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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Collapsing Laughter with Plethoras of Tears

The Internet Portal To Sheer and Utter Hysterics

May I introduce you to the Hutzler 571B...

Are you a fan of Monty Python?  Does ridiculous comedy make you fall to the ground, crying, laughing, choking and gasping for breath?  Have you ever not been able to stand up or speak for the intense stomach pain you're experiencing as a result of laughing so hard?  

Perhaps you need a pick-me-up today.  If so, may I recommend this link.  If you are at work, you might want to go to the bathroom and read there (just to be safe since tears will be pouring down your face) - and use the bathroom while you're in there (those of you not in reach of a bathroom better make sure you're wearing your Depends today).

I submit to you today, for your consideration, an Amazon review of a plastic yellow banana slicer.  There are (as of this post) something like 3,100 of them.  3,099 of them are pure, straight up, crazy, nutso hilarity.  I recommend reading from "most helpful".

If you are not the sort to enjoy watching Monty-Pythonesque humor, you may not find it quite as funny (like my hubby - he so lacks for my utterly goofball sense of humor), and if that is the case, I implore you to just change yourself and become just like me.  Oh wait, crud, not supposed to actually come out and say that.

I tried to instruct my offspring while I was reading this and they couldn't tell exactly what was wrong with me - my brother (whom I had to call upon reading a page of reviews) upon answering the phone thought something horrible had happened because of my voice and my hubby, when I told him, thought that someone had died from my voice distortion.  So, warning on that one.

But it is SO worth it.

Get to it!

Peace, love and laughter,
Ms. Daisy

Monday, February 25, 2013

Randoms - Part III

Today is one of those days where I have a lot of randomness swirling around in my head - here comes the shrapnel.

1.  Doesn't life seem so much better when the sun is out?  Whether it is or it isn't actually doesn't weigh in as heavily when you've got sunshine.  It gets an automatic bump up like 10 points on the happy scale.  And I can truly appreciate it living in a city that spends 90% of their days a year being cloudy or partly cloudy.  It's a wonder of wonders.

2.  Have you ever discovered something that - once it was discovered - you thought that your former uneducated self may have truly been frolicking up and down on the idiot bus?  I'm sure you haven't.  But I have an example for you from my very life from this very day, just to show you what it might be like.  So today...well, I "discovered" how to make Cream of Wheat on my own.  Yep.  I coarsely ground wheat in my mill and cooked it like Cream of Wheat.  Now, yes, I must say - I've only had my mill for a few days, but what was I thinking before of what Cream of Wheat was?  It's WHEAT.  Ground up.  Not as soft as flour.  Mind = blown.  See what I mean?  Please get off the bus, now, Ms. Daisy.

3.  Why does crochet seem like such a winter sport?  You could benefit from it all year long, but no, it gets all of its cozy glory in the cold months.  Poor thing.  It's like hockey, minus the playoffs.  And other parts of the season that extend past

4.  Have you noticed that all of your friends have babies in groups?  Maybe it's just me, but seriously, there was a period of time where I had no friends having babies and then 3 all within a month (or less) of each other.  These are not random acquaintances - I'm talking about real friends.  Must be that "things come in threes" thing.

5.  Remember my post about prunes?  Oh man.  I love and hate those things.  I seriously wanted to die when I ate more than 4 of them at a time.  Really.  Like every piece of my body was revolting, turning inside out and stabbing me.  My FEET were even hurting and I was thinking I remember labor being easier than what I was going through (maybe it was too distant to remember correctly, not sure).  Oh prunes, you are the dear and beloved enemy of my  life!

6.  Don't ever get a dog.  Were you thinking of it?  If so, you may have mine.  She is so smart, loyal and loving.  And diseased in the bowels.  And sheds her volume per diem.  And requires special $50 food and porcine pancreatic enzymes.  Life = hilarious.

Before anything else has a chance to blob out from my brain to the keyboard to your eyeballs and into your brain, I'm going to sign off.  

