Surprise Mac’n’Beef (THM-S)

What’s the surprise in this recipe? It’s mushrooms! Before you say “gross” and look away, I’m begging you to hear me out!

The mushrooms are processed and mixed into the ground beef…and I promise, you can’t tell there’s mushrooms there! This is picky little boy approved…I’m not lying; he gobbled it up without any complaints!

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get to the recipe. See the end of the post for why mushrooms are so good for you.

Ingredients For the Beef:

1 lb ground beef

8 oz baby bella mushrooms, processed until chopped very finely, almost to a paste, but not quite. They have to be tiny enough to be undetectable.

1 tsp onion and garlic powder

1 tsp mineral salt

½ tsp black pepper

1 tsp parsley

1 tsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp paprika (smoked or regular)

Brown the ground beef in a skillet, then when it is browned, add the mushrooms that have been processed well. Add all the seasonings, and cook for five to ten more minutes, and while it’s finishing, prepare the Mac.

Ingredients for the Mac:

Dreamfield’s Pasta (a higher protein pasta that is THM-approved), cooked

¼ cup butter

½ cup Greek yogurt

6-8 oz cheese (I used Aldi’s shredded Gouda)

1 tsp mineral salt

Dash of black pepper

1 tsp paprika

½ tsp garlic powder

2 tbsp heavy cream

Mix all the above ingredients into the noodles that have just been drained from their boiling water. The butter and cheese will melt. Stir everything together until all the cheese is melted, and then combine with the beef mixture.

Serve with a side salad, and you have a quick, hearty, healthy dinner.

THM: This is a heavy S. The mushrooms are a hidden veggie, and the addition of the side salad with an S-friendly dressing rounds it out perfectly.

The scoop on the ‘shrooms:

Mushrooms are one of those veggies that you either love or hate, in my limited experience, of course. Now technically, they are in the fungus family…which doesn’t help them sound very appetizing. But here are the benefits of mushrooms: (info taken from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.)

They contain:

· Protein

· Phosphorus

· Calcium

· Iron

· Biotin, a B-complex vitamin

· Selenium, necessary for heart health and the circulatory system

They also boost the immune system and fight cancer cells. That’s a good reason to be eating them!

I’ve seen several articles recently about mushroom teas, mushroom extracts, and mushroom coffees. It seems that mushrooms are gaining popularity! So make use of nature’s medicine, and incorporate more mushrooms in your diet! (And don’t tell picky husbands or kids!)

You may also want to try Surprise Burritos.

Surprise Burritos (THM-S)

These burritos are delicious. And the surprise…they have mushrooms hidden in them! No screaming in horror please! I beg of you to keep reading, and to try this yourself! I was listening to the Trim Healthy Mama podcast and learned how to do this little trick. Husbands and children have no idea that these yummy burritos pack a health punch. Mushrooms are undetectable!

See the notes after the recipe to see why mushrooms are so good for you.

Now for the recipe:

Ingredients

1 lb ground beef

8 oz mushrooms

1 onion

3 garlic cloves

1 6 oz can tomato paste

1 tsp mineral salt

½ tsp black pepper

2 tsp cumin

1 tbsp chili powder

2 tsp smoked paprika (or regular)

Splash of apple cider vinegar

½ cup sour cream

4 oz cream cheese

¼ cup chicken broth

Low-carb tortillas

8 oz Monterey Jack cheese

Green onions, chopped for topping

Directions:

(About an hour before cooking, place container of mushrooms near a sunny window or door.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Start browning the ground beef. Take the “sunned” mushrooms and put them all in a food processor, and process until they are in tiny bits…ground beef size. Add the mushrooms to the cooking ground beef, and stir together. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until the meat is browned, and the onions are tender. Add the can of tomato paste, and the salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and apple cider vinegar.

In a blender or food processor, blend together the sour cream, cream cheese, and chicken broth.

Scrape this white mixture out of the blender and add to the meat sauce. Stir it together, and let it simmer for just a minute or two.

Take one tortilla at a time, and fill it up with a good spoonful of the meat sauce, sprinkle a handful of Monterey Jack cheese, and fold it up into a burrito. Fill each tortilla until the pan is filled, I fit five in a 9×13 baking dish. Take a spoonful or two of the meat sauce and spoon it on top of the burritos. Use the rest of the cheese to cover the meat sauce.

Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is starting to brown on top.

Garnish with green onion and sour cream on the side.

THM notes: this would be considered an S with low carb wraps or even Wonder Wraps, a recipe found in Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook. I served our meal with brown rice sprinkled with Tajin seasoning because as a nursing mama I still need to eat Crossovers and so do my little boys!

The scoop on the ‘shrooms:

Mushrooms are one of those veggies that you either love or hate, in my limited experience, of course. Now technically, they are in the fungus family…which doesn’t help them sound very appetizing. But here are the benefits of mushrooms: (info taken from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.)

They contain:

· Protein

· Phosphorus

· Calcium

· Iron

· Biotin, a B-complex vitamin

· Selenium, necessary for heart health and the circulatory system

They also boost the immune system and fight cancer cells. That’s a good reason to be eating them!

I’ve seen several articles recently about mushroom teas, mushroom extracts, and mushroom coffees. It seems that mushrooms are gaining popularity! So make use of nature’s medicine, and incorporate more mushrooms in your diet! (And don’t tell picky husbands or kids!)

You might also want to try Surprise Mac’n’Beef.

Amy Campbell & The Tennessee Farm Table

“You’re listening to the Tennessee Farm Table with your hostess Amy Campbell…”

Our family caught this line on WDVX’s 9 am radio show four years ago. We have tuned in ever since. Being farmers ourselves, the subject of East Tennessee’s Appalachian food and farming traditions was right up our alley and we loved this show! So, naturally, a few months back, I decided to write in to Amy Campbell and tell her how much we enjoyed listening and invited her to take a look at my blog.

She responded with the kindest email I’d ever read, and she was up to interview and visit with us the next week!

Amy is a genuine, loving person who is doing a great work here in our region. Let me tell you a little bit about her.

Amy was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. She says she was raised in the city, but she was a country girl at heart. Like many of us from around these parts, her family roots were tied to farming. Even when she was a little girl, she loved spending time with her Grandpa on the farm.

Her mother was an art teacher, so Amy naturally developed a love and a talent for art. She became a portrait painter and folk artist—among many other titles!

She received her Bachelor’s in 1989 from Savannah College of Art and Design. Her first paying job was for Proffitt’s Department Store; as an Illustrator for their news print advertisements. Over the years, she earned her MFA in Graphic Design from UT, and has held several other creative jobs as a professional freelance artist, portrait painter, graphic designer, and even as a Professor of Fine Art at Carson Newman and Maryville College

Her portraits of regional food producers and historic figures from Blount County are on display in the Maryville Municipal Building, The Walnut Kitchen, and J.C. Holdway Restaurant in Knoxville.

The logo for the WDVX radio station was designed by Amy!

She has volunteered countless hours with the radio station since 1996 . She was with them from the beginning because she believed in getting good music to us here in East Tennessee. (Now it’s heard around the world.) She said she wanted to play music that folks around here would listen to sitting on their front porches. Well, I don’t know how many times we have loved listening to bluegrass especially on our front porch! Our family is thankful for that!

Amy has worked as a public relations representative for Knox County at the Knox County Farmers’ Market back in the mid 1990s which is now “New Harvest Farmers’ Market” with the intent to drive sales for local agriculture, and was a founding board member of the Maryville Farmer’s Market and Market Manager in the inaugural season. Here, she saw the hard work from farms and small businesses and wanted to help these farmers out. Before the farmer’s market was “cool”, she was out encouraging everyone to eat food sourced locally! Thankfully now society has caught up with that idea again!

She also worked at Blackberry Farm in the garden and loved learning all about heirloom seeds and other facets of working in the soil. (She was also an artist in residence at Blackberry Farm.) Her love for farming just kept growing and she saw a need to preserve this way of life.

Around ten years ago, she had a dream about developing a show featuring folks that were preserving and preparing Appalachian food. She had a desire to record these stories and to find the people that were keeping farming traditions alive…

In 2013, her show, The Tennessee Farm Table, aired from WDVX.

She has since interviewed unique places and small family farms like J&R Farms, Benton’s Bacon, The Love Kitchen…she has spoken with chefs, authors, gardeners, foodies, and wineries…the list could go on! She highlights topics that are unique to our Appalachian region like the paw-paw fruit and ramps.

