Finding out you have a food allergy can be devastating.

Finding out you have a food allergy can be devastating. I think my first thought was, "What does that mean?" You ask your doctor and he says just avoid that food. It's just a skin test. They aren't entirely accurate.

I am going to attempt to give you ideas and recipes on how to avoid corn. It can be quite the challenge.

Sorry that my blog is evolving into a little bit of everything in life.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Coffee gone bad!

The coffee I have been drinking for a few months started bothering me a couple weeks ago.  It’s giving me brain fog.  If you have allergies you'll know what that’s like.  I hadn't research what coffee I could have yet, so I drank a little bit of tea I had gotten at the coop.  That gave me brain fog too.  Ugh!  I have a bushel of beets I pulled the day before on my kitchen table.  I had separated the tops from the bottoms, and left them in my large porcelain pans.  I didn't wash them, so I didn't have to worry about them molding like the greens that I had to throw away the week before, because I had cleaned them and left them sitting too long.  I also picked a bunch of kale that I needed to process some how.  Meanwhile the post office was just delivering my new Nesco Professional Dehydrator.  I thought perhaps I would try to make kale chips.
It was suggested to try Chock Full of Nuts.  I called the company.  They said all they use is water after roasting.  She said there was nothing in the documentation about anything else used.  There website also had a page where I can found a store that carried their brand Store Locator.  While walking through the store picking up other items my husband wanted for lunch I started smelling popcorn, and of course more brain fog.  I hurried and got out with my new coffee, and I also picked up some Stash tea to try. 

Well wouldn’t you know it a few miles down the street I remembered that I was exchanging the vinegar I was just charged for.  I had brought back the gallon I had bought the week before that had expired May 2011.  They said I could exchange it just remember to tell the cashier.  Brain fog I forgot to tell the cashier.  I checked the receipt and it was over $5.  I new I had to go back.  Money is tight around here since I have to buy all this expensive no name food.  I went back, and walked in and instantly saw a manager at the first check stand.  Explained what happened, and pointed to the gallon jug still sitting on the front counter.  Luckily I got my money back and the popcorn didn’t give me any further problems that I didn’t already have.  I went home brewed some weak coffee had a cup and a half, and it seemed to be ok. 

I was able to get my kale chips made in my new dehydrator.  I boiled my beets, and made the kale chips.  I had too many for the dehydrator, so I made the rest in the oven.  After they cooled they got chewy.  The ones in the dehydrator turned out really good, not to crispy and not too chewy.  I think I might try putting the ones from the oven in the dehydrator to see if it will remove the chewy.  I also blanched and froze 2 pounds of beet greens, and then canned the 6 pounds beets into 5 quarts of spicy pickled beets.  Yum!  I have to add that after canning for over 20 years I finally bought a scale.  It’s wonderful!  I weighed my beets.  The recipe called for 4 pounds; since I had 6 pounds I doubled the recipe 1 1/2.  It came out perfect!  In years past I would guess, and make extra liquid that was a waste or not enough, so I would have to add more after I got my vegetables in.  I recommend getting a scale if you are going to do any pickling or jam making.

The Chock Full of Nuts didn't work either.  I am now drinking Stash Organic Breakfast Tea Blend.  I think its giving me a reaction too so I only drink 1 cup at a time.  At least it gives me some pickup for now until I try another coffee.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Freezing Cheese

I was asked how I freeze cheese, because we found out that Kerrygold cheese was going to be on sale at Earth Fare.

Cut the 5 pound block into 1/2 - 1 pound pieces.  Individually wrap with plastic wrap then place in a ziplock freezer bag.  If shredded cheese is desired, shred, place in a freezer bag.  Don't let out all the air out of the bag to try to maintain the fluffyness.  Freeze then break up the cheese if needed, so its loose and you can take a bit out as needed.  Then try to get most of the air out of the bag.  Mark the bags with the contents and the date.

