VERY SCIENTIFIC Egg Taste Test!

So you read about why I think pastured eggs are better than regular eggs, and saw that although I thought there was a taste difference, some studies showed that there was no taste difference. Am I insane? Are the studies wrong? Obviously, I needed to do an egg taste taste.

BECAUSE SCIENCE.

So. Do pastured eggs taste better than conventional eggs?

The short answer:

OH MY GOD, YES. GO BUY THEM. BUY THEM NOW (read where and how to buy them here!).

The long answer:

Continue reading “VERY SCIENTIFIC Egg Taste Test!”

Pastured Eggs – Practical Considerations

So you read all about why I think it’s worth buying pastured eggs. You want to give it a try. Where do you find these magic eggs? How do you buy pastured eggs?

Buy Local.

Buying eggs from a local farmer (or hobby farmer!) is by far the best way to go if you’re trying to get pastured eggs. This will save you money, and allow you to investigate the conditions of the hen houses yourself. My parents retired in the country, and I buy most of my eggs from a woman who lives down the street from them. Her eggs are only $2.50/dozen, and I buy 4 dozen at a time (eggs keep for a very long time in the fridge). Signs for pastured eggs are all over in rural areas, and the prices where my parents live range from about $2-$4/dozen.

Of course, I don’t want to drive an hour every time I need eggs. I supplement my eggs with partially pasture raised eggs that are only $2.50/dozen from a house that is literally down the street from me. For some odd reason, a few of the lots in my city are still zoned for agriculture (though most are not), and one of my neighbors raises chickens as a hobby. These chickens are fed corn and kept inside, but he lets them out in his yard every day to graze and treats them well. I figure these eggs might not have as many nutritional benefits as true pastured eggs, but they still taste better (and are probably a little better) than conventional eggs. Continue reading “Pastured Eggs – Practical Considerations”

Why I Buy Pastured Eggs

With eggs costing $1/dzn at some grocery stores, why do I buy pastured eggs, and pay $2 or $2.50/dzn? Well, let me tell you a story…

My First Pastured Eggs

Although I currently live in a metropolitan suburb, I am fortunate enough to have family that lives in a rural area – including my can-cook-anything sister. I distinctly remember staying over at her place a few years ago and getting served two enormous, bright yellow eggs that tasted…amazing. I mean, truly amazing. At the time, I was a wee college student with fledgling cooking skills, but I was very proud of my ability to make fabulous eggs. My roommates LOVED my eggs. But these blew mine out of the water. Continue reading “Why I Buy Pastured Eggs”

Irish Soda Bread

Remember how when I shared my meal planning techniques, I told you to be flexible? Well, this week I was flexible! I didn’t intend to make any bread to go with my chicken tortilla soup, but I had the day off (SNOW DAY! Sometimes being a teacher is great), and decided that warm bread with butter would make a nice addition to our dinner. Since this is a SUPER EASY Irish soda bread recipe that takes LESS THAN HOUR (including cook time!!!), I thought I’d share! Continue reading “Irish Soda Bread”

Monday Meal Plan – How To

I’m going to be sharing another meal plan today, but this time, I’m going to explain how I do my meal plans. I don’t use any fancy templates or print-outs…I just grab a scrap piece of paper and a pencil or pen. A pencil is smarter – you may need to change things around – but a pen shows up better in pictures, so I chose a pen this time!

Step 1: Look at Your Calendar.

The first step is take out your calendar or appointment book and write down what you have going on this week. I have a fairly busy week, with a wedding on Saturday and a Superbowl party on Sunday (GO PATRIOTS!). Plus, I am working late on Wednesday. These are all important things to know about before you start planning meals because they affect what meals you are cooking for, and how much time you have to cook them. Continue reading “Monday Meal Plan – How To”

My Diet Dogma

& Why I Eat Real Food

If you’ve just stumbled on this blog, you saw something about ‘meal planning’, cooking everything from scratch, and something about homemade bread. You might be thinking I’m a crazy person. If you read the “About Me” page, you may have noticed that I said I follow a loose interpretation of the Weston A Price Foundations diet…and I do mean loose. I don’t agree with everything the Foundation says, but I love their premise and their founding tenants. What does that mean exactly?

WHAT KIND OF A CRAZY PERSON AM I?

Who Was Weston Price?

Weston A Price was a dentist who explored the diets and tooth decay of a bunch of indigenous populations. He found that sugar and white flour seemed to be implicated in tooth decay and chronic diseases, and that many isolated populations all over the world had avoided these diseases until the introduction of a Western diet. He interviewed lots of elderly members of these groups and what their traditional diets looked like. All the diets were unique, but they universally included non-processed foods. Some folks lived on mostly fat (Eskimos), some on almost entirely milk and blood (the Masai tribe in Africa) and others on an almost vegetarian diet (Bantu tribe in Africa). They were all chronic disease free, until Western diets (sugar, white flour, vegetable oil) put them on par with everyone else in terms of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, etc.

