Friday, December 7, 2012

My Kitchen Smells Like My Grandmothers

I just ate the best-tasting shitaki mushroom of any I've ever tasted.
I'm growing them from a kit. Absolutely fantastic.

Below you see jars of fermenting veggies. Some kimchi and some assorted veggies. I use different  herbs for different flavors. A little bit with each meal keeps the good bacteria in the gut.

This is a jar of Irish Moss gel. It was fresh Irish Moss that has been thoroughly washed and then blended with water into the gel below. It acts as a thickening agent with various recipes. My favorite is using it in raw cacao pudding.

This is a shelf in my fridge freezer. The little jars contain frozen cat food. I follow Dr. Lisa Pierson's  cat food recipe. I have a Tasin 108 electric grinder that pulverizes whole chicken and rabbits, bones et al. I add a lot of supplements and here is the raw cat food. I took a pathetic-looking scroungy cat from the shelter and started feeding her a raw diet with added supplements. At first she wouldn't come within 20 feet of humans. Now she's gorgeous, silky fur and friendly with everyone. Blame it on the food.

Below is a 4 gallon crock that is half filled with sauerkraut. There's a plate on top of the kraut and a rock on top of the plate to put pressure on the kraut. Kraut is also wonderful for the digestion. If you've never eaten home-made sauerkraut, you ain't eaten kraut at all.  I grew up on it.

And last is a tonic in the making. It's been fermenting 6 weeks and I could strain it now (you just use the liquid) but I haven't had the time.  It can ferment longer and I think I'll let it go a couple more months.  This tonic will cure most everything. NO KIDDING. This summer I had a lung congestion and I was hacking around for a month. My daughter had made this tonic and forgot about it.  She remembered it when she saw how miserable I was and brought me some. I took a little of it twice a day for 3 days and like magic, my lungs felt normal again. No more coughing. There's a video of a man making it on YouTube. It's called the Master Tonic if you are interested in making your own.

These are a few of my health secrets. I also just came off of a 2 week water fast. That, my Bloggy Friends, is 14 days without food.  I've done periodic water fasts all of my adult life.  I laugh when younger people gasp and tell me that fasting isn't good for me. I tell them I'll listen to them when they are 83.  Adios Bloggy friends.  My love and good health to you.


  1. I have eaten real sauerkraut before, but it's been a few years.

    Glad you're still kicking around at 83. That's awesome :)

  2. Hi Manzanita .. that is some feat - all those veggies, and ideas .. the thought of raw cat food doesn't appeal - but if I had the right home etc and a cat or two - then I'd definitely consider it.

    The tonic sounds amazing .. and your 14 day fast - guess I should do that .. but maybe a should I won't be doing!!!

    I think I probably need to pop over and spend time with you learning these things .. wonderful to read ..

    Happy Weekend .. Hilary

  3. I'd like to know what supplements you add to the cat food. I'm gathering information for when I adopt a cat in a few years. The Master Tonic sounds pretty amazing. I have asthma type reactions to allergies and am currently coughing far more than I'd like to. I couldn't do a water fast though, I like to eat. I have days instead where I eat only fruit and veg for a while.

  4. I have always been curious about those kits, now I think I will try one also. Thanks.
    14 days with out food? Yikes, I am impressed. Not sure I have gone 24 hours unless I was sick.
    Will check out that Master Tonic. Nice post that is food for thought.

  5. Oh Wow Manzi!! You have been one busy lady, and I need to add healthy in there too.

    I bet your kitty loves the food you make for it.

    Hahahaha.... good for you not listening to those who think fasting is going to kill you. They probably went home and had a pizza for supper. Then they will wonder why they don't feel so good later.

    Adios to you too and much love sent your way.

  6. Wow you went right to town
    Sure many would not frown
    But never tried much of it before
    Here at my shore
    But yeah blame most health issues on the food
    As it can be crude
    My one cat as allergies up the wazoo
    But won't eat any other food what so ever at our zoo
    Never tried raw though
    Still doubt she would indulge at my show

  7. Manzanita, oh my goodness, I wish you lived with me.
    I need that tonic and I need it NOW. I have an infection in my lungs I can't seem to shake. And I've never had homemade kraut so I guess I've never had it.
    I will look for the master tonic recipe

  8. Carol : Still Kick'n. My trouble.... I get too busy and still take on too many projects. People really laughed at me when I started growing trees from seed. As if I'd be able to sit in their shade someday. I'll just plant fast growing trees. Ha.

