Journal

I have started a journal over at marksdailyapple.com – but I thought that I would post my entries here too – to the people who are following my thoughts about diet it might bring you something.

I am also micro-blogging on Instagram. You can follow my Instagram feed on the right side of the blog and click any picture to go to my Instagram account.

Tuesday 08-15-2017

So – I have been on the Autoimmune protocol (AIP) for some 3 months now. Today I am starting a 7 day fast – I will have bone-broth, so it will be a bit GAPS-like – and when I break fast, I will try to do it with GAPS friendly foods. I am doing this because ever since my summer holiday I haven’t been able to get rid of my eczema. Last time I fasted I didn’t get enough electrolytes and ended up with a horrible head-ache. I haven’t been 100% strickt on the AIP since I came home from holiday – and I know I need to be to get rid of the eczema.

My reasons for being primal/paleo is the following: I have just reached a BMI of 30 – I would like to get to 25, preferably 22. I have eczema – when I started the AIP I had eczema on my legs and my hands (really really bad on my hands). I had seasonal hayfever – which became worse and worse every year, and the season became longer and longer. After starting AIP, my hayfever has dissapeared. To get rid of the eczema I have to be really low carb – I more or less follow the guidelines in Wahls paleo plus, and have a max of 2 cups of cooked tubers pr. week. I had joint and muscle pain, it dissapeared with removing gluten from my diet. When ever I ate a little sugar my hart would start racing, it was incredibly scary and I really want to improve my insulin sensitivity.

All of my complaints have been improved on this diet. Now I need to stick to it, and only reintroduce foods slowly so that I know what I react to.

Yesterday I had icecream with my kids – the first time all summer. It was an organic chokolate icecream – a teeny tiny little cup, not even 1dl I think – and on my way home my eyes itched, and my legs where I used to have eczema. Last night we were at a birthday party and I also had some birthday cake. What I noticed was that even though I did feel bloated afterwards, I did not have the racing hart that I have experienced 3 months ago before going on the AIP.

I know it sounds a little confusing with the AIP, Wahls and the GAPS protocol all mixed in with each other… most of the foods on these 3 protocol are actually the same. But I will just clarify: I know that if I am strict AIP, and very low carb, my eczema is gone. The Wahl’s protocol guidelines is what I use as guidelines for quantities – I can feel that my brain benefits from this. The GAPS is again, very very close to the other two, and I will use it as a guide to reintroduce foods after my fast, hopefully seal my gut along the way. The most important though is the AIP/low carb, because I know it can keep me symptom free – the other two are more like references, because I think their guidelines are a good measure on how I can feed my gut and my brain optimally.

Exercise:

  • I do yoga every morning – depending on how I feel, I do anything from 5min to 20min (already a habbit)
  • I do the Primal Blueprint Fitness lift heavy things 2x a week (already a habbit)
  • I am working on getting a daily walk in – 20min (a habbit I am working on)
  • I will work to incorporate sprints in my walk once a week (next habbit to implement)
  • I need one longer walk every week on top of that (a habbit to implement)
  • The days that I don’t do the Primal Blueprint Fitness I play with my kids (swim, trampoline, dance, gymnastics, roller skating etc)

Sleep: I go to bed at 10PM on all weekdays, and get up at 7:30 at the latest (usually wake up at 6)

Anti-stress: I meditate every morning after yoga – yoga is also part of my anti-stress strategy, and is mostly stretching and balance exercise.

Food: After my fast get back on a strict AIP diet and stay there until completely symptom free. After that reintroduce one food at a time, to get as much lee-way as possible in my diet, without my health suffering.

Wednesday 08-15-2017

Yesterday I started my fast – and for some reason I was famished and sluggish! I think it might have been the cake and ice-cream from Monday? I only did 2 sun salutes for my yoga practise, but managed to get a little vinyasa flow into them, after that 5 min of meditation.

I had forgotten to put a pot on for broth, and when I put one on I took beef bones out of the freezer instead of chicken – so that took most of the day… So I didn’t have any broth before around 4PM. The sluggishness continued until after I had my broth, then half an hour later I was ready to go for a walk, and after I walked 20min I did 8 20sec. sprints uphill – it has been two weeks since I did them last, but I still did better than I did last – I am NOT a runner, and with some 10-20kg excess weight running is HARD – but I managed to run the first 3 sprints, and then just “power walked” the rest. Last time I only managed to run 2 sprints and walk the rest and gave up on the last one. I almost made it all the way up the hill on those 4 minutes, which is the walk that usually takes me 10 min.