Peace, love and let them eat Cream of Wheat!
Ms. Daisy

Friday, February 22, 2013

Kombucha: Part II - How to make the elixir of immortality

Many of you have wondered a bit more about kombucha: how much it costs and how in the world to make it.  Here's part one on the health benefits if you want it: Kombucha: Part I

Well, here's the scoop for you soon to be brewmasters.

As far as price - if you go to the store and get some, the prices will vary.  At a local health food store, half of a gallon costs $28.00.  If you buy the 16 oz. (I think?  Or is it 12?) of GT's it is about $4.99.

Steep, eh?

If you make a gallon at home, it will cost you the price of 3 tea bags and 1/2 cup of organic (or cane) sugar (plus water, if you want to count the price of running a gallon of water out of your sink).  

Cheap, eh?

Okay, now on how to make it.
To make one gallon, here's what you need:
1 glass container - gallon sized with a very wide mouth (I use a cookie jar minus the top)
1 wash cloth that you didn't use fabric softener on (yuck! poison!)
1 rubber band
3 tea bags (black tea - some people use green, though)
1/2 cup organic cane or cane sugar (beet is GMO and may kill your scoby)
about 1 gallon of preferably filtered water
a cup-ish of kombucha 
1 lovely scoby (scoby is an acronym and it stands for: symbiotic culture of bacterial yeast)

Did you just say, grrreat, where the heck am I gonna get a scoby from?

Well, honestly, you can get them on ebay, I think.  Now you've heard it all, right?  Well, besides that, you can get it at the Kombucha Kamp website.  They'll ship them to you.  If you know someone who makes kombucha, just get one from their scoby hotel (you can research that one, if you want - it's just a place to keep some backups since they double and soon you'll have more than you need).

Okay.  Now, you've got your stuff.  Ready?

1.  Boil a bit of your purified water on the stove.

2.  In your squeaky clean jar (but not with antibacterial soap - you don't want to kill your scoby - use vinegar to clean if you haven't got anything else), put in 1/2 cup of organic or can sugar and three black tea bags (no flavors - just straight black tea).

3.  Once the water is boiled, pour in a few inches of it onto your tea bags and sugar.  Let it steep and let the sugar dissolve for a few minutes.

4.  Remove tea bags.  Put them in your compost bin.

5.  Fill the jar with cold, purified water so that you bring the contents to room temperature.  Basically you have some sweet tea in a jar now.

6.  Wash your hands with castile soap or vinegar (NOT ANTIBACTERIAL - I mean, you're not the kind of person to have antibac soap, are you?  Dude.  C'mon, pitch that endocrine disrupting poison!).  Shake off, leave wettish.  Lovingly grasp your stingray, I mean, scoby and gently lay her/him into your room temp tea.

7.  Add your cup-ish of kombucha to the mix.

8.  Cover your jar with your washcloth and a rubber band to go around the opening.

9.  Put in a warm, dark place (72-79 degrees) for a week.  In the summer, it takes about 5 days until it's ready and in the winter, it takes about 10 days.  Adjust according to your temperature.  DO NOT put it in a humid place - the bathroom, under your sink - etc.  You can grow mold if your baby scobes gets subjected to too much humidity.

There's only a couple ways to kill your scoby, so pay attention.

1.  It's alive so DO NOT put it in hot water.  You will kill it.

2.  It's a probiotic bacteria so DO NOT use antibacterial soap on anything it touches.  You will kill it.

3.  It is something you need do do in a sanitary fashion, so do not be a grungeball.  You will introduce yucky bacteria if you aren't clean.  Keep kids and their goobery faces away while you are making kombucha and for the love of all that is good and decent, do not let them touch the scoby for the same reason.  You will either kill it or make yourself an e.coli cocktail. (I have to say this.  Most of you know what hygiene is - if you are a clean person, do not put yourself into a panic about this, it's just an admonition to be very careful.)

