Thursday, September 24, 2009


One thing leads to another, in unexpected ways, especially as my lifetime of random diverse routines, systems and lifestyles has accrued such variety that anything can trigger a chain rection.

This past spring, I downsized my ewe flock by "selling" a number of ewes as a started flock to some new friends who farm organically. The whole nine yards: Jersey milk cows, beef, heirloom hogs, chickens and ducks for meat and eggs, veggies. We actually didn't exchange any cash...we set a price, and we're keeping a tab as I enjoy farm-fresh variety my rather focussed farm cant' provide.

The other day I brought home my first gallon of farm-fresh Jersey milk in about 33 years (that was before my daughter was born). Granted, I've had other REAL milk since then, but still none since moving to Lawrence 15 years ago, and not for awhile before that, either.

Slowly the reaction began.

Cream! Even after the long ride home, there were several inches of butter-yellow cream on top. I could barely wait to skim it off. Somewhere in the back of the utensil drawer lay a long- idle gravy ladle that nicely fits in a waide-mouth gallon jar, bought just for skimming cream. In a few minutes, I had nearly a quart of thick, rich cream! The remaining "skimmed" milk tasted as rich as store-bought whole milk.

Several days later, it was still untouched. My current foodway doesn't include cream, and I kind of forgot about it. But then Beth and I had a cup of tea, and I remembered--cream in tea!

Then I was perusing the fridge this evening for a light supper. Cream...?

Dim memories began to gather and take form in my mind. I moved through the kitchen as if hypnotized, slowly at first, then gathering momentum.

THIS pan.
Set THAT burner to THAT temperature.
Water up to HERE.
Raisins first, a handful.
Sunflower seeds.
Nuts--all I have on hand is almonds, not my usual pecans. But they'll do. And here's some coconut--a special treat.

And then barley flakes.

Many MANY years ago, I noticed a correlation between eating oatmeal (with all the extras) for breakfast and getting cold sores by lunch time. When I switched to barley flakes...which taste and cook very much like rolled cold sores. Since then, I stick to barley. Apparently my body is especially sensitive to the balance of amino acids--oats have the least lysine of any grain, and lysine is an effective remedy for curbing cold sores.

After the water is absorbed into the flakes, the nuts are softened and the raisins are plumped, it goes in a bowl. Well, half of it...I had started with a little too much water, added ingredients accordingly, and it looked like more than I could eat.

Then what? It's been years since I've done this.

Oh, maple syrup, of course! Another ingredient that's been languishing in the back of the cupboard, used only when some guest makes pancakes. And then, finally, two big scoops of fresh golden cream.

It was so good, I went back for the other half.

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