I slept pretty bad… our neighbor moved a donkey and her foal in on his field next door and my little terrier went completely mad and kept barking at them, and my Sct. Bernard joined him, and then all the other dogs on our entire mountain… I finally came out and tied up the little one, but did so right under my bedroom window – and the result was that he was wimping all night… finally around 3 o’clock I closed the window and managed to go to sleep. The advantage of being a stay at home mom – and my husband not being at home this week – is that I can sleep until I wake up, which was at 7:30

I did 20min yoga this morning – and feel great: Not hungry, not sluggish – clear headed, just good. I signed up for Chris Kressers ADAPT academy this morning, can’t really get myself to leave the computer, it is SO interesting!

PS. My eczema is already noticably less – less scabbing, less redness and swelling. I am positive that it will be gone by the end of the week.

Thursday 08-16-2017

So yesterday I spent most of the day on the ADAPT site – really interesting stuff there.

In the afternoon I went for a walk – up to my well and back 10min either way on my mountain – and after that we went to the public pool in the village at the foot of our mountain for 3 hours. I mostly played with the kids but also swam some laps. When I got back home I was famished and tired – as always when I have been swimming. I took at cup of bone-broth, but after af few sips I couldn’t drink anymore, it is simply too much in this heat (~40C). Later I managed to put in half an hour of cleaning in my house. So not 100% sendentary yesterday.

Today I found a new yoga-video to try out – 17min – it was a little more challenging, without making me tired – just waking up the body. I plan on lifting some heavy things today, and going for a walk again.

I am not hungry this morning, the fast does not feel hard at all, and no head-aches – I think I must be fat adapted by now.

I have slept great, even if my terrier did go bonkers over the donkey again (I tied him up again and closed the bedroom window immediately). I woke up at 7 o’clock feeling rested and ready for the day.

Donkeys

Friday 08-18-2017

Yesterday ended up a little different than expected: One of my friends texted me and asked if we wanted to go swimming – the local pool was closed so we went down to the river where we stayed for hours, swimming in a small natural pool there, walking, playing etc. On the way home I went by the animal feed store and bought 3 chickens and a rooster – so when we came home we installed them in our rabbit pen (rabbits are dead due to a virus they caught from the wild rabbits around here). In about a month I should be able to get my own eggs. Now I just need to teach the terrier not to eat them… last night he egged the Sct. Bernard on to start chasing the donkey foal, tied the terrier up – and the Sct. Bernard just went back to the terrace and relaxed. Well at 8PM we were done – I warmed the kids some food, they ate and we went to bed.

I woke up around 4 this morning. I have already done yoga and meditated. I choose a more challenging video again this morning – I will do that a couple more times: I am still so locked in my right shoulder – I could do all the poses on the left side of my body, but simply couldn’t on the right.

My eczema is almost gone! It is amazing how this fasting makes my inflammation levels plummet – would have been interesting if I had done some blood work before I started. Anyway – I am not much into the whole quantified self, don’t have much patience for measuring everything – more into feeling how my body reacts. The fast has evolved into a water only fast – I can’t get myself to drink the bonebroth in this heat, I will have to do the GAPS type thing in the fall/winter.

Chickens

Saturday 08-19-2017

Well it was a good thing that I did a more challenging yoga session yesterday – because that was all I did that day. I am totally geeking out on the ADAPT acadamy (my kids are a little annoyed with my ADHD hyper-focusing…).

I had 3 cups of bone broth yesterday – and I was famished last night. Maybe I should just continue water fasting these 3 last days – it seems to work better for me. Also – maybe not cook a whole chicken for the kids… it smelled amazing. But they had run out of the stew I made them Tuesday, so they clearly needed something to eat.

I woke up quite a bit later this morning – 7:30, and usually I take that as a sign that I am to tired for yoga, but this morning I decided to do a session anyway – I choose a video that was a little longer, and it was def more challenging than what I have done in the past few weeks. A lot of balancing.

I also weighed myself this morning -3kg since last Saturday, including ice-cream and cake Monday. The measurements haven’t really budged, but I can see that my upper abdomen right under the ribs is flatter, I can now see my key-bone and my chin-bone is also more define. I also have more wrinkles – such is life, I am 41 and have been overweight most of my life. If I get out of this with minimal saggy skin, I am happy.

After my weigh-in and yoga work out, I decided to try the Wim Hoff breathing method. I have tried it before but came away from it. I did 3 rounds of 30 breaths – and afterwards I felt AMAZING. So full of energy that I dropped down and did 20 push-ups (hands-feet) in a row – for the first time in my life YAY! After that I figured that since I hadn’t lifted heavy things yesterday, I might as well do it immediately – so I did the entire Primal Blueprint Fitness lift heavy things workout, and took a cold shower afterwards. Man I feel good now. I have decided to try to do the Wim Hoff breathing thing every time I feel sluggish – I think it might be a good way to keep myself going. And then do it in the evening, but breathing through the nose, I have heard that it can drastically improve your sleep.

