Weekly Update – 3/8

I suppose my weekly update should rightfully be called a monthly update.  I can’t believe we’re all the way back to the Full Moon again, now in Virgo!

Not to be too heavy, but since the last time I posted I was diagnosed with a rare sort of cancer and have had surgery to remove the singular tumor.  I spent a week away from most of my family at a large hospital two hours away and am still at the beginning of the recovery-phase.  It has all happened very fast, but the prognosis is good.  I am feeling both “lucky" and well-loved.

I made the decision to go ahead and mention this here because DH and I are convinced it would have all been terramin labelmuch worse, and perhaps more similar to what we were told to expect, if it wasn’t for a product called Terramin Clay (Calcium Montmorillonite).  This is because we had originally been operating under the presumption that I had a cyst which ruptured beneath my skin and my research was for natural home remedies to draw-together and pull-out an infection of this sort.  I initially tried a daily compress of Epsom salts and later a compress of wool-felt soaked in cold-pressed castor oil (i.e. “the Edgar Cayce Remedy”), which may have added to my results.  However, we didn’t notice dramatic changes until the Terramin.

Based on what I read about the clay I started ingesting a teaspoon mixed into 8 oz. of water or orange juice every morning.  I much preferred the taste of it when mixed with orange juice, but mixing the fine powder with water allowed me to brush my teeth with the remaining “grit” in the bottom of the glass.  Being gritty and all, you might imagine that it would be too abrasive to scrub your teeth with, but it isn’t.  The clay is highly absorbent and any grit turns soft on contact.  Studies show that it actually helps harden tooth enamel through remineralization;  I found more than one person claiming that it had completely repaired not only their enamel but large cavities as well.

Although most commonly used for internal applications, I also started applying a thick paste of it to the distressed area that I would let dry and tighten and pull like a face mask might.  This was why I’d purchased Terramin in the first place.  I’d read that the negative charges on the clay give it the ability to adsorb or attract positively charged toxic matter like a magnet.  It seemed perfectly suited to ridding my body of what I thought was the ruptured cyst.  After just four days the affected area was reduced to a third of its former size.  It was indeed drawing together and pulling outward!  I used clay for the eight days preceding my visit to the doctor, and every day both reduced and condensed the lump.

Fast forward to after surgery.  Now we know that what we thought was a subcutaneous rupture was really a quickly growing tumor, spreading – and we know that we watched the Terramin Clay reverse the process before our eyes! Even the surgeon reports that the tumor turned out to be surprisingly self-contained, pulling away from the muscle instead of rooting down into it, which in the end was my saving grace from a much worse scenario.  So of course I think this clay deserves a study.  And a medal.  And more people getting to know it.

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In other news to share, another product.  I don’t anticipate that will happen very often.  Nutiva Organic, Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil.  (I love their Coconut Manna, too, but that’s another story!)  I buy it in bulk, two 15 oz. containers at a time.  I keep one in a liquid stage and one as a solid and now keep my pantry in a regular supply.  When I get down to scraping the edges of the container, I move it into the bathroom shelves because it is a great thing for lips, skin and hair.

I’ve been experimenting with it in place of butter and shortening in our familiar recipes.  I even chilled it really well and made a killer pie crust for the tastiest pot pie ever, and have used it to make a healthier, hint-of-coconut caramel.  Using the solid oil in place of butter also turned out to be the final tweak to our everyday, sandwich bread recipe which I’ll share here with you in the coming weeks.  Now it is perfect in every way.  The oil adds just a faint undercurrent to the aroma and taste, but really softens the loaves without diminishing their slice-ability.  My plan is to wake-up at the start of our week and replenish the bread box with that week’s supply.  I read of a local mother who makes 16 loaves for her family every Monday morning.  My goal is 4 to 6, depending on the weekly menu.

It’s also been on my list to share with you my ricotta success.  I absolutely love ricotta but unless I find it on a great sale I usually just substitute a farmer’s cheese because it’s easily on-hand.  However, where homemade ricotta is creamy and spreadable, farmer’s cheese (like Paneer mentioned in a previous post) is crumbly and has some melt.IMG_3537 (1024x768)

I used the recipe for Fresh Homemade Ricotta at Epicurious.  The second time I made it, I didn’t have the fresh lemon juice and used a mild, white vinegar without thinking too much about it (or I would have used a stronger variety) – but it worked.  I’m planning on buying a chinois to assist in making this ricotta and soon, Greek Yogurt.  It lets you drain as much whey as possible without losing your creaminess.

If your family is anything like my family, you will savor the whey almost as much as you savor the cheese.  I will usually try to incorporate it into the same meal.  For example, if making Mattar Paneer, I will use the whey to cook the rice and lentils that go on the side.  There is nothing else like them!  Or, if making Italian, use the whey as the liquid in your bread recipe.  However, it’s also worth freezing any unused whey in pre-measured, one-cup increments.  I add it to bread or rice pudding, pancakes, hot cereal, tomato soup… I intend to keep experimenting…

Many Blessings.

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Peasant Soup, Thai Style

This is a wonderfully rich and delicious soup that is another favorite in our house! Of course this is great with a nice, grainy bread on the side, or you can do what I do and turn into a hearty meal by serving over cubes of Baked Tofu!

INGREDIENTS:

* 1 sweet onion, chopped

* ½ stick of organic, all-natural butter

* 3 stalks of celery, chopped

* 3 carrots, chopped

* 3-4 cloves garlic, minced

* 1 teaspoon ginger, pulp or minced

* ¾ cup brown rice

* ¾ cup of crunchy peanut butter

* 2 tablespoons white miso paste

* 1 ½ tablespoons curry powder

* 1 tablespoon Braggs

* ½ Tablespoon Mochiko flour

* ¼ teaspoon chili powder

* 4 cups water

* 1 14 oz can of coconut milk

* 3 green onions, thinly sliced

* Cilantro (optional)

* Crushed raw peanuts (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Add onion and butter to a large pot or deep sauce pan. Sautee until the onion just starts to hint at translucency.

2. Add celery, carrots, garlic, and ginger, and stir around for a minute or two.

3. Add the rice. Stir around for another couple of minutes.

4. Add peanut butter, miso paste, and everything else up to the water. Stir to incorporate..

5. Mix in the water. I start out by adding a bit at a time to get everything nice and blended. Simmer for 45 minutes on low-medium heat.

6. Add coconut milk. Heat through.

7. Serve garnished with thinly sliced green onions, sprigs of cilantro, and crushed raw peanuts.

Coconut Baked Tempeh

This is a family favorite. If I go too long without making it my daughter will start dropping reminders.

Serve over Baked Rice and topped with Black Bean Salsa for a complete meal.

INGREDIENTS:

* 16 oz tempeh, defrosted and sliced into strips

* 14 oz coconut milk

* 1 cup favorite stock

* 1/4 cup unsweetened, natural shredded coconut

* 3 tablespoons white miso

* 2 tablespoons or equivalent of favorite natural sweetener, such as natural brown sugar or brown rice syrup

* 1 tablespoon organic coconut butter

* ½ tablespoon Bragg’s

* 1 teaspoon ginger pulp

* 2-3 cloves minced garlic

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place slices of tempeh in a 9×13 glass pan. Set aside.

2. Combine all remaining ingredients until blended well. Pour over tempeh and bake at 425° for 45 minutes, until bubbling and golden. Much of the liquid will be absorbed.

3. This is good for many applications, but at our home is especially favored as described above!