Thursday, February 14, 2013

In the kitchen

There is a saying, "Those that fail to plan, plan to fail."  Hmmm, yes, something to consider if you decide to tackle the GAPS diet!  Since we had been on the diet not too long ago I at least had some past experience to grab from.  However, there are those small, or not so small, details that seem to have escaped my memory.  I am thinking it was a matter of preservation :-)  Ha, ha!  Seriously though, how could one forget that "I'M STARVING" stage that all my kids had gone through?  How could I have forgotten that you need to stay 3 meals ahead to keep on top of everything?  Wait, forget 3 meals ahead, think 3 days ahead.  Now I suppose if you have a smaller family you could get by with making the amount of food that I cook in a day.  It may last you 3 days.  But when you  have a larger family?  Oh my.  I am totally used to cooking in "bulk".  But 'bulk' to others is what a regular meal looks like to me. 

All that jumble mumble to say....I did NOT plan ahead for meals.  Now, had we just gone back on full GAPS that would have been possible, though still not recommended.  I put us all on GAPS intro, and that takes a LOT of pre-planning.  We need an insane amount of food to keep up with the demand of 'starving' children.  Anyone who has done such a diet understands this idea of 'starving'.  I am not at all exaggerating when I say that 10 minutes after Every. Single. Meal/Food. my children would be begging for more food.  Not just "Hey, mom, I'm still hungry, can I have something else to eat?" kind of begging.  I am talking all out..."MOM!!! I'm HUNGRY, I am SOOOOOOOO HUNGRY,  I NEED MORE.....(fill in the blank)!!!  MOMMY!!! My tummy, I'm sooo hungry, I need more food!!!!", that kind of begging.  That lasted for 3 to 5 days.  I thought I might die.  Alright, maybe not die, but pretty close to it.  Seven children?  All "starving"?  Ugh.  I was at my wits end!  I was spending ALL day long in the kitchen. 

I have since tried to make up for my lack of planning by making lots and LOTS of food.  Funny thing, sad actually, most of that food has been wiped out!  Oy.  I was not able to get but a days worth of schooling done last week.  This week has been better, but we really need to get back on top of things come next week.  Thankfully the "I'm starving" stage has come to an end.  But I still have a very long list of things that need to be done to keep on top of the food situation.  I really did not like all my thoughts having to revolve around food the first time we went through GAPS, and I have to say I don't like it any better the second time through!  Oh well.  Already I am seeing some changes.  Jed's face rash has subsided.  Not completely gone, but soooooo much better.  Definitely a yeast issue.  The baby is the only one who is handling this well.  His eating experiences were all on GAPS foods. He is just gobbling everything up.  Every one else?  Not so much.  I just keep reminding them that they will feel much better the longer we stick to this. 

Here are just a couple of pictures from my kitchen adventures:

In Blogger fashion, my pictures did not load in order.  Oy.  Here are 3 jars of fruit kvass.  The red ones are made with apples and raspberries.  The yellow one is made with apples, mango and a few cranberries.  The red ones taste good, the mango one?  Not so much.  It has a bitter taste, possibly from the cranberries.  I will have to try it again without the cranberries.  I do not ferment my things on my window sill, I just put them there to get better lighting.  I am actually thinking of making some cozies for my jars as I read that those good bacteria like to multiply in the dark :-)

This was to go after my picture of my sauerkraut.  You'll see below that I was having a hard time getting the cabbage to stay below the liquid line.  So I rigged up this contraption of a cut to fit yogurt top and a medicine cup to keep the cabbage submerged.  With this method I am able to keep the cabbage down, but I can't seem to keep the liquid from bubbling up through the air lock!  So I had to rinse the air locks out and try again.

My dehydrator has been running constantly these days.  Here are some sunflower seeds.  I also soaked and dried some almonds, and currently I have pumpkin seeds dehydrating (after taking a little bath for 24 hours).  Although this is a lot more work, it is supposed to help our bodies to better digest these seeds.

Jedidiah has been a little ham lately. He *insisted* I take a picture of him tasting the seeds.  Excuse his messy face he was just indulging in some smoothie.

See, there are his sisters making more smoothie (Jed is off to the left there).  Smoothies are NOT on intro, but I have a few children who can not make it through intro without great, great difficulty.  Jed is one of those.  I have to say he is handling it much better with the addition of the smoothies and with the help of his growth hormones.  Jedidiah's lack of growth hormones was causing daily cases of hypoglycemia.  Those episodes were happening while on full GAPS (something GAPS is supposed to help with, which alerted us that something bigger was going on in his body).

Looks like Aubrey is following in Jed's smoothie drinking foot steps!  Last night we had an "emergency".  Thankfully I was able to get my brain to work out a solution.  Our current blender decided to take another vacation.  I am not joking when I say that the above girl child freaked out.  No, really, she really freaked out.  I remembered that I had a stick blender we could try to use to make the smoothie she was trying to make.  Phew!  Our new blender can't get here fast enough.

Green and purple sauerkraut fermenting.  You can see that the one jar has it's contents trying to escape.

Some of the almonds that were done dehydrating.

Two pots of stock simmering.  Some days I have 3 pots of broth going!  There can never be enough broth you know. 

On top of these things I've been busy with much more!  Making meatballs, cooking multiple, multiple chickens, deboning said chickens, making yogurt (letting it ferment for the proper GAPS 24 hours), soaking/cooking/dehydrating beans (for future use on full GAPS), and lots and LOTS of dishes.  Oh, the dishes!  We are in serious need of buying more bowls and plates.  Most of ours decided to up and break on us.  We have 8 bowls, and about 11 plates.  We have plenty of forks, but our spoons decided to go missing.  Where are my spoons?  Ugh.  Wash, wash, wash.  Oh, and wash some more. 

Well I need to get up and do some T-Tapp.  I've been very consistent with it.  Then off to accomplish some schooling before a dinner of soup.  I am sure my children are going to cringe at the word "soup" in the future!  Ha, ha!

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