Category Archives: Frugal Choices

Soap from Hotel Soap

It’s still cold, so thought i’d take some time to turn old hotel soap bars into something luscious.  Allen’s Aunt June has taken people on tours all over the world and apparently collected soap along the way.  When i’m talking old soaps – theses babies are from the 70s and 80s! and there are hundreds and hundreds of them.  Needless to say, hotel soaps are seldom of the highest quality to begin with, but by now, their scents and oils were history.

However, the saponification was done, so, not wanting them to go to waste, i proceeded to get to work.

The Steps:

Unwrap each bar and break in half or fourths best you can.  Some will be too hard.

Place them in a food processor, maybe 1/3 full.  These will really be a challenge for your processor, so don’t overload it!  You can also grate them by hand.

Process them until flaky  – just takes a few seconds generally.

Then start the soap making process.

The beauty of using soap for the base, is that you do not have to have rubber gloves, goggles, and be careful to protect your skin from the intensely caustic effects of lye and lye water.  Also, none of the bringing the lye water to the right temperature and precisely the right time that you’ve brought the oils to the right temperature, then taking both items outside to carefully and slowly pour in the lye water whilst stirring.  Outside because of the extremely dangerous fumes put out by the lye water.  Lye water can easily melt holes in your clothes, and burn your skin and eyes.

I found this blog 

Make Your Own Monday: Upcycling Hotel and Leftover Soap

that is absolutely well written for you to follow.  I highly recommend that you start with the 2 cups of soap flakes she recommends.  Stupid me, forgetting that it’s been 3 years (which makes me 3 years older) thought i could jump right in and did 10 cups.  That made for horrendous amount of mass to stir down.  My shoulder is sore the next evening from the stirring.

Nevertheless, i did get it done, then added 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 cups coconut oil, 2 cups shea butter, and several drops of sweet orange essential oil.  Just a complete guess as to whether or not the logs would cure enough to cut.  But 24 hours later, i popped them out of the logs and they sliced nicely, though indeed, they are soft.  Now laid out to cure at about 4 weeks.

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Ground Soap
Just takes a few seconds to whir the bars into powder
Soap making coconut oil shea butter
This project was spur of the moment, so first i had to thaw out my shea butter and warm the coconut oil to 76 degrees so it would be a liquid
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This was my double boiler method.  Inside the top pot is the 10 cups of soap flakes.
Soap making log
One of three silicon soap molds from Essential Depot. These are SO handy, but you can use whatever you have on hand to dedicate to soapmaking.

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soap making bars
All the bars are carefully cut and laid out to cure and harden.  Right now they are very soft.

Make Your Own Monday: Upcycling Hotel and Leftover Soap

Great instructions for upcycling hotel soap bars!

 

Make Your Own Monday: Upcycling Hotel and Leftover Soap

Greetings and salutations, followers! I hope you had a great weekend. I did the LoziLu 5k Mud Run in Milwaukee on Saturday and had a dirty, muddy, good time!

And what better way to get clean from all that muddy fun than by making some soap? Actually, easier and faster than making soap – upcycling it!

I discovered the process of upcycling soap about a year ago, when I realized I was taking after my mother and ALWAYS taking the free soaps from every hotel stay and saving all the little blobs from bars of soap I used at home. I could have used them as they were, but let’s be real – only the best hotels give you really good soap (in Las Vegas, we got Bulgari soap at the Tropicana!). So let’s take this stuff and make it better!

I spent some time scouring Pinterest, and comparing a few methods of melting soap. I’ve tweaked the process to one that works for me, but you’re more than welcome to explore and find what works for you.

YOU NEED:

  • Bars of soap, scraps, blobs, soap flakes, whatever you have!
  • A large metal or glass bowl and pot, OR a double boiler.
  • Molds
  • Strainer
  • Wooden spoon for stirring (you don’t want to use plastic, the hot soap will easily melt it)
  • Olive oil, glycerin, coconut oil – you need to choose a “binder” hold the melted soap together and replace the water.
  • Non stick spray for the molds.
  • Fragrance and coloring (optional I suppose, but  it really makes your soap look fancy! You can find it at any craft store)
  • Grate

Gather up all of your soap . I would wait to upcycle your soap until you have at least two cups worth of soap to work with. Image

Take your grater and pick one or two bars of soap and grate them down. I know, it’s a pain for your hands, but soap is fairly soft and you will be surprised how quickly it goes. You need to have the flakes to start a melting base so the rest will melt easily. Place them in the bottom of your glass or metal bowl/double boiler. You can chop up the rest of your soap with a knife, or grate it all if you feel like it.

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Fill your pot or double boiler 3/4 of the way full with salt water – it will reach boiling point much faster. And place it on the stove,

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Bring the water to a boil and continuously scrape the bottom of the bowl. The flakes will soften almost immediately, and you want to make sure they don’t clump up on you.