[QUOTE=DawnHoff;n3004926]So yesterday I cleaned the whole house before my husband came home – being preoccupied with the ADAPT academy was quite visible everywhere… the water-pump wasn’t working so I was worried that I had to do all the dishes by hand… fortunately it only delivers water to the washing mashine, the dishwasher and the toilets – the rest of the house is gravity fed. But mysteriously it suddenly started working again and I was able to run the washing mashine once and the dishwasher twice yesterday (Imagine doing two hole loads of dishes by hand!!).

My terrier is gone! He has run away several times before – but always it has been because he was following us when we left and then couldn’t find his way back, this time he has left on his own accord. We really don’t have much luck with those terriers – the first one died less than a week after we got her – from internal bleeding (the vet said she had been in an accident before we got her from the animal rescue station, and they’d had her less than a day), the second was stolen (he was very pretty) and this third one keeps running away. It is a shame because I would really like to be able to keep rats away from the house without poison… My son is theorizing that he followed the donkey when the came to get her yesterday. I think I will go down to the village today and see if I can find him. Otherwise I will have to report him as lost.

I didn’t walk yesterday, but with all the cleaning I think I have achieved the same number of steps. At one point I felt myself completely lacking the energy to go on and went into the bedroom to lie down and do the Wim Hoff breathing – it completely revitalized me and I was able to finish cleaning.

At some point during the afternoon I had stomach pain, it kept coming and going – so at first I just figured it was a single cramp – but it came back several times, and in the end I decided to break my fast. I had a salad with lettuce (not iceberg – don’t know the name in English, not even in Danish – it is called Corazones de Lucas, small heads, like the ones you use instead of tacos), chicken, avocado, cucumber, EVOO, ACV, baked nori flakes and herbamare salt. Last night my finger, where the last bit of eczema is, was itching. I will totally die if I am allergic to avocado too! Sometimes I feel like I can’t eat anything. The stomach cramps disappeared though so that is good.

I had to pick my husband up at the air-port at midnight – I really hate those late flights, but the alternative is that he gets a plane so early in the morning that he has to take a taxi to the airport in Copenhagen, because the trains aren’t running yet. And the taxi fare would be more than the plane tickets (and the Danish government has closed down Über). I didn’t go to bed before 1 o’clock and then I couldn’t fall a sleep, so I am pretty tired now. Sleep hygiene is really important to me – not that I have to go to bed at a certain time – but the minute I feel tired I need to get in there, because otherwise I toss and turn. So I haven’t done any yoga today… I should be doing the Wim Hoff thing – but I am so tired I don’t really feel like not being tired … or something – I just feel like lying down with an iPad. I promised my son that I would do strength training with him today – don’t know if that is a good idea when I did it yesteday, but he was disappointed that I did it without him.[/QUOTE]

Sunday 08-20-2017

So yesterday I cleaned the whole house before my husband came home – being preoccupied with the ADAPT academy was quite visible everywhere… the water-pump wasn’t working so I was worried that I had to do all the dishes by hand… fortunately it only delivers water to the washing mashine, the dishwasher and the toilets – the rest of the house is gravity fed. But mysteriously it suddenly started working again and I was able to run the washing mashine once and the dishwasher twice yesterday (Imagine doing two hole loads of dishes by hand!!).

My terrier is gone! He has run away several times before – but always it has been because he was following us when we left and then couldn’t find his way back, this time he has left on his own accord. We really don’t have much luck with those terriers – the first one died less than a week after we got her – from internal bleeding (the vet said she had been in an accident before we got her from the animal rescue station, and they’d had her less than a day), the second was stolen (he was very pretty) and this third one keeps running away. It is a shame because I would really like to be able to keep rats away from the house without poison… My son is theorizing that he followed the donkey when the came to get her yesterday. I think I will go down to the village today and see if I can find him. Otherwise I will have to report him as lost.

I didn’t walk yesterday, but with all the cleaning I think I have achieved the same number of steps. At one point I felt myself completely lacking the energy to go on and went into the bedroom to lie down and do the Wim Hoff breathing – it completely revitalized me and I was able to finish cleaning.

At some point during the afternoon I had stomach pain, it kept coming and going – so at first I just figured it was a single cramp – but it came back several times, and in the end I decided to break my fast. I had a salad with lettuce (not iceberg – don’t know the name in English, not even in Danish – it is called Corazones de Lucas, small heads, like the ones you use instead of tacos), chicken, avocado, cucumber, EVOO, ACV, baked nori flakes and herbamare salt. Last night my finger, where the last bit of eczema is, was itching. I will totally die if I am allergic to avocado too! Sometimes I feel like I can’t eat anything. The stomach cramps disappeared though so that is good.

