Permintic Health and Wellness

What does permanent, integrative, and holistic wellness for a sustainable world look like?

There aren’t too many models at the moment, but Permintic Health and Wellness is leading the way with a new vision of what healthcare could be.

Permintic Health and Wellness is one of the next steps in the path that my partner and I are following to foster the change to a sustainable, equitable, and exciting new world that works with the Earth for the benefit of people and planet.

Here is some selected text from the Philosophy page that Michael has written: Continue reading

Experimental Earthen Painting

I don’t know anything that draws as many people from different backgrounds, generations, and skill sets as permaculture.  People from all walks of life are waking up to realize that our current culture is destructive and unsustainable.  It’s wonderful to be in presence of people who are interested in and excited about creating the alternatives!

Yesterday, I had another opportunity to be in a group of peraculture-type people as we met to play around with Earth-based painting techniques.  We were working in a gorgeous old apartment building built in the early 1900s.  Through years of wear and tear, some of the units are in better shape than others, and we were practicing in one that is being completely redone.

So why were we playing around with Earth-based painting?  Continue reading

Be Well Tea for Cold & Flu

It seems that colds and flu are really starting to affect people this winter.  I’m hearing stories left and right about people who are ill.

The first step to prevent illness is always to eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, and to avoid unnecessary stress.  And even if you are exposed to germs or are living the busy go-go-go life, you can often still prevent illness by enhancing your white blood cell count with echinacea, or by using the healing and preventative power of honey and onions.

Unfortunately, there is still a risk that we or our loved ones will come down with a full-fledged illness.

On the bright side, there are many herbal remedies that have been passed down for centuries to help us get better more quickly.

One is this “Be Well” tea that helps to aid in relaxation, hydration, and in producing a mild perspiration that can assist in reducing a fever.  Continue reading

Sunday Bakeday (Including a Great Granola Bar Recipe)

After turning on the oven, it’s always nice to use it for several things.  And so that’s just what I did today, for most of the day, actually.  What a glorious week it will be with fresh loaves of bread, Parmesan cheese crackers, and the best granola bars I’ve ever made!

(I also made a vegetable dish in the oven, but that recipe will soon be disclosed in an upcoming e-book that I’m helping to write!) Continue reading

Homemade Wheat Thins + Palm Oil PSA

Although I’m a few days late with this, I’d still like to share with you that last week was Orangutan Caring Week.

Continue reading

A Night in the Dark & Echinacea Tincture

Hello Light Footsteppers!

I think today is another hodgepodge of a post for me.  It seems that I have been busy, busy lately.  All good things — friends visiting the states from South America, a conference, event planning, trying to continue a regular habit of eating well and taking walks in nature.  It’s all left me with a lot of ideas for what I imagine to be profound posts, but time slips away quickly and then I wonder if it’s all still relevant.  Continue reading

Simply Homemade: Broth Powder and Face Wash

Last weekend, I was at the Chicago Bioneers conference.  It was extremely empowering to be in the presence of so many inspirational figures who are leading the way toward a new future  — one that is less dependent on oil, better at following the patterns found in nature, and is resilient to the inevitable fluctuations that happen in life. (My favorite presenters included Vandana Shiva, Richard Heinberg, and Starhawk.)

One of the themes that continually appeared was the need to focus on creating community and living simpler, more regionally-based lives.  However, people often asked, “How? What can I do to help us transition?”

I believe one of the primary answers is, in fact, embarrassingly simple: we need to consume less and produce more.  This cuts our carbon footprint, decreases our exposure to toxic chemicals, reduces the need to extract far away resources, supports local (and often home-based) economies, gives us meaning and purpose, reduces costs, produces less pollution, and on and on….

And so in case you haven’t noticed, that is one of the main things that I am attempting to do with this blog — get you excited about these simple-living changes!  It’s one of the easiest ways to walk the talk of being environmentally friendly, socially just, and a participant in a new Earth-centered way of life.

Today, I’m sharing two new homemade products that I’ve been meaning to write about (although on different ends of the homemade spectrum) — broth powder and face wash. I know…totally unrelated to one another, but they are both about producing more ourselves and consuming less!   Continue reading

Herbal Ice Cubes

Hurry! Before the killing frosts come (if it’s not already too late)!  Try these herbal ice cubes as a way to preserve the last of your culinary herbs.   Continue reading

Ravioli from Scratch!

I won’t keep you waiting any longer.

I’m sure that you’ve spent a lot of your time wondering how I used the ricotta that I posted about last. Well, the suspense is over.

It went into homemade ravioli!

