Thursday, August 21, 2014

B is for Baking When Your Diabetic

Making Sugar Free Zucchini Bread with our own home ground whole wheat flour & Coconut flour.

As with most chronic (read long term) diseases progressing/severity is just about inevitable. So has been my journey with "the sugar" beginning with Gestational Diabetes for last pregnancy. My last baby popped out @ a bit over 10 pounds a side effect of diabetes despite being on tow forms of insulin I still winch everytime I think about her birth.
Now almost 18 years later I'm close to staring down an insulin syringe.
You'd think as a nurse I'd know better having cared for patients who suffered the ravages of diabetes, ranging from blindness to amputation. It's a hard disease to live with even when your coming from a medical background. While I've been better than most and @ times wort I am genetically predisposed to diabetes, my mother suffers from it as does a good portion of Puerto Ricans.

Recently took advantage of an Amazon Deal of the Day on Organic Kosher Coconut flour 
Coconut flour is high in fiber and naturally sweet helps with lowering blood glucose levels among other benefits. It is pricey but denying myself baked goods certainly hasn't worked. So I'll buckled down on other aspects of the grocery budget and shop around for sales to make this new lifestyle work.

For me personally it's been a learning curve ... I did enjoy the waffle recipe I made with the coconut flour I'm having a real issue incorporating the flour into my regular baking. Coconut flour is very dry & crumbles if you look @ it with a sideways glance. It does have a slight coconut taste and a faintly gritty texture. Most recipes call for an increased amount of eggs, the waffle recipe I use called for 6 eggs.
Like with all new lifestyle changes I'm working on a fine balance between stable blood sugar levels, keeping my cholesterol numbers low, & finding the extra greenbacks to afford to eat healthier.

The other change is that I've switch out all our fake sugar useage to Stevia. Previously I was using fresh Stevia leaves in beverages namely my coffee. Now I use it in all our baking & cooking needs. Hubby's not thrilled but he wasn't thrilled with the taste of commercially available artificial sweeteners either. I of course wasn't thrilled with the side effects.
He as a diabetic doesn't suffer from roller coaster glucose levels in the same manner as I do. His body can process Maple syrup an often recommended diabetic sweetener choice, fairly well. For me I lapse into a diabetic coma albeit with a smile on my face.
Hence the learning curve.

Scored a great deal on Powdered Stevia and once I added a label giving Stevia = Sugar conversion measurements it's been a snap.

I'm also looking @ Almond flour & Birch Xylitol a sweetener just as soon as I earn some more greenbacks.

8 quarts of shredded Zucchini in the freezer so far.
I was planning on canning it hoping to end up with Zucchini milk concoction but the squash is exceptionally dry this year. Not heirloom so that may be why.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A is for Apples

The first of many updates here on Thirtyfivebyninety Urban Homestead. 
I'll start alphabetically ... with the Apples trees my daughters and I planted in 2008

We were/are trying for the Espalier method which since I'm not French has grossly alluded me as you can see. We had planned to pune way back this year but it was a great season for Apples in New York State including city orchards, we just couldn't bring ourselves to saw.  
So we didn't. 
The small window dead center is the kitchen.
I got a big kick out of  first seeing Apple Blossoms then Apples growing outside my kitchen window. Reminded me of the character Ma Joad in the Grapes of Wrath, when she talked about oranges outside her window. 

Summer 2013 
Notice how shady the Apple trees and house are. I was very surprised we got a harvest @ all.

Winter 2008
Proof that you don't need feet of space to have an Apple Orchard - this bed is just a bit over 12" wide and almost 15' long.

An Apple for Snow White

Golden Russets

Golden Russets 
The 4 in 1 Apple tree produced half a bushel of Golden Russets. Disappointing no shows for the other 3 varieties but  never the less good with cheese.
Preservation method of choice - storing in the cellar for fresh eating this Winter.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tarp Blue

Ghetto Slip & Slide just add dish soap and a helmet.
 The lovely view out of my up stairs bathroom window. On a bright & sunny day the tarp blue glow, smoothing and shall I dare say tranquil reflects off the walls of my bath ... yeah what a load of  ... this is the twin of my house which sits about 12 feet away with it's newly tarpped roof.
Apparently a bank owned home can be tarpped without repercussions.
No certified love letters speaking of fines & confinement in the big house. Oh no sweet salutations from the code man for those people.
Poor bastards.

For me a common homeowner I just work two jobs and continue to interview roofers. Hopefully I'll have til late October to earn enough.

Wouldn't a tarp camouflaged roof be the bomb baby ?

I'm gonna need a helmet.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Thursday, June 21, 2012

French Connection

Checking out the Make  Magazine website for an outrageously awesome gardening idea for those of us who are spacial challenged. A design team from Paris, yeah as in France, came up with a tilt in tilt out window box holder thingy. I could so see just about all of a couples fancy salad green supplied with one or two of these holders utilizing succession planting.
If you haven't ever been on Make's site or picked up a copy of the very thick mag that plays more like a book I encourage you to do so. Usually I hang under the Home Garden section although I do enjoy checking out the electronic hacks even if it projects are way over my head.

I see a DIY project in hubbies future, lol. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ye of Little Faith

I really need to put my faith in God much more than I do.
Despite this Springs wild weather & late season wet snow fall we have Peaches on the trees.

The first pic is the tree closest to the garage which produces smaller Peaches as well as a smaller harvest.
Hopefully all that will change this year. We were told by the next door neighbor who is facing foreclosure that the bank will have ownership next month. I plan to lobby hard on having the 150 year old Maple that blocks out the sunshine, cut down. I'll be using phrases like litigation, damage to our many quality tools and possessions in housed in our garage when a limb decides to come crashing down.

In the meantime the Mylar mirror I've been erecting has been working out well all things considered.

Second pic shows what some sun light can do for a tree. Would you believe that there is only a distance of  8 feet between the two ?
Apparently 8 feet can mean all the difference whether it's shade or the Berlin Wall.

Mylar Garden Mirror on the garage wall ...

Bigger than a golf ball smaller than a tennis ball.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Monday, June 4, 2012

Sabbatical Ends

Heads up this blog is still active, just a bit slow as of late.

I've been working six days a week (cue the Beatles Classic) which has been a great blessing because the borrowed time we've been living on has come to an end. The roof which needed replacing when I bought our old house 13 years ago, has finally sprung a leak.
So for now the electrical will have to wait while I come up with all those dead presidents to keep the rain & all too soon snow off our heads.                        

Last week the gods realized I had a steady paycheck & broke my laptop. Yeah that's right it was the gods who were also responsible for a few other unexpected bills that watered down the roof fund.
Such is life.

It times like these that I am glad we live well below our means; cheap rent, cheap tastes, no car note. I know that in the prepping movement everyone prepares for the "Big One" but for us it's more of being able to weather all the little ones.
Having the skills to live comfortable on almost next to nothing is what I'm talking about.

Sunday my day off I canned up 14 jelly jars of Strawberry Rhubarb Jam. Both were left overs that were gifted by a gf who worked the food bank last Friday. And so the 2012 canning season begins !

I also got a portion of the garden planted which made me feel better about the sad state of my city lot. Section after section of weed and no it's not that  cash crop just Gill-over-ground, Plantain, Rye Grass, Feverfew, Buttercup, along with a perennial Primerose Sundrop that has taken over like a bad case of poverty.

My grand plans were to thin the landscape plants like a boot camp barber, pot up, then barter or sell but that will have to wait for next Spring. What little time I have will be devoted to filling the pantry shelves. The majority of the mason jars are empty due to my lazy efforts last year.

~~ pelenaka ~~