On Kitties and Cooking and Healthy Living

I have spent the past week pretty much involved with dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s – sometimes getting muddled and crossing my i’s and dotting my t’s – just because I had the really good idea of opening an Etsy shop!

It’s been quite demanding – requiring me to think everything through and do a lot of research into really boring matters like the cost of postage  and how best to package things.  You know, somebody might actually want to buy something and then you have to not let your first customer down …..

Anyhow, today I had other things to attend to, so I stopped all that thinking and fussing and decided to spend the morning in the kitchen replenishing my dwindling supply of healthy edibles.

It’s all very well being a Contented Crafter intent on becoming an artist – and the hours at play are fun and sometimes even rewarding – but neglecting ones healthy lifestyle choices, not so good!

I had rushed off first thing this morning to see to Stanley – Stanley is YD’s companionable, confident and highly opinionated puddy-cat.  YD has taken herself off to Christchurch with tLK for a week of racing and socialising and general good times and I am in charge of the kitty.

This is a photo of Stan catching a few zzzz’z in a reusable grocery bag:

Stan in Bag

And this is Stanley resting a while on the guest bed – luckily no guest in need at that particular moment.

DSCF0027

When left in charge of said kitty, I try to spend an hour or so sitting with him and, it must be said, he has come to expect this.  After my flying visit this morning he accompanied me to the car belligerently demanding to know where I thought I was going because he was up for some good times if I cared to sit down on his couch for a bit.

I declined his charming invitation, promising to return later in the day and canoodle with him and left.

I have stuff to make!

My new friend Wendy over at quarteracrelifestyle recently published a post which had me all excited to try and yesterday I had finally made it to the local Organic Store to refresh my depleted supplies of walnuts, chia seeds, coconut chips, rolled oats etc etc etc.

Already in process was the mix for a nut and seed bread and another mixture of pepitas and sunflower seeds had been put into water for activating – both these tasks done around 10.30 last night.

I put my seed bread into the oven, mixed up a batch of organic yoghurt, put it in the yoghurt maker and got on with my muesli mixture.

I dry roasted the rolled oats, browned the sesame seeds and toasted the coconut chips.  I do all this in my large super modern cast iron fry pan, just moving the bits around over a moderate heat until the colour starts to change and, in the case of the seeds and coconut the oils are released and a delicious aroma starts to fill the air.

I have learned not to walk away from this job.  Once I went to put something in my craft room, got side tracked and some fifteen or twenty minutes later, smelling the unmistakable odour of charred oatmeal rushed into a smoke filled kitchen and a pan of black inedible chaff.  Not good!

When all the browning and toasting and releasing has been done I toss everything together along with a goodly amount of cinnamon, a couple of cups of activated nuts and seeds and voila, breakfast is taken care of for the next couple or three weeks.

With the muesli made it was time to turn the bread – apparently something that this loaf needs, so I’m all for doing it right and proper – well, the first time anyway.  This was a bit fraught however, as it is perfectly possible my mixture was a bit on the wet side and while the loaf exited the pan easily enough, turning it and getting it back in was a bit trickier – it wanted to crack and fall apart.

But, “No!”  I said firmly and hustled it, almost intact, back into its container.  Another 20 minutes in the oven for it and I made myself a lovely batch of Cheese and Oatmeal cakes.

This is my bread substitute and I make up a batch a couple of times a week.  If you are a long time reader of my blog you may possibly remember a post about this back in March I think.  Its a recipe I’ve been making on and off since the 70’s.

My kids were raised on these things – and sourdough bread made from a real sourdough bug!  [Ask YD about that and watch her face wrinkle up in disgust]  Once upon a time I was a real back to nature, clean, green, don’t-eat- it-less-you-made-it hippie mom and my kids ate food that was Good For Them!   Then I lost my way a bit in the teaching and teenage years [shudder] but now I’m kind of back there again…..

Anyhow I have recently modified the recipe a tad, and now add a good teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the mix which just about blows my head off, but sure does keep me regular.   🙂

The cakes are made, the bread is done and now the activated seeds go into the oven to dry out and crisp up.

At this point I deliberately toss a couple of seeds onto the floor.

Why?  Because throughout this entire process I have been maneuvering around another pussy cat, a marmalade one this time, who has been shadowing my every move, purring encouragingly and making the odd dart at nothing to get his point across.  Something has to be dropped so that he can play too.

Now I have time to get down on the floor and hunt out the seeds that get shot under the rug, the cooker, the fridge.  We both spend a large part of this activity with our heads down and butts up peering hopefully for a needle in a haystack.

