Terri's Airy Fairie World

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My Post-Election Pre-Apocolyptic Breakfast – The REALLY best Paleo almost Aip Plantain Pancakes!

First off, I can’t believe it’s been over 3 months since I’ve posted!

I’ve started several posts during that time, all with good intentions. I’ve taken several photo of my garden, food, and all the other awesome things in my life. But I’ve just been way to busy to spend any real time at my computer, sorting things out into some kind of coherent blog post.

What was I doing?

Playing gigs! During the period between October 16th and Dec 4th I played with 7 different orchestras, yes, Seven different orchestras, with 7 different concert programs, in 8 weeks! So I was practicing A LOT  in between my usual schedule of private students (Harp & Piano). Meanwhile I was also playing a variety of other gigs during that time, like weddings, funerals, etc. And when I was done with all of that, the HoliDaze gigs started, but now all I have left is 2 Christmas Eve church services, and then a blessed week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day. No gigs. No students. Just a week to sleep, rest, eat good food, and goof off a little bit. And get ready for the New Year!

Anyway, it’s all good, and next week I’m going to try to end the year by sharing a mini-compilation of some of the posts I almost posted over the last couple of months, just so that those photo’s and semi-blog-blurbs won’t go to waste!

Meanwhile, here is the Post I had planned to post a few days after the election, written on November 9th.

My Post Election Pre-Apocolyptic Breakfast

On Election Day (yesterday) my sons & I got up early, so that we could be at the poll when it opened to exercise our right & responsibility to vote, and then go out to breakfast. It’s our tradition. Afterwards, we came home and I spent the entire day cleaning my sunroom, and bringing in the houseplants that have lived outside for the last several months. I love sitting in my sunroom, sipping tea, eating breakfast, and communing with my dwarf citrus trees all winter!

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I didn’t spend the day thinking about the election, although I did check online before I went to bed, and it was clear to me by 9pm that Trump was going to be the winner, admittedly not the outcome I was hoping for, but I slept well anyway.

Now that the election is over, I’m grateful for the following things:

  1. The end, at least for a few years, of all the political bullshit: phone calls, advertisements, junk mail, etc. What a waste of time, resources, and materials.
  2. I’m also grateful that I live in the USA, where everyone is allowed to vote, and if I don’t like the outcome, in 4 years I can try again.
  3. My wonderful creative life, which I will continue to enjoy with wild abandon. I will continue to play my harp, garden, sing, make good food, meditate, encourage & nurture my inner child, be kind, and savor the many awesome moments that life offers, 24 – 7.

As an American, I am disgusted/dismayed by the following things:

  1. The hatefulness & slanderous comments that are allowed to proliferate in the media, especially during election years. It’s nothing new. The candidates spend most of their time telling us how awful their opponent is, & implying negative things about their honesty, integrity, and intentions. They tell us very little about themselves. There is a saying that applies here: “When you point a finger at somebody else, you’re pointing 3 back at yourself.” I wish the candidates would all agree to this suggestion: If you can’t say something nice, please don’t say anything at all. Quit talking about your opponent, and tell me about yourself. I also wish that the media would agree to not allow vaguely slanderous comments & outright lies to be broadcasted, published, etc.
  2. The ignorance of my fellow Americans, and the Dumbing Down of the American People. There are a lot of Americans who are poorly educated & poorly informed. Add to this the addiction to Reality TV, which in my opinion generally promotes rude behavior and overall stupidity. Many people will believe anything they see on TV, and even more so if they see it on the internet. Any blogger can post something hateful & blatantly slanderous/untrue, and I guarantee there are people who will believe it & share it as a fact.
  3. People who don’t vote, but want to complain about the government & the election results, and then blather on in an uninformed way about these things. Shut the F@#k up, please!
  4. The Doomsday Drama Queens (both male & female), who proliferate on social media. Just because your candidate didn’t win, that doesn’t mean the world is going to end, or our country is going to collapse, or one of the other super powers is going to starting lobbing missiles our way.
  5. The Crazy Racists, Masogynists, and other Wacko’s that seem to proliferate in the USA these days.

I personally avoid Drama in my life. Fear of the Future will keep me from enjoying today. Talking about and imagining horrible scenarios where women lose all their rights, where we return to some kind of dark ages, & where Hitler-esque atrocities take place is not conducive to savoring life. When we imagine fearful, painful, miserable things, we feel those emotions each time. We become emotionally invested in them. We mind-F&@k ourselves into an endless cycle of emotions & mental realities that will probably never actually materialize in real life. Whether we’re talking about Election results, or just in everyday life, it’s a self-destructive practice that I let go of over 30 years ago, and for that I am endlessly grateful.