Now, take a pot holder and remove the bowl. Very carefully, take 1 cup of boiling water for every cup of soap you have in the bowl – I had two cups (or thereabouts, it’s okay if it isn’t exact), so I slowly added one cup of boiling water to the soap. Stir vigorously, and place it back on the boiler. Stir and it simmer for about 20 minutes. Then, repeat the process for however many cups of soap you have. The melting water will help break down the soap and eventually evaporate.

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It should start looking like a bubbly, kinda slimy mess. At this point, measure out one cup of your ‘binder’ – I used  Olive OIl here – for every two cups of soap. Slowly add it to the soap and stir.

Step back and let it simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Then, add coloring and fragrance to your soap. I added a mix of red and blue and yellow, which turned into this smoky Lavender color – and added a few drops of Sweet Pea fragrance oil. Stir and let it simmer for about five minutes.

Next, take the soap off the heat, and empty the hot water out of the pot. Dump the hot soap into the pot, and get out your strainer. Place the strainer over the soap melting bowl and slowly pour it through, using your wooden spoon to stir and press it through. This should leave you with a strainer full of lumpy soap remains – and a bowl of smooth, hot, colored soap. This removes all the icky stuff that might be in there. Set the lumpy leftovers aside for now, and get out your molds. Spray them lightly with non-stick spray, or wipe them down with your binder. Fill them and set them in the fridge – I’ve found that cooling them helps the soap set faster and smoother.

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Cool them overnight. Now, you may ask – Melissa, what do I do with the leftover lumpy stuff? Easy! That’s your ready-to-go base for next time! Put it in a tupperware container or plastic ziploc bag and start saving all your soap shards for next time! Trust me, you’ll want to do this again!

ImageTa da!!! Smooth, shiny, sweet scented soap! Looks like something you would be from a specialty store!

Come back tomorrow for The Happy Idiot’s very first giveaway!

 

MELISSA’S COMMENTS: 

This is seriously one of my favorite craft projects. It’s easy and it costs you nothing if you already have the soap, a muffin tin, and some olive oil. Most of us have food coloring and scented extracts in the cabinet already.

Here’s another great benefit – put your soapy supplies in the dishwasher, and you will have a sparkling clean and sweet smelling appliance when you are done!

The happy idiot

Greetings and salutations, followers! I hope you had a great weekend. I did the LoziLu 5k Mud Run in Milwaukee on Saturday and had a dirty, muddy, good time!

And what better way to get clean from all that muddy fun than by making some soap? Actually, easier and faster than making soap – upcycling it!

I discovered the process of upcycling soap about a year ago, when I realized I was taking after my mother and ALWAYS taking the free soaps from every hotel stay and saving all the little blobs from bars of soap I used at home. I could have used them as they were, but let’s be real – only the best hotels give you really good soap (in Las Vegas, we got Bulgari soap at the Tropicana!). So let’s take this stuff and make it better!

I spent some time scouring Pinterest, and comparing a…

View original post 767 more words

Fail-Proof Mayonnaise

There is so much junk in commercial mayonnaise, that it’s really become a journey and conviction to get into the habit of making my own.  We really use very little anyway and we have oodles of eggs from our own grazing hens, so there is no excuse.

I found this recipe online called Fail-Proof Homemade Mayonnaise and so for, for me it has been.  I’ve made it with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and grapeseed oil.  My goal is to make it as local as possible, so my next try will be with sunflower oil which i’ve sourced from a Kansas farm family.  (be aware that some oils are extracted using chemicals and petroleum products – find first press)

Fail-Proof Homemade Mayonnaise

How to make mayonnaise in less than 10 minutes! Using whole eggs instead of just the yolk, makes this homemade mayonnaise recipe practically fail-proof and extra easy. Jump to the Whole Egg Mayonnaise Recipe or watch our quick video to see how we make the tastiest and easiest mayonnaise from scratch!

Watch Us Make Mayonnaise

Why You Should Make Mayonnaise At Home

I’ve used this mayonnaise recipe more times than I can count. If you’ve never tried homemade mayonnaise, then you are in for a treat. Homemade mayo is ultra creamy and so much more flavorful than anything you can buy at the store. Here’s why I love this recipe so much:

  • Our recipe uses whole eggs instead of just the yolks so you can skip separating the eggs.
  • The remaining ingredients are simple and very likely in your kitchen right now.
  • The whole process takes less than 10 minutes.
  • You can add extra ingredients for more flavor (like roasted garlic or herbs). I’ve shared suggestions below.

Mayonnaise Ingredients

The ingredients to make mayo are simple — we bet you even have them in your kitchen right now. You will need the following:

Egg — You need to use egg to make mayonnaise. We do use raw egg in the recipe. Personally, I don’t have an issue adding raw egg to the recipe, but if you are concerned about eating raw eggs, buy pasteurized eggs. They are sold in the egg section of the grocery store. You can also pasteurize eggs yourself, just search for a tutorial online.