Amy and I have the same philosophy: if it’s not shared now, who will remember the old ways? They need to be shared and taught!

She works so hard to bring attention to these timeless traditions and skills that are so rare today. Family farms are still the backbone of the community, and as a part of the community, we love to make a difference.

Photo credits: Laura Pierpont Photography

On every show, she mentions non-profit organizations that are helping folks in our cities and towns. One day, she hopes to be able to serve food directly to needy people from a mobile radio building! Because everyone deserves a chance to eat good, local food: This type of dreaming and thinking is why she’s making such an impact, here!

I’m thankful that Amy has a desire to record and tell our region’s stories of food and how we grow, prepare, and cook. We are both quite passionate about food…which may sound silly to some, because you may be thinking “what’s the big deal…can’t you just heat a microwave dinner up and fill your stomach and that’s all you need?” NO!

Sitting down at the family table with food that you-know-where-it-came-from is something special. It adds life to our days and it adds a ton of joy, too! (Not to mention nutrition!) You don’t have to grow it yourself. You can visit a farmer friend or a market and taste the freshest, realest food and just cherish it. Good local food is a gift, people! Amy believes that food “brings our often quarreling world together, and is a way for us to share our different cultures and beliefs through a shared experience.”

Amy is preserving the importance of our food traditions. I love it! Some of these things would be forgotten otherwise. “I like to share stories and capture the memories of regular people who have, or are doing important things for our community and world.” She wants her art and her radio work to reflect that desire. If we don’t have a way to remember these ordinary folks, their memories and way of life will fade away.

Our Saturday mornings wouldn’t be complete without listening in. As soon as Emi Sunshine starts singing the theme song, my boys start dancing around the room.

The shows airs by podcast from Amy’s website at: tennesseefarmtable.com and additionally broadcast Saturday mornings at 9 by radio from Knoxville at WDVX.com.

The link for the podcast is here, and you can listen anytime to any episode. Tune in to WDVX via radio or online at wdvx.com on Saturday mornings at 9 am for the show.

Go to tennesseefarmtable.com to see the contributors, sponsors, and info about the show.

Follow the show on Facebook and Instagram. Or be old fashioned and just tell your friends and neighbors about the show so they can tune in old-school style by listening to the radio!

Let’s help support each other in these endeavors of eating, supporting, and preserving LOCAL! Thank you, Amy, for all your hard work and diligence in capturing our stories through art and radio. What a unique place she has in our community and a very special one.

Check out Amy’s website and see her artistic talent, as well!

http://www.amyloucampbell.com/

https://www.tennesseefarmtable.com/shop

Einkorn Sourdough Bread (THM-E)

I fell in love with sourdough this year. I made my own starter from the usual all-purpose flour and loved the results.

Years ago, I made sourdough from rye and spelt according to the recipe in The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook. But my husband isn’t crazy about rye.

So I recently found some whole wheat einkorn flour! I was so pumped to get this stuff. Einkorn is the only non-hybridized wheat. It is an ancient grain and it is still true to the original wheat that was used a thousand years ago! That is cool!

It’s also higher in protein, higher in fiber, and lower in gluten than modern wheat flour.

Fermenting, or souring, the wheat takes the benefits even further. It adds all sorts of good bacteria and helps to naturally preserve the bread.

It makes it taste wonderfully delicious, too!

Here’s my process to get started:

A week or two before you get to make the bread, you have to make your starter. This is not a hard process at all…you just have to be patient.

To begin the sourdough starter, just have a clean quart jar. Put ½ cup einkorn whole wheat into the jar. Add ¼ cup non-chlorinated, room temperature water. Stir it up, and put a coffee filter on top, and secure with a rubber band. You can use a towel or whatever you have to cover the jar. Just let it breathe.

Let the jar sit in a warm spot for a whole day. I put mine on my oven, so it catches warmness from cooking.

The next day, hopefully the flour mixture is kind of bubbly looking. Go ahead and add another ½ cup of einkorn, and another ¼ cup water. Stir it all together. Secure the coffee filter with the rubber band and let it sit for another day.

By now it should be noticeably bubbly. Not bubbling like boiling water, but you should see little air bubbles on the side of the jar. If you keep an eye on it, the bubbles will change and move around. If you do not have bubblies, it may not be souring properly. I have had success with all my starters, so if the mixture just looks…flat…you may want to contact the Pinterest or Google sourdough experts to see what to do.

