Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Garlic Oil for the Ear

I had a brief period of knowing the hell that is Earaches.  When Core was about 5 and started school for the first time, she went through a 5 month bout of every thing.  She sneezed, coughed, snorted and snotted consistently for those 5 months.  Everyone said it would get better as her immunity built up but it only seemed to get worse.  In the end, her ears would end up taking the cake in the painful, never ending illness game.  I came to realize that a child with a cold and ear ache should never be given dairy.  It causes so much excess mucous that just seems to join the party and make things even drippier.  We swore of dairy until we found a raw source and even then tried to tone it down during cold season.  This Ear Oil was my knight in shining armor when the aching started and the night grew long with the moaning of a 5 year old.  You can buy some at your local Health food store. We have had success with Wally's Ear Oil in a pinch but it is cheaper and easier at 4 am to make your own.  There are two different ways to make this but I favor the raw method.  I want the plant to be as alive as possible and feel that it is tricky to make sure you don't cook the garlic in warmed oil.  So in the interest of "making ahead" I will show you how to make it the long way. Which is 5 hours to a few days, depending on your needs.  In truth, you can use it once the oil starts to smell garlicy.  Another thing I want to stress is to try and use organic garlic, healthier plants making better medicine. 

Garlic Ear Oil
10 cloves garlic smashed with skins on
enough oil to cover the cloves

Place the garlic and oil in a sterilized jar and cover, shaking every once in a while to mix it about.  After a few days the garlic has given up all its goodness and can be strained out.  If you need it sooner you can press the garlic and add the oil and allow it to sit until you need it.  Strain it through a coffee filter to ensure no bits get in the ear. Upon you next coherent moment, make more oil that can sit for longer so it is ready for you at 3 am.  Keep in a dark jar with dropper in the fridge(long term) or cool cupboard(short term).

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Preparing for Winter

I seem to always wait until the last minute to make the remedies that get us through cold and flu season.  I will have the dried elderberries sitting on the shelf, the calendula flowers in a jar looking pretty, and the astragalus root hanging around in the pantry but they never seem to meet their partners in healing until the first sniffles have started.  This is not the way to do it.  The garlic ear oil is always more potent when it has been steeping for a while and the ginger syrup takes a few days to prepare so it is certainly not a quick remedy. These remedies are the backbone of our healing and I am determined to have them ready and waiting for their debut in saving my sanity.  So I have decided that once a week I will offer my methods for creating these remedies and that way will have a fully stocked medicine cabinet come winter.  My first remedy is the ever useful lemon honey throat soother.  I never have lemons around in the winter when I need them most so I heard a tip for making this syrup to last indefinitely.  My late night, screaming child, sore throat savior that will hopefully be as amazing to you as it has been to me:

Lemon Honey Throat Soother
1-2 organic lemon washed
1 c (raw if possible) honey

Place a sliced lemon, peel and all, into a jar and cover with honey.  Place in the refrigerator until needed.  Take a spoonful of the honey and add boiled water or just warm water and serve.

The best trick about this syrup is to add any extra slices of lemon you have or a lemon that is about to be compost and the last spoonfuls of honey to the jar whenever you have them.  This creates a never ending supply of the syrup that is my savior.  Over time the peels and pith start to break down into a marmalade consistency and you are going to have to fight the urge to smear it on your toast.  Or if you are like us and go through at least 5 lbs. a month and a few bags of lemons then you have no need to worry about running out.  Make it now and be ready for the first sign of a sniffle. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

