Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Mother's metabolism, not birth canal size, limits gestation.

Today I read a very interesting article. It seems that the theory that human babies are born earlier in their development than primates and other mammals because we walk upright is not seen as correct anymore. The new theory shows that it has to do with the metabolism. To be that rings more true than the older theory.

Here is a bit of the text, below you will find the link.


Long-held theory on human gestation refuted: Mother’s metabolism, not birth canal size, limits gestation
August 27, 2012
University of Rhode Island
An anthropologist suggests that the length of human pregnancy is limited primarily by a mother's metabolism, not the size of the birth canal. The research challenges the long-held notion of an evolutionary trade-off between childbirth and a pelvis adapted for walking upright.




Please leave a comment or ask a question. i'm happy to reply.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Plum Jam

Last Friday we went over to the house of a friend to pick some plums and such. She's away for a bit and her trees are full of ripe fruits. So we got several kilos of plums that were very nice and ripe. We went fairly early in the morning, so that we would have the afternoon free to make jam and whatever else I wanted to do. We only made jam this time, but I'll probably go by next week again and then I'll make a pflaumenkuchen, that is German for a typical German plum cake. This cake is made from a sweet yeast dough and very tasty.

Anyway, this time we came home with well over 2 kilos of plums and as I had enough jam sugar we right away started washing the plums. I then juiced a lemon. I made twice a 1 kilo batch as my biggest pan was already taken for other stuff. So I just did it twice. It doesn't take that long anyway. So first 1 kilo of plums and the juice of 1 lemon go in the pan until the plums fall apart. After that I added 1 kilo of jam sugar and then I let it cook for about 6 minutes, until it started to gel. Then I let it sit for about 15 minutes, while I sterilised the jam jars with hot water. I put those out to dry and by the time the 15 minutes were done the jars were ready. Then they got filled and were left to cool down. The next day we had pancakes with plum jam and whipped cream. Soooooo tasty!

Home made supplements

Yesterday I made home made supplements. I made liver capsules and I made turmeric capsules.

For the liver capsules I dehydrates my chicken liver in my Excalibur dehydrator. I only have a 5 tray dehydrator, I should really have gotten the 9 tray, but hey, you live and learn.

Anyway, the dehydrating takes a bit of time, about 24 hours. Try to make sure that you do not dehydrate it to the point of the liver being really hard. It is easier to grind it into powder when it is still slightly flexible.

Once you have it dehydrated you can put it in a kitchen machine to grind it up or even in a mortar and pestle, though that would be more time consuming.
I use my Kenwood kitchen machine and use the nut / coffee grinder attachment as that does a great job.

After that, I put it all the liver poweder in a bowl and get my capsule "machine" out. It is nothing much, but works like a charm. I make size 0 capsules. So I put the longer sides of the capsule in the bottom part of the machine and the shorter sides in the top part. After that I put the liver powder in the bottom sides and push it in with the part that does that.

Then I put the top sides on top and push the bottom sides into the top sides with the machine. After that I push the completed capsules out of the the top of the machine. And then there are 24 capsules finished. It goes fairly quick and easy.

Today I also made turmeric capsules. That is done in the exact same way.

From the liver capsules I take 2 a day as that is more or less equal to 1 tablespoon of liver a day. It has certainly helped me feel better. I use a combination of turmeric to pepper of 99% turmeric and 1% black pepper.

From the turmeric capsules I started off taking 2 as I am experimenting with how much I need. This is different for everyone. It is worth researching the use of turmeric a bit before you would start using them. However, you can't overdose on it as it is just a simple food.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

What did we eat today (23/08/2016)

Today we had a bit of a busy and late day, so we had a late breakfast and I skipped lunch and had a big dinner. Nobody got hungry, the home stayers had a bit of ravioli, so all went smooth. After our late breakfast we went to out local farm to get milk. We usually get milk on Mondays, but as we had enough this week we ended up going today, which is Tuesday. We will see when we need to get some more again. We usually get 20 litres, which usually lasts us 7 days, sometimes a bit more, as this week.

