Seasonal Foods: English Pickled Eggs

english pickled eggs 1 Seasonal Foods: English Pickled Eggs

Pickling eggs is a great way to store the summer bounty.

Late summer is a great time to pickle eggs in anticipation of the short days of late fall when the hens do not lay very much. Over the next few weeks, I will share three recipes for pickled eggs.

Traditional Pickling Spice

2T organic dried ginger, small pieces
2T organic cloves, whole
1T organic bird’s eye chillies, whole
1T organic coriander seeds, whole
2T organic yellow mustard seeds, whole
2T organic black pepper, whole
3T organic allspice, whole
Mix all the dried spices together and store in a glass jar. You will need 2-3T of the pickling spice for each 2L of pickled eggs. As Jill Norman states in The Complete Book of Spices, pickling spice is an “English mixture of whole spice, used for chutneys, pickled fruits and vegetables, and to spice vinegar.”

English Pickled Eggs

2-3T pickling spice
1 large organic onions, thinly sliced
24 pastured eggs, boiled and peeled
3-4c organic cider vinegar
To ensure that the boiled eggs are easy to peel, use eggs that are at least a week old. Two week old eggs are even better. If the eggs are too fresh, it will be very difficult to peel the eggs without damaging the surface. If the eggs do not peel easily, don’t make pickled eggs, but use the damaged eggs to make egg salad.

In a large sauce pan bring 24 eggs to boil in filtered water. Boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and pour off the boiling water. Set the sauce pan into the sink and cover the eggs with cold water. Let the eggs cool before peeling. After peeling the eggs rinse with clean water.

Thinly slice the onions and add them to the bottom of a 2L mason jar. Add the pickling spice and peeled eggs. Add as much cider vinegar as needed to completely cover all the eggs. Refrigerate the eggs for one week before consuming. The pickled eggs will keep in the fridge for months.

english pickled eggs 2 Seasonal Foods: English Pickled Eggs

Pickled eggs make an easy, quick snack when you don’t have time to prepare a meal.

Quick Birthday Cheesecake

cheesecake birthday 4 Quick Birthday Cheesecake

This is a quick and easy cheesecake recipe that was voted in the top three best desserts by my family. Mmmmm!

A few weeks ago I had a terrible experience. I forgot my daughter’s birthday. How could I, right? Nevertheless, I had to make a quick cheesecake. I only had a few hours so I just had to improvise.

Cheesecake is best after sitting 12-24 hours in the fridge before cutting. I have found that cutting a cheesecake too early can make a mess. The cheesecake tastes great but there won’t be nice clean slices.

I decided to use individual glass cups for the cheesecake so the cooking and cooling process would be faster. This worked very well. My largest glass tray holds a maximum of eight glass cups which I filled with cheesecake filling. I did reduce the cooking time to 45 minutes but the individual cheesecakes were still quite brown. Here’s the recipe for a water bath Birthday Cheesecake.

8-12 pieces 100% organic baking chocolate, melted
3c unfrozen raspberries, stirred well
500mL organic whipping cream
1T organic vanilla extract
1T local honey (optional)
small pinch sea salt
Heat water in a sauce pan big enough to accommodate a 1c Pyrex measuring cup. Put the pieces of 100% baking chocolate into the measuring cup and gently warm until melted. Remove from the heat. After the individual cheesecakes cooled, drizzle some of the melted chocolate onto the cheesecakes. I find a spoon works well for drizzling chocolate. Then return the cheesecakes to the fridge. Use about half of the melted chocolate. The other half will go on top of the whipped cream.

In a food processor, add the vanilla extract, honey and sea salt to the whipping cream and whip up to a firm peak. Just before serving, remove the cheesecakes from the fridge and top with 2-4T of stirred raspberries. Add 1/2c to 2/3c whipping cream to the top of each cheesecake. Don’t skimp on the whipping cream! Drizzle the remaining melted chocolate onto the whipping cream.

cheesecake birthday 1 Quick Birthday Cheesecake

When the cheesecakes cool, drizzle some melted chocolate on top. I prefer a very bitter, dark chocolate. I find a spoon works well for drizzling chocolate.

cheesecake birthday 2 Quick Birthday Cheesecake

Top the cheesecakes with the unfrozen, stirred raspberries. These raspberries are from our garden and have an intense flavor that is good match for bitter chocolate.

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Top with the whipping cream. My teenaged daughter warns me, “Don’t skimp on the whipping cream!” Drizzle the remaining melted chocolate on top.

Daily Prescription to Improve My Well-being

goose lake 1 Daily Prescription to Improve My Well being

Looking northwest towards Kamloops Lake from Goose Lake Road. This is where my worlds collide and merge.

It’s hard to keep one’s balance in this crazy world. Finding out what helps keep balance in life is a very individual process. What improves your balance and well-being?

