The farmer and I are making slow gradual changes in a way I like. The changes are to do with our eating habits, over the last year we have become somewhat complacent and indulgent with our food. The farmer is an excellent cook and appreciates encouragement and so meals have been getting more lavish. Recently we have become aware of changes associated with a year plus of rich food and plenty of it. It's time to cut back.
We've switched to cooking with coconut oil. There's plenty of information on the web about the benefits of using coconut oil, suffice to say here that it improves metabolic rate, strengthens the immune system and lowers blood pressure. Plus it's delicious. I have been making the oil myself - a time consuming process, but rewarding as the oil we use is completely organic, fresh and unbelievably rich and wonderful. There are two ways to make oil from coconuts in the kitchen (at least for food grade oil): cold pressed and stove-top. For cold pressed oil you need an oil expeller. We have the loan of a PITEBA oil mill. I like it, but it could do with some improvements, it's not the cleanest or easiest way to work. The other way is by grating the coconut, squeezing the milk out (easier with the addition of a little water), and then simmering the milk until it magically becomes oil. I prefer using the PITEBA, but it's easier using the stove.
I'm also making my own yoghurt and cream cheese. We had been buying 1/2 fat cream cheese, but I don't like the sound of the emulsifiers and gums and enhancers on the ingredients list, making one's own is very simple. (I will write up methods for yoghurt and cream cheese in another post.) It doesn't really take any time at all, and I know exactly what I'm eating. And of course it makes me so much happier to be making our food from scratch. If only we had a goat.
The sourdough starter is back on track and I've been making wholewheat sourdough biscuits daily for our lunch sandwiches. Served with cream cheese and greens from the garden.
And the chocolate? We've been researching cacao again and have read that cacao has a positive effect on lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, plus it balances moods and emotions, creates a sense of well being and suppresses appetite! We've been enjoying lightly toasted cacao beans with meals for the past few days. I really like it: anything that brings me closer to the land, the seasons and home scale food production fills me with such contentment and feelings of ease, yes, life is good.