Sickness Remedies

This farm house is sick.  Sicky sick sickity sick.  Both the daughters have caught some nasty croup/cold hybrid and we’ve been fighting it off for the past week.

On Wednesday I was in line at the bank when an older woman with a very kind face made a comment about the younger daughter looking like she just woke up from the car ride.  I responded that no, she was really sick but I needed to come into the bank so that’s the only reason we were out.  She started to share with me some sickness remedies because she practised natural healing and because I LOVE LOVE LOVE pay it forwards, I will share with you what she told me.   I never even got her name but she was so kind to share this information with me and I love encountering kind people that have the intent of helping someone in need.

She said that Jello prepared with warm water and drank as a liquid is great for sore throats but if your kids put up a fight for the Jello then marshmallows are a great dry alternative.  She never told me why Jello and marshmallows but when your kids are sick, you try ANYTHING.

For adults (or if your kids aren’t fighters like mine) then you can have some natural ginger tea with honey.  Ever remember your Mom pumping you full of flat ginger ale as a kid?  Nan did that to me but the benefits of real ginger are far greater.  I learned that ginger is not only good for the stomach like we all think but it also helps cleanse channels in the body such as your sinuses, increases absorption of nutrients and minerals, and when warmed in tea and drank it can help greatly with throat and nose congestion.  Next time you’re sick, grab some real candied ginger or peel and chop some fresh ginger rolled in honey and eat it straight.  Your mouth will burn but your body will thank you.

It was our turn at the bank after this so I was ready to go home and make some ginger tea for the girls when we were done.  After we were finished in line, we walked out and my wonderful stranger was there waiting for us with more great info!  After being under house arrest for 4 days straight, this encounter was the best part of my day and made me so glad we decided to leave the house.

She told me I could also make something called “Golden Milk”.  It’s made with turmeric, the bright yellow spice that gives mustard it’s colour, and it also has a number of great health properties.  According to WHFoods.com, in the eastern world turmeric has been used for centuries as a healing remedy and as an anti-inflamatory to treat a number of different conditions such as colic, jaundice, menstrual pain, toothaches and gas.  It comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and the actual bright yellow-orange pigment of the spice, curcumin, has been compared as an equivalent to drugs like hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone and the over-the-counter medication Motrin.  The one very important difference is that all three of those drugs have wicked side-effects like intestinal bleeding, decreased white blood cell count and ulcer formations whereas turmeric has none.

These are the benefits of turmeric that pertain to sickness but there’s so many other uses and treatments for issues like inflammatory bowel disease, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cholesterol and liver problems and many forms of cancers such as leukemia, prostate cancer (another plus I can add to my Movember post), and colon cancer.  All this information is courtesy of WHFoods.com and you can read all about it the benefits on their site.

So to reap the benefits of turmeric, make a paste to add to virtually anything.  You can make it easily at home with turmeric and water.

Boil 1/4 cup of turmeric with 1/2 cup of water for about 5 minutes.  It will start to bubble and get really thick creating a paste.  Take it off the heat.

Turmeric Paste

Put it into a jar and keep it in the fridge for use whenever you’d like.  This will make about 1/2 cup of paste and has a shelf life of about one month.

To make “Golden Milk” you mix 1 teaspoon of paste with 1/2 cup of warm milk and 1 teaspoon of honey (unpasteurized or creamed honey is the best for it’s health properties also) and drink.  I used coconut milk and it was so delicious and creamy.  Cows milk was alright too but you could taste the turmeric much more so it was a little bitter.

Golden Milk      Golden Milk

My kind stranger suggested I make “Golden Milk” with it but you can put it in anything.  it does have a strong taste so beware when you’re trying to trick your kids.  I found it easiest to disguise in orange juice, the acid masks the strong taste and the it won’t affect the colour.

That bank lineup was super long and when I walked in, I wanted to get through it as fast as I could but after I started chatting with our kindly stranger I was glad the line was as long as it was.  Health and happiness to you all, XO, Kim.

PS – If anyone has any tricks on how to get your kid to blow her nose, I’m all ears.

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Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake

This morning I had a request for a recipe, that’s my first one!  I was so humbled.  A friend from high school asked for a pumpkin pie recipe because she had a lot of frozen pumpkin she’d like to use up.  I told her the only pumpkin recipe I’ve posted thus far has been for From Scratch Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  I haven’t come across a pie recipe I would call THE BEST just yet so instead I have a pumpkin gingerbread cake recipe with HOMEMADE CARAMEL SAUCE I hope will do the trick!