Mustard — I know that not everyone loves the flavor of mustard, but when it comes to making homemade mayonnaise mustard is sort of a magical ingredient. Mustard adds a bit of flavor, but it also helps to keep the mayonnaise stable. Along with the egg yolk, mustard helps emulsify the mixture, reducing the risk of our mayo breaking.

Vinegar or lemon juice — Not only does a little acid like wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, and lemon juice add incredible flavor to the mayonnaise, it also helps to stabilize the mixture.

Neutral Flavored Oil — By neutral flavored oil, I mean use an oil that is light in flavor. Quite a bit of oil is added to make mayonnaise, so it’s important to like the flavor of the oil you use. For a clean tasting mayonnaise use something like grape seed, safflower, avocado or canola oil. Since posting the recipe, quite a few readers have asked about olive oil in mayonnaise. You can use olive oil, but it can be a little overpowering so I prefer to use a brand that’s light and fruity. I think robust or spicy olive oils would be too much. You might also consider only replacing half of the oil called for in the recipe with olive oil and use something more neutral for the rest.

How to make mayonnaise in less than 10 minutes! Using whole eggs instead of just the yolk, makes this homemade mayonnaise recipe practically fail-proof and extra easy.

Let Me Show You How To Make Mayonnaise, You’ve Got This!

There are a few ways to make mayonnaise. We use our food processor with the small bowl attachment, but an immersion blender or making it completely by hand will work. (Expect tired arms and strong biceps if you do choose to do it by hand.)

Room temperature ingredients are best when making mayonnaise at home. If you’re not able to wait for the egg to come to room temperature, submerge it in lukewarm (not hot) water for a couple of minutes.

The Five Steps For Making Mayonnaise

Prepare your food processor. I prefer to use the small bowl attachment that came with our food processor to make mayonnaise.

Add an egg to the bowl of your food processor and process for about 20 seconds.

Add mustard, vinegar, and salt then process for another 20 seconds.

Slowly add the oil, in tiny drops, until about a quarter of the oil has been added. Adding the oil slowly is really important. If you were to dump it all in at once, you’d have mayonnaise soup!

Taste the mayonnaise and adjust with additional salt and vinegar or lemon juice.

Stream the oil in slowly
For the best mayonnaise results, add the oil slowly very slowly.
Homemade Mayo
The mayonnaise is done! Thick and so creamy.

Mayonnaise Variations

I love this classic mayonnaise as-is, but love it even more when I make it my own. I almost always add a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten things up a little. I love how fresh it makes it taste. Fresh herbs, roasted garlic, chipotle, Sriracha or curry powder are all amazing options, as well.

How to Fix Broken Mayonnaise

When making mayonnaise, the worst, but not unfixable, thing that can happen to you is that the mixture breaks, leaving you with a curdled mess. The recipe we’ve shared tries to prevent this a few ways: we use a whole egg, which adds a little more liquid to the mix, mustard acts as an emulsifier from the get-go and we are careful to stream our oil in slowly. While we have never had this particular recipe for mayonnaise break on us, if it happens to you don’t fret! You really should be able to fix it.

To fix broken mayonnaise, add about 1 teaspoon of mustard to a bowl then use a whisk to slowly beat the broken mayonnaise, bit by bit, into the mustard until it becomes emulsified and creamy again.

Another trick is to add an egg yolk to a large bowl and slowly use a whisk to beat the broken mayo, bit by bit, into the yolk.

Homemade Whole Egg Mayonnaise Recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

Since posting this recipe for mayonnaise, a few frequently asked questions have come up, so I’m going to do my best to answer them here:

Do I have to use raw eggs to make mayonnaise? Eggs are essential for making mayonnaise. Risks of using raw eggs are low, but there is a chance that the egg contains a germ called Salmonella. Personally, I am not too concerned about this, but here’s what the CDC suggests you do to reduce the risks of using eggs:

  • Consider buying and using pasteurized eggs
  • Keep eggs refrigerated at 40°F (4°C) or colder at all times.
  • Only buy eggs from stores and suppliers that keep them refrigerated.
  • Discard cracked or dirty eggs.

Do I need to use mustard? You can make homemade mayonnaise without mustard, but remember that mustard is one of the fail-safes we have added to our recipe to encourage an emulsification.

Can I use olive oil to make mayo? Yes, but keep in mind that quite a bit of oil is called for in the recipe so a strong or robust flavored oil will make the mayonnaise strong in flavor. When I use olive oil, I like using a light, fruity brand and only replace half of the oil with olive oil and use a neutral flavored oil for the remaining oil.

My mayonnaise won’t thicken, what am I doing wrong? Ugh, I’m sorry! Broken mayonnaise happens to everyone and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you did something wrong or that the recipe you used was a bad one. The key thing to keep in mind when making mayo is to add that oil slowly and by slowly, I honestly mean to add it drop by drop. I know it seems extreme, but it’s the best way to ensure creamy mayo. Mayonnaise can be finicky so if it breaks on you or it just doesn’t thicken, there are some things you can do to fix it. Take a look above in the article where I outline a couple of fixes to broken mayo.

