I believe gut health is especially important when you have celiac disease. I’ve tried probiotic pills but suffered dire consequences, so instead I decided to learn how to make my own ferments. I have to say I prefer naturally made probiotics to the pill version and you have delicious munchies to boot.
I had planned to make a big batch of kimchi, but couldn’t find any decent looking Napa cabbage. Instead, there were some very nice organic bok choy, so I decided to make a little variation in my recipe. It turned out quite good.
Being from New Mexico, where chile rules, I feel I have to say that ‘chili’ and ‘chile’ are not the same thing nor is it a typo. ‘Chili’ powder is a blend of spices, with ground chiles being only one of many ingredients. ‘Chile’ powder is the dried, red chile pods ground to a fine powder with nothing else added. I used the second because I haven’t had any luck finding a certified gluten free version of the Korean spices normally used in kimchi.
I got a new book that is primarily hot sauce (because we love all things spicy) and decided today was the day to give it a try. I had 5 habaneros in the fridge that needed to be used while fresh and there is nothing I can think of that I want to cook with 5 habaneros in it, so I pulled the book out of my cook book collection and gave it a peruse.
I put 2 quarts of kimchi up a week ago. After it fermented for a week, we gave it a try. Last night we mixed it in with stir fried cabbage and chicken and it was delicious! Even my husband, who sometimes looks askance at some of the things I make, loved it.
I used organic heirloom Tobasco peppers that my mom gave to me from her garden. I dried a bag full and stored them in the freezer. It only took about a half dozen peppers to make it really spicy. The picture is below, with before (right side) and after (left side) shots. I used all organic ingredients to avoid any possible chemical contaminants that might interfere with the fermentation. The recipe specifies bok choy or napa cabbage. I used bok choy.
I am looking forward to trying more recipes from the book, Wild Fermentation, by Sandor Ellix Katz. It was much easier than I thought it would be and I am very pleased with the results. A link to the book I used is below that. It is an affiliate link, but the pay to me is minimal and I received no compensation for providing this information.
It is hard watching a beloved pet get old. Our little miniature dachshund, Suki, is 15 years old now. She was doing pretty good until her heart started giving her problems. The vet said it was the beginnings of congestive heart failure and gave us a couple of prescriptions. After that, a lot changed.
She has gotten more anxious. She used to snuggle down in any available lap, but now gets distressed if you pick her up and she can't sit still in a lap most of the time. Sometimes she just paces in circles for a couple of hours, til she tires herself out, then we put her in her bed and she is quiet for a while. She has good days and bad, but isn't in pain and still eats good. She was never perfect on potty training, but seems to be getting worse. Sometimes when she paces, it is because she needs to go outside but can't seem to tell us that anymore.
Nights have been the hardest. She can't go all night now without needing to go out and was soiling her bed at night. We put a large (St Bernard sized) wire crate in the living room and she sleeps there now. We put disposable doggie potty pads at the front of it and her bed at the back on a raised rubber cushion. That allows her to get up as much as she needs to at night and keeps her bed up where it doesn't get wet--most of the time. I bought 3 small, washable beds at a big box store for $5 each and just swap them out.
She stays there in the daytime now if we have to leave the house. We know she is safe in the crate and we don't have to worry about her trying to get up or down on the couch. Our other doxie has gotten a little aggressive with her as she has declined, which also worries us, so we separate them if we aren't home.
I think the medications are causing the anxiety. She is also more sensitive to cold. There were a couple of really cold mornings (we're talking zero degrees) where she cried like she was in pain when we took her out. She kept lifting her feet up off the snow like it was hurting her. Later in the day, when it warmed up to 40ish, she didn't do that.
We know we will be faced with a hard decision soon, but for now she has more good days than bad, so we will all just cope. She has been part of the family for 12 years and we will see this through with her.
Our monsoon season is going well and my plants are happy! It's amazing what a little rain will do that well water just doesn't seem to accomplish. It has been cooler as well, topping out in the 80s during the day and this morning at 5 am (yep-I even get up early on Saturday) it was 57 degrees. In August. This is one of the things I love about the high desert.
I splurged with a knockout rose and two hardy hibiscus, but I decided that the rest of the perennials I put in will have to be something that will naturalize here and require minimum watering. I am a firm believer in lots of mulch...not gravel. Gravel gets too hot in the courtyard and I want something that will break down and enrich this very sandy, slightly alkaline soil. So I use lots of compost and bark mulch.
One of the plants recommended for this environment is catmint. I went to a local nursery because they have the best selection of plants that will do well here. The big box stores aren't always reliable on that count. I decided on the Six Hills Giant Catmint, one for each side of my lilac. $8 for a gallon size-not too bad. I have read that it is a sterile hybrid, which means no seeds. I'm disappointed about that, but not enough to change my mind about planting it.
I got them planted this morning. I trimmed off the flowers to reduce the stress--blooming while being transplanted can be a little too much for some plants. I will probably keep the buds pinched off for the remainder of this summer so it's energy will go to roots. I added about an inch of mushroom compost and dug it in good before planting. I had composted the entire bed before mulching, so added just a little extra as I planted. They were root bound, so I loosened up the roots with my fingers before planting them. Now it is just wait and see how they do.
I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 1982 and have been gluten free ever since. I went dairy free two years ago. I share recipes, craft patterns, life philosophies and thoughts on this blog. This is just my story. In no way should it be taken as medical advice because every individual is different. There are also a few affiliate links for products I use and recommend. I make a tiny amount of money if you buy something and it in no way changes the price you pay.
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