An Ikea garlic press, with pressed garlic.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

desperate to come up with something to help K with a cold that went straight to her lungs (of course)

we’ve got a wonderful cough tincture (Usnea, Inula & Althea) from our medical herbalist

been working on potent acupressure points thanks to recent shiatsu sessions (when K will let me – she’s been so hyped with this cold that any touching in those points results in instant withdrawal reaction – I could manage some while she slept fitfully)

some herbal brews: mint family (cat nip, spearmint, lemon balm) plus fennel seed, rose hips, calendula, some late season red clover & stinging nettles; fresh grated ginger & turmeric & lemon slices

finally, last night, she was struggling with breathing & fighting a low fever, I found GOOT.  slathered that on her feet, chest & back a couple of times, and she’s almost totally back to normal today.

this is amazing.  this kind of thing (especially once in her lungs) usually takes K a week or more to get over to this point.  one night of the GOOT.  well, let’s see if it’s repeatable… you know it, I know it, we’ll get more opportunities to test it.

Silicone Bakeware

perhaps not “essential”, and maybe not 100% safe or ecofriendly (what really is anyway?) but certainly darned useful

Mom uses the bundt pan for an outrageous (and delicious) 6 duck egg lemon sponge cake.  I use the loaf “pan” for sourdough “quickbread” loaf.  the “all in one” muffin tray is reserved for meatloaf muffins or salmon puff muffins. the cake “pan” works beautifully for cherry clafouti or gingerbread cake.  and I’ve since discovered that the cookie sheet does actually work for cookies (bake them on the textured side of the sheet, thanks to Rebecca @Crumbles).  and we’ve got two sets of the individual muffin cups; I never bake muffins (or cupcakes) without them.

New Bread Machine

thanks Mom for the perfect new enameled cast iron casserole. it’s pretty and functional (much like yours truly).  first loaf: 100% locally grown & milled whole wheat flour from True Grain, with rye sourdough starter using the no-knead technique.  beautiful crumb, delicious flavour, successful steam-baked crispy crust = yummm!

Better Airlock

airlock grommets – original design

drilled airlock bungs

the original design used a small airlock grommet to seal the hole cut into the Fido jar lid.  we’ve got a great big hole now, and it fits a standard (No 7) airlock bung perfectly.  it’s a skookum, positive closure, and doesn’t easily wear out.  woot!

Start Your Own

bubbly happy rye sourdough starter

bubbly happy rye sourdough starter

via The Fresh Loaf

using sprouted (malted) home-grown, fresh-milled rye & pineapple juice to get going, 1/4 c rye flour & 1/4 c filtered water to keep alive (don’t bother removing, as we bake with it – see vollkornbrot, sourdough muffin foundation, & chocolate chip peanut butter cookies for ideas)- still going strong after a little over a month… too cold in our house, so made a sourdough incubator (2 quart jars filled with boiled water, sourdough bowl nestled in towel, locked down for 24 hours)