I just added 2 Tbs. of Italian seasoning, 2 whisked eggs, and a dash of nutmeg to the gigantic amount of ricotta I made.  It definitely made more than was necessary for a night’s worth of ravioli, but I now have plenty of ravioli frozen and ready to use for many dinners to come (all in an afternoon’s work).  I’d say if you used half of the ricotta recipe mentioned in the previous post (to make about 3/4 – 1 lb of ricotta), you would make a reasonable amount of ravioli (but you’ll probably still have some leftovers). That’s ok, it tastes awesome and the feeling of accomplishment that comes from seeing your own from-scratch ravioli is totally worth it!

In addition to 1/2 of the ricotta recipe, you’ll also need to make pasta dough. The ingredients include:

  • 3 cups all-purpose organic, unbleached flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbs. water to start
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/4 Tsp. salt

Mix the dry ingredients and form a well in the center in which to add the wet ingredients.  Begin to knead everything together.  It starts out pretty crumbly, but it gets easier to work with as you go along.  Feel free to add additional Tbs. of water at a time to help with the process. I ended up using a lot more than 3 Tbs. of water, but I found it helpful to go slowly with this so that I didn’t get the dough too wet and sticky.

When the dough becomes smooth, it’s ready to roll out with a rolling pin or put through a pasta machine. We were using a CucinaPro(TM) pasta maker. The dough goes through 8 different times and the width of the rollers keeps getting smaller so you end up with a very smooth, thin sheet of pasta.  It’s perfect for ravioli.

Sheets of pasta for ravioli making

When the dough has been pressed, you can add about a Tbs. of ricotta mixture for each ravioli.  We used a mold (see the bottom part of the mold in the picture above), but there are also devices that function like cookie cutters to help with making ravioli.

Fill the wells with cheese…

Cover with another layer of dough and roll over with a rolling pin..

Fresh pasta cooks very quickly.  We added some of the ravioli to a pot of boiling water and cooked for about 5 minutes until they were done.

Delicious!

Ravioli from scratch!

I can’t believe we made these completely from scratch!

And it was also a fun day of inter-generational cooking.  Grandma was able to share stories of how her family made pasta when she was young, and we all worked together to feed the dough through the pasta maker.  It made me think about the fact that we’ve traded irreplaceable family moments that come from home cooked meals for the convenience of pre-packaged food. The sense of accomplishment and pride that comes from home cooked meals is well worth the effort — these feelings just do not come from opening a can to cook or microwaving a meal!

Making ravioli

Linked up at:


Homemade Ricotta – It’s Easy!

It’s official. I made my own cheese.

It’s been on my to-do list for quite some time now, but other projects have continued to get in the way. Also, I have a reliable source of cheese each week at the farmers’ market that has made it easy to neglect this to-do item. But…he doesn’t sell cheeses like ricotta.

I also think it’s inherently valuable to learn these skills on our own — it helps to save money and to bring us closer to where our food comes from.  It also helps in my quest to eliminate disposable food packaging from my life (what a waste and a huge hog of landfill space!).  If you make your own ricotta, you don’t have to buy a plastic container of it!

Isn’t it amazing that in just a generation or two skills like this have been lost by so many people? There are a great number of us that no longer have words like curds and whey in our vocabulary yet continue to consume a lot of cheese (often from questionable sources!).

I intend to keep the skills of self-reliance and food intelligence alive!

Plus, it’s really easy!

All you need is milk + heat + an acid (vinegar or lemon juice) to make ricotta.  To get into the harder cheeses, you need to start involving rennet in the equation (that will be next in my cheese-making endeavors).

To make 1.5 – 2 pounds of ricotta (which it turns out is a lot of ricotta and you might want to start with half of this recipe), you need:

  • 1 gallon organic (preferably local!) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup of an acid (I used white vinegar; can also use lemon juice)

Combine the ingredients and heat the milk slowly on the stove, stirring periodically, and work the milk’s temperature up toward 180*-190*.  This should happen slowly — it might take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

While you’re stirring, you might want to say an incantation such as, “Let there be curds!” and they will begin to appear! (Ok, you might not have to use magic, but it feels very magical when they begin to appear!)  When the curds begin to form, remove the mixture from the heat source.

Let the mixture cool down for 30 minutes and then strain the curds from the whey by lining a colander with cheesecloth or a tea towel and placing a bowl underneath.  The longer you let the whey drain out, the drier your cheese will be.  I actually put mine in the fridge and let it drain out overnight.

The next morning, I realized that so much whey had drained out that the bottom of the cheese was getting wet in a puddle of whey. I got a bit creative to let a little more whey drain out.

Draining whey

But I was left with some delicious ricotta!

Fresh ricotta cheese

And I’ve also learned that there are numerous uses for the whey, so I saved that as well.  It’s useful as a stock, to cook pastas, to sprout grains, and more! It’s full of healthy enzymes.

Whey

Stay tuned to learn what became of this ricotta…

This post linked up at:

Laura Williams' Musings