Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving and lots of good Healthy Food! Among some of the regular fare I am going to try a new recipe called Onion-Cranberry Compote. It is from Sally Fallon's book "Nourishing Traditions". Here is her recipe copied directly from her book:

Onion-Cranberry Compote
Makes 4 cups

2/3 c. yellow raisins
2/3 c. dark raisins
1 1/2 c hot filtered water
2 pounds small white onions, peeled
4 Tbs. butter
3/4 c. white wine vinegar
1 c. dry white wine
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. sea salt
1 2/3 c fresh cranberries

This is an excellent substitute for sugary cranberry relish at Thanksgiving.

Soak raisins in water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, saute' onions in butter until well coated. Add wine and vinegar and boil down for several minutes. Add raisins with soaking liquid and remaining ingredients except cranberries. Liquid should just cover the onions--if not, add a little water. Simmer, covered, for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove cover, add cranberries and simmer uncovered for 15 - 30 minutes until liquid has thickened. Let cool. May be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.

If anyone else makes this please comment on whether you liked it or not.
Thanks! And have a great weekend.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Juicy Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving is less than a week away and it's time to start planning that meal. My daughter and I came up with this recipe several years ago and the turkey always comes out juicy. Acorn squash, green beans and a salad are simple side dishes that make this an elegant meal without being too heavy on stomach. We cook a turkey several times a year and divide it into baggies and freeze for lunches and dinners. It's a great way to take advantage of the cheaper turkey prices this time of year.

How to Cook the Juiciest Turkey
©2008 Shanna Ohmes

This recipe is guaranteed to give you the juiciest turkey for that holiday dinner.

1 turkey
¼ cup bacon grease (other good fats are olive oil, butter, or lard)
½ tsp each of the following spices: sage, lemon pepper, rosemary, parsley, garlic powder, and diced onions

Mix the bacon grease and spices together in a bowl.

Put the turkey in a roaster pan, breast side up. (I have a GE Roaster Oven that I use just for cooking turkeys. It frees up my regular oven for casseroles and pies I need to bake at the same time.)

Starting at the base of the breast, make a pocket in the skin, and wriggle your fingers under the skin to get as far back as you can.

Scoop up the bacon grease mixture in your fingers and spread inside the pocket. Spread all over the breast inside the pocket and then all over the outside of the bird.

Pour 1-2” of water in the bottom of the roaster. Cover with lid or tightly with foil. This keeps the moisture in.

Set the heat to 350 degrees. Cook according to directions on turkey package. Serve with your favorite side dishes.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Taking My Own Medicine

Well, it seems the whole family has come down with the cold. We have experimented with the different remedies I wrote about here and have been impressed with the pickled garlic. It seems to have lessened the severity of the cold so far. Another remedy we have added is peppermint essential oil. A few drops on the tongue and it clears the sinuses. This helped us sleep for awhile. After this year's illness, my recommendation is to eat fermented vegetables (sauerkraut, garlic, cucumbers....) every day throughout the year to keep the good bacteria established in your body. I think this helps the immune system fight the colds and flu.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

I would like to thank all the Veterans out there today for your service. I would also like to thank all those in the military now for your service also. Happy Birthday to the U.S. Marine Corps. Thank you all.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Herbal Cold and Flu Kit

c2008 Shanna Ohmes

T’is the season! The cold and flu season, that is. The kids are back in school and the holidays are just around the corner. Stress levels are going up and the immune systems are plummeting. What can you do to prepare for sniffles, sore throats and congestion? Did you know you can have a few herbs on hand to cope with the cold and flu season? Here is an herbal cold and flu kit you can make up ahead of time.

• Garlic: (Allium sativum) Garlic is one of the most powerful herbs for treating an array of ailments. Historically, garlic was found in caves inhabited 10,000 years ago. It was used by the Egyptians, healers in ancient India, Greek athletes and Roman soldiers. In 19th-Century America, physicians used garlic for colds, coughs, and whooping cough. There are many ways to take garlic. A favorite is a hearty chicken soup or potato soup with lots of garlic and onions. You can eat a raw garlic clove by itself, or chop fine over a salad or main meal. Garlic is also available as garlic oil and in capsules. This powerful herb has antibiotic, antiseptic, and expectorant properties.

• Echinacea: (Echinacea purpurea) The Plains Indians depended on echinacea as their primary medicine. Early pioneers and physicians adopted the use of echinacea and by the 20th century, practically every household kept echinacea tincture in the medicine cabinet. By the 1930’s the use of echinacea waned as antibiotics became popular. Now echinacea resuming its place in the common household. This herb builds the immune system and you can take it when you feel the cold coming on. Echinacea can be steeped as a tea, or used in tincture and capsule form. This immune builder has antibiotic, antiseptic and antiviral properties.

• Astragalus: (Astragalus membranaceus) For thousands of years the Chinese have used astragalus as an energy tonic and to enhance the immune system. Recent studies have shown it shortens the duration of the cold. The root is used in soups, teas, extracts and capsules in combination with ginger. Astragalus has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties.

• Goldenseal: (Hydrastis canadensis) Goldenseal was used by the Native Americans for sore throats. It was not a popular herb with the early settlers until after the Civil War when the demand soared and it was added to several patent medicines. This herb boosts the glandular system, helping with congestion, inflammation, and bronchitis by building up the immune system. It can be used in an infusion with the powdered root, or in tincture and capsule form. Goldenseal has antibiotic and antiseptic properties.

• Ginger: (Zingiber officinale) Ginger remedies were written in Chinese herbal texts around 3,000 B.C. This potent herb helps the respiratory system, easing colds, sore throat, congestion and bronchitis. Grate 2 tsp. fresh ginger, pour a cup of boiling water over it and steep. You can also sprinkle powdered ginger over soups. Ginger has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and febrifuge properties.

These are powerful immune boosting herbs to keep on hand for everyone in your family. Put the tinctures and capsules in a plastic tub, label “Cold and Flu Kit”, and include a note or this article about the garlic and ginger. Now you can confidently ride out the holidays knowing how to cope with the new season, no matter what “gifts” it might bring.

Update on Garlic

I have been experimenting with other fermented vegies this week and so far everthing has been successful! The pickled garlic is pungent and firm but does not burn like raw garlic. I ate it sliced on top of lasagna and it intensified the flavors of the the tomato sauce, mushrooms and meat. At another meal, I stir fried the garlic with a bit of turkey and put it all in a tortilla wrap with guacamole and sour cream. Again, it brought more of the flavors out and was delicious.

These are the other vegies I fermented: cucumbers, beets, turnips, gingered carrots, and more sauerkraut. This batch of sauerkraut I added an apple, a little grated carrot, 2 cloves of garlic, and a few slices of onion. It will be spicier than plain sauerkraut.

I can recommend another book on fermenting foods: "Wild Fermentation" by Sandor Katz. I got some great ideas on experimenting with vegetable combinations. Will be a great way to use excess garden produce next year.