How long does homemade mayonnaise last? Here’s the thing, homemade mayo will last as long as your eggs would have lasted. A good rule of thumb is that mayo will keep covered in the fridge up to a week, but you might find that it lasts a little longer depending on the freshness of your eggs.

Delicious Ways To Use Homemade Mayonnaise

Recipe updated, originally posted May 2015. Since posting this in 2015, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and have added a recipe video. – Adam and Joanne

Fail-Proof Homemade Mayonnaise

  • PREP 
  • TOTAL 

Homemade mayonnaise is such a treat. It’s very simple to make, too. Room temperature ingredients are best when making mayonnaise at home. If you’re not able to wait for the egg to come to room temperature, submerge it in lukewarm (not hot) water for a couple of minutes. There are a few ways to make mayonnaise. We use our food processor with the small bowl attachment, but an immersion blender or making it completely by hand and large whisk will work. (Expect tired arms and strong biceps if you do choose to do it by hand).

Makes approximately 1 cup

YOU WILL NEED

1 large egg at room temperature

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste

1 cup (240 ml) neutral flavored oil, grapeseed, safflower or canola are best

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, optional

DIRECTIONS

    • PREPARE EQUIPMENT

If you have a large food processor, use the smaller bowl attachment that came with your processor so that the bowl is not too large for the amount of mayonnaise this recipe makes. Not using the smaller bowl can prevent the mayonnaise from emulsifying since the mixture will not have enough contact with the blade.

If you do not the smaller bowl attachment, making the mayonnaise with an immersion blender or by hand are alternatives. Or simply make a larger batch and double the recipe and use the standard bowl attachment.

      • MAKE MAYONNAISE

Add egg to the small bowl of a food processor and process for 20 seconds. Add the mustard, vinegar, and salt. Process for another 20 seconds.

Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, turn the food processor on then begin to slowly add the oil in tiny drops until about a quarter of the oil has been added (this is critical for proper emulsification).

When you notice that the mixture is beginning to thicken and emulsify, you can be a little less strict. With the processor on, continue to add it slowly, but increase to a very thin stream instead of drops of oil.

When all of the oil has been added, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and process for an extra 10 seconds. Taste mayonnaise for seasoning then add salt, lemon juice or extra vinegar to taste.

Note, if the mayo seems too thin, slowly stream in more oil with the processor running until thick.

ADAM AND JOANNE’S TIPS

  • Storing Homemade Mayonnaise: Store covered in the refrigerator up to a week.
  • Raw eggs: When choosing eggs for homemade mayonnaise, go for fresh, properly refrigerated, clean grade A or AA eggs with intact shells.
  • Olive oil: Olive oil can be a little overpowering so use one that’s light and fruity and consider only replacing half of the oil called for in the recipe with olive oil and use something more neutral for the rest.
  • Fixing Broken Mayonnaise: While we have never had this recipe for mayonnaise break on us, if it happens to you don’t fret! You really should be able to fix it. Add about 1 teaspoon of mustard to a bowl then slowly beat the broken mayonnaise into the mustard until it becomes emulsified and creamy again (a tip from Julia Child). Another trick is to repeat the same process, but replace the teaspoon of mustard with an egg yolk.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values. 1 serving equals 1 tablespoon.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

NUTRITION PER SERVING: Serving Size 1 tablespoon / Calories 126 / Protein 0 g / Carbohydrate 0 g / Dietary Fiber 0 g / Total Sugars 0 g / Total Fat 14 g / Saturated Fat 1 g / Cholesterol 12 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

Farm Fresh is Best

Oh, i suppose there are many, including farmers, who could somehow find a way to argue with the title of my blog (which is also the title of a great article in the latest issue of Missouri Life magazine written by Corin Cesaric).  But, the arguments will need to be pretty convoluted and perhaps mostly fall into the fallacy department.

Anyway, this is a beginners guide to exploring and discovering fresh food in Missouri.  If you live in another state, the same guidelines can be applicable.  No one is guaranteed a meal, nor is it even easy to find actual food in this country anymore.  It takes planning, a change of diet (more seasonal or simply eliminate them from your diet), and exploration.  Where is this great food?!  The home manager/economist must take up the important mantel of “She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar.  She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.” (Proverbs 31:14-15)

Now, i’m not one to worry with eating out, but if that is your thing, there are meals out there provided by restaurants committed to purchasing and serving fresh, in season, local as possible.  Don’t forget to buy from your neighbors!!  As the saying goes, “Costco doesn’t buy Little League t-shirts for your community.”  Guessing that is true, but i’ve never been in a Costco or other big box store – i think there is one in Columbia (1 1/2 hours away)

On the rare occasions when I decide to make a home-cooked meal, it doesn’t take more than a five-minute drive to my one-stop-shop to gather all of the ingredients. I can find pretty much everything I need at my local Gerbes, and although there are many organic options, there’s hardly anything from local producers. The bigger the chain store gets, the more apparent this is.