For breakfast we had sourdough french toast. I put maple syrup and cinnamon on mine. I had an orange and an apple with it. For my drink I had a mug of raw milk.

I didn't bother with lunch as I had enough and was on the road anyway. I didn't get hungry until near dinner time, so all was good. I often have that when we have french toast or so for breakfast. When I use eggs or so I can last all day on my breakfast. 

The home stayers had a bit of spinach and cheese filled ravioli with a Sriracha & aioli sauce to top it. I heard it was very tasty :-)

For dinner I have made some sausages, oven potatoes and cooked mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, green beans and sweetcorn). I heated up some home made baked beans that I have in portions in the freezer. I used the recipe from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon for that.
The oven potatoes were cooked in beef drippings and I added some butter to the cooked vegetables. Everyone is satisfied today. 

Tomorrow we will see whether I can again satisfy my family with our meals :-)

Recipe: Sourdough waffles

Usually on Mondays we eat sourdough waffles for breakfast. The kids love them. They are very tasty. I learned how to make these from the Gnowfglins sourdough e-course. And ever since I learned them I have been making them. It is a great way to use sourdough starter. My starter lives on my counter and I use my starter quite frequently, most days actually.
To the right you find a picture of one of my waffles this morning. This morning we had ripe bananas so I had banana and whipped cream as my toppings. Very tasty. 

Origin: Europe

Difficulty: easy
Time: half an hour
Serves: 6
Yield: 12 pieces 
Traditional, Vegetarian

  • bowl
  • waffle iron
  • 500 ml sourdough starter
  • 4 tbsp melted butter, coconut or so
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (I use Le Guerandais sea salt)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp sweetener
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I use home made - you can use other flavourings if you prefer)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp water
  • maple syrup, sucanat or so
  • fruit, such as raspberries, apples, black berries, cherries, strawberries or which ever you like.
  • melted chocolate
  • whipped cream
  • yoghurt
  • fried bacon bits
  • cheese melted on top
  • fried mushroom slices
  • fried onion slices
  • crispy nuts
  • desiccated coconut
  • you can use spices in your batter or top your waffles with them. I like using cinnamon on top, but really the sky is the limit.
  • First plug in your waffle iron. Because you want it to be hot and ready to go when you have mixed up your batter. Mixing up the batter goes really fast. Most of the time my waffle iron has not fully heated up yet when my batter is done, but it is close to being there.
  • In your bowl mix the sourdough starter, the melted butter, the sea salt, eggs, sweetener and vanilla extract together with a whisk.
  • Put the baking soda in a small bowl and add the water, mix it well together.
  • Add the baking soda with water to the batter and mix fast and well through. This will very quickly poof up the batter and make it very fluffy. Baking soda also neutralises the flavour of the acid of the sourdough as it reacts with that. 
  • Now you are ready to make your waffles with your hopefully hot waffle iron.
  • Serve with which ever toppings take your fancy.
  • The waffles freeze really well. I always put the left overs in the freezer. When someone takes a fancy for a waffle during the week they can just take one out and put it in the toaster and have a nice warm waffle.
  • Do make sure you freeze them separately as they can be a real pain to take apart when frozen onto each other. I usually take a sandwich bag and add 1 at the bottom and the other next to it towards the top, fold the bag over so that it is closed and then fold the 2 waffles on top of each other with the bag in between, that way they are easy for all to take out of the freezer and pop in the toaster right away, no need to thaw.