I had to pick my husband up at the air-port at midnight – I really hate those late flights, but the alternative is that he gets a plane so early in the morning that he has to take a taxi to the airport in Copenhagen, because the trains aren’t running yet. And the taxi fare would be more than the plane tickets (and the Danish government has closed down Über). I didn’t go to bed before 1 o’clock and then I couldn’t fall a sleep, so I am pretty tired now. Sleep hygiene is really important to me – not that I have to go to bed at a certain time – but the minute I feel tired I need to get in there, because otherwise I toss and turn. So I haven’t done any yoga today… I should be doing the Wim Hoff thing – but I am so tired I don’t really feel like not being tired … or something – I just feel like lying down with an iPad. I promised my son that I would do strength training with him today – don’t know if that is a good idea when I did it yesteday, but he was disappointed that I did it without him.

Actually – now that I look a little closer: My finger is actually noticeably better than yesterday. Cross my fingers I don’t have to cut out more foods!

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Bread Baking Workshop

We have finally had our first workshop! Yay!

Making starter dough
First all the participants made their own starter dough which they could bring back home, and use for bread making in the comming days.
BreadWorkShop - 5
The participants made their own bread and we primarily worked to assist them, everyone was invited to share their knowledge during the work – this way their experience were hands on, and the combined knowledge of the participants and teachers contributed to the learning of all of us.
BreadWorkShop - 10
Unfortunately the starter dough were a little too warm (it was a warm day), and it exploded in the fridge. Next time we will only put it into containers before the participants are getting ready to leave.
Rasin Rolls
The finished rolls – picture by Renee

We have been putting it off and putting it off – wanting to be more proficient permies before we started, wanting to know more about everything, to be sure we had something to offer. But then we started noticing something: That we actually do have unique perma-knowledge – even if it isn’t about growing vegetables!

Marcus and I are foodies, we have always loved food, loved cooking, loved finding new recipies – trying stuff out. Being a foodie was what brought us to organic foods in the first place – because we wanted the best, because we investigated cooking techniques and food sourcing. Most of our friends in Denmark are foodies too – so we don’t really consider what we know to be that special So we have had water-kefir, sauerkraut, dilly-beans (or chilli-beans is more like it in my house), sour dough, kneading machine, sausage maker etc. etc. in our house for years and years – and we haven’t really thought much of it.

But it is actually! The ability to cook your own food from scratch, the ability to preserve the food you grow in your garden, is part of that mindset of going from consumption to production. It is part of the problem Bill Mollison noticed when he looked at Tasmania back in the 1980’s and saw that all the skills that used to be normal in every household, were gone – and as a result, the food security of was threatened along with the environment. Teaching others how to do these very same things is part of spreading the idea of permaculture to as many as possible.

So we decided that we would host our very first workshop about bread making, and invited our friends to join us and be our guinea pigs. Marcus prepared the workshop, and decided that the contents should be quite basic – so that everyone could learn to make two kinds of bread, using two different techniques: Raisin rolls and ciabatta. One is a fast recipe with a lot of yeast and sugar to make the dough rise quickly, it doesn’t need a lot of kneading as we don’t want the gluten to be too developed. The other uses a starter dough, which contain very little yeast and it proofing time is relatively long (at least in theory), compared to the rolls. Even though both breads are made with white wheat flour (normal and tipo 00), the taste and structure of the resulting breads is completely different.

Bread tasting and evaluation
One we had finished baking we sat down and evaluated the workshop, while tasting the results. The rolls were so god more than one participant shed a tear 🙂
Bread made with starter dough from workshop
Today one of the participants sent me this picture of the bread she had made with the starter dough we made at the workshop.

We are now ready to host this workshop, and will offer it to the public at €25/person – a minimum of 4 people will be required for us to arrange it, and there is a participant maximum of 6 people. Contact us if you are interested!

Eat your weeds

Our internet connection sucks these days – I can only go online on my phone. But I want to post these pictures of my current craze: Eating weeds.

The top picture is cloudy chicken soup with nettles. Nettles are super super healthy (just as healthy and useful as hemp I’ve been told). Recently I bought a box of organic nettle tea – only to come home an look at my unkept garden beds and wonder why I spent so much money on that which I could pick for free… A few days later a friend of ours helped me and the kids pick a whole big bunch – but I dried them in bunches way too big, and indoors because the wind was threatening to take them away, so they went moldy. But a week ago I decided to cut the rest down and mulch those poor garden beds – nettles are dynamic accumulators and just as healthy for your garden as they are for you, full of all kinds of minerals as they are. Underneath the giant nettles (one managed to sting me through my leather gloves) I found a whole lot of small ones – which I added to our chicken soup. They taste and look like spinach and added a nice texture to our soup – you can add them to any soup where you might otherwise add greens.