A lot of people, myself included, are realizing how important it is to live sustainably. So I decided to attempt to eat only locally sourced food for seven days. I was excited, but also a little nervous. Would I have to dedicate a lot of extra time to sourcing my ingredients? Would I find everything I need? What ended up happening was that I gained a newfound appreciation for local business and learned a few life lessons, too.

Before I plunged into my recipes, I did some research on farming in the United States. According to the US Department of Agriculture, for every dollar consumers spend on food, only 7.8 cents goes to farmers.

“We believe that farmers should have not only the cost of production for raising livestock independently, but also a living wage on top of it,” Missouri Rural Crisis Center (MRCC) Communications Director Tim Gibbons says. Patchwork Family Farms, established by the MRCC in 1993, purchases hogs directly from local, independent family farmers in Missouri and pays farmers above market price.

One of the biggest advantages of buying local food is supporting these farmers and your local economy. Missouri relies heavily on agriculture, so if you love the town and state you live in, this is an easy way to support it. In 2016, agriculture and other related industries in Missouri had an $88.4 billion economic impact and contributed 378,232 jobs.

Luckily for me, Missouri is home to more than two hundred farmers markets across the state, so with that in mind, my first stop was the Columbia Farmers Market. I headed there late last summer when it was in full swing with about ninety vendors. I got a decent haul, met a lot of local farmers and producers, and had some ideas in mind for the following week. I found that knowing exactly where your food comes from makes cooking quite a bit more fun. I was taking my time and cared more about the end result of my meals.

Of course, there were some things that I wasn’t able to find from our state, but in the middle of summer, most things were accessible. Here you can see what I ate each day during the week.

Monday

I started out with pretty simple meals so that I wouldn’t get in over my head. For breakfast, I had honey bread from Fiddle & Stone Bread Co. topped with apple butter from C & J Baked Goods, located in Paris, Missouri. C & J sells fresh-baked bread, pies, jellies, and jams along with some other snacks that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. I can’t stress how delicious this apple butter is. It’s essentially highly concentrated apple sauce, but it has a sweet and caramel flavor. It immediately became one of my favorite morning snacks. As of now, Fiddle & Stone doesn’t have a permanent location, but you can find this homemade bread at the Columbia Farmers Market every week.

For lunch, I had a salad with bell peppers and onions with ingredients that I found at the farmers market, and I topped it with Italian dressing. I got all of my bell peppers for the whole week from The Backyard Farmer at the market, which is run by husband-and-wife team Jay Vang and Nou Lee from Sedalia and their five children.

The family is made up of their youngest, Crystal, who is thirteen, and their oldest, Jenny, who graduated from the University of Missouri and now works in IT in Columbia. Their three other children, Vicky, Nicholas, and Daniel, currently attend MU.

“We do a little bit of everything to pay for our kids’ tuition and rent a place so they can stay [in Columbia],” Jay says. This year is The Backyard Farmer’s fourth year in business.

I topped my salad with cheddar cheese from Hemme Brothers Farmstead Creamery located in Sweet Springs, and I ended my day with tacos. I used ground beef from Altai Meadows in Higbee with bell peppers, onions, and fried potatoes on the side. It was a simple meal, easy to whip up.

The money made by The Backyard Farmer, a family business, goes directly to helping the children while they are at school in Columbia. The family of seven all help out at the market when they can.

Tuesday

The next morning I used the bread from Fiddle & Stone Bread Co. again, but this time I made what I like to call “Lazy French Toast.” I learned how to make this in college. I’ve always liked it because you can make it in ten minutes or less, and it only takes three ingredients. Instead of adding cinnamon and sugar to make the meal sweet, I just slice bread, dip it in an egg mixture, and fry it. The eggs were from Buttonwood Farm in California, Missouri. I topped my Lazy French Toast with apple butter instead of syrup, ate it way faster than I should have, and headed to work.

I purchased the eggs from Root Cellar in Columbia, which is one of the best local resources in town. The market, owned by Chelsea and Jake Davis, sells locally sourced food and offers subscription boxes full of local ingredients that can be delivered straight to your door.

“Jake and I are both farm kids. We grew up in Southwest Missouri, so we have a deep passion for agriculture,” Chelsea says. “Growing up on independent family farms, we know the values that farming has and also the great food that the state of Missouri actually produces, which is really wide and diverse.”

They bought the grocery store in 2011 when the previous owner was selling it and immediately added the year-round subscription boxes. “We’re farmers ourselves and we want to make sure that farmers have an outlet for their products,” Chelsea says.

When lunchtime rolled around, my anti-cooking mentality kicked back in, so I started to search for places around Columbia that offered locally sourced meals. Places like Barred Owl Butcher & Table and Sycamore popped up—two of my favorite spots—but Le Bao is what caught my attention. This Asian eatery opened in 2018. Not everything on the menu features locally sourced ingredients—it would be pretty hard to find seaweed here—but the pork ramen uses meat from Patchwork Family Farms. I’ve never been a huge pork eater, but in order to eat local, I ordered it. I can say firsthand, this pork tastes different in the best way. It wasn’t fatty or overwhelming in taste and it really complimented the noodles.

