Showing posts from July, 2010

Staying in, Blackball & garden planning

Paul Pitchford's Healing with Whole Foods arrived earlier this week. I'm reading bits of it each day, and much as it is fascinating, for large chunks of this week I have been completely 'over' food and health research. I functioned fairly well through a busy week and then today ended up in bed for much of the day. Whether that has anything to do with my experiment with oil pulling with coconut oil last night, I cannot say. There are no magic tablets with the answers on.

HWWF is in many ways diametrically opposed to Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions. The differences are not difficult to spot, but I've been focusing more on the commonalities. Bone broth/stock is a winner, as is eating lots of vegetables, though preparation guidelines differ markedly. Omega 3 oils are the other standout common thread so far.

HWWF seems stronger (to my somewhat untrained eye I might add) on the Eastern traditions than on the Western medical research assertions. I'm working my …

Endless warming potions & The Clothes on Their Backs

I'm now ten days into Laksme's regime of cleansing the deep seated virus. The virus which possibly seeped into my bones when I was a not more than a tot, with ear infections, the antibiotic amoxil as a fourth food group and a pile of operations for good measure. The one which manifested itself in various forms over the years when an outlet seemed necessary: bells palsy after I finished my second degree and travelling rheumatoid arthritis after I had my second child. Padded out with a general disposition towards nasty winter flus over the decades.

All a hypothesis, but not a ridiculous one from my viewpoint.

So, a lot of apple cider vinegar. I have learnt to tolerate some black strap molasses as well - about a quarter of a teaspoon per day so far. I had been having a spoonful of acv in a glass of water and noticing some classic detox signs like nasty acne the first few days. That has cleared though, as has the rash I had before I started this acv lark. It has definitely ch…

Rhubarb cake

The holiday season is almost gone. Tomorrow the lunch boxes will be out before 7am, piles and piles of tasks will appear on my work desk, the school gala notices will become even more frequent and somewhere within it I will organise to get the car and the lawnmower serviced, a winter coat and shoes repaired or replaced and a star chart to motivate the tallest short person.

Thanks to my friend Ruth, a superb cook, mother, housewife and midwife, I bring you her rhubarb cake recipe (originally published in a Playcentre cookbook).
2 c flour
2 C chopped raw rhubarb
1.5 C sugar
2 heaped tsp baking powder
2 eggs
0.5 C oil/melted butter
1 tsp ginger, cinnamon, allspice
1 C milk

Mix it all together, pour into a cake tin and cook for 45 minutes at 180 celsius.

Nice and fast. I use brown sugar and wholemeal flour and butter. All works well. The first time I made this I forgot the milk and it was still nice. Tonight I remembered the milk and it is still nice and also very moist. But the lovely strong…


apple cider vinegar. I'm all about apple cider vinegar at the moment.

Yesterday I went to see one of my favourite people, Laksme. I went replete with aches and pains and niggles and wiggles and I have come home armed with much more knowledge, lots to think about and an action plan.

Aside from the annoyance of the cough and endless phlegm from the chest infection which has eased rather than gone completely, I also brought to Laksme my concerns that really I should have more energy, should be stronger.

And the question I have had no answer for: why do I want to eat so much more than I need to? I have noticed it quite a bit lately, particularly with visitors. The other grown adults (male) were not eating nearly as much as I was. I have been eating more than I *need to* for ages, but not bothered to wonder about it - zest for the finer culinary things in life y'know. It could be an eating disorder but I wasn't convinced by that idea at all.

Laksme and I talked for a long tim…

chook feasts and red hot pokers

Calendulas, winter suns on chilly days.
We gave the chooks a feast.
Here is the fence we rigged up to keep them in their feasting spot. Only two escaped, only one into the neighbour's garden. That habit I have from motherhood of endlessly head counting turned out useful today.

Red hot pokers against our red fence.

The short people, especially for my siblings. Notice the Crusaders t-shirt P? My sister won't see this for a wee while as she is in hospital with multiple bones broken in multiple places. We hope you recover soon J, and that the parcel I sent today helps your convalescence.

Indeed I did finally find the camera charger... I've been reading more of Clarissa Dickson Wright's book (something about drawers in the title). Some gems in amongst the hunting stuff. One about baking a cake in a wooden box, what they did before they had tins apparently.


Still open, despite all those irreligious (of books rather than God) politicians who cut communal things up into so many small pieces most odd months and all even ones.

Yesterday I got an overdue notice and an attached sheet detailing the new schedule of fines. They went up last year but this year's rise is even more dramatic. I may have to get a lobotomy and become a person who puts the library receipts on the fridge door and marks due dates on the calendar (which is hidden under the back seat of the car - the Trout Hotel 2010 calendar never quite made it to the walls of our palace) and returns library books on time.

