Ode to a Curious Mind: Ginger Root as a Houseplant!

Ode to a Curious Mind: Ginger Root as a Houseplant!

 

The greatest gift one can have is a curious mind. The person with a curious mind is never bored and happy to find new adventures and discoveries and even re-discoveries. Industrialization had caused artisans and craftsmen to fall by the wayside but curious minds will never be out of style!

For me a simple thought of “I like bread” can lead me on a remarkable journey! 1. Learn to make bread. 2. What’s in bread? Flour, Water, Oil, Sugar, Salt, Yeast! 3. What kind of bread has simple ingredients? Sourdough! Starter, water, flour, sugar, salt. 4. Can I make my own starter? Yes Flour and water and time. 5. Can I make my own flour?……. and so on and so on….

My Daughter-in-law was here recently and I shared with her the ginger bug recipe from Wellnessmama.com. While she was here she made homemade ginger ale. YUMMY and refreshing!

Ginger ale is just Water, sugar, ginger root, molasses, lemon juice, ginger bug and time. So this started me thinking (can you hear the gears turning). Why can’t I grow my own Ginger root? After all, it’s a rhizome just not a hardy rhizome.

Ginger needs to be above 50 degrees year round and I live in the Upper Midwest so we only have about 3 months a year where it almost never gets below 50 degrees and it takes longer than 3 months for Ginger to mature. So I immediately thought “Why not make it a house plant?” Houseplants help keep the air in your home fresh. Ginger is therapeutic, has medicinal properties, as well as culinary benefits and frankly I LOVE THE SMELL. So it’s a WIN WIN WIN situation. And here the journey begins!

Growing your own ginger root indoors as a consumable houseplant:

Purchase a fresh ginger root from your food co-op for grocery store.

Cut off a Knob of ginger that has buds protruding from it.

Soak the knob of ginger in water for 24 to 48 hours.

Prepare a large pot with drainage rock and potting mix.

Bury the ginger knob just below the surface bud side up, put in a window with diffused light and water.

Don’t overwater, care for it as you would any other houseplant.

A ginger plant can get up to 4 feet tall. When the plant becomes mature, remove it from the pot (Save your dirt just add nutrients and reuse) and propagate a piece of the rhizome to start another plant. Start one every couple of months and you’ll never need to buy ginger again! Just remember that Ginger is slow to mature and the rhizomes you produce in you pot will not be as large as those commercially grown. You will most likely need a large space to keep several plants. See photo progression below.

Ginger root

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

Advertisements

Move Over Potatoes – Zucchini Is Taking Over

Anyone who has ever grown zucchini squash knows how prolific it can be. After you’ve had your fill, and your pantry and freezer are well stocked and you have given your friends and neighbors all they could eat you’ll find you still have an abundance of left over zucchini. Short of using them for skeet shooting, what to do?

Well, it’s time we think outside the traditional zucchini box. When they ‘re young we sauté them and fry them, turn them into pickles, breads, muffins etc. but once they get too large the centers are stringy, the rinds are tough, what now? Compost?

Fall is the time for savory flavors so I vote we make some healthy zucchini fries.

 

HEALTHY ZUCCHINI FRIES
HEALTHY ZUCCHINI FRIES

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 large zucchini

Salt

Seasoning of your choice (I use Lawrys)

Cooking spray or olive oil to brush on fries.

 

DREDGE INGREDIENTS:

Buttermilk or kefir or egg

Organic flour (I’m sure gluten free flour would work if gluten is an issue)

Bread crumbs (panko or Italian or homemade, your choice)

 

Healthy Zucchini Fry Ingredients
Healthy Zucchini Fry Ingredients

 

DIRECTIONS:

Wash and slice the fleshy part of the zucchini into ¼ inch sticks 2-3 inches long. Compost the pithy center. Line the zucchini sticks on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt to draw out moisture. Leave set for about an hour. Pat zucchini sticks dry with another paper towel. Dredge the zucchini sticks in the flour, then the buttermilk, then roll in the bread crumbs and place them on a baking rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 or 15 minutes, then remove them from oven, spray lightly with cooking spray, turn the fries and lightly spray the other side. Return to oven for an additional 15 minutes, remove from oven and season with your preferred seasoning. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. I love these paired with my kefir ranch dressing. YUM!! Tasty and healthy and kid tested and approved.

375 degrees, 30 minutes.

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Attitudes are contagious, Is your worth catching?”

