Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hitting the Trail

I have been looking for some new friends and activities, and have finally found my niche.  Yesterday I joined the Tukwila Trailers, a group of Senior women from the Tukwila Community Center that go hiking every Monday, rain or shine.  What a wonderful group of women, and so much fun.  The one in the pink shirt below is also a Linda, and we really hit it off.  She's also shown in the van with the funky hat on.  My kind of gal.

13 of us headed out in the van to Tacoma and a Nature Preserve at Snake Lake.  We hiked on their trails for 2 hours, going about 3 miles.  Wow.  As sick as I've been, just 6 weeks ago I would not have been able to go a fraction of the way.  I'm so happy to be feeling better.

It was supposed to rain, but instead we had a lovely day, sometimes sunny, and sometimes very misty, but to be expected in a woodland like this.
After the hike, we went to 
Defiance Point for lunch at Anthony's Home Port.  That provided for more opportunity to get to know the other ladies, and they have got me booked up with activities.
Thursday is the Red Hat outing to Molbak's Nursery, and Saturday there is a potluck at one of the employees' from the Center who always goes with us on these treks.  She's a great gal.  She never wears matching socks, and her hair is dyed yellow and green.
Next week we will be walking the trails around here, and then we have our Christmas lunch and gift exchange.

This is Mt. Baker as seen from Pt. Defiance.  Funny, I used to live in the foothills of that mighty mountain.  Now I am closer to Mt. Rainier.

So, I was in three Holiday Bazaars in the past few weeks.  I am trying to get out of the business of selling my yarns and hats and scarves, but I have such a huge inventory, I really need to sell them.  Last week I made a great connection with a woman who wants to buy my yarns for her craft, so I was really high over that.  I have enough fiber to keep spinning for years, but now I want to make things for myself, my family, and friends.  It is no longer a part of a bigger business plan.

I want to get more involved in quilting again, but it seems that all I do lately is prepare food.  Having an autoimmune disease is very demanding on the cook, but eating gluten and dairy free is key in controlling the disease.  I got a little crazy over the weekend since it was my birthday and people brought me goodies.  I am still suffering the effects today.  I must take this more seriously.  So, today I am off to Whole Foods to buy bones and chicken feet for bone broth.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Turkey Day on the Paleo Diet

Thanksgiving is here, and I can't eat most of the wonderful items I love about Thanksgiving dinner.
No dressing, no potatoes, no green bean casserole.  Sigh.  So, I decided that the turkey had to be the absolute best, since it was the main dish.  Usually, I can pass on the turkey.  You cover it with gravy and cranberries because, well, it is basically tasteless.  The challenge was that I had never, ever, roasted a turkey myself before.
Really, it's true.  64 years old and this is another first for me.

 I started by brining the turkey for 24 hours.  It's a small turkey, only 13 pounds, and it fit nicely in one of our coolers, which we kept on the front porch.
 In preparation, I studied up on roasting turkeys.  This cookbook was a wedding gift to my Mom in 1946.  You can tell it is well used.  This is my go to cook book for all things.  It is The Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking.
 I was less than thrilled with the tiny giblets that came with my bird, so I bought two turkey drumsticks and roasted them the day before to add to my stock.
Terry read to me about making stock or broth from the Joy of Cooking.  Good information.
 Here is my stock after the meat, bones and veggies have been removed.
 Since I can't have dairy, I've been using this margarine.  I started using it when my son became vegan and I needed something on hand he could use.
 It's really good, and as you can see, it comes with many credentials.  
I used the margarine to mix with fresh herbs from my garden.
 Here we have Rosemary, sage, thyme and savory.
 I found this handy gadget at the grocery store.  It strips the leaves from the stem of the herbs.  It's okay.  I can't recommend it as a must have.

So, after retrieving the turkey from it's salt bath, I put the margarine and herb mixture under the skin. Then, I massaged her with a mixture of olive oil and poultry seasoning.
The book said it would take 3 to 4 hours to roast, but it was ready in 3.
I didn't get a picture of the cooked turkey, because we were busy getting ready to put it on the table.
I usually use arrowroot as a thickener for my gravies, but I was out, so I found success with Xanthum Gum.
Believe me, this was the best turkey I have ever eaten.  Moist and flavorful.
So, you folks on a restricted diet, especially those with Hashimotos Thyroiditis, here is how to make a celebration dinner enjoyable.