In the Kitchen
Note: Finney says to furnish ourselves (and our children) with a wholesome, bland diet of which we will likely eat but the requisite, needful quantity, and not much more.
(1) pampering our appetites and (2) indulging our passions,
let us work, there is plenty to do.
The article, "Finding Release From Compulsive Disorders," (Part I) includes a section on living the "work lifestyle."
The article, "Finding Release From Compulsive Disorders," (Part II) includes ideas for getting our bodies more involved in our lives in USEFUL ways.
The Deliverance Series is for those Christians who find themselves ensnared in habits that they cannot get free from
How to Lose Weight gives examples of simple lifestyle changes that could help those that need help.
I am in the process of learning how to eat a bland diet that does not excite my lust for food. No one would call me fat--I am thin--but at some point I let the delicacies of life overcome me. This page has been changed from its original and will probably be changed more in the future. It is said that the average American eats over 100 pounds of sugar a year in various forms. I suggest that all listen to the enlightening sermon entitled, "Drunk with Sugar." I do not suggest listening to Part II. Sometimes people go into too much detail. (As for the other sermons on that website, I cannot condone all that may be said.)
It's been a long time coming, but I'm finally learning to take possession of my kitchen. How to organize it and economize and prepare meals for my family. This is one more outgrowth of our sanctified school. Here are some of the basic things that I do in my kitchen--
* I use terrycloth towels to great benefit. A pack of 24 8x10 inch towels may cost $12. I primarily use these for napkins and for my salad container. When they are soiled, I shake them out and put them in their own hamper for washing when they pile up. I no longer buy paper napkins.
* We eat a lot of raw vegetables and salads. The key to keeping these things a long time is to delay cutting them up, to keep them dry using terry towels, and when cut up keep them in contact with a terry towel which will absorb moisture. If we've opened a bag of spinach, I spread out a towel in it to absorb moisture.
* Eat what we put in the refrigerator. Look around, see what is there, and serve it. Freshen it up with a new side dish, or warm it up with butter, or put it in a new food dish. I may have made a pot roast and there is left over gravy with potatoes. I put it in the freezer. The next time I make a roasted meat, I can put it in there near the end of the cooking period. I've saved food and saved myself some time. There is an art to warming up food and freshening it up.
* I do not microwave. Microwaved food has been shown to cause physiological changes in the blood. Genesis 1:1-2:7 provides a classification system for the mind and causes one to figure out where each thing goes. I looked at the microwave and wondered what it was. It seemed so strange, so unnatural. I could not see any fire. I could see no heating element. And so I looked it up on the internet because microwaving because I could nto classify it. I warm up in the oven with a handy glass container that I can put a lid on when warm so the food stays warm.
* We have a standalone freezer (somebody down the street discarded theirs and a family friend brought it over and inserted a $25 fan in it. It's been running for years) for storage. At one point, I would overbuy and pack up our freezer. I no longer do this.
* I'm learning to use staple foods, not processed, out-of-the-box, GMO food. I have a large container of brown rice (the husk on the outside is an important source of thiamin) on the counter and bins (cardboard boxes on a small bookshelf in the pantry) for potatoes and onions. We also eat what we call, "Mother Cereal" that contains rolled, uncooked oats, walnuts, raisins, and cinnamon. I never cared much for beans, but we do have a recipe for pinto/navy beans that we like. You can keep rice and beans and oats around for a LONG time and they are good for you.
* In America, we have easy access to food, we have money to buy it, and cars to drive to get us to our desired destination. We are left with too much food, too much time on our hands because we get everything so fast, and no skills because the machines and industry do everything for us. The other week, Hannah and I rode our bicycles to a local grocery (we did some practicing first and learned the rules for riding). Next time, I plan for us to ride several miles to the health food store [Update: we ended up walking which we plan to do well into the future, perhaps on Sundays.].