You’ll let the sourdough sit for another day.

The next day, this will be the third day, you will discard some of the starter. This means you will pour some out. I’m not fussy about this part, I will just pour a bit out into another clean jar. This will be my discard jar that goes in the fridge. (Use it for pancakes, waffles, or for fermented oatmeal.)

After you’ve poured some out (remember, don’t pour much, no more than half!), feed ½ cup flour and ¼ cup of water again. Put the top on again and let it sit for another day.

The next day, repeat the step above. (Discard, feed…let it sit another day.)

Do this until you notice your starter growing after you feed it, sometimes it will double in size! When you have at least 2 cups, preferably more, starter—it’s time to make bread! You’ll also want your starter to be fairly “mature”, so be sure it’s at least a week or two old. It’ll rise better when it is more mature.

Also, if you want more starter quicker…add more flour and water. I used ½ c flour to ¼ c water, but you could increase the ratios to whatever suits you.

Einkorn Sourdough Bread (makes one bread pan)

2 cups mature and active einkorn sourdough starter

1 cup water

3 cups whole wheat einkorn flour

½ tbsp mineral salt

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, incorporating the three cups of flour one cup at a time. Stir it all together. The dough will be sticky. It’s not too runny, but it’s not hard enough to knead.

Since it is a loose dough, just take a wooden spoon and work the dough in your bowl. Work it around for several minutes. I didn’t time myself, but you want to put in a good ten minutes of “kneading”. Just take the spoon at the top of the bowl, and pull the dough down, and rotate from there.

After the dough has been worked, it’ll still be sticky, but will not be sticking heavily to the bowl.

Grease a bread pan, and pour the dough into it.

Let it rise in a warm place for 4 hours or more. It must take this long to rise because I’m only using natural yeast from the starter, no added yeast or sugar. I turned on my oven light and let it rise in the oven for four hours. Just let it rise until the top is coming up over the bread pan. Not too much or it will fall! Rising time will vary depending on the temperature of your house. That’s why I put it in the oven in a warm environment.

Now, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Set a pan of water on the bottom rack for a steam effect. (I learned that trick from the recipe for Artisan Sourdough Bread in Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook.)

Put the bread back into the heated oven, and cook at 400 for about 10 minutes. Then decrease the time to 350 degrees. It will need to bake for another hour at least.

(I’m sorry I am not good at giving exact times, because frankly, baking with sourdough is a little more unpredictable. Someone’s sourdough may be thicker just because the starter was thicker, so the bread may take longer to rise, or cook, ect. So just keep an eye on the bread, and after an hour, check it with a knife to see if the center is done. By an hour, it should be good to go…if not, let it cook for another 30 minutes.)

I let the bread cool in the pan, then I turned it out onto the counter.

Let it cool completely before storing. I use a plastic twisty-tie baggy, but you can use your favorite method of storing bread.

**This was my first attempt at Einkorn sourdough, and I was pleasantly surprised and pleased with the outcome! I was afraid I’d end up with a brick…but it was just like the other sourdough I had made before in that it had a harder crust. The color is obviously darker, and the inside of the bread was perfectly moist and delicious.

Einkorn sourdough bread rocked our homemade bread world, and I don’t know if I can go back to white bread! Plus, it’s on the THM plan as an E bread, so I feel good about these pure healthy carbs!

Turkey and Broccoli Casserole (THM-S)

I have an abundance of ground turkey. Now, ground turkey is a leaner meat option, and usually makes a great lean protein choice for a carb-ier meal, if you’re looking to separate fuels. (As in THM S or E meals.) I’m also looking for ways to cram all the veggies I can into a casserole! That’s why I included broccoli, and it went very well with the whole thing.

(THM notes: I started out wanting to create an E meal, but I just wasn’t feelin’ it, ya know? I was craving something a little more creamy and cheesy, so it is an S. I actually served this with brown rice as a side, because I pretty much do Crossovers for my dinners because I’m nursing my baby. But to keep it in S, you can do riced cauliflower or a side salad.)