After about 5-10 days (depending on the season and how warm it is in your house), it will be time to check it.  Here's what you're going to look at:

1.  Does the kombucha look honey colored?  If so, good.

2.  Do you see any bubbles under the scoby along the edge of the glass?  This is good.  It means that fermentation has taken place.  

3.  Lift your washcloth away and look at your scoby.  Does everything look normal?  Does it look thicker?  This is good.  Does it have brown things hanging under it?  This is totally normal too.  Does it have weird spots on it?  That's not good.  Some people get mold.  It is not special mold.  It is that regular old bread crust mold you know and hold oh-so-dearly to your heart.  Don't drink it if you've got mold.  Dump it and start over (including the scoby).

4.  Next test: get a straw.  Shove it past the scoby, lift a bit up by using the stick-your-thumb-over-the-opening-and-lift-method.  Dump the strawful of liquid onto your tongue.  Does it taste kombucha-ey?  Or does it taste like tea still?  If tea-ish, cover it back up and leave it another day or two or three.  If too vinegary, you let it go too long.    In the middle of those two tastes is your lovely kombucha flavor.  It's like Little Red Riding Hood (This drink is too sweet!  This drink is too sour!  But this is one is JUST right!).

5.  If it's all ready, wash your hands with castille soap or vinegar and lift out your scoby to a glass or ceramic receptacle for a moment while you make more.  Pour a cup or so of your good, new kombucha over the scoby to keep it happy.

6.  Use a (stainless steel) funnel to pour out your kombucha if you're going from a big jar opening to a smallish one.  Stick the freshly-made batch of kombucha in the fridge in a glass container.

7.  Make a new batch!

Some people have freezing houses.  You may have to wait longer than 2 weeks for your brew to work.  

I've told you that you can kill your scoby, but I need to tell you that your kombucha can kill stuff too - it can kill plastic or metal.  DO NOT EVER USE PLASTIC OR METAL for kombucha.  It will eat the plastic, "Mmm, yum!  Plastic!"  It will rust metal. 

I hope that this has been helpful and informative for you. If you are more of a visual learner, check this guy out.

Peace, love and go get your kombucha on,
Ms. Daisy

Thursday, February 21, 2013

On being cold

Hey, how's it going?  Me?  I'm freezing.  

I've been this way for about four months.  It's great (this is 100% sarcasm).  Winter in the north is quite the experience.  Now, I'm not going to try to compete for the complaining of snowfall because I'm not in Minnesota or northern Wisconsin - the snow is just fine - continually snowing and continually melting and continually everlastingly forever grey in the sky type of fine, but the snow (although it is sometimes heavy to shovel) is just a symptom of the real problem: the freezing cold.

Inside, yes, I've got heat.  It's about 71 degrees in here (but it feels like 40 somehow).  But outside, it's a different story.

The trees are branchy, pokey, crunchy, leafless statues against the greyish white sky - except for the evergreens, who just seem to stand still in their long coats of dark olive green.

The snowflakes fly upwards, downwards, sideways and in circles like confused mosquitoes, landing and covering the closest victims.

The wind blows sharply and cuts through your clothes and coats, burning your face or anything that is unlucky enough to be exposed.

Winter has arrived and comes to stay for about five months (November - March plus crazy days in October and April).  

Are you freezing too?  Well, here are some tips for you as you suffer through it for a few more months:

1.  Sometimes, after drying the clothes in the dryer, as I'm kneeling down and pulling clean, warm clothes out, I picture myself climbing into the dryer and having a very cramped, but personal, sauna.  Instead of actually climbing all the way in, you can just stick the top half of your body in and throw hot clothes over the top of your head.  Note: try not to fall asleep.

2.  Besides wearing your shirt, sweater, long pants and tall warm socks, add a few layers - leg warmers, snow boots inside the house and perhaps your down coat or a scarf.  

