2017 Long Weekend Detox

As promised, you can find my 2017 "Long Weekend" Detox here.  It's my twist on The 2017 Annual goop Detox with a sprinkling of Kimberly Snyder’s Beauty Detox recipes and tips.  For reference, the Annual goop Detox webpage, which includes a link to the shopping list, can be found here.  And, you can click here to see Kimberly Snyder make her Glowing Green Smoothie (GGS).  Please note that I did not get around to making the detox granola bars.  Also, I did not get around to making either of the lunch salads or miso sweet potatoes.  We ate the lentil soup, turkey chili, and small side salads for lunch most days except one, when we had a couple of energy balls for lunch due to an out-of-state appointment that snuck up on us.  If you do give it a try, I'd love to hear how it went and what you thought of my adjustments in the comment section at the end of this post.   

My Review of the Annual goop Detox

Who participated:  Me, my husband, my (adult) son generally followed the meal plan for 5 days.  My two youngest daughters generally followed on days 4 & 5.

What we thought:  Overall, my husband and I felt energetic and satiated while on the plan this past week.  He had no cravings and I had one or two mild cravings for chocolate.  On the flip side, my son was ready to throw in the towel on the third day.  The girls were excited to be joining in on day four and, because they are familiar with oatmeal and fried rice, enthusiastically ate their "healthy meals".  This week, I incorporated the remaining left-overs into meals early in the week, have already made the bone broth again a couple of times, and continue to begin my mornings with warm lemon-ginger water. 

How did it impact my weight:  I easily lost 1.5 pounds during the detox.

 Egg Drop Soup & Avocado on Squirrel Toast

Egg Drop Soup & Avocado on Squirrel Toast

 Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

 Salmon and Radicchio over Lentils

Salmon and Radicchio over Lentils

 Larb Filling

Larb Filling

 

 

Oregon Homemade Honey Blackberry Jam

By the time June rolled around in Myrtle Creek, we could head outdoors and find blackberries almost anywhere on the property up until Halloween.  Every year we scrounged up a few old boards and leaned them out into the thick, lush green blackberry bushes.  These were are bridges to otherwise unreachable areas where we believed the biggest, juiciest, and sweetest berries were hidden.  Nevermind the scratches from those huge thorns, or the chore of cutting back never-ending briars with a sickle in the August heat.  If we filled a big bowl, my mom would make blackberry cobbler.  Sometimes we had to pick for hours so she and my aunt could make jam.  When we got a little older, we filled buckets and took them to the local Dairy Queen to be blended into fresh blackberry milkshakes.  The berries seemed so much sweeter and juicier back then.

Nowadays, I see the blackberries at the market, five dollars a pint, and chuckle.  Most are Marionberries anyway, not what I consider “real blackberries”.  Not like the ones I grew up popping into my mouth all summer long.

When I opened my eyes Wednesday morning and saw the sun coming through the sliding glass door, I knew it was time to head out to one of the farms and pick some of those real blackberries.  If you grew up out in the countryside, close to the land, you might also just get a feeling about when the berries are ripe, when it’s going to rain, or when there’s a critter outside, in the dark, before you turn the light on and can actually see it.

There were three buses and several other vehicles in the gravel parking area at the farm when I arrived.  Luckily, the summer campers were all sitting at picnic tables or visiting with the goats.  I was able to get my flat, wash my hands (the farm requires), and stroll out into the field in my lemon, cotton sun dress lickety-split.  I had the time, so I was careful to look closely at each blackberry before barely giving it a tug to see if it would release easily into my hand.  That’s how I pick `em anyway, not over ripe, not under ripe, just ripe!

Once I got them home, I gave them a 15 minute soak in a couple of very large bowls filled with water and a quarter cup of distilled vinegar in each.  Then, rinsed them well in filtered water and put them in the refrigerator overnight to keep until my daughter and I would turn them into jam the following day.  And so, we made jam and it's delicious, just like what I remember.

If you’d like to make some too, here’s what we did:

We stopped by Portland Homestead Supply Company earlier in the week to pick-up some more of my favorite Weck jars.  On jam-making-day, We followed the instructions for sweet blackberry jam found inside the box of Pomona's Universal Pectin I picked-up at the farm during checkout.  

Equipment

A variety of your favorite canning jars (estimate volume based the amount of berries)

(1) 12-quart Stainless Steel Pot (for sterilizing and processing)

(1) 8-quart, Stainless Steel, Heavy Bottomed Pot

(2) 4-quart Large Glass Bowls

(1) Jar Lifter

(1) Potato Masher

(1) Canner Rack

(1) Long-Handled Tongs

(1) Firm Heat Safe Spatula

(1) 2-Cup Glass Liquid Measure Cup

(1) 1-Cup Glass Liquid Measure Cup

(1) Large Tablespoon

(1) Small Glass Plate (put in freezer for testing jam)

(2) Clean Kitchen Towels (I use flour sack towels)

(1) Clean Cloth for Wiping Jars

Ingredients

- 10 Cups Blackberries, Mashed

- 1/4 to 1/2 Cup Lemon Juice, Freshly Squeezed (I used just over 1/4 cup)

-  2 1/2 Cups Honey - I used Oregon Growers Raw & Unfiltered Wildflower 

- 5 tsp Calcium (from the 1/2 tsp calcium + 1/2 cup water mixture)

- 5 tsp pectin (powder)

1.  We placed a canner rack in the bottom of a 12-quart stainless steel pot, filled it with water and brought it to a boil.  Then, followed standard canning procedure to sterilize our favorite jars, lids (and rings).  You can find complete instructions for sterilizing your favorite canning jars at the National Center for Home Preservation website

2. We mashed the berries in the 8-quart pot, spooned them into a 2-cup liquid measure, and transferred them to one of the large bowls.  We repeated this until we had the total volume of berries (10 cups total) and then poured them back into the pot.