If my memory serves me correctly (and it usually does) I believe this recipe came out of a newspaper and into the Farmer’s Aunt’s hands who then passed it to the Farmer’s Mum who shared it with me.  For the past 10 years we’ve both been baking it often because it’s SO moist and delicious and the homemade caramel is divine.  You’ll want to eat that with a spoon, in fact, and when you find out how easy it is to make you’ll wonder why you’ve been eating the processed store-bought garbage for the past decade.

These pictures are a little old because I actually made this at Thanksgiving and just haven’t typed the posting out yet.  I would hop up and make one right now just for fresh pictures but my ass is strongly protesting.  I’ve just eaten two batches of lemon bars and another saver dish of cake showed up last night from the Farmer’s Mum so I best not push it.  I want to wear the new jeans I just got (ON SALE by the way) for a while.

First, the gingerbread cake.  Start out by sifting together all the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

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In your mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy then add the egg, pumpkin and molasses.

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Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the milk (I didn’t have enough hands to do this and take pictures at the same time so hopefully you get the idea) and if you’ve chosen to add nuts or raisins, add those in now. Pour into a greased bundt pan and bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes.

While it’s baking, we make THE CARAMEL SAUCE.  sdklfja.  Whoops, my fingers just slipped because I was drooling on my keyboard!  All fixed now, sorry.

Melt the butter on medium heat and stir in the sugar and syrup.  Bring it to a boil and stir ALL THE TIME or it’ll burn.

CaramelSauce

Once boiling, remove it from the heat, add the cream and put it back on to boil again.

CaramelSauce

After it boils once more, take it off the heat and set aside to cool down.  Resist the urge to lick the spoon until it’s cool or you’ll burn your tongue and throat.  I’m speaking from experience.

CaramelSauce

Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake

2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup pureed pumpkin
1/3 cup molasses
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup buttermilk (or just add some vinegar to regular milk to make buttermilk)
1/2 cup raisins or nuts (opt)

Homemade Caramel Sauce

1/2 cup butter
1 & 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 Tbsp corn syrup
1/2 cup whipping cream

PumpkinGingerbreadCake

As you can see from this picture, I had a minor accident taking this out of the oven.  I guess I greased the pan SUPER GOOD because when it flipped out (actually SHOT out was more like it) it hit the side of the cake carrier and half of it smashed into oblivion.  For a nano-second I contemplated making another cake because this one wasn’t “pretty” and I was taking it to Thanksgiving dinner but then I was like “what do I do with this one?  Throw it out?!  Pfffft!” because we all know throwing out cake* is a CARNAL SIN.

(*Actually, everyone but my amazing picture-taking Cuz from Love and Laugh Photography knows throwing out cake and/or icing is a carnal sin but my SIL already talked to her about it twice so I don’t think I need to bring it up again.  Public blog humiliation should be enough for her to know that any cake and/or icing from now until the end of time will never see the inside of a garbage can again, regardless of who tells you to, right Ash?)

Enjoy your pumpkin delightfulness, I hope this is as good as a pie recipe or better, J!  Much love!  Kim, THE Farmer’s Wife.

LEMON BARS!!

“Ladies and gentlemen, can I please have your attention. I’ve just been handed an urgent and horrifying news story. I need all of you to stop what you’re doing and listen.”

Cannonball

“CAAAANNNONBAAAAAALLLL!!”

If you haven’t seen Anchorman, you’re going to have no clue what I’m talking about.  However if you have, you will understand that this is a most hilarious scene from the movie where Ron Burgandy stops his party to note the importance of a cannonball.

Ron Burgandy is so great.  He’s all about less crappy and more happy.  The world could learn a thing or two from him actually.  I was pumped when he was at the Roar of the Rings this year in Manitoba.  What’s better than Ron Burgandy AND curling all at the same time?  Nothing except cannonballs and lemon bars.

As I was laughing, rewinding and replaying as I like to do when I watch a funny movie I plan to imitate in real life, I realised that he could have shouted “LEEEEEMMMMMONN BAAAAARS” and it would have sounded quite similar.  Since cannonballs and lemon bars register around the same 8.2-9.3 on the awesomeness scale, I decided to pause my live TV (another benefit of technology) and go make some lemon bars.

I have been promising Nan that I would post this for days already since they’re down south where it’s hot and lemons grow in abundance on the trees around them.  Fresh picked lemons would be the bomb dot com in this recipe too so here it is Mama, just in time for your block party next week.  It’s so simple I was able to do it in small stages and go back and forth to Anchorman while I was waiting.

Lemon Bars

For the crust, mix together the first three dry ingredients and cut in the butter with a pastry blender or a fork.  I used coconut oil instead and it gave it the best coconut flavour!  I could just eat the crust, I think the next time I make a cheesecake I’ll use this crust too.