“The way that corporations raise their hogs nowadays is in big buildings over slatted floors with the waste lagoon underneath the building,” Tim says. “This industrial production model not only negatively impacts the property rights of rural communities and their water and air, but also the taste and quality of the meat. Livestock raised by independent family farmers the traditional way respects their neighbors and results in a superior product. You can taste the difference.”

For dinner, I made baked eggplant with the ingredients I purchased from the farmers market. This is one of my all-time favorite meals, and like usual, it didn’t disappoint. Unfortunately, my Italian bread crumbs were not locally sourced, neither were the salt, pepper, and spices I used during the week.

When I couldn’t find something sourced locally, I was able to easily find it at a grocery store. If I hadn’t had access to those stores, my meals would have looked and tasted a lot more plain, and I would have had to travel much more around the state to find exactly what I was looking for. I wouldn’t have been able to use basic things like salt and pepper or the Italian dressing I used for my salads.

If I truly didn’t have access to anything outside of our state’s borders, this week would have been more challenging, but still possible.


Wednesday

On Wednesday morning, I made scrambled eggs for breakfast with Hemme Brothers cheddar cheese. Lunch was also easy since it was my leftover dinner from the night before, but I’m not complaining. Eggplant really is one of my favorite meals, and many of the vendors carried the fruit—that’s right, I even learned that eggplant is technically a fruit.

The dinner I made on this day turned out to be my favorite meal for the whole week, and I’m not just saying this because I was proud of successfully cooking something. It really was delicious. I made stuffed peppers with homemade meatballs. I made the meatballs with ground beef from Hormann Meat Company in Springfield combined with mild sausage from Patchwork Family Farms. I cut some leftover peppers I had from the market in half and stuffed them with the meatballs and put them in a pot on the stove, then topped everything with local tomatoes and organic marinara sauce and added mashed potatoes on the side. There were plenty of leftovers I was happy to pack up.

Missouri Life Associate Editor Corin Cesaric cooks stuffed peppers with local ingredients from Root Cellar and Columbia Farmers Market.

Thursday

I headed to Main Squeeze for breakfast. This vegetarian restaurant has been known for its local and healthy meals since 1997. I opted for the breakfast tacos made with eggs from Share-Life Farms in Napton, jack cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato, onion, and salsa on corn tortillas with some greens on the side. This year, the restaurant will be replacing the corn tortillas with local flour tortillas from Tortilleria El Patron in Columbia.

“I would estimate we have spent more than a quarter million with local farms in the past twenty-two years,” Leigh Lockhart, owner of Main Squeeze says.

When local isn’t an option, they choose certified organic products instead. Eggs, potatoes, feta cheese, bread from Uprise Bakery, pecans, and blueberries are always locally sourced.

“It seems like a natural extension of running a conscious business that you would want to support the local economy because you live here,” Leigh says.

Leigh didn’t grow up in agriculture, but she found her passion in creating meals in a sustainable business. As the owner, she does a little bit of everything around the restaurant and is the mastermind behind her tasty menu.

“I may not cook every dish that comes out of the kitchen at Main Squeeze, but I’m the one at home figuring out how to make something taste eggy even though it doesn’t have any eggs in it,” she says.

For lunch, I pulled out my leftover peppers to have them again and froze what was left for another meal later in the week. Around dinner time, I realized I needed to become a little more creative with my meals. I decided to attempt a lasagna. Instead of seeking out locally made noodles or the ingredients to make my own, I decided to use what I already had bought from the North Village Arts District Farmers and Artisans Market in downtown Columbia, which was a whole lot of zucchini.

To say this meal was an experiment might be an understatement. I don’t have a vegetable sheet cutter, so I sliced the zucchini horizontally. Some pieces were thick and others were thin, so I made half of them into a lasagna like planned and the other half into zucchini roll ups. Despite the challenges that came with this meal, it still turned out pretty tasty. I purchased the meat from Root Cellar, and it came from Prairiebird Pastures.

Prairiebird Pastures is a private brand owned by Root Cellar that only carries 100 percent grass-fed beef with the Audubon certification seal. The Audubon Conservation Ranching Program works with local ranchers who raise cattle to help with Audubon’s mission. Since grazing cattle restores the land, the program fits with Audubon’s goal of protecting the habitat for native birds.

The Root Cellar and Columbia Farmers Market made grocery shopping simple.

Friday

The breakfast trend became bread with apple butter because it was so quick to make. It’s sweet, but not too sweet for breakfast, and I got the Thai Caesar Salad from Uprise Bakery for lunch. Uprise Bakery is another great spot in Columbia to find dishes with locally sourced ingredients.