Possible substitutions:
dairy - coconut
butter - coconut, tallow, lard, etc.
sugar - honey, sucanat, maple syrup
chocolate - carob

Monday, 22 August 2016

What did we eat today (22/08/2016)

Every week I first check what we still have in stock, make a list and after that I make a menu plan taking into account what we have. And once I am done with that I make a shopping list of all we need to get all the meals cooked and on the table. I like doing that and planning it all out at it first of all means meals are fairly easy to make, I can cut and soak and all well ahead of time. It also saves us quite some money as it usually all gets used in meals and we often don't have a lot left at the end of the week. I hate throwing away food.
In general on Friday we have left-over day. During the week I put left-overs in containers in the freezer and take that out on Thursday evening, put it in the fridge and heat it up in the evening for dinner. I do not have left-overs every Friday and in case that is the case I have to come up with quick plan. Usually we have mince or chicken in the freezer, so a quick hamburger meal,  shawarma meal or doener meal is easy to fix.

So, what did we have today.

For breakfast we had sourdough waffles with banana and whipped cream. I had raw milk to drink with it. I will post the recipe tomorrow and link it here.

For lunch we had a baked potato with tuna and some sauerkraut. I found the combination of sauerkraut and tuna very nice on the baked potato. I will certainly do this more often. I had water kefir to drink with it. At some point in the future I will write about how I make water kefir. It is very easy.

For dinner we had Indonesian food. Rice, Sambal goreng eggs and Sajoer tumis cabbage.

Vibrant health post on genes and epigenetics

Today I read a post on Vibrant health, which is already a bit older, but still quite valid. It is from 2012. The information in it is very informative and up to date.

The title is "Defective Genes “Cause” Less Than 1% Of All Disease"

The text starts like this:

Defective Genes

In the mainstream media (and the popular consciousness programmed to consume it) defective genes are spoken about as if they were “disease time bombs,” fatalistically programmed to go off inside of us, thanks to flawed genetic contributions of our ancestors. And yet, despite common misconceptions, monogenic diseases, or diseases that result from errors in the nucleotide sequence of a single gene are exceedingly rare.  In fact, less than 1% of all diseases fall within this category…

Following the completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP) in 2003 it is no longer accurate to say that our genes “cause” disease, any more than it is accurate to say that DNA is sufficient to account for all the proteins in our body. Despite initial expectations, the HGP revealed that there are only 20,000-25,000 genes in human DNA (genome), rather than the 100,000 + believed necessary to encode the 100,000 + proteins found in the human body (proteome).

To read more, please click on the link below. It is well worth your time.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Recipe: bread rolls

As my kids love burgers and hotdogs, just like any other kid :-), I sometimes make some rolls for burgers or hotdogs for them to have with their burgers or hotdogs.
Now this is not really a very good traditional, full of nutrition, recipe, but for special days I find that it serves as a good compromise. It has taken me quite a bit of experimentation to get to this recipe. The worst ingredient is white flour, the rest is actually not bad at all.

As for the ingredients, the sucanat that I use can be substituted with maple syrup, that would really taste nice. The butter can be substituted with bacon fat, which would be really tasty, especially when the sucanat is  substituted with maple syrup, just imagine the taste. The suggestions for substitutions are below the recipes.

Origin: my home

Difficulty: easy
Time: a couple of hours
Serves: a crowd
Yield: 16 pieces 

Equipment: I like doing this with my bread baking machine as it frees time up for me to do other stuff, but of course it is totally possible to do by hand. You'll need:
  • oven
  • bread baking machine or
  • kitchen machine or
  • bowl and hands

  • 6 grams / 2 heaped teaspoons instant yeast (I use Doves farm yeast)
  • 2 tablespoons sucanat (I use Biona sucanat), maple syrup or such
  • 690 grams / 5.5 cups / 1.5 pounds organic plain white flour (I use Doves farm plain white flour, bulk)
  • 1.5 teaspoons celtic sea salt (I use Le Guerandais Coarse Sea Salt)
  • 57 grams / 2 oz butter (I use Isigny Sainte-Mère butter, which I purchase at Costco), you can also use lard, beef drippings, ghee or such.
  • 375 ml, 1.5 cups / 13 fl oz milk
  • 1 egg