This next picture is Iberian ham, green beans and thistle. Our neighbor’s son came by one day to let his goats grass our garden – and he showed Marcus how to pick the thistles and get the leaves off without stinging. Marcus will have to show me how one day – as all I ever saw was the stalks, ready for frying. I can’t help but think of a recipe for rabbit I have, where I usually substitute thistle with artichoke and the wild asparagus with cultivars, now I have both thistle, asparagus, thyme and rabbit in my own back yard, so next year in asparagus/rabbit season I will try to make this dish – 99% foraged on my own land.

Haybox cooking

The other day I was going through my posts, and Marcus’ posts on permies.com, and I suddenly realized how many permaculture ideas we have already implemented in our lives, which we simply just don’t think about anymore, because they have become an integral par of how we do things. The compost toilet (which we will write about later), collecting water (which Marcus has a video about, comming up), alot of the thoughts about the construction of this house, our terraces, the worm farm, the seed collection etc.

Part of the permaculture philosophy is to work smarter, not harder. Many many people who homestead work 100 hour weeks. We actually do not want to do that. We don’t want to live in a cold house and we don’t want to work 100 hour weeks. One of the reasons people fled the country to go to the cities during the industrial revolution is that life was hard in the country. We don’t want to go back to their way of living. Yet saving energy is crucial when you live off grid – because solar panels are expensive, batteries even more expensive, and gass/diesel etc. expensive and unsustainable. But that was actually not the reason we got the hay-box in the first place.

The reason was that at the same time as we started this whole journey towards living off grid, spending less money etc. I also started on my journey towards “real food” (ie. the food our grandparents and great-grandparents would have simply just called “food”). An real food requires quite a lot of machinery – expensive machinery. Now I am in no way against machines – but the amount needed to produce all or 90% of all your own food from scratch is staggering – especially as a one time investment. Some of this stuff would be things that were handed down generation to generation in the old days – with 3-4 generations living under one roof, you didn’t need one pr. nuclear family, and people would just have it. Some of it is electric gadgets made out to make life easier on the modern “real fooder”. A fruit dehydrater eg., a crok-pot, yoghurt incubators, blenders, kitchen aids etc. So I found myself in a pickle wanting to buy all these things, each an every one of the some €100 a piece… And then I thought about some of it.

The first item on the list of things I wanted was a crock-pot – I could use it to make bone-broth from chicken, I could use it to make yoghurt, slow cooking some of our families favorite recipies like Osso Buco but we had decided to stop spending so much money all the time… and I also wanted a gärtopf for my saurkraut, and a smoke-oven, and a milk-jug for getting raw-milk from the dairy – the list just goes on.

So frugal me looked at my soup-pot, and I looked at my laundry basket and I looked at a host of baby duvets, that I was to either sell or give away or find new use for. And I looked at a bunch of styro-foam lying around in our storage room from my husband’s failed attempt to do aqua-ponics in the back-yard. And I made a hay-box.

The laundry basket from IKEA that we use as a haybox.
The laundry basket from IKEA that we use as a haybox.

The box is an IKEA laundry basket in wood (sorry to my family who still has to throw their laundry in a pile on the floor), lined with styro-foam and aluminum foil. Yeah – I know, not very environmentally friendly, but I haven’t bought any new aluminum foil since, not even to complete this project – a more environmentally friendly version would be to line it with wool. Insinde I’ve thrown two baby duvets at the bottom and two more to put on top. I need to put these into some kind of dirt resistant material (lanolised wool comes to mind) – because I do spill a little once in a while, actually I spill more than I would like and it is a waste to have to wash all the duvets every time. I usually put the soup-pot inside my old knitting bag – it was broken and it fit fine – this does prevent some spilling, but sometimes I need to put two small casseroles into the box, and then the bag is not really practical (it actually ads to the spilling). This system is plenty to keep the casseroles warm for 24 hours – which means that I can make a stew the day before guests are comming, put it in the haybox, and when they arrive all I have to do is bring it to the boil (to be sure that if we have any backteria growth – very unlikely – it is killed).

