I have to admit, I've started this blog a few times with different names. I'm not sure why, it's just nothing has seemed to really summarise what's been happening over the past week or so.
First up, we've been using our slow cooker much more. Nothing too inventive yet, just really stews - primarily beef - although I've used turkey this time, so we'll see how they go. I'm thinking I put too much water in this time as it seemed a little more soupy than previous attempts. In good news, hubby will be home a little late tonight, so I'll try to thicken his up before his dinner.
Secondly, I've been trying some new recipes for Mick to take for his lunches and breakfasts. Some of them are naturally BTD compliant whilst others aren't really, but can sort of be made that way. For example, bacon and egg muffins. Now, generally this would be a no-no. But, if you bake compliant spelt-based english muffins and use roast turkey that's been lightly fried rather than bacon, they turn out ok. They also got the thumbs up from him - I consider that a massive achievement. Lunch wise, thus far he's had the shepherd's pies, turkey red curry with rice and turkey filo parcels. Not all of them have been massive hits, but at least it gets away from the same things all the time and gives him the opportunity to try something new as well.
Next up - we got our side of organic, grass-fed, local beef! Plus a whole lamb. The puppies have some bones and lamb flaps from the same animals so nothing should really be wasted! There's about 90 kilos of meat all up with probably 20 kilos of bones/dog food. Next up I'm ordering in some free-range turkeys so that the freezers are well stocked and we have no excuse for having anything but good quality, home cooked food.
Which brings me to my final piece of exciting news - we have a vacuum sealer. Seriously, this thing, although it uses plastic bags, is great. You can vacuum seal pretty much anything. Mick joked that if he stood still long enough, I would have vacuum sealed him, but it is great. I packaged up all the meat into meal sized serves then vacuum sealed it. No risk of leakage in the freezer! I've also been experimenting with frozen cookies (making the dough, then freezing it ready to bake), cakes and muffins for lunches. I'm hoping to do one big batch every month or so, then just take off what I need for that week.
Well, I've had a few things on my reading list. Admittedly, I should have been reading cases on Torts Law , but surprisingly other things became a little more exciting.
First off, the Last Lecture. I actually laughed out loud and cried during this book; on the bus no less. Just an amazing reflection on somebody's seemingly ordinary life and the achievements that we all take for granted in our lifetime. If you get a chance, it's a great read and really makes you think about your own life and how you want to live it. For those of you that haven't heard of the book, it's based on a "Last Lecture" delivered at Carnegie Mellon by Randy Pausch. The thing that makes it amazing is that he delivered it after being diagnosed with terminal cancer and he didn't focus on what he hadn't achieved or on what was being taken from him but on the accomplishments, on the wins and on the lessons that he wanted to pass on to his children. It is a beautiful book.
Next up was the Acne Prescription on Sheriberry's advice. Well, I gave it a go and my skin cleared up. You still eat your normal BTD foods but it's about the mixing of foods and the foods to avoid to stop pimple formation. Well, I gave it a week then decided that I'd try going back to having a couple of treats - sweet potato chips and possibly my biggest weakness - Ribbit's Quinoa muffins. The acne came back with a vengeance. Let's just say I'm a convert to SheriBerry's methods.
Other than that, we have freezers and a vacuum sealer now. We're going to give the once a month cooking idea a try to hopefully carve a bit more time out of our schedules. Mick's been working some extremely long hours, so having something healthy to give him at 8pm is sometimes a bit of a struggle - thank goodness for frozen turkey schnitzels and the slow cooker! He's still been getting substantial lunches and breakfasts, but hopefully freezing a bit more pre-prepared food will help a bit if I can just quickly heat it up on the stove or in the oven each night.
I'm really hoping that Ribbit's signature quote won't be true for hubby and I because people, the beef is on its way. A side of beef (I could probably find out its previous name, but don't want to know it that well) grown organically and biodynamically by a local farmer, taken to the abbatoir then cut up by my new friendly butcher. Gluten, preservative and nasty-free sausages will be coming our way (about 15kg) along with mince, heaps of puppy bones and a couple of whole lambs from the same growers. I'm so excited.
