RECIPE: herbal tea

It’s cold season around here.
We are all sneezing, sniffling, coughing, and wiping our runny noses.

My favorite cure for scratchy throats and congestion headaches is herbal tea.

1/2 inch long piece of fresh ginger (peeled)
1 lemongrass stalk
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
Hot Water (or black tea)

Mix together, and let steep for 5 or more minutes. The longer it steeps the stronger the ginger and lemongrass will be.

Even if it’s 85 degrees out, my sickies enjoy this tea.


RECIPE: fried tomato salsa

Yes. This is a recipe for FRIED TOMATO SALSA. Yes, FRIED. But, it’s in coconut oil…so…um…

It’s addictive if you like some heat in your life.

4 shallots
2 cloves of garlic
7 small red Asian peppers
1/2 tsp salt
10 small tomatoes (or 4-5 large tomatoes, or 15 cherry tomatoes)
1/4 c coconut oil (or oil of your choice)

So, here’s the process.
Peel and slice the shallots and garlic. Split open the peppers. Smash garlic, shallots, and peppers with salt (the salt makes it easier to smash) in a mortar and pestle. This can also be done sans salt in a food processor.
Quarter the tomatoes. Heat the oil in the pan, coconut oil smokes somewhat easily (not as easily as olive oil), so keep the heat medium-high. Once the oil is hot add the garlic, shallot, and pepper smash. Fry until the smell good, but not quite brown. Add the tomatoes and continue to fry, smooshing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon, until everything is well combined. Once combined and cooked through (about 5 minutes), remove from heat.


RECIPE: the BEST play dough

I’ve tried many recipes for play dough, but this is my hands down favorite. It lasts outside of refrigeration for a long time, it smells good, and its stays soft and pliable. It’s also not a pain to clean up afterwards like recipes that call for cooking it in a pot. And, if you use grapeseed oil its like SO NATURAL.

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How we roll in a Thanksgiving way

I know this about Thanksgiving, and here it is the middle of January. We are just now getting back to internet…so I’m going ahead and posting the old stuff, because it’s still a good story. Stay tuned for Christmas, and G-man’s birthday.

This is a story about a duck, and some other players. Yep a story about a duck…not a turkey…that would be so expected. When November rolled around we realized that it was the month of Thanksgiving, but being a little disconnected from the outside world we weren’t sure EXACTLY when Thanksgiving was. Is it the third Thursday in November, the second, the last? We decided we would go with the last Thursday in November {yeah we now know we were wrong} and started making plans. We decided to invite our team members, and then went about trying to figure out what we could make without a refrigerator, Martha Stewart, a big oven, pickles, olives, cranberry sauce, or a turkey. I felt like we were channeling the first Thanksgiving.


The next biggest fowl to a turkey (in our area) is a duck. So we asked around to find out who had a duck to sell…turns out Anton only had two left and they were old and tough, but Gapur had quite a few and he said “just pick one, and then let me know what you pick”. The only catch, the ducks were down the mountain, about an hour away. When Michael went down for other supplies, he tried to catch one, but no luck.

So our teammate, Jerry, who lived down the mountain caught one the day of the event. Catching a duck isn’t as easy as it sounds…Jerry and his whole family worked together to corner one, and then piled on it. The duck quacked and quacked, and they began to worry that the neighbors would think they were stealing. Finally Jerry was able to wrestle the duck into a rice sack. He then hung it on his motorbike, and started the trip up the mountain.

The duck was none too happy to be riding up the side of the mountain hanging off a bike so anytime Jerry’s knee came near he would peck it. I really wish I had a video of that, Jerry trying to steer while a duck is attacking his leg. The duck made it up, and was dispatched with. Then we charred it, plucked it (have you ever plucked a fowl? it’s hard work), boiled it, sauced it, and grilled it. It wasn’t big enough to be worth all that work, but it WAS delicious. 


Michael bought the pumpkin at the market on the coast, than I peeled, steamed, and pureed it. I grated the spices, mixed them with the pumpkin, powdered milk, and egg. I put the pie crust and pie filling all together in my cast iron pan. Covering it, I cooked it on the stove top on low. And crazily enough it WORKED!

I also made a easy peasy coconut custard cake. A sort of stuffing. Some pomegranate jello to sub for cranberry sauce. Veggies of some kind. Some wild rice. Then plunked it all on the table. Our coworkers showed up, and we had a really NICE meal, and a fun time being together. 


Even with all of the extra steps because of our remoteness and lack of electricity, I think it was the most relaxed I’ve felt at Thanksgiving. And I really enjoyed it.


After we were all TOO full, I bundled up the leftovers for the neighbors and friends, and that was that. Our Thanksgiving…on the wrong date with the wrong stuff…but with the right spirit.