*We save our eggshells. I originally did this to scatter them around a hosta that the slugs love (we ground them up with a mortar and pestle). It stopped the slugs dead in their tracks--the ragged edges scrape up their soft bodies. It can also be ground up to add calcium to plants that need it--even people or dogs can eat it. If in an emergency situation or deficient in calcium, we can eat them for calcium. We get sunshine as our best source of vitamin D (it helps your body process calcium, as I understand it) and while we are outside, we can do something in the yard. We have both indoor work and outdoor work to do. As a wife, we are commanded to guide the house. Work is good and it is good for children. My skin even looks healthier after I've been outside. I don't have to search for a game or activity for Hannah our work is exhilerating, exciting, and immensely satisfying--from the growing to the harvesting to the cooking to the composting and the burning of the refuse.
* We eat what we grow. I no longer purchase store bought tomatoes and grow my own. It's October and we still have a few ripening on the vine (tomatoes like hot weather so they are not in full swing.). I've also canned some tomato sauce and seasoned and dried some. We eat tomatoes in season so I am not forced to buy waxy tomatoes in January. We grew enough garlic in 2009 to last us for the whole winter. I need to get outside and plant now. October is the time to plant garlic. We have perennial herbs like parsley, sage, oregano, celery, etc. that not only season but have important nutritional and medicinal value. We dry these for winter use. We do experiments and many of our harvests are not huge (last year we did have a bumper crop of cucumbers--we still have pickles) but we are identifying those, "refuse not to grow plants" and continuing experiments on staples that can actually tide us over. A defining experiment occured when I threw three (3) store-bought potato full of eyes into the ground and got more back in a few months. Little, by little, we've grown. Maybe next year we'll get a live chicken and process it ourselves.
* I use real butter NOT margarine or "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter", etc. I used to use those spreadable products until one day I inadventently left some in a pot on the stove. The house filled with smoke and smelled like car oil. I looked in the pot and that product looked like car oil. I said I'd never buy it again (and didn't). Within a short period of time, my husband gave me an email on margarine. It gave the history of margine. They tried to feed it to turkeys to fatten them up, but the turkeys wouldn't eat it and, so as not to lose their investment, they sold it to people. It is not real food and animals won't eat it. It may have some kind of plastic in it, as I recall. [Update: we made some butter using cream and a glass butter churn from Lehmann's. I think we can make our own churn, I read you can even shake marbles in a container to help it separate from the butter milk.]
*My chief spices include: salt and onion powder (I like this better than garlic powder but use both). I also uses spices from the yard and the spice rack. Salt and broth alone will take one a long way. I'll take chicken fat out of the chicken cavity, put it in a plastic bag and in the freezer. When I need broth (for rice, etc.), I will put it in the boiling water for a while, take it out and put it back in the freezer for next time.
* Discard superfluous stuff, not to replace it. Have choice things and no more. Clean out drawers every so often (it's about time to do this again).
* Compost kitchen vegetable scraps. The compost along with farm manure feed my gardens. My compost heap is in a frame. I don't do fancy composting. I pile it up ensuring I have a layer of dry stuff and then a layer of green/wet/manure stuff alternately. I leave it there. People say, "well rotted manure". If my plants look anemic and yellowish instead of dark green, I take whatever manure I have (it usually is not well-rotted) and stick it down in the surrounding soil (they say that that is not good if you are going to eat the vegetables raw). In a day, my plants are looking good. I only have to do it once a year. Each plant has its own likes--as you keep experimenting in your garden, you will find your way.
* Put brown bananas in the freezer--they are perfect for making a moist banana nut bread (see recipe below).
* We have two non-electric handgrinders/food mills. We first began in this direction after we purchased a mortal and pestle because it was in the Bible. We began to learn about the apothecary's art and how what we do in life is simply take the things of God's creation and either--break them down or compound/join them together. The grinders allows us to break down small grains and large grains to release their goodness to us in new forms like combination flours and persimmon seed coffee. We've also used stones to break down nuts.
* The meat is done when it separates with a spoon or a butterknife. I've learned the temperature settings and how long to cook it. We also cook on the grill, in the ground, over open fires. Making fish and rice outside on the grill was a major accomplishment for us. Making potato soup outside while workmen were in the house all day was also important for us. I'm starting to get a feel for how this works and this information is reflected in the recipes below (I'll upload as I can).