3.  Drink your water boiling hot throughout the day.

4.  Bake anything that comes to mind so after you are finished, you can hover over the slightly opened  oven door and have your hair blow upwards on a hot draft.

5.  Similarly, as you are cooking on the stove (boiling water, etc.), hover frozen hands and face over the steam.  (Bonus: facial.)

6.  Since you cannot fall asleep when you are cold to your bones, prepare for bed by taking a hot shower, then immediately coming out and wearing long socks, flannel pants, a long sleeved shirt and a sweatshirt.  Wrap in a robe to avoid freezing as you make your way over to your bed.  As you climb in, stick your ice feet in the cracks of the back of the knees of your beloved to warm them up.  (It works better if they're already asleep because they won't pull away in death shock.)

7.  Always volunteer to hand-wash the dishes - it's a chance to get your hands into steaming water at least three times a day for an extended period of time.

8.  If all of these fail, take a moment to daydream of spring - the most glorious feeling in all the world (besides laying on the cement of your driveway at 3:00 p.m. in the middle of the summer when it is 100 degrees F/ 37.77 C) as it signifies the death of deathcold and winter's half-year reign.  Imagine the ground not being a solid chiseled diamond-hard mass anymore and it smelling of spring rain, puddles and the color green comes back to the world.  Imagine the feeling of being able to go outside without a full-length goose down coat, boots, gloves, a hat, scarf and double insulated stainless steel mugs of hot drink.

Do not, however, attempt to steal your gym's sauna heater even though you think it would be perfect in your living room.  Do not climb into a boiling pot of soup.  These things, although they seem like a perfectly reasonable idea while you are frozen will only bring you negative consequences and pain.  Do not, under any circumstance, climb into your oven while it is on.  

I hope this has been helpful to you.  I've got to let you go now, I've got some laundry and baking to do.

Peace, love and great news: today's high is 24 F/ -4.4 C,
Ms. Daisy

Monday, February 18, 2013

A.D.D. exercise

How often (and in what ways) do you get to exercise?

If you just thought, "Yuck, exercise!", I might have an idea that might help you like it a bit more.  

I really don't need to go over the benefits of exercising - everyone knows that you ought to physically strengthen your body often, but the motivation to do so can sometimes be lacking.  I think if we were all farmers, we wouldn't ever have to be so pathetic to drag ourselves to a gym, we'd get what our body needed within the productive lifestyle of doing hard outdoor work, but since that is (sadly) not the case, we've got to make up for it like little hamsters on a spinning wheel instead.

I do often lament this, but perhaps one day my dream will come true and I'll get to be a farmer.  Until then, I  have to be somewhat artificial in my exercise via going to the gym/playing sports, etc.

My dear, wonderful friend has just had a baby (actually I have like 3 friends who all just had babies in about the last ten minutes) and she works her booty off on her elliptical six days a week (and she looks amazing - not kidding.  Supermodel.).  I cannot and could not do that.  When the guy who writes our swim workouts scripts that we even have to do a set of 8 of something, I fall into despair thinking of how long it's going to take (unless perhaps it's 8 25's, but I digress).  Now mix that puppy up 4 now, 4 later with variance in between, I'm all good.  I am a bit (and by "a bit", I mean COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY) way too A.D.D. to do the same thing six days in a row.  I do have my daily habits that I would never change (like eating eggs for breakfast, but as for exercise, I have to vary it.

And let me tell ya - if you can mix it up enough, you can trick yourself that you're having a great time because it's something new all the time!

Let me give you an example of how I trick myself into fun.  I swim 3 days a week and each workout is totally different from the last.  I know one day of the week we will work sprints, another day will work endurance and the third day will be something else.  Now I can't just swim only - so I run a couple of times a week.  Once with other people and once flying solo.  I vary my distances and speeds so I don't get in a rut on that and take different paths all the time to show myself some different scenery.  The last little piece of exercise I incorporate is more like a hilarious and rambunctious time of pure and utter joy than something  you'd label as exercise - I get to play volleyball once a week.  (Volleyball is AWESOME.)

