Jul 25, 2011

How to Make Vanilla

Only 152 days until Christmas.  Does that make your palms sweaty or excited?

Here's an easy-peasy and inexpensive Christmas gift that any foodie will love.  I promise.

Know what I'm talking about?

Here's how:

First procure some vanilla beans.  I bought one ounce from Azure Standard for $6.60.  You can buy them also from Amazon.com 
 With a sharp knife, split the bean in half lengthwise.
Using the blunt edge of the knife, scrape the yumminess off the inside of the vanilla bean.  I think this is called paste.
I scraped the paste off the knife onto the lip of my wide mouth mason jar and plopped the bean carcasses into the bottom for good measure.  Waste not, want not.
Pour in vodka (the cheapest stuff is great!), store in a cabinet at least six weeks or 152 days.
The jar on the left was just mixed for the picture.  The jar on the right has been soaking for about six months.  I use vanilla from the quart jar for my personal use.  The cute gift jars at the top of the post came from Mountain Rose Herbs and I gave as Christmas gifts last year.

This post is a part of Monday Mania with The Healthy Home Economist.

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Jul 24, 2011

Mid-Week Farmers Markets

Like to sleep in on Saturday mornings but also want to buy local?

Do I have good news for you!!

**There are a few farmers that set up on Tuesday mornings at the Argenta Market.

**There are four on-line options; all pick-ups on Wednesday:
1. Arkansas Sustainability Network - ASN - pick-up from 4:30-6pm downtown at Christ Episcopal Church (6th St. & Scott.)

2.  UAMS cafeteria - farmers market from 6:30 – 9:30a.m. While the market is happening in the cafeteria, in the Faculty Dining room off to the side, orders are being assembled for the online orders for delivery to the following locations:

UAMS Campus (includes AR Dept. of Health)
Blue Cross Blue Shield – Gaines St.
Blue Cross Blue Shield – USAble Bldg
Blue Cross Blue Shield – North Little Rock
Freeway Medical Bldg
University Towers
ABC Financial

This online market is open for ordering from 10:00a.m. Friday until 7:00p.m. Monday. The orders are prepaid through a secure website, so, even if you are not in your office when we deliver on Wednesday,  it can be left with a co-worker, if you would prefer.

3.  The Kitchen Co. (behind Fresh Market in WLR) - order through this site.  When the account is created on the locallygrown site, a “Pickup Location” must be selected. Kitchen Co. is one of the options.

4.  Eggshells in the Heights - order through this site.  When the account is created on the locallygrown site, a “Pickup Location” must be selected. Eggshells is one of the options.

What other mid-week markets do you use?

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Jul 22, 2011

Nutrition and Learning: Searcy Homeschool Convention 2011

This May I had the priviledge of speaking at the Education Alliance Homeschool Convention in Searcy, Arkansas. My session was well attended by a very attentive audience. In addition to the workshop, our local chapter had a booth in the vendors' hall which was managed by Jamie Latture of Freckle-Face farm. She had a number of enthusiastic Weston A. Price Foundation volunteers from the Searcy area who passed out materials and talked to the steady stream of visitors to our booth.

The topic of my session was "Nutrition and Learning" which is a subject of great interest to me as an educator who coaches struggling learners.

I introduced WAPF dietary principles and went over a number of brain-essential nutrients that come from Real Food. I touched on various studies showing how important these nutrients are to learning.

If you are interested in hearing the presentation I gave, you can purchase a CD for $8 or an MP3 download for $4 from Best Christian Conferences. My session is under "Friday session 4".

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Jul 19, 2011

Ice Cream & Bug Repellent

Below are links to popular posts from the past.

As an afternoon snack, we made this super easy, guilt free ice cream. Ingredients? frozen bananas and cream. Yum.  All you need is a food processor, not an ice cream maker.
Here's a recipe for natural insect repellent that my family uses.  The bug spray from the store causes my skin to get an itchy red rash.


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Jul 14, 2011

Who's Going?

The summer edition of Wise Traditions, the Weston A. Price Foundation's (WAPF) journal, came in the mail this week.  After the kids were in bed my husband saw it and said, with all sincerity, "How did you get anything accomplished today when this came in the mail?"  He knows I heart the Wise Traditions journal.

Last night I was reading more of it -the articles are informative yet quite lengthy- and saw the advertisement for the annual WAPF conference.  My mouth was salivating.  I really want to go.  It's in Dallas, only 6 hours away.  The food, which is included in the cost of the conference, is amazing nourishing traditional food.  They even have childcare available (the children are also provided nourishing, traditional food.)

Check out the list of presentations.  Among other things, I want to hear what Chris Masterjohn has to say about good fats and bad fats.  And how a fever is a child's best friend by Thomas Cowan, MD.

So, what's stopping me from going?  The price.  Boo.

Cheer up!  Tonight I received an email saying a limited number of scholarships are available.  Quickly I hammered out my reasons for needing financial assistance and submitted it tonight and now have my fingers crossed.

Even if I get a partial scholarship, I'm still looking for someone to carpool with - and maybe share a room (with a woman, who isn't a convicted murderer and doesn't snore too loudly.)

Who's going?
Register before August 1 and get a $50 discount.


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Jul 11, 2011

Snacks for Babies

On my personal blog, I wrote about how we occupied our 14month old daughter on our  9 hour car trip to Kentucky.

As I was feeding her snacks from the back seat, I thought that I should add this snack idea to Real Food in Little Rock.

A new favorite for us is dates.  Pictured below are extruded dates.  You can buy them in the bulk section of the health food store or I've been ordering them from Azure Standard.  I like these dates because you can feed them one at a time (which helps to burn a lot of time) and because the baby can actually digest them (raisins don't digest at this age.)

pictured is a quart jar - it looks a bit out of proportion.  :)
We've got another 18+ hour trip coming up so I'd love to hear your ideas of either real food snacks for babies or how to entertain them on long trips.

Related: a post I wrote three years ago about traveling with small children - lots of links in there.

See what others are saying for Monday Mania.

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Jul 7, 2011

Will Work for Food?

North Pulaski Farms has a real deal for you:

Ever get the urge to get hot sweaty dirty and have a sore back?

Take care of that need by helping your local organic farmer Friday mornings this summer.
We have added to our calendar through the end of August, volunteer mornings from 5:30a to 9a Fridays.
Come help us pick for the weekend markets and take home a small portion of what you pick!
More details can be found on our farm's calendar page.

Kelly Carney
North Pulaski Farms LLC - Locally Grown Certified Organic Produce
8 Tara Mount Drive
Jacksonville AR 72076

email: kelly AT northpulaskifarms DOT com

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TLC Berry Farm

A reader wrote about a new berry farm in town:

TLC Berry Farm
phone 501-888-1444
Located at 1701 Bracy Road, Little Rock. Easy to find.

Todd Lewis, the owner, is raising his crops as pesticide-free as he knows how. He does spray his peach trees. His blackberries and blueberries are pesticide-free.

Currently blueberries and blackberries are ready for picking. ($2/lb for blueberries not sure of the blackberry prices). He normally has strawberries in the spring but lost his whole crop this year. Also offers some other produce (limited and not sure if it's his) at his store.

Lunch is served for $5. I think it may usually be sandwiches but noticed on Facebook that one day it was a hot lunch (chicken spaghetti). Didn't have time to check out his store, but did notice that he had some specialty items.

He raises goats and pastures them. Not sure how much time on the pasture they get since he has to rotate them to wean the younger ones. Not sure what their supplemental feed is. He offers raw goat's milk and pasteurized milk. Offers eggs for $2/dozen, limited amount.

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