The latest addition

I am very pleased with how these dolls came out and cannot wait to give them to the girls on Christmas.  Em gets the fairy and Cora gets Rapunzel.  A few finishing touches and they will be ready. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

for the tummy-Seeds

If we have ever spoken, you will know my love of seeds.  Some may say that I have more than a normal fascination about their presence in my food.  I rarely let a meal slip by without a sprinkle of these little beauties to and some crunch, protein, vitamins, or even just because they look so darn pretty.  If you want to see a fight occur at my house, come by around 7 pm on a night where some toasted salted pumpkin seeds are on the table. I am no joking when I say that seeds have saved an otherwise kid-disastrous meal.  Oh, you don't like it?  Here I'll just put some seeds on it.  And all is good again.
At any time there is at least 10 different types of seeds hanging around my pantry.  The staples are: sesame, poppy, sunflower, pumpkin, hemp, chia, flax. The others are used for not so everyday things like sauerkraut or pickling and are seen more as spices than seeds like fennel and caraway and dill and coriander. I am always surprised when someone picks up one of my seed jars and wonders aloud how one would go about using so many seeds, then I show them the stash.  To keep up with the usage I have to order in 5 lb increments which last about three months, so I rotate each month to replenish one at a time to keep cost down.  If you believe anything I have to say, than trust me when I tell you that seeds should be a part of your life.  A, leave a tootbrush at your place, kind of way.  And if you are truly hooked, you may even make them a key.
Here is a recipe for some delightful biscuits that go smashingly with a hearty soup or stew.  I seem to be able to feed a big(ish) hungry man on soup so long as there is a protein rich bread sitting next to his bowl. 

Seedy bar bisciuts
1 3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c oats
1 T baking powder
1/2 t cream of tartar
1/2 t salt
2 T sugar
1 cup total of sunflower, sesame, and hemp seeds
1/2 c shredded cheese

1/2 c melted butter or oil
1 c milk(we use almond)

mix the dry.  add the wet.  drop onto a pan and cook at 450 for about 10 minutes.  Eat. Smile. And buy more seeds.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dodging Bullets

A short conversation that happened over carrot rosemary dumplings:
Dadda: Cora, tell me about school. Did you meet any new friends?
Cora: Yeah, the girl that sits across from me, Annabel, I told you about her this morning.  That's not her name. 
Momma: What is her name?
Cora: I have no idea
Momma: You should probably ask her so you don't have to keep calling her 'Annabel, but that's not her name.'
Cora: Yeah, probably.
Momma: Who did you play with at recess?
Cora: Bella.
Dadda: Oh, is Bella in your class again?
Cora: No, she just asked me to play with her which was nice.
Momma: Anyone else play with you?
Cora: Bella's boyfriend(said while hiding her face in her napkin)
Momma: Bella has a boyfriend?  What is his name?
Cora: I have no idea.
Momma: Do you have a boyfriend?
Cora: No!
Momma: Why not?
Cora: I'm not ready!
Momma: How will you know when you're ready? When do you think people should have boyfriends?
Cora:  When they get bigger.
Momma: What do you think it means to be someones girlfriend?
Cora: That they are your bestest best friend in the world.

Like Momma and Dadda.  I guess we are doing something right. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Today Baby Cora(BC) turns 7.  And due to the fact that I still have no oven in which to bake a cake, I made a pancake cake for breakfast.  It was overwhelmingly sweet but that is the point of birthday cake in my eyes.  It only happens once a year,  so why not go into a diabetic coma because of it. Also, she is 7 which is so hugely bigger than 6 and deserving of extreme celebratory action. Amazingly enough, Cora has only reminded me of this fact 19 times today.  This does not include the three million times over the course of the weekend spent in NYC.  We have a tradition with our kids of taking them on adventures for their birthdays and Daddy finally got his way and off we went to the American Museum of Natural History.  I should say: off we went to the first floor on the AMNH.  We glimpsed the fourth floor and only stood on the landing of the second and third. In nearly 6 hours we saw about a quarter of the museum.  I think this has been the greatest of our adventures yet and can't wait to revisit.  I need a few months to recover from Times Square and the mangy Cookie Monsters and Elmos that kept trying to hug my kids.  Gross.  Happy seven years of life sweet girl, may you never be touched by unkempt faux fur again.