Egg Nog

Another treat for an all liquid diet – this one hails from my good friend, Barb, who, along with her husband care for great cows which produce awesome milk from their nearly 100% grassfed diet.

Heat milk to 160 degrees (about steaming)over medium heat.  Add one cup hot milk to egg yolks, then blend into the remaining milk.  Remain vigilant and/or whisk often to keep it from sticking and burning to the bottom of the pot.  Add sugar (or honey) and spices, then reheat.  This is great warm or cold.

As always, use organic, fresh, local whenever possible.

Jerry really likes this and it’s packed with calories and fat, which is important for him right now.  He warms up a cup of eggnog if he has trouble falling asleep or for brekkie in the morning with his softened cereal.

Cheers

tauna

Moonlight Sonata

The only regret i have for my children and their formal piano and vocal lessons is that i didn’t have them start much earlier in life.  Now, we’ve always listened to music or music history when we homeschooled, but no formal training until Jessica was 14, Dallas was 12, and Nathan (starting later) was about 11.  Nathan didn’t take for very long because their teacher moved away, although we did find another wonderful teacher who gave him lessons for about a year later on and introduced him to the world of stage production musicals.  Jessica became good enough to earn a small vocal scholarship at Central Methodist and was very active in their music programme and even participated in rehearsals, special ensemble small group called ‘Chorale,’ and was an officer in SAI.

Dallas, through his training actually showed the most improvement!

Nathan is a good vocalist, but not quite good enough to snag a singing part in Carousel Production of Les Misérables a couple years ago as a sophomore in high school.  It was a great experience for him anyway as he participated with four different roles in the musical.

Anyway, I started playing the piano when i was nine – hated practicing -but was required to continue for five years.  Only way later in years did i appreciate my parents forcing me to continue for as long as i did.  My children, however, really enjoy playing the piano and enjoyed their lessons, although none of us are accomplished pianists.

Those of us who play or teach piano know that it helps our brains.  It’s even scientifically proven according to some.  Playing the Piano Might Make You Smarter is a neat article that gives some of the evidence for that.

Now today, I struggled through playing a part of a song (Sonata quasi una Fantasia – First movement) i used to be able to play, but i cannot now.   Although, it’s far from starting an unknown piece, it will be a long time before it sounds decent.  So my question is – can old brains be made smarter and/or improve memory by playing the piano?  Hmmmm  Maybe if can push forward and learn Movements 2 (i can stumble through) and 3 (only in my dreams) by L van Beethoven.

Listen to Sonata quasi un Fantasia in its entirety by L van Beethoven

Shabbat Shalom

tauna

Autism Spectrum

As you know from reading earlier blog entries, our middle child, Dallas, who is now 22, was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome about three years ago.  Yes, we knew all through his growing up that he was different, but we also knew he wasn’t autistic.  Within a couple of weeks of finding a description of his symptoms, our osteopathic doctor had hired a psychologist who knew about such things.  Dallas was keen to meet her and be interviewed and subsequently tested, which was grueling for him (it would be for anyone  – it was four hours long!), but it was designed for people like him, so he conceded that it really wasn’t too bad.  Anyway, he struggles with the social issues, the learning, etc that those with Autism do, but to a lesser degree.  In 1994 (the year after Dallas was born), Asperger Syndrome was recognised as a separate disorder from Autism).

Thank goodness Dallas is here with us at home.  He has picked up the responsibility of hauling hay, checking water tanks and chopping the ice out or hauling insulated water coolers of hot water whichever the case is necessary to fix the problem.  And among so much more,  mking sure the cattle have mineral, keeping sidewalks for three homes clear, and helping immensely with his 96 year old great aunt.

It may be that the gentleman in this BBC Magazine story was more Aspie than full blown Austistic.  Nevertheless, he had an incredible mother, who bravely stepped out of the norm, brought him home, and, no doubt, tirelessly taught him the tools to be as successful as he could be and later the townspeople who rallied behind him.  What a heart warming and uplifting reflection of the good family and community can do.

Donald Grey Triplett: The first boy diagnosed as autistic

Cheers!

tauna

Egg Drop Soup

  • Home made egg drop soup:  (Tan Hua T’ang)
  • 3 cups of chicken stock broth.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour (cassava)* or cornstarch
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten (farm fresh from pastured hens is best)

Heat broth and salt to boiling.  Mix cold water and tapioca flour; stir gradually into broth.  Boil and stir 1 minutes.  Slowly pour eggs into broth stirring constantly with fork, to form shreds of egg.  Remove from heat; stir slowly once or twice.

You can also make this without thickening it with the tapioca flour or cornstarch if it needs to be absolutely thin liquid.

For best medicine, you need to find a local farmer from whom you can purchase healthy pasture raised spent hens or broilers.  You may have to butcher them yourself.  Cook them down bones and all, pull off the meat bits, then throw the bones and cartilage back into the water and simmer another hour or so.  The goal is to get as much of the chondroitan out of the cartilage and minerals out of the bones and into your broth.  Once done, strain out the bones and let the broth cool.  Chicken fat is quite soft, so if you want to skim it off, you’ll eventually have to put it in the frig or other cool spot so that it will harden on the top of the broth so that you can remove it with a slotted spoon.

Buying chicken broth in the store is NOT the same product as what you are making here.

As always, find certified organic or organically raised ingredients.

This was a big hit with my father-in-law who is recovering from hernia surgery, is very weak, and really doesn’t have an appetite.

However, it’s quite good even if you aren’t sick or in recovery.

Cheers

tauna

*my friend Francoirse raises cassava in DRC!