To prepare for the potential beef deluge, this week I decided to finally use our slow-cooker. You see, there was a bit of a saga when we bought the slow cooker - it took 3 months to finally get it (I kid you not, 3 months) and thus winter was over by the time it arrived. So, this week we had beef stew. It was fantastic. We coated the beef in millet flour and browned it first. We put the beef, carrots, sweet potato, green beans, fresh peas, broccoli stems and chard stalks in with water and slow cooked it on high for probably 8 hours. I added a slight bit of arrowroot powder and took the lid off then it cooked down over another 6 hours until it was thick and luscious. Hubby even enjoyed it without any flavourings other than salt & pepper. I'm looking forward to using it much more as the stew was great as a breakfast for me.
Well, that's the latest news over here. Healthwise, it looks like the passing out was due to a mild arrhythmia that was exacerbated by the coughing, however we're going to do an EEG again because they're a little worried that there are seizures involved as well. It's off for more testing - ick. In good news though, I'm passing out less, so hopefully it's going to resolve itself without too much intervention.
Well, we're approaching a special milestone in our household - Anoki's 3rd Birthday! I know it seems odd, but we celebrate the puppies' birthdays. Both of them get presents on the day (I don't think they'd understand if only one of them got a toy) and generally we do something special with them. They are excellent present openers and indeed think that every present is there for them.
In preparation, this weekend I mainly did puppy baking. There are carob pupcakes, apple puppy muffins and peanut butter bones. For Mick, there are spelt muffins and a quiche for breakfast. Lunches for him are turkey ricepaper rolls with bananas and almonds. Hopefully he'll enjoy them.
He's away this weekend, so the puppies and I have been having a bit of a relax weekend - they've had brushes and a nail trim while I've enjoyed getting a start on some Uni work and catching up on reading. Walking back from the Osteopath on Friday afternoon I happened across this great little pet store - the owner was there along with his beautiful golden retriever. I picked up a couple of treats for the boys (there were home-made salmon dog treats that I knew they would love) and was chatting to the owner when I commented on how well behaved his dog was. It turned out to be the saddest story.
It turned out that she had lost her mate of 6 years (their other dog) that week. It had been unexpected as he'd suddenly gotten pneumonia and the vets didn't pick it up in time. Apparently she used to stay in the back with him, but now that's she's alone she seems to enjoy lying in the shop. I had never seen a dog look so sad. I ended up in tears in the shop. The owners were still so upset and they aren't sure whether they'll get another dog to keep her company. I came home and gave our dogs big hugs. It really made me realise how short their lives are and to make every day with them count.
Let's start this blog with the monastery. I haven't decided to leave society and become a nun, but the great part about my grandfather coming to visit has been exploring Perth a little more. On Friday of last week we went to New Norcia - a monastic town - and the Swan Valley. Honestly, fantastic. It was amazing to think of people moving out there in the 1800s when there were no services and building a type of Spanish monastery in the Australian bush. They had an exhibilition of Christian art as well that was just fantastic - different artists, stories about the thinking behind the works as well as sculptures.
Funnily enough getting there turned out to be an adventure because, I think this is the explorer in me coming out, I'd forgotten the map, took a few wrong turns and ended up just heading in a general direction where I thought it should be. Luckily I managed to somehow get on the right road and we had a great drive. There were roadside stalls, some art galleries, wineries and cool little businesses. I'm hoping that hubby & I can go out there one day.
In food type news, I had been dabbling in the Genotype Diet but am now reverting completely back to the BTD. Doing Dr D's calculator about 50 times, I always come up as BTD, so now I just need to focus on that. It's back to low/no grains (how I will miss my pumpkin/millet bread with ghee and pure raspberry jam) and a focus on proteins/veggies. Somehow I don't think I should be trusted near millet or sugary fruits. I joked to my husband that I get addicted to watermelon the same way people are addicted to nicotine - I almost needed a patch to stop eating watermelon, millet and raspberries. Hopefully that will get my health back on track.
Once my grandfather goes home it's tax-time in Oz. The only bad thing about having a degree in Commerce, aside from the jokes people make about Accountants, is that I get the great job of sorting through hubby's version of a filing system so that I can complete his tax return! I'm thinking I'll cook a beef roast on the weekend so that there's some handy protein to snack on.