For dinner, I had my zucchini leftovers, which still tasted pretty good. I’m proud of how my creation turned out and it provided enough food for three separate meals. Plus, I learned how to get water out of zucchini—and that it’s a necessary step!

Saturday

On the weekends, I usually sleep in a bit later, skip breakfast, and go straight for lunch. This weekend was no different. I went to my hometown Festus, but made a quick stop on the way for lunch at Lulu’s Local Eatery in St. Louis. This neighborhood cafe is known for its sustainability. According to its website, the restaurant recycles and composts 95 percent of the waste, offers a 100 percent plant-based menu using all-natural, local, and organic ingredients whenever possible, and offers 15 percent off to customers who ride their bike to the restaurant, among other eco-friendly perks. I ordered the buffalo cauliflower wrap.

When I made it to Festus, I stopped at one of my favorite produce stands in town, Richard’s Produce, and picked up a Missouri Melon. It’s similar to a regular watermelon, but a little smaller and a lot sweeter, and of course, they are all grown right here in the Show-Me State. At dinner time, I was still pretty full from lunch so I snacked on some locally sourced food that was around the house, like more of the Missouri Melon and a whole lot of Billy Goat Chips that are made in St. Louis.

Richard’s Produce has been in Festus since 1989. You can find fresh fruits, veggies, and various seasonal items here.

Sunday

I had brunch at Rooster in St. Louis. It’s hard for me to pass up crepes anywhere, but I usually opt for sweet ones. On this day, I went with the Mo. Made savory crepes. This daytime cafe has two locations in the city and supports local producers. The Mo. Made crepes are made with Missouri-made sausage, spiced apple, and cheddar.

When I got back to Columbia, I defrosted my leftover stuffed peppers and had them for a third time. I thought about making something new since I still had some local ingredients, but I decided to save them for the following week.

I’ve always known the importance of eating ethically produced food, but these seven days opened my eyes to other factors. There’s the obvious advantage of eating fresher, healthier food, but helping your local farmers, neighbors, and makers supports them and your community at a time they need it most. Although eating local all the time isn’t easy, it’s definitely worth doing more often.

Farmers Markets Around the State

C-Street Market, Springfield
City Market, Kansas City
DeSoto Farmers Market, DeSoto
Ferguson Farmers Market, Ferguson
Hickory County Farmers Market, Hermitage
Overland Farmers Market, Overland
Pulaski County Farmers’ Market, Waynesville
The Sedalia Area Farmers Market, Sedalia
Soulard Farmers Market, St. Louis
Wildwood Farmers Market, Grover
More at agebb.missouri.edu/fmktdir

Grocery Stores With Local Food

Clovers Natural Market, Columbia
Dutch Bakery and Bulk Food Store, Tipton
Local Harvest Grocery, St. Louis
Market Fresh Produce, Nixa
McGonigle’s Market, Kansas City
South Side Sales Amish Market, Clark
Weaver’s Country Market, Inc., Versailles

Photos // Drew Piester, Corin Cesaric, Columbia Farmers Market, Jesse Epple

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Train Up A Child

There are some good thoughts in this article:

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST, PSYCHOTHERAPIST

Victoria is an internationally-known educator, motivational speaker and a popular blogger on modern-day parenting and high-tech lifestyle’s impact on a child nervous system. Victoria is a founder and a clinical director of a multidisciplinary clinic for children with behavioral, attentional, social, emotional and academic challenges. Victoria works with children, parents, and teachers around the world.

The silent tragedy affecting today’s children

This article has been read by 20 million people. I know that many would choose not to hear what I say in the article, but your children need you to hear this message.

— Victoria Prooday
shutterstock_379306528_mini.jpg

There is a silent tragedy developing right now, in our homes, and it concerns our most precious jewels – our children. Through my work with hundreds of children and families as an occupational therapist, I have witnessed this tragedy unfolding right in front of my eyes. Our children are in a devastating emotional state! Talk to teachers and professionals who have been working in the field for the last 15 years. You will hear concerns similar to mine. Moreover, in the past 15 years, researchers have been releasing alarming statistics on a sharp and steady increase in kids’ mental illness, which is now reaching epidemic proportions:

 

today_children_q.jpg

No, “increased diagnostics alone” is not the answer!

No, “they all are just born like this” is not the answer!

No, “it is all the school system’s fault” is not the answer!

Yes, as painful as it can be to admit, in many cases, WE, parents, are the answer to many of our kids’ struggles!

 It is scientifically proven that the brain has the capacity to rewire itself through the environment. Unfortunately, with the environment and parenting styles that we are providing to our children, we are rewiring their brains in a wrong direction and contributing to their challenges in everyday life.

Yes, there are and always have been children who are born with disabilities and despite their parents’ best efforts to provide them with a well-balanced environment and parenting, their children continue to struggle. These are NOT the children I am talking about here.

I am talking about many others whose challenges are greatly shaped by the environmental factors that parents, with their greatest intentions, provide to their children. As I have seen in my practice, the moment parents change their perspective on parenting, these children change.