Thaw the cheese in the frig.  It thaws pretty fast.  Use the shredded cheese frozen.  Just put on top of food and pop in the micro for a few seconds to melt.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tell Benedryl we want a corn / allergy free variety

I recently contacted Benedryl and they replied asking for me to contact them.  I am urging everyone to contact them:
Thank you for contacting McNeil-PPC, Inc., makers of BENADRYL UNSPECIFIED.  It is always important to hear from our consumers, and we appreciate the time you have taken to contact us.

A report of any unpleasant experience with any of our products concerns us.  We would like you to speak to one of our Customer Service Representatives directly about this issue and provide us with more detailed information.

Please call our Consumer Care Center at 1800 223-0182, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 a.m - 8:00 p.m. EST, and one of our representatives will be happy to assist you.  When you call be sure to mention the reference number noted below.

We have forwarded your e-mail to our product safety department for their review.

Joann S.
Consumer Care Center


June 28, 2011
I contacted customer service.  Jessica told me Benadryl Allergy Dye-Free Liqui-gels was corn free. 

I went to their web site and looked at the ingredients.

Inactive Ingredients
gelatin, glycerin, polyethylene glycol, purified water, and sorbitol. Capsules are imprinted with edible dye-free ink.
First Jessica told me that she couldn't recommend the product for food allgeries that it was for upper respiratory allergies.  I had to tell her that I get upper respiratory issues when I ingest food allergians.  Eye roll....  I questioned the gelatin and glycerin and was told they were animal, but she couldn't tell me what animal.  Polyethylene glycol was a solvent.  I questioned the sorbitol ,and was told it was vegetable, but she couldn't tell me what vegetable it was.  I told her that didn't work for me.  She apologized that was all she could tell me, because she worked in a customer service center, and that was all the information she had.  I informed her that the specifications for the sorbitol would probably read:  "If corn was used there was no corn protein left after the processing".  She said, she would forward a message to the company, asking if they would make a corn free version.  Dang I forgot to ask what edible dye-free ink was. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Raisin Cookies - Millet & Buckwheat

I was so hungry for a cracker/bread/cookie.  I haven't had any in a couple weeks.  I tried making wheat crackers and they bothered me.  I threw that out, and decided to try some cookies.

Raisin Cookies

Preheat oven 375
Beat:  2 eggs, 1/2 cup Spectrum palm shortening until smooth, 1 cup sugar (I use beet Pioneer beet sugar)
Beat in:  1/2 cup tapioca flour, 1 cup millet flour, 1 cup buckwheat flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
Mix in: 1 cup Newman's Own raisins (This is a guess, I didn't measure raisins)  Add more or less.
Drop tablespoon size balls onto a cooking sheet, (I have a cookie scoop thats like an ice scoop but smaller) bake 9 minutes.

Now I need to break down and make vanilla.  You could add 1 tsp of safe vanilla. 
My zucchini is ripening.  I want my next cookie to have shredded zucchini.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Remember: Don't use the towel my husband has been using for a week.

I got adventurous today.  I decided to clean the siding on our house.  I don’t think it’s been cleaned for over 5 years.  We bought it as an, as is HUD foreclosure last year.  The north wall is / was very green.  The house is with full basement and is like a 2 story. 

I showered went out and bought a 16 foot telescoping pole with brush and the contractors Clorox.  I read online to mix the bleach 1 / 3 water.  Since I had the contractors Clorox instead of regular bleach, I decided to mix 6 cups to 2 gallons water in my garden sprayer.  The contractors Clorox was thick and seemed to have detergent in it.  My sprayer had the fan head spray on it, so it didn’t spray very far.  Since I couldn’t find the regular head, I emptied ½ of the solution into a bucket and brushed the back of the house.  The dirt is higher in the back of the house, so it is easier to reach the eaves.  I had on safety glasses and a baseball hat, but still I was getting the solution on me.  I tried gloves, but the water was running into the gloves.  I had to keep washing myself off including my hair because the solution kept dripping on me.  Yuck! 