This fills up a 9×13 dish.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Turkey and Broccoli Casserole:

First part:

2 lbs ground turkey

1 onion

2 bell peppers

2 minced garlic cloves

1 tsp mineral salt

¼ tsp black pepper

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

Cook ground turkey, onion, and bell peppers together until the turkey is cooked. Add the garlic, and the other seasonings. Stir it up and let it cook for a minute, then pour it into the casserole dish.

In the same skillet do the next part:

½ cup chicken broth (I used my homemade bone broth)

1 cup or more of frozen broccoli florets. (You can use fresh too!)

Cook until the broccoli is tender, then whisk in:

½ tsp glucomannan (THM Gluccie is great.)

(I move all the broccoli over to one side, and whisk the gluccie into the liquid. When it’s dissolved, stir the broccoli back in.)

I sprinkled more salt and pepper over this mixture, and when it has cooked for about three more minutes, pour over the ground turkey in the dish.

Add about a cup of shredded cheese and layer it over the whole thing.

Cook for about 30 minutes.

Beef Roast and Radishes (THM-S)

Nothing says comfort and home like a beef roast. Especially if it is cooked long and slow all day and it fills the house with an incredible smell.

This beef roast recipe can be used for really any cut of meat. I used a 4-5 lb chuck roast. I’ll give a few different cooking options, so it really is versatile and doable for anyone!

Also, I’m adding crisp little peppery radishes from our garden. It really adds some flavor. I highly recommend incorporating radishes into your roasts. (For THM’ers: As you know, radishes can almost be disguised as white potatoes. 😉 Check out this little link for how cool radishes are.)

Ingredients:

Beef roast (any size, any cut…this recipe can work for anything)

Coconut oil (I used refined. It doesn’t have a coconut aroma.)

Salt and pepper

One onion

Two cloves garlic, minced

1 cup water

1 tbsp each of:

Dried parsley and

Nutritional yeast

1 bay leaf

Soy sauce or Liquid aminos

Radishes, trimmed from their greens and sliced

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

Heat about two tablespoons coconut oil in a big skillet. Season one side of the meat with salt and pepper, and then season the other side. Place the roast in the sizzling coconut oil to brown all sides.

Take the roast out of the skillet, and put it into a baking pan, or stoneware cooker, like I have.

In the same skillet, where the little bits of roast are still in the pan, add the onions and stir them around. Add more oil if needed. When the onions are becoming tender, add the minced garlic. Stir it around for another minute, then pour on top of the roast, oil and all.

Mix together 1 cup of water, and the remaining seasonings: parsley, bay leaf, nutritional yeast, and soy sauce (or liquid aminos). Stir this together, then pour over the roast.

Add the radishes.

–I had a sad harvest of radishes this year, unfortunately. I just had a good handful of radishes and threw them all into this recipe. You can use a whole bag from the store if you love radishes.—

Cover and cook on 275 for several hours. It depends on how big your roast was…but I had a 4-5 lb chuck roast and cooked for three to four hours.

Alternate cooking methods:

Crock pot!!

–You can still follow all the directions as written above…or…just skip the browning and throw it all in the crockpot. Cook on low all day long, 6-8 hours.—

Lower and slower

–If you want that lower heat and longer slower cooking time, this is a great way to fix a roast. Turn the oven to 200 degrees and roast that meat all day. Talk about tender!

Sick of Chemicals On Your Skin? I Was, Too.

I became a little psycho about what foods were going into my body a few years ago… then I also realized what you put ON your body can be just as bad! Ahh!

Since then, I will admit, I’ve calmed down.

But when you see warning about breast cancer on the deodorant label, warnings about parabens on shampoo and laurel sulfates on soaps and on and on…I started to get a little crazy!

I’ll talk about deodorant first. Now, I’ve heard great claims about that little crystal stick deodorant, and that is great. But it never worked for me.

I bought expensive “natural” health food store deodorants, and after five years, they are still in my cabinet! I didn’t like them and they didn’t work.

I was bound and determined not to put “normal”, cancerous deodorant anywhere near my armpits ever again! But what was I going to do, I didn’t want to go around stinking!

Thank goodness for Trim Healthy Naturals!

**This post contains THM Affiliate links. Any product you purchase from my link will go toward a commission!**

I found my deodorant that has worked and that I have loved for going on three years. It’s called Hippie Stick. You can pronounce every ingredient, and my goodness, you can even eat every ingredient! (Not that you would want to eat the deodorant, though.)