I take it as it comes, a day at a time and it's really not that big of a deal.  If you look at it as working out 6 times a week, you may feel overwhelmed and discouraged - I just look at is as what kind of fun thing I get to do that day and how it's going to be something new to try.

So my vote is for you to just mix it up, make it something new all the time and somehow, it doesn't feel like work  and it doesn't feel like something you're making yourself do - it feels like something you "get" to do.

Try it, let me know how it works out for you!

Peace, love and bump, set, spike,
Ms. Daisy

Friday, February 15, 2013

To microwave or not to microwave: that is the question.

Have you ever considered life without a microwave?  I mean, seriously considered it.  Well, first off, I suppose I should ask you if you own one, really.  If you don’t, I can guess that you have already loudly answered my question.  But if you’ve got one, I encourage you to ponder whether or not you might actually be able to have a go without it.

What do you use it for?  To heat up your coffee (or tea) for the fortieth time since you’ve not had a moment of time to sit down and drink it, probably.  That and maybe defrosting meat?  Maybe you cook with it.

At any rate, I have to tell you about my little sister.  First of all, she is amazing and great.  But that’s not exactly the point (this time, anyway) – I just wanted to mention it (in case you didn’t know and/or were wondering).  So after she got married, she lived in a cute little home that did NOT have a microwave!  I went over there once and I was like, “Um, where’s your microwave…?”  (I was probably attempting to reheat a cup of tea.)  She told me she didn’t have one.

I went home that day in awe and shame.  I am the one who is supposed to be the health fanatic (otherwise known in my family as a “weirdo”) and my little sister did not have a microwave and I did.  A silly old one, in fact – so old that I had it in college (which was probably 100 years ago).  It was small, though, so at least it fit in my kitchen.

But I digress.

So you know, right, about microwaves? 

I’m going to quote from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon:
Unfortunately, the microwave achieved instant popularity without much prior research to study the effects of eating microwaved food.  In consequence, one large experiment involving an unwitting populace is now in progress.  The small amount of research done on the effects of eating microwaved food has shown that the microwave may have unfavorable effects on fats and proteins, making them more difficult to assimilate.  More recent studies carried out in Switzerland revealed that the microwave caused changes in vitamin content and availability.  Eating microwaved food results in abnormal blood profiles, similar to those that occur in the early stages of cancer.  An especially dangerous practice is using the microwave for heating baby’s bottle.  Altered amino acids in microwaved milk can be toxic to the liver and nervous system, especially for infants.  We recommend that you resist using the microwave at all costs.


Tom Valentine in Search for Health says, “The same violent friction and athermic deformations that can occur in our bodies when we are subjected to radar or microwaves happens to the molecules in the food cooked in a microwave oven.  In fact, when anyone microwaves food the oven exerts a power input of about 1000 watts or more.  This radiation results in destruction and deformation of molecules of food and in the formation of new compounds (called radiolytic compounds) unknown to man and nature.  Today’s established science and technology argues forcefully that microwaved food, and irradiated foods, do not have any significantly high “radiolytic compounds” than do broiled, baked or other conventionally cooked foods – but microwaving does produce more of these critters.  Curiously, neither established science nor our ever protective government has conducted any tests of the effects of eating the various kinds of cooked foods on the blood of eaters.  Dr. Hands Hertel did test it, and the indication is clear that something is amiss and larger studies should be funded.”

That does not sound very good.  And really, if you think about it, he’s right.  I mean, I haven’t really heard a lot about microwaved food and whether or not it is safe to consume – I mean, I suppose if you really sat down and thought about it,  you’d have to figure that it is probably better to bake something than to microwave it, but why?  That’s the important question that can turn you from an avid microwaver to a conventional cooker.