My neighbor came over and reminded me that all he does is spray the house with the bleach.  He doesn’t have to brush.  As I got to the deck part of the back of the house I was able to spray the house.  It worked.  I really didn’t need to scrub, or just lightly scrub.  I decided to go back out and find a new head for my sprayer, or a new sprayer.  I showered again, and changed.

I was so excited that I found they had the regular head in a build kit.  I also picked up some regular bleach.  I mixed ½ gallon of bleach to 2 gallons water and added some dish soap.  I put the new regular tip on the sprayer and it did spray quite far.  I started on the front porch.  I washed it down.  The ceiling is about 20 feet or so.  The water was dripping on me.  I got the ladder so I could get the solution on the ceiling.  The wind changed directions and I was sprayed too.  I had to again rinse myself and hair.  I figured the people driving by were laughing at me.  I found that I could mostly spray the house without the ladder.  I had to scrub in a couple places.  I also had to put the baby bird back in its nest again.

A month ago I told my husband I didn’t want that bird’s nest in the corner.  He knocked the nest down and it had 2 baby birds.  We put the nest back up with the babies and the parents came back all was well.  Just yesterday one of the babies had fallen from the nest and died on the front porch.  Now today I scared the other one out.  I found it on the ground next to the porch.  I was scared to pick it up and had to chase it down.  I finally scooped it up and got it back in.  It appears to be ok so far.

After having enough knowing that my husband was going to have to help with getting on the roof to spray the dormer.  I think he’s going to have to spray the top of the north wall from the roof too.  The power line comes in halfway from the top so it would be hard to spray and it’s really high. 

I cleaned up and went in and showered again.  Since my towel was already used a couple times today it was wet, so I thought I’d use my husband’s dry towel.  Mistake!  He uses corny soap and shampoo.  I didn’t even think about it until I was using it.  It didn’t feel right. I showered off again and reused my wet towel again.  I guess its time to wash towels. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chicken Processing

We had a couple of roosters I wanted to process and didn't know exactly how.  Wade and Lucy Wisner of  Wisner's Farm asked if we'd like to come to their meat bird processing to learn how, and we could bring our birds.  My husband Mitch and I chased down our nasty rooster and took him and another over for processing today.  Mitch learned how to put them down, scald, and pluck.  I learned the butchering part.  We enjoyed learning this art. 

What I learned about possible corn contaimination.  Before butchering the birds are chilled in ice water.  Corn allergic have issues with store bought ice due to the water softening process.  The other possible contamination comes with disinfectant.  I was told there is a requirement for sterile water to be available or used to clean the cutting surface and the equipment.  The sterile water contained pinesol or white vinegar. 

I made sure to bring along my own ice chest and 2 1/2 gallons of ice from home, plus ziploc bags to put my birds in.   I made ice water in my ice chest to chill my birds.  When we were done butching their birds I rinsed my corner of the table off with water to butcher my birds.   I am excited that I now have small uncontaminated chicken.  Yeah!  I am now ready to start buying larger breed laying hens that can also be good for meat. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Millet with lemon thyme, and rosemary

I tried something new with millet last night.  I have to change my technique.  I have been cooking my millet in large batches and freezing the extra.  Last night I tried frying some but it just stuck to my stainless steel pan.  So next time I think I will fry my ingredients and then put the millet in to cook.

Millet with lemon thyme, and rosemary recipe:
Brown 1 cup millet in large tablespoon palm shortening.  I like my mine browned to almost burnt.
In a separate pan brown 1/2 - 1 cup of onion, and 2 minced garlic
Add to browned millet:
Sprig of lemon thyme, and rosemary about 1 - 1/2 tsp together chopped.
onion and garlic
1 cup chopped broccoli or any other favorite vegetable
1 tsp salt
2 cups water
Bring to a boil and simmer 30 minutes.

Lunch the next day
Heated up the millet with 2 sliced chicken hot dogs and topped with shredded cheese and fresh onion

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