After a bit he has lost all his seeds, I’m bored and he wanders off to have a wash.  I check the remaining seeds, give them a stir and turn the oven off.

I take my three tier seed sprouter from the window sill where the alfalfa and energy mix have been enjoying a couple of hours of light and transfer them to three tubs.  I eat some as I finish they are so crisp and juicy.  This is a major player in my daily salad and I credit fresh sprouted seeds, chia seeds and good old fashioned chicken soup with my full return to health in less than six months.  That and deleting all processed sugar and most forms of wheat from my diet.

And that’s it, I’m done.  I have my staple foods ready for the rest of the week.  There is still chicken stock from my last batch in the freezer and the fruit bowl overflows with all kinds of salady yummies.

Now I can go play – the paints are calling!

But oh no – I forgot about the other kitty.

Stanley.

Stan

Better go – I think he’s waiting!

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did 🙂

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20 thoughts on “On Kitties and Cooking and Healthy Living

  1. What a magical day. Kitties and backing and anticipated art making! Stanley is a dream 😀 look at him snooze away the afternoon, toes in the air. HA, love that. I have all the time in the world to prepare meals yet find I run out of ideas. I need to shake things up a bit. I have to spend 1 day perusing the net for new Vegetarian recipes we both might like. The hubby is not entirely on board, although he eats little meat either.

    I need to swing over to your shop….I’ll ring the bell over there 😀

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  2. What a wonderful, slice of life, post. I feel like I was along for the ride today.

    First up: Stanley. Be still my heart! What a gorgeous cat and so charming and sweet, too. Love him…and you, for taking time to spend with him while there.

    Your dedication to eating healthy (then taking the time to do it) is impressive. I eat lots of junk, all day long. I don’t know why…old, bad habits I suppose. I love the idea of eating clean and green. I’m a vegetarian for goodness sakes! You’re an inspiration.

    As for Etsy shop and pricing, above, I agree with all your commentators. Women tend to under value themselves in general. Know your worth!

    Can’t wait for your shop debut.

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    • Part of the deal with Stanley is that he was a rescue cat, full grown when YD found him. All the adult rescue animals I have ever known have an amazing sense of purpose to them – a grace and style lacking in the rather more entitled attitudes of some others I know who were chosen and paid for and pampered from day one. I name no names Orlando King.

      My dedication to healthy eating as you put it is purely down to the fact that I discovered how well I could be – the difference between always struggling with energy and pain levels versus freedom of movement and lightness of being. I’m pretty sure that sentence encapsulates it 🙂

      I now view food as good medicine, bad medicine and neutral. Neutral being something that while it doesn’t add to my vitality, it doesn’t actively drain it either.

      I don’t eat sugar because I discovered that after a life time of weight watching despite ‘healthy’ eating and still gaining pounds I discovered by chance that I am one of those people who do not need much natural sugar and to whom processed sugar is an absolute poison.

      Taking sugar from my food list has been nothing short of a miracle for me and so now it is simply a way of life as I do not ever want to be in that much pain or ill health ever again!. I think when you experience the change then there is no going back

      I also learned along the way to respect myself – and that was a big part of the willingness to change I suppose – not that I’m suggesting you don’t, it just was an issue for me 🙂

      Look forward to hearing any feedback you care to give about the shop – uderlined ‘any’.

      I’m not expecting to sell too much, I’m just really happy to have found the confidence to put it out there!

      Thank you for your love and support – it is a wonderful gift!

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  3. Your comments about the Etsy store are interesting. As a knitter I see women selling handmade items for less than the cost of the yarn. So do give thought to your pricing and your worth as an artist.

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    • I appreciate your comment Elaine – it is quite a challenge to be comfortable with pricing – for so many women. My instinct is to make it as low as possible 🙂 My wish is to cover costs and make a couple of dollars to invest in more art supplies.

      Any feedback you care to make when the store is open would be greatly appreciated. I value your thoughtful words.

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  4. LOL! I love your stories. So relate to being creatively distracted and forgetting toasting seeds in the oven!! Love the pics – just gorgeous. : )))xox

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    • Great, thanks Anne! I sometimes get a bit concerned over the way something I am involved in deeply one minute has disappeared the next simply because I am deeply involved in something else……..Ol’ Stan, he’s a handsome fellow full of personality 🙂

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  5. What a very industrious day you have had!! I too have a three tier sprouter on my kitchen bench and incorporate the sprouts in many meals, if not a salad then a sandwich.
    Good luck with Etsy, it’s a brave but scary thing to put yourself out there, I seriously doubt you will disappoint anyone but I know what its like….I used to do psychic readings and could not get past my own doubts about myself (no matter how happy everyone else was!!) or charging.

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