One of my recent fascinations is with artisan bread. Well, really, with making wonderful bread with very little effort. I just posted about it on Love You Can Eat. I was especially thinking of Tab in south Florida – I think it’d be worth a shot!
Here is the majority of our winter squash harvest (some have already been eaten). Four cookie sheets of pie pumpkins are baking now; I plan to bake, puree and freeze most of them over the next week or so, saving some seeds for next year and roasting the rest. What a great result from $6 in heirloom seeds! Kudos to Baker Creek Seeds.
I noticed on Sunday afternoon that I was starting to feel awfully acidic (heartburn, general yucky feeling, etc). I tried to ignore it, but by Monday morning, I realized that I needed to focus on moving my body toward alkaline this week. And I needed to do it fast, because my beloved sis-in-law and The Cousins are coming on Friday (woohooo!!!!), and I know I’m going to be eating all sorts of fun stuff while they’re here.
Without getting into a bunch of details, I’ll try to give a brief explanation of the acid/alkaline (ph) issue. Everything you eat has the effect of causing your body to become more acidic or more alkaline. For your health, it’s best to have a ph that is slightly alkaline (around 7.2). I believe most Americans have a very acidic body ph, something that leads to all sorts of health problems. Rule of thumb – fresh fruits and vegetables are the most alkalizing, meats and processed foods are the most acidifying. I’ve done a lot of learning and have long way to go, but that’s probably the simplest way to sum it up.
I started learning about ph in the midst of my cervical cancer concern, and in conjunction with figuring out why I could no longer tolerate coffee and had constant heartburn. When I started testing my ph, it was around 5. That’s truly dreadful. With a radical change of diet for several months, I brought it up to around 7.2, and have been able to maintain that with a way of eating that seems reasonable and workable for me. But there are times when I get off track with my eating, and I realize I need to adjust course.
This past weekend is the first time that I’ve had such obvious evidence that I was off track and needed to re-stabilize my ph. Since Monday, I’ve been eating more alkalizing foods and very little of foods that acidify my body, and I am feeling much better already. By the weekend, I should be ready for a few splurges. Woot!
Perhaps the reason I’m blogging about this at all is that it is a reminder to me of some of the lessons I’ve learned in the last few years.
In general, I believe that it is important to live in moderation. As I’ve learned more about health and nutrition, I’ve sought to implement that knowledge in a way that is workable for our family and not too extreme. I’ve done this with varying degrees of success, so I’m not tooting my own horn, just sharing my perspective/goals.
Alongside a growing commitment to moderation and grace has come the realization that there are times when a less moderate, dare I say – radical, approach is appropriate. When faced with the possibility of cervical cancer, I was very willing to get extreme about my way of eating! There are other times when, usually for a temporary period, it seems appropriate to “get radical” in one way or another.
The goal for me is to be able to come back to a moderate way of life. I want to be radical in my love for my Savior all the time, and I want to walk with Him steadily, in a way that demonstrates His amazing grace.
P-Dub is giving away a KitchenAid stand mixer today, my friends. Oh how I yearn to win! To enter, you just have to post a recipe. The winner will be chosen by a random number generator, but since she might use some of the recipes on her cooking blog in the future, I figured I’d give her my best.
So here it is – my chicken pot pie recipe. Never typed out before today!
Laurel’s Chicken Pot Pie – makes two pies
Pot Pie Filling
4-6 split chicken breasts, depending on your taste/budget
1/2 c butter
2/3 c flour
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1-2 pounds frozen vegetables (I usually use corn and peas or mixed veggies)
Start by boiling the split chicken breasts in enough water to just cover them. Once they’re cooked and have cooled enough to bone, clean those bones and cut or pull the meat into bite-sized pieces. Set aside the chicken meat.
If you want to use some milk in your pot pie (and I strongly suggest you do, unless you have allergies!) take 3 cups or so of broth from boiling the chicken. Add however much milk you need to make 5 cups. The proportions here are very fluid… use all broth if you want, add water if you want, or do it my way. Just be sure you have 5 cups of wet stuff ready to go.
Get a small bowl and measure 2/3 c of flour into it. Add 1 t salt and 1 t pepper. Set aside.
Chop the onion into a small dice. You guessed it! Set it aside also.
Now melt the 1/2 c butter in a medium stock pot. Add the onion and saute until slightly translucent.
Add the flour mixture and stir while cooking for one minute.
Slowly add in the 5 cups of liquid, whisking if needed. Then cook, stirring constantly, until the gravy starts to boil and thicken. Boil for about a minute, still stirring.
Turn off the heat and stir in your vegetables.
Then cover the filling, preheat the oven to 350′ and prepare your pastry.
Double Pie Crust – make twice
2 2/3 c All-purpose flour
1 t salt
Cut in with pastry cutter:
1 c butter
Sprinkle in 7-8 T cold water (1T at a time) while fluffing with fork.
(You’re looking for the pastry to start clearing the sides of the bowl)
Divide into two balls. Roll out one ball for bottom crust, fill pie, then roll out the other ball of dough for the top.
Finish edges and slit crust as you wish.
Place pies on a cookie sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes, until crust is golden. For a “crust guard,” I cut a nice big piece of tin foil, cover the pie, and cut out the middle. I take off the guard when I think there’s about 15 minutes of bake time remaining.