I’m not talking about going into denial & sticking my head in the sand like an ostrich. I’m talking about living my life as if nothing has changed, until something actually changes. In that event, I’ll feel what I feel in that moment, do whatever it is I need to do, and continue on. It’s called Living.

We have a new President Elect (he won’t actually be the President until January).

As we say in recovery, Acceptance is the Key.

I don’t know where the next 4 years will lead us. Nobody really knows. But I do know that the President is only one person, that there are limits to that person’s power, and just because he says he’s going to do certain things, that doesn’t mean the American people will allow it. We are a country that prizes personal freedom, and our constitution guarantees that.

Where do we go from here? Forward! Starting with a Decadent Breakfast, because every day in my house starts with food.

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My Post-Election Pre-Apocolyse Breakfast was Plantain pancakes, bacon, eggs topped with crispy shallots on a bed of greens, and peach preserves (one of my rare cheats, although they are fruit juice sweetened at least), with plenty of black tea!

“Why so many cups of tea, AND a pot of tea too?” you inquire…

Because I love tea! And I want to linger over my breakfast, without having to get up and make more.

My hopes for the USA & all of it’s inhabitants: Let’s all be kind to one another. Let’s all be Creative and express ourselves in a loving way, accepting & celebrating our differences, encouraging each other to learn & grow. And don’t forget to have a good breakfast!

The REALLY best Paleo/almost AIP Plantain Pancakes Recipe!

I’ve been playing around with this recipe for awhile, and I have to say, I’m really satisfied with the taste and the texture! Most of the plantain pancake recipes I’ve tried have been really gummy, and also a disaster to flip. These are almost like ‘real’ pancakes!

1 Plantain – If you want a sweeter pancake, go with a riper plantain. If you want more savory, go with green. Slice it up into several pieces & remove the peel. You can also use bananas, but you’ll probably need 1.5 – 2 bananas to equal one plantain.

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 Tb melted coconut oil

a pinch of salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 Tb Coconut Flour

2 Tb Arrowroot Flour

Opt: Cinnamon, Powdered Ginger, or other flavors you like (pumpkin pie spice?)

Put all of the ingredients into your food processor & let it go, stopping to scrape the edges a few times, just to make sure everything gets blended up well. Meanwhile, heat up a griddle or skillet to medium-ish. I love my cast iron griddle! And BTW, if you’re using cast iron cookware (and if you’re not, you really should be!), you need a silicone basting brush! It’s the best way to oil your skillets and such, and it also doubles as a fun inner child painting activity! You can baste it with coconut oil, lard, bacon fat, or whatever fat you choose. Also, if something sticks, just work that basting brush under the edges and it will usually let go like magic!

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Once the griddle is hot, start making pancakes! I like to use a small ladle, I think the one in the pic holds about 1/8 of a cup, or maybe 1/4th. I keep the pancakes smallish, so that they are easier to turn. Let them bubble, but keep an eye them because they do have a tendency to burn rather easily. They might not bubble that much, and if you need to flip them more than once, it’s ok. Just do it. They will have a tender texture when they first come off the griddle, but will firm up a little more as they cool.

Once the pancakes are done, fry  up some bacon on the same surface, and eggs if you like, and enjoy! You can serve them with preserves or jam, real maple syrup, fresh fruit, coconut whipped cream, or whatever you like, short stack or tall. To be honest, I usually stand there grazing on them as they come off the griddle, plain.

If you’re following an AIP variation, you can eat these as long as you can eat eggs. If you can’t eat eggs, I’m sorry…

This recipe makes roughly a dozen pancakes and here’s the nutritional breakdown per cake: 65 calories, 8 Grams of Carbs, 4 Grams of Fat, 1 Gram of Protein. That’s 44% carbs, 48% Fat, and 8% Protein. So as you can see, they aren’t exactly low carb, LOL. But they are delicious. And worthy as a breakfast treat. And if you look at the overall meal in the picture, with the bacon, eggs, greens & preserves,  it comes out like this:

 

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Yes, it’s kind of a big breakfast, but I also tend to eat late in the morning, and then I don’t eat lunch, so if I eat a high protein low carb dinner, it all balances out nicely. And I’m not really sticking to a Keto kind of thing right now anyway, at least not every day!