3. We mixed 1/2 teaspoons calcium powder (found in the smaller of the two packets inside the box) into 1/2 Cup filtered water in a glass jar, put on the lid, shook, and let it sit.

4.  Because we had 10 Cups of berries, we decided to go with 2 1/2 cups of honey and 5 teaspoons pectin (found in the larger of the two packets inside the box).  The instructions indicate mixing the pectin thoroughly into the honey.

5. There was some lemon juice in the fridge squeezed earlier in the morning so we poured a heavy 1/4 cup of it into the pot of mashed berries and brought it to a boil, stirring occasionally with the heat-proof spatula.

6. When it came to a full boil, we removed it from the heat, mixed in the calcium water and the honey pectin mixture, and returned it to the heat and back to a full boil.

7. We let it boil for a couple of minutes and then dropped a tablespoon of it onto the glass plate we put in the freezer to see if it was ready.

8.  It was definitely ready.  We transferred the pot onto a trivet beside the prepared canning jars and used the 1-cup liquid measure cup to fill the jars with jam (leave 1/4" head room).

9. We wiped any drips of jam that got onto the rim or outside of the jars, put the sterilized rings onto each, and put on the glass lids and clamps.

10. Finally, we processed the jam using the standard process method for canning jam.  You can find those steps (steps 6-9) Here.

Happy Jamming!

Creating Your House of Bliss

So you’ve made the transition to automatic soap dispensers and are ready to take the next step toward creating the “house of bliss” you’ve always dreamed of.   Before you lose that afterglow from yo’ proud self, why not step right into this next one;  It's super easy.  I’ve been cleaning my house with these two Do-it-Yourself (DIY) household cleaners for the past year and have never looked back.  I typically clean the house on Mondays.  It takes me a good few hours from start-to-finish but that’s mostly because it includes laundry, meal breaks, unexpected interruptions, and you know, other stuff.  And, when it’s all said-and-done, the place is ready to be featured in one of those Fancy Nancy magazines.  There are countless reasons why I have switched to my homemade cleaning products but, at the end-of-the-day, it all boils down to ensuring a safer, healthier environment for my family.

Still need some motivation before getting started?  Here are 7 home-related quirks about me that will keep you laughing while you mix up your home cleaning potions:

1.      Getting into a bed dressed with freshly washed linens is one of my favorite things in the whole, wide world.

2.      I like my house to smell so good that it makes my mouth water.

3.      I have to be able to see outside easily from every room in the house.

4.      When I look at the walls in my home, I only want to see memories…if you don’t know what I mean, just ask.

5.      There must be plants in every room of my house (save my youngest daughters’ bedroom and bathroom, but this will be rectified in the near future).

6.      My house is a “no carpet” home.

7.      If you were to ask, "may I toss one of the easy chair pillows onto the floor to use to cushion my weary feet", I will gladly say yes, and then wash it first thing the next morning. ;)

Here are the two potions I use to magically transform my home into a “house of bliss”:

All-Purpose Cleaning Scrub

¼ Cup Water (filtered or distilled)

¼ Cup Castile Soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Baby Mild)

1 Cup Baking Soda

14 drops Essential Oil (my favorites are lemon and peppermint)

Mix ingredients in a glass jar and use it in the bathtub, toilet, sinks or any other surface where you want a light abrasive.  It also works really well on my stove top.

All-Purpose Cleaning Spray

16 ounces water (filtered or distilled)

1 Tbsp Castile Soap

7 Drops Essential Oil (lemon, tea tree or peppermint are my favorites)

Combine the ingredients in a glass 2-cup liquid measuring cup and pour into a spray bottle.

 DIY Household Cleaners

DIY Household Cleaners

If cleaning your house just feels like too much to ask, then by all means, please use this time to invent an in-home laundry machine that will do my laundry, to my specifications, and will fold it too!

Sparkle * Sparkle *

Maryhill Apricot Fruit Roll-ups

Happy Independence Day!  

While my husband got very involved in his board game of Defenders of the Last Stand, my daughter, her boyfriend (via the phone, from Canada) and I made apricot fruit roll-ups this morning using my Oregon Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups recipe.  We just used apricots instead of strawberries, and also added a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste.  

To a free and relaxing day with family and friends doing what we love! 

 Maryhill apricots we found at NW grocers yesterday morning.

Maryhill apricots we found at NW grocers yesterday morning.

 Pure sunshine!

Pure sunshine!

 If only you could smell these beauties!

If only you could smell these beauties!

 Just cooling off

Just cooling off

 Time to transform

Time to transform

 Justin's board game of Defender's of the Last Stand

Justin's board game of Defender's of the Last Stand