  • When using a bread baking machine, put it all in in the order that I used and turn it on on the dough cycle. The bread baking machine will do all the rising and such, so you can right away move onto shaping the buns once the machine is done.
  • When using the kitchen machine, put it all in the bowl and turn the machine on, until you have a smooth dough
  • When doing it by hand, put it all in the bowl and knead until you have a smooth dough.
  • Let the dough stand for about 30 minutes to rise and relax.
  • Divide the dough into 12 (for larger rolls) or 16 (for smaller rolls) bits of dough, as equal as possible
  • Shape into either a rond (for burgers) or oval (for hotdogs) roll.
  • Put them on your baking sheet, they can be somewhat close, it doesn't hurt when they rise onto each other and get baked while touching.
  • If you like you can put some egg wash on them and top them with sesame seed or poppy seeds.
  • Let them rise for 25 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 200C / 400F.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

Possible substitutions:
  • dairy - coconut milk
  • butter - coconut oil, tallow, lard, bacon fat, etc.
  • sugar - maple syrup, honey

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Knitting: How to knit a wrapped stitch

As I mentioned in some other posts I have made several videos lately ahbout various knitting hacks. This one is about knitting wrapped stitches. In socks, when you knit the peasant or boomerang heel, you end up with wrapped stitches all over the heel. Some with one wrap, but most with two wraps. When I first learned about it I found it fairly confusing and wished I could have seen in a video how someone does this. So I decided to make my own video about this.
I will add the links to the videos to my patterns as well, so that when people are looking for how to knit something they can just click on the link in my pattern and see how it goes. This way I do not have to check all the time whether the videos that I have used from others will still work, as sometimes they just leave YouTube. I've had that several times myself when I wanted to access a video that was mentioned in a pattern and I simply couldn't go there and had to look for another.

So here is the video:

I hope you enjoyed my video!

I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment, ask a question or ask me to make another tutorial video.

Knitting: How to cast on a toe-up sock

Recently I made yet another video, I made several because of a toe-up sock pattern I'm going to publish soon. I made these videos because I have seen many links to various YouTube tutorial videos in patterns that couldn't be found anymore on YouTube, so I figured I'd make them myself and add them to my patterns, so that I'm sure that they will simply be there when people click on the link of a video.

I hope you enjoyed my video!

I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment, ask a question or ask me to make another tutorial video.

Knitting: How to wrap a stitch

Recently I made a video about how to wrap a stitch. This is because I have written out my toe-up sock pattern and would like to show people how wrapping a stitch works. So I've put it on YouTube, and will share it on this post, so anyone can see how it is done.

I hope you enjoyed my video!

I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment, ask a question or ask me to make another tutorial video.

Knitting: How to make a stitch

Recently I made a short video on how to make a new stitch in between 2 existing stitches. It is hardly visible in the finished work. This is my favourite way of increasing.

I hope you enjoyed my video!

I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment, ask a question or ask me to make another tutorial video.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Knitting: wristlets

Quite a few years ago I purchased the book: "Knitting lingerie style" by the designer Joan McGowan-Michael. I have knit several of the garments in there and will continue with quite a few more. Last week I was at a festival and had quite a bit of time to knit or so between my workshops. So I went for the wristlets in the book. The pattern is described as knit flat and then sew the back of it together. I don't like sewing knitwear so where I can I knit in the round, as I have done with these as well. It made it a very quick and easy knit. I also knit them the way I knit socks, 2 at the same time, in the round on a circular needle. I spend a bit of time here and there between kids and workshops over the space of 2 days and then they were done. On the top picture you see the outside and on the bottom picture the inside of the wristlets. I am very pleased with how they turned out. 

Here is the link to my ravelry page on the wristlest: Wristlets on Ravelry

I hope you have enjoyed my ramblings. Feel free to comment or ask a question. I'd love to hear from you.

Have a great day!