As I said I use it for all kinds of things – I even cook rice in it: After we moved up here, we have only had one gas-burner, so cooking meals is a challenge, or would be if not for the hay-box. The hay-box means that I can cook a whole meal for numerous people very easily: It fits one soup-pot or two casseroles, so I can put the rice to the boil, put it in the box and start wok’ing, or I can make sauce for spaghetti bolognese put it in the haybox and come back 4 hours later to cook the spaghetti and pull out a perfect sauce by the time the spaghetti is done. When we have our garden co-op here on Tuesdays and Fridays, I prepare lunch before they come and then when we are ready to eat, I just pull the warm food out of the hay-box and presto – warm food. haybox_2

One of the things I like about the hay-box is that it is exactly not making my life harder, yet I am saving heaps of energy. It is so easy and because it doesn’t use any energy – I can leave it! I can cook in the morning before the kids wake up, go on a field trip, be gone for hours and come home and have a warm meal. I can leave it over night, I don’t risk food getting burned if all the water evaporates – it just works. Many times I see myself implementing things that I think would be ideal – permaculturewise, healthwise etc. and then abondoning it again because it is just too labor intensive – this is not. I actually saves my labor too – because I don’t have to keep an eye on the food. So I can concentrate on other things – like gardening or taking care of my kids. Now that is permanent culture 🙂

If you want to learn more about hay-box cooking – hop on over to permies.com – there’s a thread for that 🙂

Cacti and liver

OK, odd headline since it isn’t season for cactus figs. But it isn’t because we ate the cacti, it’s just that I found some really beautiful ones at our local plant nursery. Plus I don’t have a picture of the liver.
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We had rabbit today – the recipe is from a Danish chef living close to Jerez de la Frontera (maybe I should ask him if it’s OK that I publish it I English – to those who read Danish it’s from Annemad I Spanien). I bought it at my favourite butcher – favourite because his sausages contain meat, fat and spices – and his spices don’t include lactose. The rabbit included kidneys, liver, lungs and hart. I don’t (or didn’t) like liver – but ethically I don’t like throwing away good food either. So I found a recipe – and Solo en Españad it (thank you Chicha Analuza for coining that frase, or at least something kinda like it).

I took:

  • One large onion
  • Intestine (hart, lungs liver) from one rabbit
  • Olive oil
  • A sprig of thyme
  • One clove of garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Two small avocado
  • A few drops of lemon juice

I chopped the onion up and sautéed in olive oil with thyme and chopped garlic for about 5 mins. Added the intestine and stirred and fried for 5 mins, stirred again and fried under lid for 3 more mins and served with sliced avocado dripped w. lemon juice and just a drip of salsa brava (used because we had no catsup or ketchup but Absolutely Fabulus!). It was a beautiful thing! The kids even had some. Well Lucas ate the hart and the lungs, didn’t like the liver. Miriam ate the liver – didn’t get to taste the other organs as her brother had it all).

And here is where I ponder on how my daddy used to force me to eat things – like liver – because it was healthy or to develop my tastebuds or whatever… And the only result has been that I gagged every time I tasted liver since. Way to go making healthy stuff seem gross! My mother in law on the other hand would serve up chicken liver, hart etc as a special treat for my husband “I made this special for you honey!” My mom would say that some foods, like snails, were “grown-up foods, that you probably don’t like” (mainly BC she didn’t want to buy expensive food the have me say “Yuck!” at it) – and I was jumping up and down to get to taste it. Wonder what those results say about force and learning?
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Frugal Chicken

20130107-222232.jpgIt is a new year – and this blog is starting a new phase: Not only am I writing in English, but the focus has changed. Well not really – I’ll still be writing about food now and then, but I will also be writing about alot of other things. Moving to Spain has changed a lot in our lives – one of them being that we have become more policially aware. And more aware of what we want with our lives. So how does that combine with a food blog? I does because I have always been fascinated by the ways people used to do all this “food thing” – before supermarkets and friges etc.

I’ll talk more about the whole political aspect – one day. When I’m not overtired, alone with kids etc. For now I’ll just talk about the chick on the pic. See – she was €12 worth – and that’s a lot in a country where poultry is subsidised by the government! But she is free range, corn fed, and lovely 😉

So, according to my new found principles I opted for her instead of her somewhat cheaper sister in the supermarket – at about €7 – knowing that she’d lived a miserable life and would satisfy no one. Over the Christmas I borrowed a summerhouse in Denmark of a dear lady – who is a food head much like myself  – and I read about the French chickens going at €30-40 a piece, and how delicious they were. Compared to those, this lady is a bargin. Actually – I came home from the market with a trolly (you know the ones that elderly ladies have) full of fresh veggies, a crate of strawberries (no not organic), two fresh ocean caught fish, 12 organic eggs – and some hygiene products from a local “Mom & Pop” shop all in all €65. Having spent €30 just going down the shop for lunch (in Denmark) – this was a treat!

