Spring Cleaning Part 1 (of many)

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So this is the first part to a (probably) many part series, starting a little before spring. My first main tasks this late winter, in preparation for spring, was to focus and clean up my blog, and organize the last bits of my summer preserves.

So thus, here is my new blog and new name. I would like to broaden my focus and try to invite more participation, so that, when this thing we call a “perfect capitalist society” collapses from lack of oil or just sky-rocketing prices, we will be ready as a community to source locally: food, products, services, etc. We will know how to live without all those luxuries by remembering what the basics are, and how to complete those tasks successfully, and maybe even with some pizazz. Sewing, cooking, preserving, cleaning, running a household, foraging, being healthy, all things will be explored, learned, and taught!

Cleaning the kitchen was no easy task; it was no sweep/mop/dish combo. Everything was taken out of drawers, cupboards, and cabinets in my kitchen and completely overhauled. I pulled about two boxes worth of doubles, unused gadgets given to me through numerous parental moves, and boxed cakes (from who knows where), and will put on the street in a free box on the next sunshiney day. I was able to put all canned goods and preservation items together, baking goods lay happily next to each other now, and I paired down my overflowing dish set to a manageable size. Also… my greatest accomplishment… I moved my record player into the kitchen. Hey, its where I spend the most amount of time, so it only made sense.

I realized a couple things while doing this, (1) I need to start using up the food I have in massive bulk (this includes mainly lentils, carrots, and pickled things), (2) I would love to step up my game in the thrift store department (or the friend-mooching department) and find a mortar and pestle, fondue pot, and meat thermometer, (3) there are many more things I want to try and do (soon to come jerky, spice rack making, gyros)!

But, one step at a time now, so I made some good use of my carrots:

Carrot Muffins (makes about 3 dozen)

  • 2 c whole wheat flour (Camas)
  • 1/2 c buckwheat flour (Camas)
  • 1/2 c white wheat flour (Camas)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 c plain yogurt (I used NF Nancy’s)
  • 3 eggs (Blissfully Produced)
  • 1 T butter (Rose Valley)
  • 1 c milk (Rose Valley)
  • 2 c carrots, grated
  • 3/4 c honey (I actually used half honey and half maple syrup because I was a little short on my honey supply)
  • 1/4 c flax (Camas)
  • 1/4 c walnuts (farmers market)

Directions: So I am a really basic baker, I literally just mix the dry, mix the wet, and then combine them together. Taste the batter, add whatever other spices you would like: nutmeg, clove, almond extract, etc. I baked these at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes (I had a tiny muffin tin, so it may take longer with a bigger size muffin). I also did the math on these, and figured that if you get about 3 dozen muffins each one is approximately 75 to 80 calories. These are by no means sweet muffins but they are absolutely wonderful in the morning with butter or jam and pretty healthy at that.

Carrot Curry Soup (makes enough for about 5 people)

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • butter for sauteing veggies
  • 8 carrots, chopped (they will be pureed so no worries about appearance, just make sure they are about the same size)
  • 2 potatoes
  • 5 c chicken broth, vegetable stock, water, or mixture of the three
  • 2 T curry (I only had yellow and green so I did about 1 1/2 of the yellow and 1/2 of the green, but I think red would have tasted the best, go figure)
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1-2 T vinegar to taste (I used red wine)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Saute onions in butter until soft and golden in a pot. Add all other veggies to pan and saute until onions become darker and you start to smell the veggies. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn it down to a simmer, add spices, and  put a lid on it (I never thought I would actually say that in context, haha). Simmer until veggies are very soft. Then, either transfer part of the liquid and the veggies to a food processor, or (what I prefer) use a hand blender (wand?) and blend while still in the pot. At this point you can taste and add any spices. I served mine with a dollop of yogurt and kimchi, but would be good over rice, with a green onion/parsley garnish, or just plain jane.

I also plan on making a lentil loaf this week and juicing lots of carrots. Got any great carrot/lentil/pickled things recipe to share?

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About Megan French

I am a dreamer. I am a hopeful soul that thinks one day we could come together to support each other in a community; support one another's services, hard-work, products, and knowledge. I hope that one day we can be global and local thinkers; supporting each other economically through local interactions and supporting the world globally by respecting other cultures and learning from them. Through local thought and community relationships we can clean up our world environments, power figures, and idea about what is most important in our lives. It all begins with knowledge and understand about how to get back to the basics: cooking, sewing, foraging, preserving, scouting... DIY for life and for the future of our society.

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