Anyway, far from deterring me from getting books out, I thought that as the philistines will probably want to ban libraries altogether in the not too distant future, I should use it as much as possible right now.

It turns out that our local library has only two New Zealand poetry books and neither is by my heroine Tusiata Avia. It does have Nabokov's Lolita thoug…

garden & kitchen

The Kings Seeds catalogue is here. It is normally a moment (stretching into week/fortnight/month) of huge excitment for me. I was a bit less sure when this one arrived - could I justify buying seeds when I was gardening so much less this year? But it is holidays at the moment and there will be another fortnight in October and I do sneak out and get little little bits done outside of holidays.

So I have gotten excited and I have had the highlighter pen out. Here is a sample of seeds I am seriously considering:
tomato oregon spring
winter greens (mixture of arugula, minutina & miners lettuce)
tamarillo best red (I've picked out a frost protected spot for it for this time)
pumpkin baby bear
mesclun simply red
leek lungo della riviera or leek winter giant (the practical or the romantic sounding one?)
carrot amsterdam forcing (it says "easy to grow")
St Johns Wort
Evening Primrose

I haven't indulged in the flower section. Yet.

I did go outside and do a little weeding and als…

Falling in love

Tusiata Avia. I listened to her at a conference in Christchurch this week. She spoke about poetry and childhood and a sense of entitlement (or not) and then she performed some of her poetry and I fell totally in love with her. I wish her book(s) was for sale afterwards so I could grab something to take home and keep immediately, forever.

But they weren't and so next I will google and fishpond and bigape or whatever it takes to find one of her books. She argued for the particular power of the performed poem and I will see if I can buy a cd of her poems.

Also I got to listen to another wonderful writer - Kate de Goldi - and it turns out I'm still a bit in love with her as well. My friend Elizabeth Gordon spoke about the politics, pedants and power in relation to the teaching of language in New Zealand schools over the past 40 years and that was fascinating.

So I am in this nice motel (all motels are nice to me - much flasher than a tent you understand) and I am there all by …


All day in my pyjamas. No deadlines. NO food to prepare for the week or clothes to have ready for the morning (well sort of, but not the usual term time pressure).

We made banana muffins and popcorn and had lemonade and ginger beer for afternoon tea (well the kids had the sweet drink, I held off and then had wine). I tried cooking the popcorn in half butter and half coconut oil. Still good (and smelt like the movie theatre ones which I never buy as they are outrageously expensive) but I think I like just butter best.

I gardened! Just little bits but it felt wonderful. I found some slugs for the chooks and pulled out the queen annes lace to make more room for the rocket, alyssum and calendula to spread out and strut their colours/flavours. I threw alyssum seed down this autumn in case it worked and I think it has grown better than when I have bought punnets of alyssum seedlings.

I'm having another poor season for celery. Something is eating the plants in one garden bed and a d…

Grace & agency

We are all going to be asked to think carefully about life and about abortion. I'd noticed the a-word debate hotting up again lately and now I see why: Steve Chadwick has proposed a bill in parliament reforming the current abortion law in New Zealand. I want to keep thinking about agency and about grace as I consider this question.

I aim to keep to "I" statements. This, to me, is consistent with my belief in female adult agency in this topic. It's also because why should I put words in other people's mouths?

I started life out somewhat immersed in Catholic doctrine. I had a couple of anti-Catholic teachers when I was at school and if Mum seemed to be asking too many probing questions about my work output (or lack thereof), I would pop in a concern about Mr X or Mr Y's anti-Catholic comments. Worked a treat on the distraction front. Or for a while anyway.

A key experience for me was supporting a Catholic friend through her discovery of her pregnancy, throu…

infection re-duk-shun

Reading about good health and nutrition is an interesting pastime, but merely reading about it won't actually in itself lead to great health. I think we can all two of us see where I'm going next.

On the whole, I'm quite well behaved about food. Vegetables, three meals a day, limited amounts of highly processed food. If you are a dieting type of person, then you would correctly observe that I'm not much of a portion control kind of person. If I like it, then I eat plenty of it. My main exercise is walking up the steepish hill to collect my son from his school. When I go to work I seem to run around a bit - I can feel myself get a shade heavier in the holidays. The pies I sometimes eat on busy work days when I make everyone else's lunch except my own may not be ideal, but at least it means I don't faint on the job.

I wish my main exercise was gardening but alas, this year I dream about the garden and look at it and hardly ever actually garden. This year I had to f…