But but but – no matter how I try to explain – paying €12 for at chicken is a lot. So I better make the most of it! And I have! First day – I roasted it in the oven with potatoes, baby carrots and wild asparagus (somewhat more bitter, than their commercial counterpart). Loads of homegrown herbs ind their stomac, along with a whole garlic (Spanish of course – I’ll write you a post on that some time soon). I brushed her with home made herb salt and olive oil and roasted her for about an hour in the oven – I honestly cannot say at which temperature, because my oven is quite Spanish – and she was all gold and bubly when she came out. We feasted! The kids mostly on meat (they need it, they are growing) me on meat as well as veggies. But all though none of us held back, we did not even eat half a chicken! Seriously – we ate a leg and a wing, that’s it! Normally we would eat two legs and maybe a wing – but there was so much fat on this lady, and the meat so satisfying, we did not need that much.

So what to do with the leftovers? First I plucked the meat off the bones – enough for a whole meal (or two), then I’ve boiled a broth. The first broth (cause I will boil several) will be used for a soup. Tomorrow we’ll be having chicken/corn soup – with broth of the bones of this chicken, and the meat i picked off of her after boiling her for 4-5 hours. After I picked the meat off the bones I put the bones in a large saucepan and covered them with water, added a few tsb of alt and some apple vinegar. The herbs and garlic were still inside the carcass – just to add flavor.  After a few hours i sieved the bones from the broth and picked the last pieces of meat off of them (quite a lot actually). I’ll boil broth off of the chicken the next week – and use it to boil rice etc. Why? Because there are many nutrients in bone broth – one of them being calcium, which my son don’t get enough of since he has dairy allergies (and he does not like milk replacements). I’ve heard – but not confirmed – that you should be able to boil broth off of the bones for a week and still get good things from it. I’ll try that and see how it works.

Before I leave I just want to show you my new gärtöpfe – yes a yeastcasserole I think it would translate to… It is a tool with which you make craut – saurcarut to be specific. Or salzgurken or… what ever salty, yeasty you want. It is yet another part of our adventure towards spending less, producing more, and being healthier. Anyways: I wanted, and put on my wishlist, a 5L version. My husband bought me a 15L version. I’ll just call it love!

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Braiserede Vagtler

Sct. Hans (San Juan) aften havde vi aftalt at vi skulle på stranden og se bål. Spanierne har nemlig en tradition der ligner vores med bål på stranden Sct. Hans og unge mennesker der hopper i havet bag efter – myten siger at det ikke er varmt nok til at bade før Sct. Hans. Det betyder reelt at det aldrig er varmt nok til at bade i Danmark, jeg kan ikke helt sige at jeg er uenig. Nogle mente at jeg måske burde holde mig fra stranden Sct. Hans aften, det kunne være at der ville være spaniere eller danskere der syntes jeg fortjente en tur til Blocksbjerg. Men en spansk bekendt beroligede mig med at de ikke brænder hekse af hernede, de nøjes med politikere, bankmænd og andet skidtfolk 😉

Vores venner i Guardalmar synes det lød som en god ide at vi kom ned til deres strand og foreslog at vi skulle drikke lidt rødvin, eller nærmere meget rødvin. Senere foreslog de så at vi lavede en gourmetaften hvor vi kom med hver vores ret og hver vores salat. Marcus og jeg lagde hovederne i blød – eller jeg lagde mit hovede i blød og bad min mand lave Ceviche (kold kogt fisk) og jeg besluttede at jeg ville lave braiserede vagtler – det er nemlig evigheder siden jeg har lavet rigtig blærerøvsmad (den slags lader jeg som regel Marcus om).

Jeg ledte efter opskrifter på nettet og blev temmeligt forvirret – for alle de amerikanske/engelske opskrifter jeg fandt sagde 2 vagtler pr. person, og de spanske sagde 1 pr. person – eller det troede jeg de gjorde. Rent faktisk sagde de spanske at jeg skulle servere 1 agerhøne pr. person. De er meget små de der vagtler, men jeg håbede at det gik, når nu vi også havde ceviche med og de andre også havde en hovedret. Det gik!

Opskriften er ikke spansk – den er i høj grad fransk. Men sammensat af en masse forskellige opskrifter jeg fandt rundt omkring på nettet – primært på agerhøne jo 🙂

Braiserede vagtler (8 personer – fordobles hvis det er eneste hovedret)

  • 8 vagtler
  • 100 g tørrede svampe
  • Svinefedt (el. smør)
  • 3 spsk sherry
  • En lille smule citronsaft
  • 200 g Iberisk skinke (el. serrano, bacon el. tørret panchetta)
  • 1 stort løg
  • 3 fed hvidløg
  • 1 stort glas hvidvin
  • Salt og peber

Jeg startede med at “mis’e” min ret – fordi vi skulle have den med ud til venner og ikke ville stå og lave det hele i deres køkken (altså de har et superlækkert køkken, men 4 kokke i et køkken… nej vel?

