Buckwheat groats plus….

March 31, 2011

Carefully examining the plethora of shelved, bagged items at Byler’s Store the other day, while on my hunt for more affordable  ingredients for this new “Clean” diet*, I spotted buckwheat groats —  @ $3.69 / pound.   Since our quinoa was gone from the fridge, I decided to pull the buckwheat groats from my pantry.  I told David what we’d be having and he said, “Can we call it something else??” but I said that I liked the name and that I liked saying it!  🙂  Because of course, you know what they say:  “A buckwheat by any other name is just as…”  Well, er ah, anyway….Buckwheat groats were what we would be having.  So I cooked it on top of the stove while I was roasting raw pumpkin seeds in coconut oil and sea salt in the oven, since I’d decided that buckwheat groats might need some help….The buckwheat cooked easily and fairly quickly (about 12 minutes or thereabouts), and I sprinkled sea salt into it, along with some coconut oil.  When I took it off the stove, I added some cut-up apricots and all of the crunchy pumpkin seeds.  I put the blackberries on the top and we yummied it up.  Because it was!  ….And so we’re all bucked up for the day….

* See previous post.

Spring…..

March 31, 2011

No gluten, no dairy, no eggs, no preservatives: “Clean” muffins!

March 29, 2011

“Morning Glory Muffins” **

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup light agave nectar
1 T pure vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups grated carrots
1 large apple, grated
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (which I roasted in 1 T olive oil)
2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 cup pecan meal
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt

450 degrees for 5 minutes, then 350 degrees for about 12 – 15 minutes

Melt coconut oil.
Grate apple and carrots.
Roast sunflower seeds.
Mix all ingredients together.
Spoon into muffin cups greased w/ coconut oil.

** Sorry, I don’t know where the recipe came from. (* See Comment below). It wasn’t in the book. Em had sent it to me via email and I’m assuming she found it online. I did change a couple of the ingredients.

Our daughter, Emily, is not a woman who flies quickly to the latest fads. Sensible, astute and discriminating, she assigns plaudits sparingly to books that others are ascribing to and gushing over. But she is fair, and she likes to “see for herself”–certainly valuable attributes in any age, but especially so in our craze-driven society. So when she said she had recently adopted N.Y. Times Bestseller Clean, by Alejandro Junger, M.D. (2011) as her new guidebook to a new eating program, I was instantly intrigued.

Plagued with intestinal issues and an overall physical malaise in her entire adult life, she was ready for a radical “fix.” Which was why she was drawn to the book. So after finishing it, and after much careful planning, research and experimenting, she began the shift. Two weeks after she began eating only the foods on the “Yes” list, she did indeed feel brand new, not only physically, but mentally. Whew. These are not quiet, small words; I heard the change even in her voice as I spoke to her on the telephone.

I haven’t yet read the book, (my husband has), but since David has multiple allergies, including exczema that is, shall we say, absolutely no fun, he’s ready to try it, too. Hmm…worked for his daughter, so it just might do the trick for him. So now we, too, are stepping into the shallow waters of experimentation and the purchasing of new ingredients. Hence, the “clean” muffins this morning. Gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free, they’re going to be a staple in our breakfast menus, especially after the one sampled hot out of the oven: YUM. Of course, the aroma of the cinnamon filling the house didn’t hurt the idea either.

So there you go, Allergic Friends!

But don’t worry; if you’re not an allergy-sufferer, the cinnamon smell that wakes you up in the mornings here will be from the homemade, not-at-all-good-for-you cinnamon buns made with white flour and pure, cholesterol-clogging butter. And the only “Clean” thing will be the plate that you lick after they’re served.

So the muffins will just be something that we’ll be offering on request…I’m just sayin’. If you need to know.

A Quilt Retreat!

March 25, 2011

Love to get away to sew? Pack up your project, your portable machine, and book a few weekdays at Simply Bed & Bread! Beginning next week, and continuing into April, it’s Quilt Retreat Month!

I have some vintage fabrics that you might like to see….Tempted??

