Thursday, December 13, 2012

Butter update and confessions of a crap parent

Butter update: Since starting the kids on a no-sugar, no-refined grains, a la Nourishing Traditions,  just in time for the holidays seems ill-judged, I'm reigning in the butter consumption in the Pitkin-Kennedy household.

However, I'm fired up for January. Since I do have some trust issues with the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, I was very happy to find a source for similar information that appears more credible: It all seems a bit more scientifically and common sensically grounded.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking long and hard about homeschooling. In theory, I think it would be great for Forest.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Life looks different through doom colored glasses. (See this post to understand why I'm sporting a pair.) Glasses of doom do not, as one might expect, have drab depressing tints. In fact, they are rather psychedelic, intensifying perceptions and emotions. Especially when you first start wearing them, especially when what is doomed is Life As We Know It and involves lots of people dying. (Of course, the numbers of people who die depends on how quickly we can get our act together on cutting emissions. And even if we all stop driving and switch off our computers right now there will be more "extreme weather events" that will kill people. The longer we keep the devices, the cars, and the appliances on, the more people will die.) Whatever the case, these glasses are so intense most people shut their eyes and/or perform all manner of mental tricks to get them off. That response is

Monday, November 26, 2012

Two important things about eating lots of butter

All butters are not created equal, and I have been on a grueling quest to find the right butter for my family. Of course I want butter from raw milk, but I also want the best quality fats available. This means butter made out of grass.

Here are some of the butters to be found in our fridge:

As you can see, the large block of butter in the back is much yellower than the other two butters.

When we started getting eggs from our chickens, we were amazed by the color of the yolks. Our chickens roam around all day eating whatever they can find. The eggs that

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Our goose is cooked

One of the three geese in our freezer is now cooked, and it was tasty--more like roast beef than chicken--but leathery. There is a real learning curve to cooking wild game. But I'm glad to be getting my kids used to tough, gamey meat because barring a radical, geopolitical shift, it looks like our collective goose is cooked. It is entirely possible that someday they may have to rely on hunting to feed themselves.

I used to think my future grand kids

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I like it raw, baby.

I haven’t had my cholesterol checked, but my butter & cream diet is working for me in one regard: my clothes are fitting better*. Eating such rich food is so sating. In part, I think there is an Atkins-esque effect which dampens my appetite so that

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Per-week butter consumption in my family = several pounds

So, why the butter and cream diet? Well, this is phase one of a new restrictive diet we are rolling out in our house. We also have reduced added sugars to almost none and switched our dairy to raw and non-homogenized. I’m putting off rolling out the next phase: no refined grains, since I'm not ready to say goodbye to pie crust. That, and all the extra work I anticipate.

Why this new diet? Primarily for the kids’ health, but also for ours. The reasoning behind this new dietary experiment follows.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sleeper and tarts

I am now on a butter and cream diet. So naturally, I keep thinking of that scene in Woody Allen’s Sleeper when he learns that all the foods he thought were nutritious are not, whereas all the forbidden foods have proven wholesome and healthy.
For years, I read in the nutrition rags that sugar is nothing to get too worked up about—not nutritious calories, but not harmful either. Fat, on the other hand, was almost always to be minimized. I never thought the day would come that I’d be following Moosewood, Silver Palate, and Victory Garden recipes without reducing the called-for fat, while skimping on the sugar. But here I am, and boy, it’s a yummy place to be. This also explains my new obsession with tarts.
I'm still working on mastering pie/tart crust.

I guess I didn't add enough water this time.

But thanks to the pie crust pointers Phyllis of Dash and Bella shares here I have greater confidence when things don't come together just right. I had to press lots of loose crumbs into this and generally smush it together. Nor did I manage to roll it big enough to fill the pan.
I forged ahead regardless.

We brought in the remaining tomatoes from our three tomato plants, including the green ones, before getting a hard freeze. I've never cooked with green tomatoes before.

Green tomatoes are surprisingly sweet.
Amateur tarts are surprisingly delicious.

More on why I’m eating so much butter and cream soon.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Forest's only hunting expedition (for now)

Forest is not down with killing animals. Last night he told Aaron he only wanted to trap if they could look at the animals and then let them go, not if it meant killing them.

Not a NBK
So his first hunting expedition is his last for the time being (or forever, who knows).

I am curious if he will start questioning eating meat.

Aaron and Forest came up with a new plan: go "hunting" with a camera and play hide and seek in the woods.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Forest’s first hunting expedition

Shortly after Forest’s third birthday, he wandered out of the house moments after Aaron had slit the throats of two cantankerous roosters. Aaron’s face was sprayed with blood, and one of the roosters was still convulsing. Forest stayed with Aaron while he processed the birds, and he seemed unfazed by the death and gore. But after they came back into the house, Aaron saw Forest studying himself in the mirror and saying, “Now I'm different.”  Did Forest really see his first encounter with death as so significant, or are we simply over-laying our impressions on a random comment from him? Whatever the case, we never saw any signs that he was distressed by what he had witnessed.

Now, at just over four-and-a-half, Forest went on his first hunting trip last weekend. With enough time to make it home for lunch, 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Where we live and what we do for fun

As the leaves fall off the trees and vistas open up, I'm re-amazed at how beautiful it is around here. 

Our backyard isn't in the running for any beauty prizes, but I love it regardless. Aaron has been building a fort with the boys in our backyard. We all worked on it this weekend. SuperDuperUperStorm Sandy didn't hit very hard here, but it has been windy enough that we wonder how our fort has fared.

Hunting season started on Saturday, hence the orange caps.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Heartfelt thanks

It took all day for Aaron to process the three geese. Mostly, I was busy with other chores, but I did take pictures and do some plucking. The other birds I plucked, some chickens for a friends’ farm wedding years ago, had long clear worms in some of the feather follicles, and many little gnat-y, itchy “chicken fleas” that leapt of the chickens and onto us as we plucked. Iggy, iggy, iggy. The geese were pest-free and oddly endearing. I think because their feathers are so soft and because their beaks have a little up-turn at the base, so they appear quite cheerful about the whole affair.
Stop here if you don’t want to see dead-bird and dead-bird innards pictures.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Our goose ain't cooked

Last Monday, Aaron went goose hunting and shot a Lesser Canada Goose:
His hunting partners were kind enough to give him two of their geese, so we now have three geese to cook. I thought I’d share our adventures in goose cooking.

Of course, when you kill the animal yourself, it takes a while to get to the cooking