One more bit here – this is from Warren Clough from the PPNF Health Journal.  He says, “The second reason I dislike microwave ovens is the more serious situation.  What about the quality of the food that comes out of the oven and is immediately consumed – free radicals and all.  With the depressed immune system of the average affluent American, the last thing we need is another increase in our free radicals.  It is well documented that microwaves are powerful enough to rupture cell walls of the food matrix, and this is undoubtedly why protein molecules are altered from microwave cooking.”

What!  Rupture cell walls?!  Holy smokes, Batman!  Shutteth uppeth!

That is messed up.  For real.  Have you ever thought about this?  It is seriously kind of nutso.

Other studies have shown strange results.  Subjects who consumed microwaved food had:
-       +  A decrease in hemoglobin levels
-       + A decrease in HDL levels (“good cholesterol”)
-       + A decrease in lymphocytes and leukocytes (a.k.a. white blood cells – a.k.a. the things that kill bad stuff in your body)
-       +  Increase in luminous power in luminous bacteria within the blood of the subjects (a.k.a. radioactive energy in their blood cells)

I’m pretty sure none of those are going to help anyone in the long run, unless, of course, your main goal in life is to die early of strange causes.

At any rate, would you consider doing a little research into the topic and think about living life without the radioactive appliance?  We are so accustomed to it, but if you banish it, you just might find that you are just fine without it.

We put ours out of the kitchen and into the dungeon about six months ago and we’re glad we did.  You can heat up your coffee or tea just as fast using a pot on the stove.  Yes, you’ve got to think about what you’re going to have for dinner ahead of time (if you need to defrost something), but besides that, it’s a pleasant thing.  The food tastes a thousand times better and it’s nice to know I’m not eating cancer cells.  It’s really not that big of a deal once you switch. 

You can do this.  You might even like not having one.

Something to think about.

Peace, love and I’ll take mine sans radiation,
Ms. Daisy

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

No More Cavities (a.k.a. dental carries)

On Monday I posted that I had to go off to the dentist (oh the horrors! Michaela, I'm such a wimp.) and I simply MUST tell you what happened there.

You are going to be a bit floored and a little bewildered, perhaps, but I have to tell you something that I didn't even know could happen.  Like, f'realies.

Okay, okay, first - background.  I have a small one who was found to have a cavity six months ago at the last check up.  I was supposed to schedule an appointment and they wanted to drill up the tiny mouth (it's the usual thing to do) and also do some sealants on all of the offspring.  I knew that I had a rather disturbing experience (or rather, experiences - plural) as a child and I didn't want the littlin' having a dread and fear along the lines of denta-phobia.  I begged a moment to do some research and permit me to do a little experiment, that, if it didn't prove to be successful, I would happily succumb to their remedy of drillizations.

Since the dentist is a relative of my husband, and he is (thankfully) not averse to alternative thought in medicine and food, he was fine with my little experimentation.  (The office ladies and the hygienists were perhaps a bit more eye-rolly at my inability to just shut up and do what everyone else does without question, but since we're related to the dentist, they are relagated to sighing in exasperation.)

I went home and went bonkers researching wildly.  I was aware of Weston A. Price so I thought I'd start with that.  If you're not quite familiar, Weston A. Price was a dentist back in the day.  His love and research was directed toward people groups who had never been exposed to western foods in the form of refined flours, sugars, treats and the like.  He found , not surprisingly, that there was about 0% of those people who had ever had a cavity.  He also suggests that dental caries can actually be completely "cured" (if that is the right word for it) if the body has the right nutrients in it.  Bones can be fixed (and of course, teeth, too).

Standard Process is a company that works with the ideals of the Weston A. Price foundation, using whole foods in supplement form that can fix just about anything you've got going on.

Here is the supplement that helps fix dental carries - it's called Biodent.   


The littlin's walked out of their examination with the hygienist following them.  She proclaims, "No cavities!"  

Me: " you mean the cavity is gone that was there?"