Here’s my daily prescription to improve my well-being. Maybe this list will give you some ideas for your own daily prescription for well-being:

  1. Eat local and organic food that I grow myself or comes from trusted sources. Eat only foods that agree with me. (For me, that’s a very high fat, modified paleo diet.)
  2. Practice Intermitted Fasting (IF). (For me, that’s every-other-day fasting.)
  3. Eat from the seasonal bounty and get at least part of my meals for free each day.
  4. Make my own homemade medicines and take seasonal remedies to improve my constitution. Only put things on my skin that I would consider ingesting.
  5. Never dress for the approval of others. Wear only comfortable clothing, made from natural materials that doesn’t cost a fortune.
  6. Walk everyday with good company, preferably with enjoyable scenery. (For me, that’s 45-60 minutes of easy walking.)
  7. Do some body weight exercise daily. (For me, that’s 3-5 minutes.)
  8. Live outside as much as possible. Sleep in my tent as many months of the year as practical to improve my hormetic response. (For me, that’s about from April 1 to October 31.)
  9. Get a good night sleep. Turn off the breakers in the house at night.
  10. Get out in the sun every day and expose as much of my skin as possible. Listen to the birds sing and let the insects crawl. (For me, that’s 15-30 minutes when the sun is 45 degrees above the horizon.)
  11. Find the time to watch the sunset and go to bed. Watch the sunrise and wake to the sound of the bird’s singing.
  12. Keep only good company. Avoid people that aren’t good company.
  13. Practice forgiveness and lovingkindness meditation.
  14. Plan for the future but live in the day. Practice mindfulness meditation.
  15. Practice the Stoic practice of the trichotomy of control. Let go of things outside of my control and focus on things totally or partly in my control.
  16. Give up on the Stoic practice of duty to society and embrace the Epicurean practice of finding happiness. Practice carpe diem.
  17. Just before sleeping, think about all the things that went well today.
  18. Make something out of garbage each week or learn to do without. Reuse or re-purpose items I’m thinking about throwing out.
  19. Find at least one way each week to get government out of my household.
  20. Have a media and technology fast from 5:00pm Friday to 5:00am Monday every week. Completely avoid all computers, phones, email or communication technology.
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Looking northeast from Goose Lake Road. Getting outside is my kind of medicine!

Seasonal Foods: Frozen Wild Mushrooms

wild mushroom 1 Seasonal Foods: Frozen Wild Mushrooms

There is nothing more delicious than wild mushrooms.

There is nothing more delicious than wild mushrooms. Our neighbor Joe Trotta brought over a big box of wild mushrooms for us. Thanks, Joe!

Normally, we sauté the wild mushrooms with some butter and sea salt and eat them right away. With over 20 pounds of wild mushrooms to process, we decided to try Joe’s method of storing mushrooms for winter consumption.

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Cover and cook the mushrooms in butter and sea salt until tender.

8-10c wild mushrooms
1/4c organic butter
1tsp sea salt
Clean and wash off all the dirt from the wild mushrooms and let them dry. In a very large fry pan, cover and simmer the mushrooms in butter and sea salt until very tender. Remove the mushrooms and cool. When the mushrooms are cool, portion the mushrooms into freezer bags suitable for your household needs. The frozen mushrooms are good in soups, stews, omelettes, pizza toppings, side dishes or wherever you normally use canned mushrooms.

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Let the wild mushrooms cool before packaging into freezer bags.

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Package the wild mushrooms in portions suitable for your household.

Onion Gravy

gravy 3 Onion Gravy

This Onion Gravy is made from chicken drippings and bone broth. This gravy is great for people that cannot tolerate grains.

This recipe is safe for someone on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, GAPS or modified paleo diet.

I have really missed gravy over the years because I can’t tolerate grains. At long last, I have found a gravy substitute that is as good or better than traditional gravy! This gravy can be made with drippings from roast chicken, beef, lamb, pork or goat.

gravy 1 Onion Gravy

Cut two onions in half and roast with the meat. Put the garlic cloves under the roast to protect the garlic from the heat. This “fat boy” chicken came from China Valley Poultry Farm in Chase, BC. Their contact information is below.

2 roasted onions, blended
4-6 garlic cloves, blended
1-2c roast drippings
1c bone broth (optional)
splash of white or red wine (optional)
Cut two onions in half and roast with the meat. Put the garlic cloves under the roast to protect the garlic from the heat. When the roast is almost cooked remove the onions, garlic and any drippings from the roast. Do not skim the fat from the drippings. The fat makes a very rich and delicious gravy.

In a Vitamix machine, blend the roasted onions and garlic until smooth. Add the drippings (including the fat) and blend. If the gravy is too thick, add some bone broth. Warm the gravy in a sauce pan and add the wine, if desired. White wine is best for chicken and red wine is best for beef, lamb, pork or goat.

gravy 2 Onion Gravy

In a Vitamix machine, blend the roasted onions and garlic until smooth. Add the drippings including the fat and blend. If the gravy is too thick, add some bone broth.

China Valley Poultry Farm
Magi and Don Buchanan
7160 China Valley Rd, Chase, BC, V0E 1W0
T: 250.379.2903
E: magibuchanan(a)
brown free range eggs, turkeys and chickens grown free range without GMOs, antibiotics, and hormones