What is wrong?

Today’s children are being deprived of the fundamentals of a healthy childhood, such as:

  • Emotionally available parents

  • Clearly defined limits and guidance

  • Responsibilities

  • Balanced nutrition and adequate sleep

  • Movement and outdoors

  • Creative play, social interaction, opportunities for unstructured times and boredom

Instead, children are being served with:

  • Digitally distracted parents

  • Indulgent parents who let kids “Rule the world”

  • Sense of entitlement rather than responsibility

  • Inadequate sleep and unbalanced nutrition

  • Sedentary indoor lifestyle

  • Endless stimulation, technological babysitters, instant gratification, and absence of dull moments

Could anyone imagine that it is possible to raise a healthy generation in such an unhealthy environment? Of course not! There are no shortcuts to parenting, and we can’t trick human nature. As we see, the outcomes are devastating. Our children pay for the loss of well-balanced childhood with their emotional well-being.

How to fix it?

If we want our children to grow into happy and healthy individuals, we have to wake up and go back to the basics. It is still possible! I know this because hundreds of my clients see positive changes in their kids’ emotional state within weeks (and in some cases, even days) of implementing these recommendations:

 

Set limits and remember that you are your child’s PARENT, not a friend

Offer kids well-balanced lifestyle filled with what kids NEED, not just what they WANT. Don’t be afraid to say “No!” to your kids if what they want is not what they need.

  • Provide nutritious food and limits snacks.

  • Spend one hour a day in green space: biking, hiking, fishing, watching birds/insects

  • Have a daily technology-free family dinner.

  • Play one board game a day. (List of family games)

  • Involve your child in one chore a day (folding laundry, tidying up toys, hanging clothes, unpacking groceries, setting the table etc)

  • Implement consistent sleep routine to ensure that your child gets lots of sleep in a technology-free bedroom

Teach responsibility and independence. Don’t over-protect them from small failures. It trains them the skills needed to overcome greater life’s challenges:

  • Don’t pack your child’s backpack, don’t carry her backpack, don’t bring to school his forgotten lunch box/agenda, and don’t peel a banana for a 5-year-old child. Teach them the skills rather than do it for them.

Teach delayed gratification and provide opportunities for “boredom” as boredom is the time when creativity awakens:

  • Don’t feel responsible for being your child’s entertainment crew.

  • Do not use technology as a cure for boredom.

  • Avoid using technology during meals, in cars, restaurants, malls. Use these moments as opportunities to train their brains to function under “boredom”

  • Help them create a “boredom first aid kit” with activity ideas for “I am bored” times.

Be emotionally available to connect with kids and teach them self-regulation and social skills:

  • Turn off your phones until kids are in bed to avoid digital distraction.

  • Become your child’s emotional coach. Teach them to recognize and deal with frustration and anger.

  • Teach greeting, turn taking, sharing, empathy, table manners, conversation skills,

  • Connect emotionally – Smile, hug, kiss, tickle, read, dance, jump, or crawl with your child.

We must make changes in our kids’ lives before this entire generation of children will be medicated! It is not too late yet, but soon it will be… -Victoria Prooday

 

Greens in the Winter

Snow has kept me from getting out of our driveway since i returned from Fundo Panguilemu – arriving at MCI in a snow and ice storm on 11 Jan.  However, the day i arrived, i got back into the habit of growing sprouts for health and greens.  Now, my husband and son refuse to eat sprouts, so they have green beans or nothing.

Although, i have several gallons of home grown green beans frozen up from 2018 (last year’s crop was a bust due to getting shaded out i mess up so much),  we do get tired of eating them everyday.

Finally, got to town last Friday (24 Jan)- all three of us crowded into the four wheel drive pickup since we combined scooping snow off the sidewalks at the church, stopping in at the bank, and the grocery shopping (picked up a clam shell of organic lettuce/spinach).  The shopping had to fit in three cloth bags and tied to the back of the flatbed pickup.  It was a bit soggy on the bottom of the sacks, because of melted snow, dirty hay, and mud – but it was not big deal – main thing we didn’t lose anything blowing off.  (First world problems  HA!)

Cheers!

tauna

 

Beef Cuts – Lots to Learn!

This guy cuts and talks fast, but you can always back it up to listen again.  Now, remember, your local butcher may not be familiar with all these cuts.  Names for various pieces can vary from region to region and country to country as well.  Also, this guy doesn’t mention ground beef.  Some of that stuff he set aside will likely be ground, but also you can choose any or all of the beef to be ground.  That will make expensive ground beef, but it will also be the highest quality ever!  For more information about buying from your neighbor, read my earlier post.

 

Here are charts from the Beef It’s What’s For Dinner website.  You can even download for printing or magnifying.

 

Beef Retail Cuts Chart 2018
Beef Retail Cuts Chart pdf
BIWFD Foodservice Cuts Poster_FINAL
Beef Foodservice Cut Poster pdf

Faith, Family, Farm

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