Of course, they probably still died a lot from childbirth, diphtheria, and injuries. Yay, modern medicine! I like modern medicine. But I don’t like modern food, modern chronic disease, or modern obesity.

My takeaway from Weston Price: Processed food and lots of sugar is bad for you. Lots of foods can be good for you – meats, grains, dairy, and more. Learning about traditional foods from all over the world is really cool. Also, ethnic food is delicious. Please-give-me-more-kimchi. Continue reading “My Diet Dogma”

Hearty Split Pea Soup

As you may have seen on my meal plan, I made Split Pea Soup (and Irish Soda Bread) on Monday. It was Martin Luther King Day, so I didn’t have to work, and we had just been buried in a heap of snow, so it was the perfect day for a long-simmering soup. I made it the way my mom used to, with a few additions of my own, and thought I’d share.

Don’t worry – it’s a long recipe, but it’s not hard and it’s definitely delicious.

If you want the short version, scroll down to the end of the this post. 🙂

WARNING: This recipe takes 2 1/2 hours MINIMUM and can take up to 4 1/2 depending on what stock you have available. A lot of that is hands-off time, and I had plenty of time to make my bread, do all the dishes, and clean my bathroom while the soup was simmering…but be prepared!

A bowl full of hearty, split pea soup.
I don’t think split pea soup can be photographed in an appetizing way, but I assure you that this dark green sludge-y soup with ham bits and vegetables is AMAZING. You can see some half-eaten bread chunks behind it….my husband tore into that way too fast for me to get a picture of the pretty, round loaf!

Continue reading “Hearty Split Pea Soup”

Meal Plan Monday – January 21st, 2019

I thought I’d start with sharing what I plan on cooking this week. Feel free to copy, re-work, or uses bits of this meal plan for inspiration, or just to give yourself a planning break.

What’s Going On This Week

This week we are working with no kitchen sink, so minimizing dishes is a MUST. I also am off work Monday and Friday, which gives me a little more flexibility to make long-cooking dishes. Oh, and did I mention that we got a massive winter storm this weekend, making everything cold and miserable?

Monday, January 21st

Breakfast: Eggs, bacon, and fruit. This is our standard weekday breakfast – who has time to plan out fun breakfasts during the week? For the fruit, we’ll probably be eating the greenhouse grown strawberries I managed to find at Costco this week (!!!).

Lunch: Leftover chicken noodle soup from last week & an apple

Dinner: Split Pea Soup with Irish Soda Bread. I am SOOOOO excited that I get to make this today! It has to cook for a long time – and requires a good bit of work – but since I’m off work for MLK Day, it shouldn’t be a problem. I make my soup with ham hocks – which came from a pasture-raised pig – and lots of peas. Continue reading “Meal Plan Monday – January 21st, 2019”

Introduction

Hi there! My name is Jess and I’m a 24-year-old girl woman who is trying to embark on a crazy homesteading journey! You can read more about me here.

I just wanted to introduce myself and welcome you to the site. I plan on blogging about the following:

  • Recipes
  • Meal Plans
  • Gardening experiments and adventures
  • House renovations
  • My quest to move to the country (my looooonnnngggg quest)
  • Budgeting and frugal tips
  • Health investigations – what does the RESEARCH say on vegetable oil, GMOs, exercise, etc?
  • Reflections on my life – i.e. WHY AM I TRYING TO HOMESTEAD?!?!
  • Miscellaneous stuff, as I feel like it.

What to Expect Soon

  • Posts about our kitchen that is being torn apart and redone. We are going almost entirely DIY on it and learning lots of skills in the process. We are definite newbies!
  • Garden planning – I’m working on a design for my 2nd year garden. I need to figure out how to maximize my yields, but also not shock my neighbors by my crazy jungle.
  • Winter recipes – soups, stews, breads, and casseroles, probably.
  • Science Investigations – I’m currently investigating whether or not GMOs are a problem, and have a few other investigations I’ve already done that I will make readable to people (who aren’t me and don’t know Crazy Jess Shorthand), and post.
  • Meal Plans – I usually make a written meal plan every week, and I thought I’d post a few of them. I know deciding what to cook can be a struggle for people who aren’t used to preparing their meals from scratch, so I figured it might be helpful. No promises on posting this every week though.

My Guarantee

  • I promise to always be as thorough as possible when investigating any sort of scientific claims or health news
  • I promise to always give honest reviews of products, procedures, and recipes.
  • I promise to respect different opinions in the comments
  • I promise to always give credit to my sources.
  • I promise to do my best to provide information that will help other people embark on journey’s like my own – to find real food, environmental sustainability, and prosperous home lives.

Please let me know if there is anything in particular you want to know about me! I’m happy to answer your questions!