Her: "Yep.  We had it written down and then we couldn't find anything.  The teeth are all healthy and fine."


If you ever have a cavity, please - check that stuff out.  I mean, you can't just take a supplement and eat Cocoa Puffs and Coke and hope for the best - I don't think that's gonna work.  You've got to cut sugar and I'd recommend getting some real milk, I think that would help you too.

We have been free of fluoride now for about 4 years and since then none of us have had a cavity (besides that little scare there).  If you aren't aware, fluoride is toxic and is not beneficial to you in any way, shape or form.  It was first put into our water system as an overflow from manufacturing since they didn't have anywhere else to put it.  Then they convinced the ADA that it was a benefit and spread the myth that way.  Clever, I agree.  Beneficial, not so much.  

Check out these links if you'd like to read about the dangerous side-effects:

Here's how it especially adversely affects children (killing thyroid function, the endocrine system, kills your IQ, increases chances for bone cancer and damages your kidneys): 

Anyway, I just say that to encourage you to skip the Kool-Aid and make your own toothpaste.  Here's Crunchy Betty's recipe.

Yet again, another thing to add to the list of Things I Can Do By Myself.

Great jorb.

Peace, love and sparkling healthy chompers,
Ms. Daisy

Monday, February 11, 2013

Lardy McButterbuns

Hello dearies.  I do apologize for my absence on Friday, but I was quite piled under in snow and it needed to be shoveled.  Anyway, I'm here now and I've got quite an exciting day ahead of me.

Oh yes.  Today I get to do two things mainly - one, go to the dentist (nightmares, nightmares, nightmares) and two, I'm rendering lard.

Rendering lard?  Oh yeah, baby.  Rendering lard.

Some of you are saying, "Why, pray tell, would you do such a thing?!"

I know that saying you're going to use lard is kind of like having a secret that you don't want anyone else to know because when you say it people mostly recoil and think you have just said something like you punched your own grandmother.  It has a current reputation of something a weird person would do.  Okay, yeah, that could be true.  But really, it is so good for you.

It really isn't that surprising.  A lot of the "old ways" are pretty darn good for you, especially when you contrast them with our manufactured chemical insanity we've birthed throughout the 20th century and continued into the 21st.  I mean, seriously.  Just think of margarine.  They have to DYE it yellowish because the chemical sludge is grey and it stinks like a putrid and festering sore.  

Let's eat that, yummo.

So here I am.  I got a 20 pound frozen lump of pig fat and I am cutting it up.  When I've got it into about 1 inch chunks, I'm putting it into the crockpot until it melts.  What melts and turns to liquid, you scoop off and pour into a jar.  That's it.  That's your lard. There will be some leftover bits at the bottom when you're all done and those (I've heard) are called "cracklins".  I do not plan on eating them, although they are a southern delicacy of sorts.  

It's pretty easy except for the fact that I have horrible knives and I'm quite sure I'm going to either stab myself (or gouge the countertop) trying to cut frozen pieces of lard off of a block that is larger than a toaster oven or break the knife in half, not to mention the workout of doing such activity.

So I've got like 1/100th of the giant block cut off and I'm thinking  I'm going to let it thaw a bit.  I'll let you know how horrible that idea was after I'm done.

In the meantime, I want you to - just for kicks - google "health benefits of lard".  Do you know that you can get 1000 IU of Vitamin D in just ONE TABLESPOON?  Okay, yeah, I don't know if you'd just like to wake up every morning, open the cupboard, stick in your spoon and gnaw away at your lard, but if you're cooking your eggs in it, you can easily absorb the benefits that way (and what a pleasant way it is).  