LemonBar Crust

Press the crust into the bottom of a greased 8×8 or 9×9 pan and bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes or until it starts to brown around the edges.

Lemon Bar Crust

Now, go back to Anchorman while this is baking.  If you mix up the filling ingredients too soon the baking powder sits for too long and it won’t rise properly (found this out with my first batch).

When there’s about 2 minutes left on the timer, juice the lemons then mix together all the filling ingredients.

lemon juice

When the crust is ready, pour the filling over the top and bake for another 20-25 at 350F.  It will go a nice golden colour when it’s done.  While it’s baking mix together the glaze ingredients and set aside.

Lemon Bars

After it comes out of the oven, let it cool for about 20 minutes and pour the glaze overtop.

Lemon Bars

Now head back to Anchorman and eat your LEEEEMMMMMON BAAAARS because they’re even better on a fancy plate with a funny movie and a glass of milk.

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

Crust
1 cup flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil

Filling
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest

Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp butter, melted

Ron Burgandy

Stay classy, San Diego.  Kim.

Pondering Funerals

As I lay awake in bed last night my brain would not shut off.  Like many of the rest of you (I’m sure) I wish it had an off switch for bedtime.  I eventually had to get out of bed to stretch and meditate for about 10 minutes before I fell asleep.

Before I decided to summon my inner-zen, my brain started thinking of some of the people I love that are no longer here in body with me.  I started counting the number of funerals I’ve been to in my life and in the last four years alone I’ve been to six, the total for my lifetime is twenty-three; grandparents, aunts, great aunts, uncles, cousins, close friends, parents and grandparents of close friends, classmates.  I’m at a point in my life where if I’m contemplating buying a piece of black clothing I always ask myself, is this funeral wear?  If the answer is yes, I can justify buying it but last night I started to re-think black.

I understand black is a colour of mourning but a funeral isn’t about who’s attending it in body, it’s about the person who’s attending it in spirit.  Over the past five years, wedding dresses have started to change from white to off-white to white with bright colours to soft pastels and even black.  A bride wearing white used to be about purity but I hardly believe that’s true anymore, so if weddings aren’t about wearing white anymore, why do funerals have to be about wearing black?

Maybe instead of wearing black to a funeral we wear something the departed loved.  Everyone show up with something blue or green or with vintage cars or trains or baseballs and celebrate the life we can no longer physically hug or talk to.  Or if they wore flowers in their hair or feather earrings, put those on too.  I can remember being fourteen years old at the funeral of a classmate and putting a pack of Bubblicious gum in his hand at the viewing before the service because it was his favourite thing.  I wear a feather ribbon on my coat to show how much I love and miss one of my BFF’s.  My cousin was buried with a sleeve of golf balls because it was one of his passions.

I can’t count how many times I’ve wanted to clap after I’ve heard a wonderful eulogy or watched a touching slideshow; those are the parts of the services I feel we should be celebrating.  A wedding is a celebration, isn’t it?  The only difference between a wedding and a funeral is the live body to hug.  They’re both celebrating parts of life but one is just a chapter and the other is the whole book.  This person lived a full and wonderful life and is no longer here in body but is for sure watching over us in spirit.  Why aren’t we cheering and clapping over their accomplishments?  It’s not about the attendees being sad and wanting to mourn, it’s about the guest of honour being celebrated.  The last thing they would want us to be doing is being sad because if we’re sad, they’re looking down on us in sadness too.

I don’t want to cross a line and morbidly celebrate death.  I’m not saying sit in a circle and sing Kumbaya, I just want to smile more and cry less.  Sadly, funerals bring people together and I think it should be an opportunity for love, remembrance and togetherness.  Everyone mourns differently but the next time I have the urge to smile and clap after a eulogy or slideshow, I think I will.  I’ve decided I’m not there to mourn anymore, I’ll try and get that out of the way before I get there.  I’m there to celebrate.

Someone who I respect and whose opinion I value greatly once said that everyone is put on the earth for a different purpose.  She thinks of everyone like a professor and when they pass, they personally can no longer continue their teaching but what they taught others in their time in faculty can always live on.  How, you ask?  In YOU.  They were here to teach you something and for the time they were here, you may have learned one or two things from them or you may have learned one hundred things from them.  Regardless, they will never truly die if you keep their spirit alive in your life.  Teach what they taught.  Don’t be afraid to tell others who taught it to you or how you learned it.  They will live on through you and your daily interactions.

“As long as we can love each other and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away.  All the love you created is still there.  All the memories are still there.  You can live on in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here.  Death ends a life, not a relationship.”
-Mitch Albom

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The next time you’re shopping, I hope you re-think black too.  Much love, Kim.