    Hilary : I never suggest others fast.... it's something that sort of comes naturally to one. I just laugh when they tell me that fasting will kill me. Something will, but not fasting. It would be grand if we lived on the same continent. I'd love to learn some of the recipes you write about. To be truthful, I'm not much of a cook.... never liked it either. But I did learn how to get the nutrition we need from our food. Now the soil is so depleted. Sad.

  9. River : I had to look online for cat nutrition. I haven't had a cat since the kids were little. I found out wet food is better for them because cats need a lot of water with their food. You should add a little powdered Taurine at each meal. Cats eat mice and they are definitely carnivores so they thrive best on a raw diet. They eat the bones too, so I grind up everything very fine and also add a little water when I give it to her. If you look online at Dr Lisa Pierson's web, I follow her suggestions and the supplements. I also feed Cody (dog) mostly raw but I freeze veggie cubes for her and pop one with her meat and a little cooked grain. I took Cody to the vet last week because I thought she either had a bone in her throat or kennel cough.(My vets use natural methods and revert to drugs only when necessary.... I like that). The vet had gone to school in WA State with Lisa Pierson. That was interesting.
    Even if you get a cat before you retire, cats get along alone far better than dogs do. One more thing....there is absolutely no odor from the cat box on this raw diet. Amazing.

  10. Patti : I was a nervous about the right temp for the mushrooms. I put them in a spare room upstairs and turned the heat down. I kinda forgot about them to tell the truth and when I went upstairs, it felt cold. I was afraid I had ruined them. But to my shocking eyes, I find these huge gorgeous schrooms. I just sauteed 3 in a little butter and yummm. I did call a girlfriend and asked her to call me today and see if I'm still alive.... Ha Ha. You hear so many stories about poison mushrooms but I'm still kick'n. Except, I think we got a blizzard brewing outside. Wind is blowing snow like crazy. You don't have to worry about that. :)

  11. Terry,
    Wondering how your weather is. Looks like a blizzard outside. Oh well, that's winter. As long as I didn't croak from the mushrooms, I'm going to have some more for breakfast. Honest, Terry, best schrooms I've ever eaten and there is a ton of them. I'm also going to make some of your magnesium spray. Good job, girl. I like that idea. I can now use my Vitamin D lamp. I lost the special cord when I moved and was afraid it got tossed out but it was in my sox drawer. How'd it get in there?
    Try that tonic. It's potent. Grating horseradish root is worse than peeling onions. I can't remember ever grating it before but maybe I have. There are a lot of things I can't remember... :)

  12. Pat : I think the Irish Moss seaweed comes from around your "shore."
    If you use it up, you can always go out your front door for more.
    As far as my cat
    Who can't catch a rat
    I'll put more on your blog
    When I'm not in a fog.

    Karen : I had that lung thing for a whole month but I never revert to drugs. I tried all kind of home remedy things but couldn't shake it. Then my daughter came with the tonic. That is some potent stuff. It has garlic, onions, horseradish, hot peppers and ferment it all in raw apple cider vinegar. (Seems like I left out something.... but look it up under the Master Tonic.)
    That must interfere with your singing too. It's difficult to sing when you're coughing. My granddaughter is the one who has the band and she's the singer. She wants to learn fermentation before I kick the bucket. For Christmas, I got her big jars, a large crock, books, airlocks, etc. .... all she needs to learn fermentation. It sure agrees with the digestive system too.
    Hope you find your cure soon.

  13. You're in great shape for 38, let alone 83!! They don't sell that stuff at McDonald's, do they?

  14. No wonder you haven't had time to blog. You have been busy, busy. I love all the stuff that's in this post. And at 83 no less, I really admire you!

  15. This is just amazing! I can't believe that you make most of this yourself. You are a very talented woman.

  16. Those are some gorgeous shitakes! You've got a mushroom thumb. You're inspiring me to make kimchi and sauerkraut. Both are the Hubs and my favorite. We have drive out of town and over the hill and through the valley purchase some decent authentic Korean-made kimchi. So, maybe it's time for me to give it a try. The Mama makes a delicious pickled Chayote relish that I'm going to learn to make this winter.

  17. I've heard that shitaki mushrooms are positively breathtaking. But, I'm kinda leery.
    After all, they begin with "shit."