Så først lagde jeg svampene i blød i et kvarters tid (imedens tog jeg opvasken… maskinen var i stykker som sædvaneligt). Derefter blev de dryppet grundigt af (væsken fra iblødsætningen gemte jeg) og stegt i svinefedt – ved høj varme og i små portioner, så de bliver dejligt gyldne og ikke kogt. Derefter kogte jeg panden af i lidt sherryeddike og da den var dampet ind til næsten ingenting hældte jeg svampevandet på – og kogte ind til næsten ingenting. Derefter hældte jeg svampene i og en lille bitte smule citronsaft.

Inden vi kørte skar jeg løg og hvidløg i små stykker, saltede vagtlerne og pakkede alt ned.

Vel hjemme hos vores venner gik jeg igang med maden – ca. en halv time før vi skulle starte med forretten (kunne være kortet ned hvis jeg havde brunet løg hjemmefra, det tog lang tid). Jeg startede med at stege skinken (som var skåret i små stykker) og tage den fra. Så brunede jeg vagtlerne og tog også dem op. Til sidst brunede jeg løg og hvidløg og smed det hele tilbage i gryden – incl. svampe. Hældte hvidvin på og så satte vi os til at spise Marcus’ ceviche (nuijjj den var god – selv den ikke-fiske-spisende 20 årige tog fra). Da vi var færdige med forret kunne jeg gå i gang med at anrette – jeg havde lavet kartoffelmos hjemmefra og den havde stået på lavt blus, så den holdt varmen medens vi spiste forret. Underet ses oven for – jeg var ret stolt.

Vores venner serverede svinemørbrad, med patatas bravas (bitte bitte små friturestegte kartofler m. bravasauce), raita og ovnbagte kartoffelbåde – ummmmm.

Da maden var spist, sad alle unger og så fjernsyn, de voksne havde fået godt med rødvin og ingen af os gad at gå på stranden – vi når det næste år.

Conejo Estofada – braiseret kanin

Yay – nu fik jeg lige postet uden indhold 🙂

Det er blevet sommer hernede, så varmt at frokosten spises indendørs på trods af nyindkøbt pergola. Til gengæld spises morgenmad og aftensmad ude. Ungerne leger ude – i sær Lucas – hele eftermiddagen. Om formiddagen er vi begyndt at svømme, så ungerne kan lære det, det er vigtigere her end i DK – for her er der pools overalt og ungerne skal skal skal vide hvordan man begår sig i vandet.

Nå, men normalt bruger jeg den her opskrift på kanin: Kanin a la Annemad i Spanien – den er intet mindre end fantastisk! Mind mig om at jeg skal til Jerez de la Frontera for at møde manden der lavede den sammen med Anne.

Men i dag skulle vi prøve noget nyt og jeg kiggede lidt i vores spanske Frøken Jensen (Ortega: 1080 Recetas) og fandt frem til Conejo Estofada. Her følger en opskrift, som er sådan lidt sat sammen af hvad jeg nu havde i huset.

  • 1 stk kanin (eller kylling) parteret i forben og bagben, rygkødet og brystkøddet er skåret af og skåret i små stykker – nyrene er også med her.
  • 2 store løg
  • 5 fed hvidløg
  • 1 ds. flåede tomater (eller 400 g friske hakkede)
  • Estragon
  • Oregano
  • Persille
  • Timian
  • 1 stort glas hvidvin
  • 2 store glas vand
  • Olivenolie, salt og peber
  • ca. 100 g. grønne bønner (min tilføjelse)

Den parterede kanin brunes i en tykbundet gryde i rigeligt olivenolie – tages op af gryden igen. Løg i skiver sauteres i resten af olien sammen med hvidløg – når de er klare tilsættes tomat og simrer i 5 min. Krydderurter tilsættes sammen med hvidvin og væsken reduceres til ca. det halve. Derefter tilsættes vand, gryden bringes i kog og simrer under låg i 1-2 timer. Hen mod slutningen tilsatte jeg de grønne bønner – hernede er det de flade … hestebønner? Jeg ved faktisk ikke hvad de hedder, men jeg havde fået et helt kg med fra grønthandleren forleden – og de skulle jo bruges. Serveres med kartofler, brød eller ris.

I morgen går turen til Granada for at besøge vores venner som vi også var i Nerja med – vi glæder os allesammen. Både til at se dem, men også til at se den gamle bydel i Granada – jeg skal nok få lagt billeder op når vi kommer hjem. Mandag har Marcus fri, så der skal vi nok ordne have inden den igen står på hverdag.

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