Chestertown is the perfect place to be for taking breaks…Walk to the water and watch the ducks, the river and the boats. Grab dinner on your walk back for $4.50 by picking up a meat pastie at Against The Grain. Bring your camera and shoot some pictures. Take a tour. Shop. Check out a huge auction in our area, if you’re here on a Wednesday. Take the crunchy apple from your room and chomp on it as you walk around the block. Want to piece a spring pansy? Or do a paper pieced pansy? The setting is just right…

Already know what your project will be? Or are you interested in something new? Have you done paper piecing before? I have plenty of patterns…..

If you bring a quilting friend, you may stay for $ 79 / weeknight / room!

4-Grain Crackers

March 22, 2011

4-Grain Crackers
4 T each, whole millet, rolled oats, sesame seeds, almond flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp each — baking soda, baking powder, salt
1 tsp cumin
3 – 4 T margarine
1/2 cup yogurt

Mix all dry ingredients together. Cut in margarine. Mix in yogurt. Cover and let dough rest for 30 minutes. Roll out until thin. Cut into squares. Place on cookie sheet, prick with fork, then bake at 350 degrees for at least 15 minutes. Cool.David’s mother, “Grandma”, worked at the Kent County Public Library for, I guess, 30 years. During that time, she was a member, along with some other library staff, of a health food co-op. Large garbage pails full of flours and grains in a co-worker’s basement provided co-op members with items that were then checked off of the order forms that each filled out prior to their co-op “shops.” I’m not sure where she found the recipe, but it was during that time that she made the 4-grain crackers. I LOVED them, so she gave me the recipe. I made them a couple of times when the girls were young, but that was all. Not sure why. I saved the recipe, though, so today I got it out again.

The dough handled easily on a flour-covered pastry cloth so that rolling it out thinly was easy. Using a sharp knife to cut the rolled out dough into squares, then pricking each with the tines of a fork, they were then easily transferred to cookie sheets, baked for at least 15 minutes until cracker-crisp, then cooled. And then they were ready to eat! Very impressive. Homemade crackers. A guaranteed hit.

Sapphire Anniversary

March 19, 2011

I’ve figured out why I love doing this so much. I get to be the fairy godmother for people.

She had requested cranberry juice the first morning of their stay, so the “champagne” bottle you see in the photo is actually sparkling cranberry juice fancied up, complete with champagne glasses! I’m Fancy Nancy, The Good Witch of the North and Cinderella’s fairy godmother all in one, playing tea party and thinking up sapphire ideas for a couple’s 45th anniversary. Waaay too much fun.

Redman’s pansies at the Farmer’s Market

March 19, 2011

The scones were done and the breakfast was ready to go, so since our guests wanted to eat late on their 45th wedding anniversary, it gave me the perfect opportunity to scoot down to the Farmer’s Market at 8! Because it was the first day of the new season, I was eager to check things out!

I was not disappointed. The sun was out, the air just a teence crisp, and I had beaten the crowds! What fun! It’s another Chestertown day when it feels like the whole town is having a party!

The regular vendors were back, and I could see that, but I wanted to do a quick zip around to make sure I didn’t miss anything! I did see a brand new vendor, Yvette and her family, with their tent and table set up in a more formal context–a fun contrast to the more home-y, farm-ish kinds of booths. Yvette’s card said, “Personal chef,” which caught my eye, and the 2 cakes displayed there were simple, classy and nice. With her varied cupcake display, I told her that the Cupcake Wars would be next! Because her wares seemed to be in a separate niche, I thought the addition was nice!

I bought the red and yellow pansies right before closing time (after breakfast and clean-up), but at 8, I just picked up one small “sapphire blue” one. Since the traditional jewel of the 45th anniversary is a sapphire, the one I bought for the breakfast table was perfect!

Don’t miss the Market next week!

Spring Time

March 14, 2011

Our daffodils on Marge's side of our house

Marge's beautiful crocuses that we look forward to each year

FIRST “ORPHAN DAY” THIS TUESDAY

March 12, 2011

In between the cracks....