    All kidding aside, missed you around here. Glad to see you're back!

  18. You are so dang together Manzie! I need to come stay in that beautiful green house and pick up some of your energy for the good things. Sadly, I'm doing good just to stir together some fudge stuff for Christmas.

  19. HHHMMMmmm... don't think I could go for 14 days without food - I mean, my body probably could, but not my mind!!!! I'll have to try to develop a taste for fermented food - you make it sound so worthwhile!!

  20. My daughter's tae kwon do teacher is always making kimchi. I have never had it. I'd like to try it some time.
    I haven't had homemade sauerkraut in years.

  21. Those mushrooms are gorgeous. I never considered growing them before, but now that I know there are kits available, I may have to give it a try just for fun. This is the second time you mentioned that homemade sauerkraut. Doggone it, now I'm gonna have to give THAT a try for sure. I reckon homemade kielbasa deserves homemade sauerkraut.

  22. Wow! This is so very interesting. My husband loves sauerkraut. I'm amazed you're growing your own shiitake. And kim chee too? Wow!

  23. Manzanita!! You are totally marvellous! Look at all your pickled stuff - they looks fab!! Irish Moss - who knew?!?!?!

    Good for you! Take care

  24. I can't believe you made all of this stuff! It looks amazing.

  25. Such an interesting kitchen! It, and its contents, could pass for an alchemist's shop! Or your grandmother's place, as you have indicated.

    BTW, is that tonic the kind you serve with gin in a G&T?

    Hope you keep having a wonderful winter. Christmas blessings and Bear hugs (from the hibernating Bear). <3

  26. Fishducky,
    WOW.... 38 I never tried that age. Ha I think it's absent at the big Mac but I recall many years ago when I lived in Minneapolis, a little deli had a big showcase of pickled everything. It was as good as home made and probably was. Unfortunately, nothing commercial compares today.

    Al, Now, now, let's not be picky about a name but if it really bothers you, we could call them "Merde Shrooms."Only the French will know.

    Thanks. I've missed your humor.

  27. Murees : No talent at all ..... I'm just not up on new fan-dangled commercial things. Like probiotics. Pickles work better for me. Ha ha

    Su-sieee : Over the hill and through the valley. Like going to Grandmother's house, huh? Better to make them at home, unless you like the drive. Mushroom thumb. I like that. Only it was sheer dumb luck. I put them upstairs in a spare room and I was a little nervous about the temp. To tell the truth, I kinda forgot about them for about a week. I was afraid to go in the room as I was sure they were dried out and ruined. To my surprise, I found this mushroom block just covered with beautiful shiitaki's. They were so large, I could only eat 3 and one was almost 5 in. across. Yumm

  28. Inger,
    I'll admit something. I often mention my age because I guess it sounds old to most people. BUT it doesn't sound very old to me for some reason. I don't think people begin to have a clue to life until they are at least in their 60's. But we always think we know it all when we're young. (big grin) Because I know I did.
    Thanks for being my friend, you Swedish Bombshell. !!!!

  29. Rubye,
    Fudge stuff for Christmas..... That's more than I'm doing, so far. That little green house is so cute. I said, "I could almost live in that." But the old adage...... don't throw stones. (or undress with the lights on.). I did make some raw cacao pudding with the Irish Moss. Some days nothing else will do but a little chocolate pudding. Surprising how it helps. :)

    Red: Trust me, I''m not promoting that others try to fast, it just comes easy to me. I think the reason I like the taste of the fermented is because of the salt.

    You're probably not home long enough to ferment. My friend Marilyn of 50 plus years, who I often write about, wants to make pickles too, but she's never in one place long enough. :)

  30. Those mushrooms are amazing! And fasting is always good for the body. I'm a decade younger than you, but if I come here often to see what you're eating...well, I'll add it to what I already do!

    So glad you're back to blogging also Manzanita. It was great seeing your face on my blog yesterday. Wow. A lifetime of accumulation in THREE houses. I guess that's the benefit of moving as much as I have in MY long lifetime: I've had to get rid of stuff along the way!

  31. Dear Manzanita, you are an inspiration to me. Peace.

  32. I do eat a lot of that stuff, and I love it!

  33. Very interesting read Manzanita - I guess natural foodstuffs are good for life and health.

    Must admit to never have tried fermenting foods and must look further into this.

    Anna :o]

  34. Looks like I missed some of your posts. Not sure why but now I'll catch up.