It’s really great. Now I will be completely honest here…I have to reapply it, because if I’m doing a lot of sweating, it will fade away. But I have to do that with regular deodorant, too. Maybe it’s just me. I was desperate one day and used my husband’s strong powerful man deodorant. I had to reapply it, too!! So my thoughts were, if I have to reapply an antiperspirant (which is not good for your skin) then I will just stick with my Hippie Stick, because nothing lasts on me!

I’m doing my body a huge favor by using completely safe and natural ingredients. Nothing questionable at all!

Now if you’re wondering about the shampoo and the soap dilemma I faced? I use my own homemade lye soap, always. Even for my little kids.

Shampoo goes either way…I’ll buy it from the store for a while, then I’ll switch to my baking soda/vinegar regimen for a while.

I don’t mean to sound like a hater of all things manufactured at the shampoo plant…but my hair stays “fresher” longer when I do baking soda, essential oils, and vinegar. It gets less oily and is easier to handle. Just saying. If you want more info on how I do that, just holler.

Finally, I want to make sure you all see this Orange Silk Hydrating Cream and Extra Mild Cream for the Most Sensitive Skin. I love these two things so much. They both zap dry skin. I even tried duplicating the Orange Cream, but mine was nowhere near as smooth, I just couldn’t get the oil proportions right.

I used them on my baby’s diaper rash areas countless times. I do not buy any diaper creams from the store because this stuff is so good, and it’s good for their little baby skin. If I’m going to buy a lotion or cream, I will buy it from Trim Healthy Naturals.

Thanks for reading! Check out these great products!

Blacksmithing + My Father’s Day Tribute

My father has always chosen hobbies that are a bit unconventional. (It’s genetic.) When I was little, he was interested in archery and crafted his own traditional long bows. He tinkered around with gunsmithing even, and has made about every traditional weapon in history. I grew up around projects that I wasn’t supposed to touch because the paint was wet, or the metal was hot…and I was always in awe that he could make such beautiful things out of wood or iron.

One of his hobbies that have lasted through a few decades is blacksmithing.

He started tinkering with iron when we would reenact at Fort Loudoun, an 18th century fort. He learned from an older gentlemen, Steve, who through humor and his own antics taught my daddy how to forge.

It wasn’t long that Daddy built his own forge in the back yard, and today, it has evolved into a huge shop. It’s a beautiful shop of dreams for a blacksmith or tinkerer of any kind.

Blacksmithing is definitely more than shoeing horses. (It’s one of those things…it irritates blacksmiths to be confused with farriers. So next time, don’t ask a blacksmith about the horse shoes.)

The simplest “S” hook, which is a tool used to hang pots over the fire, can be a work of art. It takes definite talent to turn cold iron into something beautiful.

The “s” hook is one of the first things a blacksmith might learn to make. My daddy has made many right in front of my eyes. When I was a little girl, I used to could think I could almost do it myself. He then would forge strikers for a fire steel set. The metal piece you hold in your hand to strike the flint with, then the spark falls onto the charcloth and the fire is started from there.

He’d make fire sets for cooking over the open fire, musket tools used to clean the big guns, and even little heart necklaces. I still wear mine occasionally, but I haven’t since my little boys’ want to tug on it!

Those little iron items are pretty cool. They’re very useful and an example of what blacksmith’s centuries ago would crank out of their forge.

My daddy really proved his craftsmanship and talent though, when he started making knives.

He forged the blades out of high-carbon steel and even made one out of chainsaw Damascus. I don’t think my words could do these knives justice because just look at them! (Scroll through the photos below!)

It’s strange for a gal like me to sit here and just be dumbfounded by the beauty of a blade. Maybe just because it came from my daddy’s hard work that I find them such works of art!

I’m not alone in thinking this, though. He has been filling orders for folks for years, although he doesn’t brag about it.

He is a very meticulous craftsman. Very particular and very precise. I’ve seen him work tirelessly on one little detail on a knife.

You might think the blade itself is seamless and perfect…then your eyes move to the knives’ handles. He also made every one of them. Some are made from bone, wood, or antler. He did all the carving and piecing together, and he even makes the leather sheaths!

He could totally be making swords and stuff for Hollywood; they’re that good!

Since Father’s Day is coming up, I just wanted to show the world what an amazing blacksmith and bladesmith my father is. He deserves to be bragged on!

