Thursday, February 26, 2009

4th photo tag

So a friend of mine tagged me and I'm supposed to post the 4th photo from my 4th picture folder. Pretty easy right? Well I have a bunch of really not as interesting pictures of food like grated fresh ginger. So I decided to bend the rules and use the 4th people picture from the 4th people picture folder.

Anyway this picture is a hoot. The 3 Nappie Roots when Rebecca was still single. This pic was taken in Vicksburg when I was a student again, in Oct. of 2006. So Daniel and I were still newlyweds.

Here are the websites of the lucky people I tagged. Peyton and Denley ya'll get to post 2 pictures:)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ask for it

So I'm feeling a little empowered today. With all the craziness in our world I feel like I have gained a little control over a small portion of my life.

What did I do? What I think everyone else should do. Bargain. I went to the grocery store today to pick up a few potatoes for supper, I needed a quick starch after Daniel and I ate a loaf of bread in record time. And being I refuse to buy bread, potatoes seemed like a good option to go with my clean out the fridge quiche.

So after finding my potatoes, being I am not a man and I don't shop like one I meandered around a bit. I headed to the dairy case (my favorite place in the grocery). And what did I find? Cream top (pasturized, but non-homogenized milk), I was so excited. I have been wanting to try some of this milk but it is hard to find, and after searching for a few weeks I gave up my search. But here were 2 pretty glass bottle with a nice creamy layer on top of the milk. Unfortunately the bottles had an expiration of today, so I asked to talk to the manager and asked for a deal. Guess what? I got a great deal.

In my experience of grocery bargaining, grocery stores are so busy trying to turn over stock they loose track of items nearing expiration at times. So if you see something you want past its peak, ask. Warning: not every store manager is going to care. Some mega store employees don't care about anything but their paycheck.

By the way I decided to make yogurt with my almost expired milk, cultured dairy lives a lot longer. Plus I had some yogurt starter I needed to use up.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sad News

So Daniel and I have had some wonderful blessings this year that will change our lives forever. We are having to make some decisions. We have decided not to return to Belhaven Market or Old Towne Market (Clinton) as vendors anyway. There are several reasons for this decision, and I won't bore you with the details. On the positive side we are getting to spend a lot of time continuing to work on the house and getting ready for the baby.

I am enjoying my time away from the market. I have actually had the time to post some new blogs! I have several part time jobs that keeps me busy about 20+ hrs a week. And for me there always seems to be plenty to do. I cook the majority of our meals and prepare Daniel's lunch every day. So I'm still in the kitchen plenty. Then there's always my least favorite task of cleaning. I have been trying to get some yard work done. And Daniel and I are working on preparing a very small raised bed garden. I have to stay busy or I go nuts.

So yesterday I had a fun day doing something I enjoy but don't often have time for. I baked a Lemon Cream Pie completely from scratch. It is a fairly simple recipe. I went the whole nine yards and made the graham cracker crust and actually churned the butter so it was nice and fresh. I feel blessed to have the time to make a yummy from scratch fancy dish every now and again.

I apologize for the pitiful pictures. The pie was a little more yellow than it appears, I attribute the yellow hue to the egg yolks more than the lemon itself. And the top picture is some of the butter I molded in my stoneware shortbread mold. Photography is really not one of my talents.

Is the new Joy of Cooking too joyful?

Last year I blogged about one of my favorite cookbooks: The Joy of Cooking.

Well today when I got my daily nutrition what's in the news email I spotted this article : 'Joy of Cooking' or 'Joy of Obesisty'? by Jeannine Stein in the LA Times. Lately I don't even look at most of the articles in this list because there does not ever seem to be much new nutrition news. After reading Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon I am not completely sure that all the nutrition advice that is commonly held is correct. I mean eggs, butter, red meat, and naturally saturated fat being evil when 1. they are all natural foods from God and 2. people have eaten diets consisting of these things and been far healthier than our current society. But that is a whole other subject...

But the title caught my eye so I read the article and it is interesting. I really like the research these people did. I would love to get some of these older cookbooks to use. The article mentions the increased quantity of meat and dairy in modern recipes. I do tend to use quality real ingredients, like grass fed beef, homemade cultured butter, and organic cheese. But I make a lot of stews to make these pricier ingredients stretch out. Now that we are going to have a little one to feed and hopefully more little ones down the road stretching our food $ is even more important.

