned out just fine.

I started thinking about meatloaf. Usually I can't afford good quality ground beef, but I found some that was pretty good for $3 a pound, so I bought a bunch of it. I decided to try a stage 2 meatloaf.


2 pounds ground beef
1 pound spinach
8 oz button mushrooms, chopped
1 cup dry red wine
1 large onion, quartered
5-6 garlic cloves
SCD ketchup

In a large saucepan, cook the spinach, mushrooms, garlic, onion, and red wine with 2 cups of water. Simmer until the liquid is completely gone. This will take a while -- probably about an hour. Some alcohol will remain in the dish, but not much -- about 25 percent at most (the equivalent of 1/4 cup of wine), and remember, this is spread out into two meatloaves. If you don't want to do this, try 1/2 cup Welch's grape juice instead. Tell me how it turns out. :)

Dump the mixture into a large mixing bowl and let it cool. Add the ground beef and mix together by hand until the vegetables are well incorporated. Separate the mixture and form into two loaves. Pour SCD ketchup on top to cover. Bake in a Pyrex dish at 400 degrees for about an hour and fifteen minutes. Makes two loaves.

I think the SCD ketchup is important to this recipe to keep the spinach from drying out on the outside. Clark loves this meatloaf, and I thought it was pretty good too.

In the meantime, I had pulled the pineapple, garlic, and squash out of the oven to cool. By the time I got the meatloaves into the oven, I was ready to put the pineapple away, and ready to start my butternut squash soup. I've been toying with this for a little while, so I'm OK with sharing this recipe with you, even if it's not perfect in my mind.


3-4 pounds butternut squash
2 cups SCD legal applesauce
3-4 roasted garlic cloves (a paste)
1 cup water
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp coriander
1/8 tsp cloves
1 tsp salt

Bake the butternut squash in the oven until done. You can bake the squash whole if you like for about two hours at 400 degrees. Remove from oven, cut open if you haven't already, and let cool until you can handle it easily.

Put the cooked squash in your blender with the applesauce, water, garlic paste, cinnamon, coriander, cloves, and salt. Blend until well combined.

I tried it with ginger the time I made it before this time, but I didn't like it. I couldn't find my nutmeg so I will try that at some point too. Probably 1/2 teaspoon would be good.

So that was day one of the cooking marathon. Today I'm making yogurt, veggies, and egg bread so Clark has enough stuff for school this week.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Eat your veggies! and, garlic mysteries solved

OK, so I have a confession to make.

I am not all that fond of my cooked veggies. If I have to eat cooked carrots by themselves, I just won't. I'd rather not eat than eat them.

But of course I need my veggies. I cannot live on SCD applesauce, much as I would like to, because that would make me a Bad Susan.

I'd rather eat meat and almond butter brownies until I pop. Yes, I have done this. It's no wonder I can't lose any more weight.

So! I decided I would try mushrooms, as my next stage 2 veggie. I decided to come up with a recipe that would force me to eat more vegetables, so here we go.


1 pound frozen spinach
8 oz white button mushrooms
1 pound ground beef
1 onion
6-7 garlic cloves
1 cup SCD ketchup

In a large saucepan, put the frozen spinach, mushrooms, garlic, and onion (quartered) with 2-3 cups of water. Cook until the water has reduced about half. Add the beef and cook through, reducing the liquid as much as possible. When it's done, stir in 1 cup of SCD ketchup.

You can add more ketchup if you want, but I would definitely eat this again. I liked it the next day as leftovers, too. I decided to have pineapple with it, but only one spear made it to my plate.

Oh, and by the way, if you were trying to pick out the garlic cloves? Good luck, because they look just like the mushrooms. It's an interesting little treasure hunt, should you decide to attempt it.

This meal brought to you by the number 10.

I think next time I might cut the amount of meat in half, but I'm not sure.

OK, on to garlic! So as I mentioned before, I actually burned my fingertip with all the garlic peeling I was doing. It turns out that I was going about it all wrong.

Get a clean, sturdy drinking glass. Pop the cloves off the garlic head or whatever it's called. Now, put the clove on your counter, and whap it with the bottom of the drinking glass. Turn the clove over and whap it again. Then peel it. The skin will come right off! Yay!

I have thus been peeling garlic with abandon. Abandon, I tell you! :)

I was also told that I can roast garlic. Since garlic is on stage 2, I figured it was time to stop picking the cloves out of soup and other things that I'm cooking. But roasting garlic is a really good way to get a flavorful cooked garlicky paste when you're not going to be boiling it within an inch of its life. So!


Take a large head of garlic and break it apart. You don't have to, but I think it makes things easier. Bigger cloves are easier to work with, too.

Take the big cloves and gather them up in a piece of foil. Don't peel them!

Bake at 400 degrees for about 45-50 minutes.

Wait until they are cool. Then, using a pair of kitchen shears, cut one end off the clove and squeeze out the garlic paste. You can use this in any recipe you want.

And here's a recipe for Spinach Frittata.


1/4 of an onion
2 peeled cloves garlic
olive oil
3/4 cup spinach, drained (you can eyeball it -- I use frozen)
6 eggs

In an 8" skillet, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and break up the onion and garlic in it. Saute the onion and garlic until done. At this stage you can't eat it, so toss it. Salt the remaining oil.

Sprinkle the spinach on the skillet. Immediately crack six eggs on top and mix it around. You can beat them ahead of time but I kind of like the effect of the whites and yolks. Squish it around and move it so the egg will flow underneath the cooked parts.

After about 5-10 minutes on medium heat, it should be solid enough to flip if you're really careful and you have a big spatula, since I can't make a real frittata in the oven. When it's done, cut into four pieces. You're done!

OK, that's all for me right now. I'm in the midst of a cooking marathon so I will probably post about that later. Bye!