Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Review of Heffron Farms

My family loves grass fed meats. But the prices of such things are often exorbitant. So, when I heard about Heffron Farms I was so excited. The prices were so reasonable for humanely raised meats. I wondered if it was a too-good-to-be-true deal. But I'd read a few comments on some other blogs I follow where some people liked them. So, we decided to give them a try. We ordered right around 44lbs of a mixture of various meats. The customer service was great. The people are really nice. (They were out of one of the items I ordered, so they called to let me know about it.) The meat arrived well-packaged and on-time.

So, what's the problem? We just don't like it. The flavor just isn't there. In fact, the taste seems "off" a little. And the ground beef seems to have more tendon in it than we're used to in the other grass fed beef we've tried. Since we've only tried one other company for grass fed meats (Eight O'clock Ranch) I really don't have a lot of experience to call myself an expert on grass fed meats by any means. Heffron is definitely less expensive than Eight O'clock; but when all is said and done, how my family and I enjoy the meat is definitely important. So, for us, we won't be ordering from Heffron Farms again. We'll just have to save up for Eight O'clock, unless we can find another affordable option.

Anyone had experience with Heffron Farms? How did you and your family like it?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gathering Leftovers

We give to our church and to others, but sometimes we find ourselves wondering if the promises of God regarding giving and receiving are indeed true. Not that we expect it when we give (though I have heard some people do, but that’s a topic for another day.) But when times get tight, sometimes we find ourselves questioning God.

I think that’s because we are expecting that God is going to give us something in one lump sum. And you know, sometimes He does that. But oftentimes, God gives us things a little at a time. And if we don’t stop to notice, then we miss it.

Take the miracles of the loaves and fishes. Both times, the disciples were told to gather the leftovers. And I believe that applies to us. While we might sometimes get a special, unexpected, large sum of money, I think the real blessing is in the leftovers.

When we live frugally—garden to save on produce, use a coupon to save .50 cents, or even cut our child’s hair to save $10—the money we save by doing these things are the “leftovers” that we can gather; and they can add up! But, if we don’t notice these little extra bits, we will just disregard them, or even add them back to our spending account and freely spend them.

Instead, I would like to challenge you, as I challenge myself, to take notice of the leftovers. Gather them and, if possible, put them in a special place–a piggy bank, envelope, etc–and at the end of a given time period of your choice, go count and see how much there is, and thank God for leftovers.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blender Playdough!

So, if you've been following my blog, you know that I've been doing a month with my Vitamix...trying to use my Vitamix for at least one thing, every day, for the whole month of August. So far, I've only missed one day. Not too bad.

Anyway, for yesterday's project (Day 9) my soon-to-be 5-year-old son and I made Vitamix's recipe for Blender Playdough. Wow! Let me be totally honest about this experience. It was fast. It was easy. The downside? It was so sticky, it was difficult to get out of the Vitamix container. Having said that, I want to let you know that the end product was well worth it. My son had fun kneading the colors into the dough and it came out the perfect consistency!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Lactofermented Dill Pickles for the Preserve the Bounty Challenge

Monday, August 9th, 2010.

For this week's Preserve the Bounty Challenge over at Nourished Kitchen, I made lactofermented dill pickles. Since I am new to lactofermenting, I thought I'd start with something simple, and I was able to score a few of an end crop of adorable pickling cukes. These turned out tasty, but not very crisp. I did include a grape leaf, which is said to help keep the crispness. Either I did something wrong, or maybe the grape leaf wasn't enough. Still, they taste good, and we plan to eat them.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Month with My Vitamix

On August 1st I began a journey with my new Vitamix. I'm so excited to share with everyone all the things I'm making, as well as my health journey.

Day 1 - Blender Waffles : These Delicious waffles use entire whole wheat berries, which are soaked overnight right in your Vitamix container. The next morning, you add your egg and leavening, and Voila! Delicious, healthy waffles.

Day 2- Smoothies : These are easy, on the goal snacks or meal replacements. Simply toss in your favorite fruit, some milk or yogurt, and a little honey for added sweetness. Some people like to add additional ice, but I prefer mine without it. Blend until smoothe. This is a great way to get plenty fruits (and even veggies) into your diet quickly and easily.

Day 3 - Fresh Almond Butter - Wow! This was amazing. One of the things I've wanted to do with my Vitamix since receving it was to make fresh nut butter. Well, Day 3 I did just that. I poured in some raw almonds, along with just a touch of olive oil since the particular almonds I had seemed a bit dry. I also added a hint of honey to up the sweetness enough to make it palatable to my sweet-toothed little boy. This stuff was so good! My husband loved the "fresh warmth" of it right out of the Vitamix and didn't even spread it on any bread. My son enjoyed his on fresh celery stalks. So, far, this is the most impressive task I've done in my Vitamix. Yay!

Day 4 - Cherry Ice Cream - This was a wonderful, cool desert at the end of a hot day! I used fresh cherries, cold raw milk, and a little maple syrup. So good!

Day 5 - While I've thoroughly enjoyed making yummy treats this far with my Vitamix, one of the main reasons I purchased it was to get more fruits and veggies into my diet. So, today I plan to use my Vitamix for something other than a sweet treat. For lunch, I plan to make a juice with fruits and veggies. I'll let you know what I turn out.

Day 6 - Ground wheat berries into fresh flour to feed my sourdough starter. So excited. Once it's ready, I will be making some sourdough foods!

Day 7 - Well, I am going to be honest. Today was a bust! I was busy working on a kitchen renovation and didn't use my Vitamix at all today. Hopefully, I'll be back at it tomorrow.

Day 8 - Wheatgrass smoothie. Wow! Amazing! I followed the recipe that came with my Vitamix, and it was actually reall good! Truly amazed this machine can handle the wheatgrass.

Day 9 - Blender Playdough (see post)

Day 10 - Peach Ice Cream!

Day 11 - Green Juice

Day 12 - Tahini

Day 13 - Banana/Yogurt/Honey Smoothies

Day 14 - Freshly Ground Rye Flour

Day 15 - Sourdough Biscuit Dough

Friday, July 30, 2010

Summer's Bounty

So, I cut up all my cherries to make Cherry Chutney, but one little boy is gobbling them all up! I don't stop him because, eh, at least it's healthy! I would much rather him eat those than some certain other things. I still managed to make some Ginger Peach Pineapple Fruit Butter and set sweet pickles to ferment. So, it's all good. :)