And I don’t eat them every day! If I’ve had a particularly intense workout, or if I just feel like pampering myself a little bit, they really do the trick.

 

I recommend that you triple the recipe. A single batch will blend up well, but a triple batch seems to blend up better. Eat as many as you want, then freeze the leftovers on a cookie sheet and bag them for days when you want an easy breakfast, a quick snack, a bacon & eggs sandwich, or just because you feel like having pancakes and therefore you should have them. Enjoy!

 

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Last Night’s Dinner…

My blog has sort of gotten pushed to the side over the last few weeks, due to other priorities, like updating my website (which I’m still working on), so in an effort to share Something, here are the details of last night’s dinner!

First of all, I’m a long time fan of Nom Nom Paleo’s Cracklin’ Chicken recipe. I don’t really like chicken very much. It’s not very satisfying for me, and I usually get hungry pretty quickly after eating it. I do like chicken stock though, and will occasionally make chicken salad, but most of the time if I cook chicken, I prefer chicken thighs. They are fattier, and  more satisfying. This recipe has been my favorite way to enjoy chicken for awhile now, very versatile, and really, just perfect. If you haven’t tried it yet, you owe it to yourself to do so, & I think you’ll agree. Here’s the Cracklin Chicken recipe, & I’d like to thank Michelle for her blog, books, and ipad app! So many wonderful recipes! I’ve been a fan for years now. Thank you!

The other day I picked up some thighs, planning to make that recipe, but I’ve been super busy, and it does take a certain amount of prep time, in that you have to remove the bones. Gratefully Michelle shared a new chicken recipe a few days ago, an asian inspired variation on Cracklin Chicken, Cantonese Crispy Chicken Thighs! One of my family members has a Shroom phobia, so I left out the Shiitake Mushrooms (reluctantly), and due to the extreme heat in St. Louis, all of my cilantro is gone (until more comes up), but I have plenty of shallots, garlic, and scallions from my garden, so that was close enough! The chicken is crispy and wonderful, the pan juices rich & satisfying. Thank you Michelle for another wonderful recipe!  In a minute I’m going to eat the leftovers for lunch. Here’s the link.

img_3394I originally planned to serve this chicken over cauli fried rice, but then I realized I was out of cauliflower.

Improvisation is what I do, and so I made a simple cabbage sauté instead.

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Simple Cabbage Saute

Cut a cabbage in half, core and thinly slice half of it. Put the rest in the frig for next time.

Heat some good fat in your skillet, slice up 3 or 4 slices of bacon. Saute until crispy, then remove from the skillet.

Add the cabbage to the skillet, stir it around to coat with fat, cover and cook, stirring frequently,  until it starts getting tender. Remove lid, toss in some grated ginger & minced garlic and continue stirring, allowing excess moisture to evaporate.  If you’re out of fresh garlic & Ginger, you can use powdered, although it won’t be nearly as good.

Toss in a handful of Scallions (I use Egyptian Walking Onions), and season with fish sauce and toasted sesame oil to taste. Sprinkle the bacon over the top and enjoy!

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Hello Spring!

My garden is waking up, and I want to spend every waking moment out there! Here are a few pics I took on Wednesday!

While I was out there I started the process of digging up leeks, separating the clumps, and replanting them so they can get fat & juicy!  I grow 3 different varieties of Leeks. These are King Richard, and I still need to deal with the Giant Musselburgh and Bleu de Solaise. Then it will be on to the Shallots & other oniony things.IMG_2929

One of my favorite breakfasts in the Springtime is Eggdrop soup. It’s not pretty to look at, but it is delicious and nutritious, and super easy to make. For each serving you’ll need:

1 C of broth (chicken, pork, beef, or whatever kind you have on hand)

grated ginger & garlic to taste (or you can go with other seasonings)

Fish sauce or coconut aminos or salt to taste

Oniony things – Leeks, shallots, onion, chives, spring onions… today I used leeks. If you want to deepen the flavor, sauté the onions first.

A Handful of Greens – today I went with Dandelion, yesterday it was Kale. Any edible greens will work!

1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt or a few drops of fish sauce

Get everything ready…

Heat your broth with all of the ingredients except the greens and the eggs. Let it simmer briefly, until it is infused with the ginger & garlic.

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Sample it and when you like the way it tastes, drop the greens in there, stir, and then slowly add the eggs, gently swirling just a little as you go. Remove from heat and enjoy!