 

 

“An Apple a Day in a Whole New Way” – Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding

Last year was we had a beautiful summer but as much as I love the summer I hate the way cooking heats up the whole house, so I set out to find and/or create simple easy healthy no cook recipes for the summer months. Simple? Easy? Healthy? No Cook? And Tasty? Yup, I won’t settle for anything less on my blog. If it’s not tasty why bother making it. I’ve read so many recipes on chia pudding and how good it is for you but most were with nut milk. I didn’t have any of the ingredients around except the chia seeds. That said, I did notice the 5:1 ratio of liquid to seeds. So I thought, since I’ve got some left over apple juice I’d give that a try. It turned out delicious and it was so simple. If you can stir you can make it and a half cup makes a “stick with you” breakfast cup. It’s a great make ahead dish to grab when you’re in a hurry, just put it in little ½ cup jelly jars, cover and store in the fridge.

Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding
Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding

INGREDIENTS:

1 ¼ cups apple Juice (I make my own and preserve it in mason jars)

¼ organic chia seeds

2 tablespoons real maple syrup

½ teaspoon organic ground cinnamon

½ cup of applesauce or chopped apples or walnuts (optional) whatever you like

Whipped heavy cream sweetened with maple syrup (optional) (Omit for vegan)

Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding Ingredients
Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding Ingredients

DIRECTIONS:

Put the apple juice, chia seeds, maple syrup and cinnamon into a medium bowl and stir until there are no clumps. Cover and put in fridge overnight. Stir in optional fruit and/or nuts. Serve with maple whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Makes about 4 – ½ cup servings.

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

Reduce, Reuse, Regrow

I live in the Upper Mid-West which is zone 3- 4 for planting which basically means that if I want to grow anything that takes more than a couple of months to mature I need to do a lot of planning and prep work. I’m starting my vegetable and annual herb plants that take 90 days or more to mature in a mini green house with a small heat lamp hung inside that I turn on to keep my plants warm on nights when the temperature is below freezing. Setting the heat lamp to come on with a thermostat set to 40 degrees works great (no worries if the temp drops when I’m fast asleep). I like this method better than starting the plants indoors because the young plants get conditioned early and don’t get shocked as easily when transplanting them into the garden. Today happens to be April 21st 2017 and even though we are in a fruitful period we are in the last phase of the moon (lunar cycle) so it’s fruitful for below ground crops. I’m experimenting with planting above ground crops during this fruitful time because I will be controlling the water table for my plants since they are contained. I’ve modified some used plastic containers (water bottles) from my recycle bin to try and keep it out of the landfill for a bit longer.

I cut the bottom 1/3 off the water bottle, removed the cap and inverted the top portion into the bottom. The bottom will store the water the inverted top will house the soil. I packed dirt into the neck to form a soil plug. This will act as a wick and pull the water below into the soil above as the plant needs it. This will help provide a more consistent moisture level and help prevent damping off of the sprouts. I take the top 1/3 of another water bottle with the cap removed and use it as a mini greenhouse. When the seedling reaches the top of the dome it’s time to remove the top.

Reusing Water Bottles - Figure 1
Reusing Water Bottles – Figure 1
Reusing Water Bottles - Figure 2
Reusing Water Bottles – Figure 2
Reusing Water Bottles - Figure 3
Reusing Water Bottles – Figure 3
Reusing Water Bottles - Figure 4
Reusing Water Bottles – Figure 4
Reusing Water Bottles - Figure 5
Reusing Water Bottles – Figure 5
Reusing Water Bottles - Figure 6
Reusing Water Bottles – Figure 6
Heirloom Corn Seeds - Figure 7
Heirloom Corn Seeds – Figure 7

I planted my heirloom corn today because heirlooms take longer to grow than hybrids. I will be planting corn again on 4/29/17 because that is another fruitful period but we will be in the first phase of the lunar cycle and that is great for above ground crops. I want to compare the difference growth between the two lunar cycles.

 

I hope to post updates with progression photos to this post as the season move forward. Hopefully, I will be able to capture it all the way through to the harvest of next years’ seed.

I also used come yogurt containers to start my Bloody Butcher tomatoes!!!!

Bloody Butcher Tomatoes in Chobani Containers
Bloody Butcher Tomatoes in Chobani Containers

 

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Milk Kefir Grains Fermented Garlic

I usually do my lacto fermented veggies using whey off my kefir or plain yogurt but while I was stumbling around the world wide web I found this website called “The Crunchy Moose” that had a recipe for fermenting using Milk Kefir Grains, I saw a recipe for fermented garlic and thought what a brilliant idea, adding the health benefits of beneficial bacteria to a super food. WIN WIN…This is the website link to that recipe. http://thecrunchymoose.com/ferment-garlic-using-kefir-grains/. THANK YOU “The Crunchy Moose”

 

Fermented Garlic
Fermented Garlic

Milk Kefir Grains Fermented Garlic

Ingredients:

Enough peeled garlic cloves to nearly fill a pint jar

non-chlorinated water

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon Milk Kefir Grains (rinsed)

 

Preparation:

AS WITH ANY FERMENTATION PROCESS, CLEANLINESS CAN’T BE EMPHASIZED ENOUGH. KEEP IN MIND THAT YOU ARE CULTURING BACTERIA AND YEAST AND IT IS JUST AS EASY TO GROW HARMFUL BACTERIA AND YEAST AS IT IS GOOD.