I also like the point about expanding portions. Daniel and I have Willow Blue China by Johnson Brothers that we use everyday. Although I don't like the fact it is made in China and not England (like it was 5 years ago), I love it is an old pattern and the bowls and plates are more normally sized. Really some of the new patterns have huge capacities, and I'm afraid if I had a set like that I would fill them up. The bowl on the upper left is a called a "super soup/cereal bowl" at 28 ounces it certainly is! My soup/cereal bowls on the left will only hold about 8 ounces. What a difference. Now if I eat my bowl full and am hungry (happening more these days :) I go back for more.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Stroller Adventures

Ok just a warning, my blogs are probably going to be heading in a more hmm maternal direction. But I think many of my readers will understand the relationship this post has with many of my other posts. Trying to buy local and healthier products for your family.

So as I have mentioned Daniel and I are expecting our first little Rootlet (after Barley of course) in August. So I have started researching baby products to register for or snatch up if I find a good deal.

One of my dreams from the beginning of Barley's time with us has been to train him so when I am a little stay at home mom we can all go walk and get our exercise. This is going to be a challenge due to his fear of any rolling thing: garbage cans, suitcases, ect. And a stroller is on the top of the mommy supply list, talk about too many options. Now I really do like to buy products that are not made in China after the contamination scares that we have had recently. Of course, once I made that a priority my search options were narrowed considerably, Britax is the only stroller company that is making "made or assembled in the USA" products.

They sale more car seats than they do strollers, in fact they lead the field in safety improvisions. Well I found a great deal on . I found a Britax preview for $79 (was around $150 other places). When I checked around it had decent reviews, the top problem seemed to be non-adjustable handles. I figured you have to have some limitations. It seemed compact, and I drive a Civic so great. I couldn't find this anywhere in Jackson, even after checking at stores that were supposed to have it. But it was such of a great deal I took the risk.

So I went ahead and spent the rest of my baby budget money for the month and ordered it. It came in when Daniel was out of town and I assembled it myself. When he came back I was showing him how it folded up and I popped a plastic piece on the canopy. Unfortunately it was broken and not repairable. I have spent the last 3 weeks trying to get the canopy replaced, because it is under a 1 yr warantee. I know it was my fault, but why the stroller was built so cheaply I'm not sure. The company has been good to deal with and they are sending me a completely new stroller, so I am a happy Britax customer. I am disallusioned however. I think my stroller is being phased out, so much for replacement parts. And to top it off my stroller has an information sticker on it that says made in China, perhaps it was "assembled in the USA".

I really wish you could buy quality merchandise that could be repaired rather than just replaced, but all the baby gear seems to be made of plastic. And once the plastic cracks too bad. I'm sure there are better quality European products, but we do not have $500 to spend on a stroller. Maybe with the economic downturn we will have a return of quality products, I doubt it though.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Great gift wrapping ideas

Well I have been busy as usual. I must confess I am spending a good bit of time baby stuff shopping and researching. I did have a large order for some individually packaged biscotti (40 packages with 2 biscotti). I think they turned out nicely. I have got to post some pictures of my chocolate dipped biscotti soon.

I packed the biscotti in biodegradable cellophane bags tied with colorful natural raffia bows. They were really snazzy.

In the past to obtain eco-friendly packaging materials I've had to order from some place like California or Oregon and pay too much for shipping. Well I made a great discovery recently, Nashville Wraps has a wonderful selection of cellophane, raffia, kraft bags, and other eco-friendly wrapping. They are closer to me than CA, so shipping was very reasonable. The other great thing about ordering from them is they sale in small quantities, so you don't have to buy 1000 of any one item.

In addition to some business supplies, I ordered a box of 150 plain kraft bags to use as gift wrap. They were really cheap per bag, and who wants to spend a fortune on gift wrap? Add some colorful tissue paper and raffia and your gift is ready to go. If you like to keep a stock of gift wrap at home, you may want to check it out. Order with a friend and you can split shipping.