Friday, December 31, 2010

End of December Update

I skimmed through my entire blog over the holidays to remind myself why I started this diet and to recall exactly what I've experienced up to today. The blog serves as an excellent diary. I have certainly come a long way.

In my very first blog post I wrote that I expected to achieve more than a few goals from this journey ...

1) lose a few pounds by cutting out the unhealthy food I eat
2) expand my recipe list (a must if I want to stay sane while eating the same foods over and over again) and
3) achieve greater independence from the food market that includes so much pre-packaged, over processed, foods

Here I am at the end of 2010 and I believe that I've exceeded all of those goals and then some.

1) my current weight is 157 pounds which is down 39 pounds from the start of the diet
2) I now make soups, stews, noodles, ravioli, angle food cake, breads, crackers, various cheeses and many more things ... all from scratch
3) other than flour, sugar, vinegar, oil and a few other supplies .... I don't buy anything else. I create very little waste and almost 100% of the waste I do produce is recycled or composted.

I was considering introducing a few new goals but I've decided that I don't need to. The 100 meter diet is what it is .... self sufficiency on a sustainable basis. Everything else I want to achieve or explore falls under the "plus more" part of the blog's title.

So heading into 2011 you can expect more posts on sustainable living as well as more "plus more".

Wishing you a very happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Home again and recharged

We were away for a few days over the holidays and it's nice to be home again.

Shortly after we got back home I took a butternut squash pie out of the freezer and I was surprised to see a smiling face greet me when I set it out on the counter to thaw.

I think it's a clear sign that I need to try harder to maintain a positive attitude for the remainder of the 100 meter diet.

While we were out of town it simply wasn't feasible for me to stay on the diet. I didn't over indulge but I did enjoy some of the treats of the season. It was a nice break and I feel recharged to take on the remaining 5 months that I have ahead of me.

What a difference a week makes!

Friday, December 24, 2010


I whipped up this eggnog recipe for a Christmas Eve treat.


2 fresh eggs
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 cups goat milk
2 drops vanilla
A dash of ground nutmeg

Separate the egg whites and egg yolks into two separate bowls. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar to each bowl. Use a whisk to beat the egg yolks and sugar together until smooth and creamy (about a minute). Using electric beaters whip the egg whites until they form nice peaks (just like when making angle food cake).

Combine the contents of both bowls together and add two drops of vanilla and two cups of milk. Whisk thoroughly and serve with a dash of nutmeg on top.

Mmmmm .... eggnog.

I hope this weekend brings you peace, happiness and good cheer.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It isn't all roses

I'm feeling rather tired and grumbly these past few days. It's certainly not the ideal way to head into the Christmas weekend.

I brought this on myself by deciding to get up at 3 A.M. Tuesday morning to view the lunar eclipse on the winter solstice. I was hoping the event would enlighten me in some way but all it did was make me extremely tired because I didn't end up getting back to sleep that night.

I woke up Michael and Matthew at 3:30 A.M because I promised that I'd let them see the show for themselves. They thought it was extremely cool and they fell asleep quickly once I put them back in bed.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I'm feeling worn down on the winter solstice. It is after all the shortest day of the year. The days start getting longer from here on out ... that's the silver lining.

A few more decent nights of sleep will make a tremendous difference but until then I expect to remain grumpy and grumbly.

Just for the record ..... at this very moment I'm sick of goat milking, I'm tired of pickled 'anything', I don't want to see another slice of zucchini loaf and even the mention of chicken noodle soup makes me cringe.

On the bright side I'm in the perfect state of mind to truly appreciate the upcoming family Christmas feast. Bring it on!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter milking ....

Every evening Barb or I head out into the cold, dark night to milk Lucy. I always apologize to Lucy for my cold hands that are about to touch her skin. She doesn't seem to mind ... well, at least she doesn't show it if she does.

It's a peaceful experience, milking that is, and as long as Lucy isn't in a 'kicky' mood it only takes about 10 minutes to get 4 or 5 cups of milk.

By the time I'm done milking her my hands are no longer cold. They are toasty warm. I really appreciate that warmth .... almost as much as I appreciate the milk.

As usual, I thank Lucy and put her back in her stall for the night. Then I head back into the house to pasteurize the milk ... that is until this weekend. This weekend I decided to go natural and stop heat treating her milk. So far I've made yogurt and cream cheese from unpasteurized milk. Everything tastes absolutely the same as before.