Add the salt, milk kefir grains a some of the water to the jar and mix with a non-metal spoon. Add the peeled garlic cloves and top with water until 1 ½ inches above garlic. Weight garlic cloves down to keep submerged below brine. I use a plastic cottage cheese lid cut in a circle to the circumference of the inside of the jar. Put on a loose fitting non-metal lid (gas will form so it needs to escape). I prefer to retrofit plastic mason jar lids with holes and rubber grommets so that I can use a fermentation air-lock. Leave in a cool place out of direct sunlight until it reached the desired fermentation. Put in the refrigerator to stall the fermentation process when it is as fermented as you desire.  This is my first batch and I will be trying to reuse my grains in another batch of garlic. I never really have a shortage of grains as they multiply in my milk kefir pretty quickly. I’ll post the results in updates to this blog post.

Grains Fermented Garlic
Fermented Garlic

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

Quick and Easy Homemade Tomato Soup

Quick and Easy Homemade Tomato Soup
Quick and Easy Homemade Tomato Soup

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

1 cup organic chicken stock

4 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons sugar

2 chicken bouillon cubes

1 teaspoon organic onion powder

1/4 teaspoon organic garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon organic black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Put all ingredient is medium sauce pan. Simmer stirring frequently until blended. I use an immersion blender at this point just for a smoother texture soup.

Serve and garnish with chives or parsley sprigs or cilantro or whatever you choose.

Serves 4.

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

Just in Time for Christmas – Light and Flaky Butter Crescents

I’ve been on a mission for years to make Crescent Rolls like my mother made. She has long since passed and I wished I had paid more attention to her technique. I’ve tried dozens of recipes but none were quite right. Then I started taking the best features from multiple recipes and I think I finally have accomplished a very close approximation. Maybe even a bit better if that’s possible. Crescent Rolls are always a bit of work unless they come from a can but there are worth the effort. This crowd pleaser will make your Christmas dinner “Merry and Bright”

 

Light and Flaky Butter Crescents

 

light-and-flaky-butter-crescents
light-and-flaky-butter-crescents

 

Dry Ingredients:

3 cups organic unbleached flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon rapid rise yeast

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder

 

Remaining Ingredients:

2 1/2 sticks cold butter cut into pieces ( I used an olive oil/butter blend )

1 1/4 cups organic buttermilk or milk kefir (I used kefir because I make my own and always have it on hand)

 

Preparation:

Mix dry ingredients in large bowl with a whisk.

 

light-and-flaky-butter-crescent-ingredients
light-and-flaky-butter-crescent-ingredients

 

Cut cold butter pieces into flour mixture with a pastry cutter or fork until crumbly.

cutting-in-butter
cutting-in-butter
pea-sized-cut-in-butter-pieces
pea-sized-cut-in-butter-pieces

 

Add liquid and mix (it will look un-cohesive at this point). Turn out onto floured surface and knead until dough comes together but don’t overwork it or you will lose the flakiness.

 

before-gentle-kneading
before-gentle-kneading

 

Divide the dough in half and form each half into a rectangle. **Roll the rectangle out to approx. 8” x 10”. Fold rectangle in thirds and then in half the opposite way. Roll it out again and fold it again.

 

dough-divided-and-rolled
dough-divided-and-rolled

 

Cut the dough in half and shape into a round disk. Wrap in plastic and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours (overnight is best). Repeat with the remaining dough from **.You should have 4 dough disks when you are finished.

 

dough-disks-wrapped-ready-for-refrigeration
dough-disks-wrapped-ready-for-refrigeration

 

These can be frozen for up to a month if you like. When you are ready to make the rolls remove the dough disk from the fridge or freezer and allow to come to room temp. Put on a lightly floured surface and roll disk into a 10 – 12 inch circle. Cut into 8 equal wedges (I used a pizza wheel to do this).

 

ready-to-roll-up-almost-there
ready-to-roll-up-almost-there

 

Roll each wedge into a crescent and put on a parchment lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Cover and let rest for 3-4 hours depending on the temp of your home.

 

ready-to-raise
ready-to-raise

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes. Brush with melted butter. Serve warm. Mmmmmm Mmmm Good.

 

light-and-flaky-butter-crescents
light-and-flaky-butter-crescents

 

NOTE: Each rolled disk section of dough makes 8 rolls. Wrap some dough up in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for later use. I pre-freeze mine in plastic wrap then vacuum seal them to store in the freezer for longer periods and to insure freshness.

 

saved-for-later
saved-for-later

 

Wishing you and yours many Christmas blessing

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Attitudes are contagious…Is yours worth catching?”