Optional additions: tiny pieces of leftover meats, spiralized veggies, Shallots that have been sautéed until crispy, crumpled bacon…

Before additions, here are the estimated Macros, according to myfitnesspal.com

 Carbs 9% (2G), Fat 58% (7G), Protein 33% (10G)

And of course it’s rich in vitamins, minerals, collagen, and other good things!

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“You’re Standing in my Cumquat!”

This post contains several links. I didn’t plan it that way, but all of a sudden, there they all are. I suggest reading the article first, and then if any of the links appeal to you, please check them out!

The title of this post is a quote from the off broadway musical, The Fantasticks! For those who have never seen it, The Fantasticks! was written in 1960 by Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt, and is the world’s longest running musical. It’s been performed in at least 67 countries, and has been translated into many, many languages. It’s story is universal.

The Fantasticks is a funny and romantic musical about a boy, a girl, two fathers and a wall. The narrator, El Gallo, originally played by Jerry Orbach, asks the audience to use their imagination and follow him into a world of moonlight and magic. The boy and the girl fall in love, grow apart, and finally find their way back to each other after realizing the truth in El Gallo’s words that “without a hurt, the heart is hollow”. (quote from the Greenville College Factory Theatre page).

Anyways, I love this show! It’s hilarious, and the music is awesome, including some classic songs: Try To Remember, They Were You and Soon It’s Gonna Rain. The only accompaniment is a piano & a harp. I’ve loved it since the first time I ever played it. I fall in love with it again every time I get the opportunity to play it (this is my 5th), which is what I’ve been doing for the last week or so with The Factory Theatre in Greenville, IL. It’s an hour drive each way, and last week I drove it every day, from Wednesday – Sunday. We’ve got 3 more performances this weekend, and then it’s on to other projects.

I utilize the drive time get caught up on a few podcasts that I enjoy, such as:

Bee the Wellness This is an Ancestral Health/Paleo podcast that touches on all things nourishing. Adam and Vanessa Lambert, coaches from my beloved Unveil Your Wellness group on Vimify , talk about all aspects of health & human potential: looking at, sifting through, and explaining the latest health related sciences;  interviewing a variety of interesting & knowledgable people; sharing their own journeys; and they also laugh a lot in the process. Vanessa, aka Nesta, is also an amazing singer/songwriter, and the opening and closing soundtracks feature her music. Here’s one of her songs

TAP to Music Podcast featuring Nick Johnson. In each episode, Nick interviews a different musician, sharing a few of their songs and talking about the things that inspire them, their creative process, and music as a part of their life. His guests come from all musical backgrounds, cultures, and styles. I love this show! Every episode inspires me!

So, I’ve gotten way off track here. The real point of this post was What’s a Kumquat?

A kumquat is basically a miniature orange, more or less, roughly the size of a large olive. They are first found in 12th century Chinese literature and have been cultivated for centuries in India, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and southeast Asia.  Here is a picture of my Kumquat tree, which lives in my Sunroom during the winter months, and then enjoys being outside in the summer.

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The fruits usually begin to ripen around the HoliDaze, and then over the next couple of months I get to eat a few Kumquats a week, to add a little vitamin C & Joy into my life. You can put them in things, like a salad (veggie or fruit), or make marmalade, but most of the time I just pop one into my mouth and savor the contrast between the sweet peel & the tangy sour juices. There are also seeds, which I add to my compost bucket, because they’re rather bitter.

You can also make  Salt Preserved Kumquats, similar to preserved lemon.  This is a popular way to use Kumquats in China, resulting in a traditional home remedy for colds & sore throat. I haven’t tried doing this yet, but my kumquats are at their peak of ripeness, and I’ve had an abundant crop this year (I’ve already been eating/thinning them out since early January) so I think I’m going to give it a try!

I also have a Meyer Lemon tree & a Key Lime.  The Meyer Lemon usually produce an average of a dozen fruits per year, although this year the squirrels stole some. I enjoy using them in a variety of ways, especially salad dressings. The Key Lime is a crazy lime making machine, and although the limes are small, they are abundant, and I never seem to need much lime juice at a time anyway, so I haven’t purchased limes at the store for a long time now. All 3 trees are compact, easy to care for, and easy to move, except for the lime, which is loaded with evil thorns!

I love having my own source of citrus, and if my sunroom was bigger, I’d add a few more!