The more I learned, the more convinced I became that my personal lifestyle "diet" could not be the prevailing American diet of over-refined, over-processed, chemically altered, nutrient deficient, genetically modified, environmentally poisoned, inhumanely raised, fumigated, irradiated, oversweetened, and otherwise compromised foods.
|Fresh eggplant from my garden, for my Baked Vegetables Parmesan|
|Biscotti are favorites of mine, and I've created many kinds.|
|One of my paintings|
These recipes have all been created by me (unless I state otherwise), often by making healthy substitutions to existing recipes... or having fun experimenting! They've also been taste-tested by me and my very honest husband Rick, as well as willing "guinea pigs" among my food friends. So they only appear here after receiving positive reviews! I won't subject you to some of my craziness - like mixing homegrown raw peapods in with my breakfast granola... just lots of good food choices. I enjoy preparing and eating raw foods, salads, baked goods, entrees, breakfast foods, side dishes and most other meal categories. My much-used kitchen equipment includes my food processor, hand blender, spice grinder, dry and wet containers of the Vitamix, grain mills, pressure cooker, gas grill, rice cooker, spiralizer, dehydrator, slow cooker, oven, and more.
My gardening endeavors include year-round vegetable gardening (I garden in USDA plant hardiness Zone 7), perennial and annual herbs, perennial vegetables like Jerusalem artichokes and asparagus, berries and fruit trees, loads of perennial flowers, and a planted wildflower "specimen" garden. I primarily use my harvests fresh, but I also preserve by freezing, canning, and dehydrating. I've made culinary extracts from home-grown stevia, chocolate mint, lime basil, and other flavorful garden herbs. I dry many herbs, and make a blend of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme - my "Scarborough Fair" mix. I've made salves with comfrey, cough syrup with elderberries, lotions with calendula petals. I grow a special variety of red hibiscus and lots of lemon flavored plants to steep as teas. I eat parts of vegetable crops not commonly harvested, like the leaves of sweet potato vines and peas, pods of radishes and flowers of squashes. I love to experiment with new garden crops, growing my own turmeric, ginger root, horseradish, and goji berries. Past years I've grow unusual crops like garbanzo beans, black beans, buckwheat, grain sorghum, pyrethrum chrysanthemums, and other fun experiments. I grow primarily heirloom plants and have an addiction to saving seeds! I hate to throw plants away, and hundreds of cuttings from my strawberry beds, iris gardens, and other flowers are now in friends' gardens. Beware if you visit during growing season - you won't leave empty handed.
The information I share in this blog is based on my research, readings, and personal experience, and I only provide it as a guide. The kitchen and gardening tips are based on my own learning, research, experience and experimentation. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, I am "but a young gardener," always learning more about the complexities of Mother Nature.
A list of many ingredients I use is provided on the INGREDIENTS page, some with specific brands or tips on selection. If the text is in red in a recipe then you'll find more detail about that item on the Ingredients page. For ease in finding one of my recipes, a FAVORITE RECIPES page lists them by category.
As you might gather from reading my blog, I am somewhat unconventional and I live an unadorned lifestyle. My interest in natural foods doesn't end there - I use natural, non-chemical products as clothing, health and beauty aids, cleaning solutions, laundry products, and alternative health care. I've never colored my hair, pierced any body parts, gotten manicures, pedicures or facials, or tattoed myself anywhere! I am blessed to be married and deeply in love with my high school sweetheart Rick, who is also my best friend and busines partner. We live in a blessed place, on 65 wooden acres in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in southeast Tennessee, with an amazingly rich variety of flora and fauna.
Use my recipes as a guide, and do your own experimentation - that's how I've discovered new taste sensations! If you get just one good idea for making your food experiences better or improving your gardening results, I will consider that a fulfillment of my goal in creating this blog. I welcome your feedback and comments. Enjoy!