It takes great patience and skill to produce such fine work! He is more than likely the best blacksmith in the world; but he’s for sure the best father in the world.

Thank you for being an amazing daddy my whole life; there is none better. The Lord blessed me immensely by giving me such a great daddy.

He’s taught me so many wonderful lessons and encouraged me in every little thing I’ve ever been involved in.

My sons have an awesome Granddaddy, too. They love shooting bows with him, and singing along with his guitar playing. They are so blessed to have a godly example in my daddy. He’s the best father, best granddaddy, and we want to say we love you and:

Happy Father’s Day!

Wheytorade

You know those drinks that are supposed to replace electrolytes but are chocked full of sugar and artificial flavors and colors? I’ll skip buying those, and make something like this instead.

This will make about a quart jar (or THM Sipper Jar!).

(All the links are THM affiliate links, which means if you purchase something through these links I’ll receive a commission!)

Use 2 tbsp baobab powder. (This can be found at Wal-Mart, but also THM sells this Baobab Boost Powder)

Swirl some raw honey.

Add the whey. Use anywhere from one tablespoon to ¼ cup! It adds a great lemon flavor!

Now fill the jar up partly with water, mix everything together, and then fill with ice and top it off with more water.

This is what the little farmer likes to drink:

Healthy notes:

Baobab powder comes from the baobab fruit tree in Africa. It naturally dries while still on the tree, so the pulp is scraped directly from the fruit. It has more potassium than bananas, more iron than spinach, and more Vit C than oranges…and the list goes on! I recently listened to this podcast about the benefits of baobab.

Raw honey is so good for you, too. You can also use stevia or another natural sweetener.

Whey get it’s own post on the blog, so head over to this post to see how great it really is!

What is Whey?

If you have ever opened a carton of yogurt, you’ll probably see some watery substance on top. It might freak some people out, but it’s not gross…it’s whey!

When you strain milk or yogurt or kefir to make your cheese, the drippings are whey. Always catch this liquid into a clean container, and store it in a jar in your fridge. I’ve caught dripped whey before, and let the jar sit in my fridge for months…and I threw it out because I didn’t know what to do with it!

Here’s why you might want to keep and use this yellow-y lemony smelling stuff:

-Whey is full of good bacteria. Gut health is a popular subject these days (at least in the accounts I follow) and everyone is concerned about leaky gut. They’re all about selling probiotics and balancing the good bacteria in the gut. Whey is full of those wonderful enzymes that are good bacteria! No need to buy expensive pills when you have a natural source of probiotic that’s dripped off yogurt. (Of course, there are different strains of bacteria in a probiotic pill, so I’m not bashing them, just saying if you wanna be frugal, just make your own!)

-Whey is an old-timey Gatorade. Huh? Gross!

No, no, let me explain.

It’s full of not only good bacteria and probiotics, but it’s full of electrolytes and minerals! That’s so cool! Here’s a recipe for my Wheytorade. I realize many of you don’t have access to whey, but isn’t it a good reason to try your hand at cheese or yogurt making?

-Whey has been used as a beverage since Hippocrates’ time! According to Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, whey was used for medicine from ancient times up until more modern times. In the 1940’s in Europe, it was used to treat all manner of stomach ailments and even tuberculosis.

-Whey can be used to inoculate your ferments. If you are making kraut, kvass, or kimchi, add a bit of whey to get the process started with a dose of good bacteria. It’ll help keep the bad out, and make the ferment even stronger.

-Whey can be slipped in a recipe in place of lemon juice. I did this with a lemon Dijon salmon recipe the other day. I used up all my fresh lemons, so I just poured my whey into the recipe. I actually forgot about it, and the taste wasn’t affected at all.

-Whey can also be slipped into a smoothie for a superfood boost!

-Lastly, if you just have an abundance of whey, and I hesitate to say this, you can also feed it to the pets. If your kids won’t drink it, the dog, pigs, chickens, whatever you have…will. The plants like it, too. When I was reading about cheesemaking in the Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery, the ladies said they just throw it to the hogs. Maybe they just didn’t realize how useful it was!

I’m tickled to death when I can turn something considered a by-product into something yummy. Check out this recipe for Whey Pie with Whipped Cream Topping.

Whatever you do, don’t throw out the whey!