Sunday, February 21, 2010

Banana Nut Muffins

This winter I have fallen on the ice twice. This totally knocked my body out of whack causing pain in my shoulders and neck. The pain was so bad in my arms I could not lift them more than a few inches. A co- worker suggested that my diet was causing the arthritis pain. I asked what I should change and she told me to try a gluten free diet. I immediately resisted, after all man has consumed wheat for thousands of years. It was a staple in most diets.

Then I began to think about the wheat today compared to what my grandparent made their bread with. We strip out the nutrients and then add in fake ones. I also considered what was more important; to eat that hot dog bun or feel better. I decided I could do anything for a week or two to see if I felt better.

So on February 9th I stopped eating gluten. I am happy to report that I can now raise both arms over my head without pain. I don’t know if this is because of the diet change or other factors but I am going to experiment with this diet.

In the process I learned there were many flours that were gluten free. I love to bake and frequently eat muffins for breakfast. They are a quick out the door on the way to work morning treat. So the recipe below was my first attempt. They turned out great. The man of the house thought them a tad dry so maybe I will add more bananas in the future.

3 ripe bananas
1/3c. olive oil you could use any but I always cook with olive oil.
½ c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Baking soda
¼ tsp nutmeg
1c. Red Mill all purpose baking flour(gluten free variety)
½ c. Red Mill brown rice flour
1c. nuts
Whisk together oil and bananas till no lumps remain. Stir in sugar, egg and vanilla.
Combine flours, baking soda and nutmeg
Stir together dry and wet ingredients
Add nuts (optional_
I like small muffins so only fill about half full.
Bake 400 degrees ( It only took about 15 minutes to bake.)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Wash Day

Remember the nursery rhyme this is the way we wash our clothes all on Monday morning. There was a task for each day of the week. All my task fall on Saturday or Sunday which ever one I have off. Today is baking, cooking for the week and washing.

As I was washing some dish towels in the sink I thought of Grandma. Yes the sink, a load of laundry cost $1.50 to wash and $1.50 to dry, so to conserve I wash things in the sink. Granted I bought lobster tails for Valentines day, so I am not always frugal. You have your properties I have mine.

Grandma is the person who taught me to be tight with my pennies and nickels. She also taught me how to wash clothes the old fashioned way. On laundry day a number 10 tub was filled with hot soapy water. The clothes were sloshed up an down with a stick. Very tiring to ten year old arms. Then they were put through a roller to squeeze out the dirty water. Next they were plunged into a clean tub filled with warm water. After more stirring the rinsed clothes were again put through the roller and into cool sparkling well water,
the final rinse. One last time tired arms turned the wooden handle of the old fashioned machine and out rolled fresh clothes. These were hung on the line to let the sun and flower scented air dry and complete the process. A busy long day over, dinner was leftover cornbread soaked in warm milk delivered by our neighbor from his evening milking. Nothing every tasted better. As some say hunger is the best sauce.

Monday, February 15, 2010


I wrote this a few weeks back. I have a fear of posting these days because my spelling skills are so poor. I have tried for years but I can not hear the sounds clearly. Dexyspica (sp) runs in my family. I even played this third grade computer game where you choose the sounds. I failed most of the time. I was hoping google would put spell check back up, but that does not seem to be happening. I am going to post anyway. If someone can tell me how to spell check in blogger I will be grateful.
In this economy everyone is trying to save a buck. This is much different than the over the top indulgance of a few years ago. Even thought I have always been a thrifty peson I too was caught in a spending spree. It's to hot, lets eat out. I'm tired, let's eat out. I need a new pair of shoes, I don't have a green pair. I need five swimsuits for the cruise, I can't wear the same one everyday.
Economic colapase and unemploument for a year  brought me to a new place. I have returned to the basics and a simpler lifestyle. We don' t eat out as much. Beans are on the menu at least twice a week. Clothes can be worn a lot longer than you think, if you aren't concerend with the latest fashion.

The new year started along with a new job. We can spend money again! I don't want to return to the indulegent spending of a few years ago. I now have a different set of values in place. When mom's house burned, I told her she lost only things. The things I value most were still there. Her! Her friends and the community around her. They have all come together to provide the material things needed for living and  support and comfort. I am very gratful for the sympthay expressed by the town she has lived in for thirty years and  the internet community I have been apart of for 11 months.Thanks to all for you well wishes.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ice Cream

I was walking down the street last week when an ice cream parlor sign caught my eye. The snow on the ground did not matter it was a warm 38 degrees. I went in and ordered a strawberry cone. Sitting outside in the crystal cold world my memory drifted to another time and place.

We are sitting on the porch watching the cars go by. Grandpa takes out his handkerchief and wipes his brow. “Whew it’s a warm day,’ we rock and listen to the bees buzz lazily by. “I need refreshment Marcia how about an ice cream." “Yes! Yes”, I reply. The aging gentleman rises from his rocking chair and slips his hand into mine. Great grandpa and child set off down the street. As we walk Grandpa talks about the world around us, “The dogwoods are blooming, the hydrangeas are in full color, Miss Cora is a nice soul works with the invalids every week. The pecans are just bursting into bloom, hope we have a good crop this year. Good day Miss Lulu Bell. That’s a fine woman, raised a good brood. She’s a second cousin you know. Oh good afternoon Reverend Hill that was a fine sermon Sunday.” "Glad you enjoyed it Mr. Lee.” “Well we did.” “It was good to see you all in church.” “I was happy to have my family around me.” Reverend Hill stooped down, “I was pleased to see you in church Sunday.” “Thank you sir,” I replied. Tipping his hat he walked away.

We continued toward the ice cream. Miss Daisy, Miss Barbara and Miss Emily all passed and exchanged pleasantries; I was just anxious to get to the ice cream, but Grandpa had to stop and chat and accept the respect of his community. At last the store. “I’ll have a double vanilla, said Grandpa. “What would like Marcia?” “Strawberry,” I replied. A large luscious cone was placed in my hand. My tongue began to rapidly lap up the sweet concoction. The smooth coolness flowed over my tongue and refreshed my whole body. Grandpa and I sat outside under a tree. He said, “Marcia Ice cream is a pleasure to be enjoyed under the shade of a tree on a hot day.” I agreed. After licking the last bit of sweetness we began our trek home. A warm sticky hand was again pressed into an aging one. We had shared an adventure and our souls were secure in our togetherness.