“Plenty of sun”: that’s the weather forecast for our first Orphan Day this week! It’ll be 50 and gorgeous and it’s time for you to have a day off and to bring a friend or 2 so that both rooms here can be full! Wednesday promises to have lots of sunshine also, so it would be a perfect day to head over to Crumpton for the Auction and wander around in the sun there…..Think about it!

With weekday rates in effect on Tuesday, if you book a room, $50 will be in our Ukraine fund….

One of Natasha’s success stories explains what the money will “buy” in Ukraine. A large percentage of children who grow up in orphanages either take their own lives or end up stuck in prostitution. A few “make it,” and Katya (name has been changed), is one of those. Married to a man from within the orphanage system also, they had children, and were scraping along. Until he left. And until she had a car accident. Without family to turn to, Katya was completely alone, and in danger of losing her children (since her injuries took away her ability to walk as well as her job). She had no money, so clothes, food and a roof over her children’s heads was in question–until Bethany Ukraine’s Natasha stepped in. Natasha found a sponsor for Katya and her children. Katya got the physical therapy she needed, rent, clothes and food for a year, and a new job, and Katya and her little family is OK again and on their own.

And after a day here at Simply Bed & Bread, you, too, will be OK again. Why wait? The sun is shining now!

Anastasia — “Nastia” (UKRAINE POST # 2)

March 12, 2011

(If you haven’t read “New Friends,” the post from a couple of days ago, read that first, in order to understand the context for this 2nd post about Ukraine.)

To give you a picture of Natasha’s heart, I’ll tell you her answer to a question that we gave her today during our Skype meeting. She was asked at the end of our meeting what the one thing would be — if she could wish for one thing — that she would like to have. Immediately she told us a story…

Part of Natasha’s job in her role as a family preservation social worker is to find “sponsors” for the at-risk families facing emergencies. One of these families has a child named “Nastia” who is 6 years old and who needs an immediate kidney operation. In Ukraine, that would cost $500, but that is a huge sum and there’s no way that the family could raise the money. Typical monthly sponsorships / family total $100, and often this sum is raised using the funds of several sponsors, so a $500 chunk is not easy to come by. Natasha has been working, but this money represents only one need of several families’ needs. But this was the one wish that Natasha had above all others. After our Skype meeting ended, one of the women present said, “Gosh, that’s not that much money. If 20 people each gave $25, we’d have it! There were 11 of us around the table, so we had a good beginning. Natasha doesn’t yet know it, but she’s going to get that wish.

As interpreter for us today, Matt was also a part of our Skype meeting. He’s from VA, but he went to Ukraine as a Peace Corps worker, who then stayed. He is now a regular employee of Bethany Ukraine and a co-worker of Natasha’s. But his grandparents in VA are going to be celebrating their 60th anniversary at the end of this month, so Matt will be returning to this country to join them at their party. While he’s here, he will swing through DE to meet us at the church as a follow-up to today’s Skype meeting. Pretty exciting. Not to mention, good timing. Matt, as our liason extraordinaire, will play a key role in our trip, and it doesn’t look like we could have a better guy on our side. Competent, trusted, and indeed, “one of them” in Ukraine, yet American through and through, he’s a great fit. He had a great sense of humor, was a straight shooter who was not afraid to say what he thought, and he was sensitive to cultural differences. He did make a point to “warn” us that the campsite wouldn’t exactly be a 4 star location. I said, “There will be TREES, right?” That’s really all I cared about,…well, that and the little matter of whether or not we’d be digging our own holes or using an outhouse, and Matt laughed and said that we’d have showers! “Showers?” I thought?? That immediately raised it to a 4 for me. It’s going to be an adventure and it’s going to be fun and there will be about 25 kids, from ages 6 – 14 there. So we learned a few things today. A few really, really good and important things today. I’ll keep you posted.

Our ORPHAN DAYS at Simply Bed & Bread will always be on Tuesdays. On designated Tuesdays, we’ll be sending 50% of the total take to Ukraine. Watch for them! The first one will be THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!

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Location, Location, Location.

You might notice the WAC Administration Building cupola out of the corner of your eye as you walk onto Simply Bed & Bread's brick path, since our house is just a stone's throw away from the college. Or it might be the ...
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