Traditional people who ate lard had even the benefit of having non-wrinkly skin.  (Are some of you running out right now and preparing to slather it on your faces?  Don't worry, you get the benefits from just eating it, no slathering required.)  Lard from pastured pigs contains stearic acid which is clinically proven to LOWER cholesterol.  Did I just say something that sounded near blasphemous?  I know, but look it up, do the research.  Lard has myristic acid, which enhances your immune system!  Lard contains palmitic acid which is antimicrobial.  These good fats protect your liver from toxins - alcohol, drugs and other environmental toxins we come across.  There are so many benefits of lard, it's kind of crazy.

In our no-fat, low-fat world, we see people fatter than ever, more heart disease, more degenerative diseases than in any other section of history.  Does this surprise you that the graphs parallel the increase in weird fats (Crisco, corn oil, margarine, canola oil, etc.)?  Yeah, probs not, that's cuz you're smart.  

I'm about to say something so wild, so seemingly odd that you may furrow your brow, reach angry lightening fingers to the sky in revolt and adopt a myriad-string of angry words, but I must say it nonetheless.

Eating good fat doesn't make you fat.

Oh, and p.s. "good fats" are lard, butter, coconut oil and olive oil.  If you're using liquid fats (besides olive oil), I'm gonna just say: please stop.  Really.  Instead of listening to the nightly news reports on what's good for you, use that smart brain you've got and do some research.  You just might be floored.

After you get up off of the floor from your shock, get your hands on some pastured pig fat and render your own lard.  Or, I suppose, if you can find a good source of lard outside of making it yourself, go for that instead.  But besides the cutting a frozen block of fat, it's really not that difficult.

Hey, not to mention, you can add it to your List of Things I Can Do By Myself.


Alrighty, I'm gonna go check that crock pot now and get my lard on.

Peace, love and let them eat lard!
Ms. Daisy

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My new Valentine sweets

Can you imagine what I asked my hubby for for Valentine's Day?

Can you even guess?

A new neti pot?  Nope.  Flavored kombucha?  Not this time.  Organic fair trade 72% dark chocolate without soy lecithin?  Already got it.

Oh, m'dearies, this time, THIS time, I've asked for...get ready for flabbergastedness - two bags of...prunes.  Well, I mean, not just ANY prunes, of course.  Organic prunes, naturally.

I am obsessed with prunes..

I love them.

I run to the cupboard and promise myself I can just eat one.  Or two.  Shut the bag, shut the cupboard.  Walk away.  That was enough.

Oh but it SO WASN'T.

Just one more.  Just one delicious, chewy, sweet one more.  Make that two.

Oh m'gawsh, I'm going to have a bathroom party if I don't stop.  Aren't I?  Right?  Isn't that a thing? (If only I could believe the EU on this one...)  Daisy, get a hold of yourself!  Do you want to be sitting on the toilet for the next week?  Oh, that sounds horrid.  To console myself I shall eat a prune.  What?   NO!  Step away from the bag!

This is almost as bad as the 35 pounds of tomatoes episode. 
 Good heavens. Or...the fenugreek/maple syrup armpit obsession.  It's certainly along those lines.  Oh dear.  But what, pray tell, could possibly go wrong with eating two bags of prunes?

I mean, the EU has decreed (officially, I might add) that prunes are not a laxative.  I'm so relieved.  Except for the small problem that they are also the people who've decreed that water doesn't help dehydration..  I suppose you might not want to believe everything you hear... (But I do like their response - which was to challenge him who decreed such a thing to a prune eating contest.  Seriously.  The article is supposed to be informative but it's really just hilarious.)

Well, anyway.  I'd better run along now.  All of a sudden I feel the need to visit the bathroom.  Probably just coincidence, I'm sure!

Peace, love and take a back seat, heart-shaped chocolate box!
Ms. Daisy

p.s. I wrote the above post yesterday.  Let me just say that perhaps you ought to have one or two prunes and REALLY STOP.  I had to chug the kombucha to exorcise the screaming prune demons that were trying to slice the insides of my intestines with their talons for quite a while yesterday.  Good news is I feel much better now and probably am about four pounds lighter.  Silver lining, people, silver lining!