Making this change means that I have to get past the phycological fear that whispers in my ear that "unpasteurized milk is unsafe". I don't believe that it's unsafe but it's still a leap of faith. I know the risks, having done my research, but I have complete trust in my source of milk ... Lucy. If I suddenly get ill I'll reconsider this change but for now I'm pushing on because it simply feels right.

What do you think about this change? Am I crazy or right on track?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Enjoying the season

Pond skating is what country living is all about .... there's nothing like it.

We've had a number of pretty cold days lately so we laced up the skates and got a head start on the pond rink this past Saturday. We heard a few cracks while shoveling but nothing that made us feel unsafe.

This week is suppose to remain unseasonably cold so we should get a lot more ice time in this week.

We've also been getting into the holiday season by doing some holiday crafts and putting up our Christmas decorations.

Barb made a lovely wreath the other day using cuttings from around the property. She tries to make one or two every year. They last a very long time and they always look beautiful.

Michael got into the spirit as well by making a colourful holiday mug as a craft while at a friends birthday party.

This will be his new hot chocolate mug that will get put into action after spending an hour or so skating on the pond.

He did a great job!

Friday, December 10, 2010


Have you heard about geoengineering yet? It's the science devoted to using technology to manipulate the Earth's environment to combat global warming.

One of the potential geoengineering methods suggests spraying microscopic sulphur particles into the stratosphere to blockout some of the Sun's rays from reaching the Earth. This will cool the planet's temperature.

Interesting concept but will it work? Actually it already has ... almost 200 years ago. In April 1815 Mount Tambora (Indonesia) erupted and released many tons of sulfur vapour 43 kms up into the stratosphere. The sulfur vapour effectively blanketed the globe and blocked out enough of the Sun's rays to cool the planet by an average of 0.4 to 0.7 C in 1816.

That doesn't seem much cooler does it? But that small change in temperature had a devastating impact on some regions of the planet. Many people, livestock and crops perished. 1816 is also known as the year without a summer and the year of poverty. Not only does Mount Tambora prove that this method of geoengineering is possible but it also serves as a warning that we'll be trading one problem for another.

To be honest, geoengineering will bring a whole host of problems for the world to contend with. With lower global temperatures some regions will see less rain fall. That reduced rainfall may result in lower crop yields and reduce the fresh water supply. This will increase tensions between various nations that depend on that water supply for survival. That's far from a win win scenario.

I struggled while writing this post because I'm not sure why I'm even bringing this up. I guess I simply wanted to state the obvious that we aren't doing enough to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we are spewing into the environment. Trying to geoengineer a solution might buy us some time but it isn't going to fix the problem.

We need to do more .... by doing less. Less burning of fossil fuels ... less driving ... less flying ... less industrial fertilizers .... less industrial corn fed beef ... the list goes on and on. So please, go out there and start doing less. The less you do the more you'll be helping spread the word.

Will a planet of 7 billion people start doing enough 'less' to avoid geoengineering? I doubt it. But we have to try.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Busy .... with no time to blog ....

I've been finding it extremely difficult to devote any time to blogging lately. You may have already noticed. But rest assured I'm still here and still on the diet.

I've been spending a lot of time in the kitchen trying out new recipes. Here's a quick update on what I've been making.....

I'm not a big fan of liver but since I have 2 pounds of it in the freezer I have to do something with it. So the other day I whipped up a quick goat liver curry. I was surprised that it turned out quite nice. It won't make my list of top 10 favourite meals but it was a nice change.

I used goat liver, onions, tomatoes, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, cloves, paprika, garam masala, turmeric, and cinnamon.

This past weekend I revisited the wonderful cream cheese recipe I made a few weeks ago. Same results .... amazing flavour! I used 2 liters of goat milk and I get 1 liter of whey (I save for making pitas) and the rest is a creamy, tasty cream cheese.

Since I now had a good supply of cream cheese I started to get a craving for some fresh bagels. My niece has a simple recipe that makes 32 snack size bagels. I borrowed the recipe and made 16 bagels instead of 32 (bigger is better, right?).

They turned out more like buns than bagels so we called them bungles.

They taste like bagels ... soft and chewy. I ate the first 5 'bungles' and cream cheese in less than 15 minutes. The craving was that intense.

Recently I also took a stab at making some goat meat ravioli. I simply used ground goat meat with various spices to taste. Nothing fancy but boy is it delicious.

What I didn't eat immediately went into the freezer. It comes in handy for a quick and easy meal. I'll definitely be making this again soon.

You can see that I'm starting to branch out a little bit by taking on new recipes. I have to keep things interesting or I'm going to go crazy on this diet. If you have any suggestions on what I should try next please let me know! I'm always looking for my next favourite meal.