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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My first blog - Commune Cooking

I have debated for months about whether or not to have a topical blog and finally decided on cooking as I enjoy cooking for my family. We live on a commune of sorts. My son and his family, one of my sisters, my Mom and any other family and friends that happen to be staying here at the time. We work together to provide wholesome food for our communal meals. It fun and I experiment on them often.

I am a Southern cook from top to bottom so my recipe's will definitely have a down home flavor to them. The thing is that we have a number of health issues and dietary requirements that have tempered my cooking. I have been cooking gluten free for my sister who believes she is gluten intolerant and is trying to do the blood type diet. Unfortunately, as I have learned many of the substitutes for flour rate high on the Glycemic Index (GI) which is not good for me since I am diabetic. I began by using using white rice flour, lots of starches like tapioca starch, corn starch, and potato starch, etc... These were doing serious damage to my blood sugar and my waist line. So what do you do when you are gluten free folks eating starchy, simple carbohydrates flours when diabetes and blood sugar disorders are so closely linked to celiac disease. High blood pressure and high cholesterol as well as being overweight make it very necessary to adopt a different way of cooking. Today, I am trying to stick with low glycemic flours and grains and nut flours all the while incorporating natural sugar substitutes. Finding and using recipes which would incorporate both low GI and GF has not always been easy. I have had many failures but some successes.

Also, I have all sorts of southern family recipe's that I have accumulated over the years and want to adapt to this new style of cooking so I plan to give the original recipe and the revised low GI, GF substitute. I think many of you might enjoy the recipe's that my family has passed down from one generation to the next.

This Summer we have planted and cultivated our organic garden and have been freezing and canning homegrown vege's and fruits. Everyone has contributed to the process. We have also gone to the Farmer's market and bought locally grown fresh vegetables to put up. To date, we have put up squash, okra, green beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, vadalia onions, sweet potatoes,peaches, blackberries and apples. I have pears ripening in bags now to prepare in the next day or two.

Our organic garden has had some successes and some disappointments. Our squash and cucumbers is the biggest success. They have produced very well this year. We planted lots of tomato plants in hopes of having a great harvest. Unfortunately, they have only provided eating tomatoes and a few packs for the freezer. I have had to go to the Farmer's Market and buy tomatoes for freezing. Next year I am going to move the tomatoes to a different location and make sure that I have properly prepared the soil to bring in a better harvest. Our green beans provided a few packs for the freezer and eating but we didn't see the amount of harvest that we should have gotten. Butter beans were a dismal failure and the okra while healthy has not been a big producer.

My goal has been to fill up our freezer's (we have three) with fruits and vegetables. It is difficult to get organic vegetables without paying an arm and leg for them. Certainly, it is not worth the cost of putting up in the freezer unless we can get a good deal on them. So I usually go to the Farmer's Market once a week when the locals are there for great deals. In the present economy my intent is to pay as little as possible for them. It requires a great deal of work to get our vege's and fruits to the freezing and canning point. Usually about one hour per quart.

We have all enjoyed getting together and peeling apples, snapping green beans, cutting up vegetables., etc. It reminded me of when I was younger and my Mom would set us (there were six children) on the front porch with bushels of green beans, butter beans or corn and set us to work. I think that is one reason they had such large families back then. Oh, that and the lack of birth control.

My hope is that you will enjoy our family and at least enjoy the recipes.

Be Blessed and look forward to many more blogs in the future.

Sharpshooter 77

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