Apr 072013


As many of you know, last fall I fell and broke both feet and was immobile for several months. It didn’t take long spending that much time stuck inside before it felt like the walls were collapsing in. All our possessions became stuff, just smothering clutter. I craved open space and simple surroundings.

As soon as I was back on my feet I began cleaning, giving away, selling, and trashing everything that was neither necessary nor loved. My mission to declutter the house soon became a mission to simplify life. And soon I realized it was time to take my philosophy of sustainable farming and transfer it to sustainable living. The question became, what could I make or grow that would require less dependency on weekly shopping while continuing to live a good life?

While I was totally excited to be making my own laundry detergent, I fear my family thinks I have gone crazy. That was until I told them how little I spent on ingredients and how well it worked. Ha! Who is laughing now!

Laundry Detergent

  • 1/3 bar Fels Naptha
  • 1/2 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup borax powder

Bring 4 quarts of water to a soft boil. Meanwhile grate a 1/3 a bar of Fels Naptha soap. Reduce heat to medium, add grated soap and stir until soap completely melts.

Add the washing soda and borax and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat.

Add quarts of cold water to clean bucket. Add hot soap mixture and stir. Let the soap sit for 24 hours or until slightly gelled.

Store in gallon container. Use 1/3 to 1/2 cup per load.

 Posted by at 12:24 am
Mar 242013

Good Start SmoothieOkay, enough already! I have been fighting a cold all week and today, finally, I decided to put my foot down! No more.

I have seen my share of doctors the past couple of months and greatly appreciate their services. I wouldn’t be walking limp free without a very wonderful doctor. But I am a bit tired of the eye rolls I get whenever I discuss nutrition or more natural alternatives instead of prescription medications.

My rheumatologist won’t even consider that my RA could be linked to food or at least minimized by eating/omitting certain foods. A physician assistant recently totally ignored my excited report that chamomile tea bags helped calm a rash I had on the top of my foot. One that appears only on my foot that was operated on… AND one that three doctors have given me three different diagnosis for. It’s crazy that the daily news is full of all the foods we should and shouldn’t eat, yet repeatedly I run into medical professionals who won’t even listen to the effects of food on one’s energy level, mood, and overall feeling of well-being from the one person who spends 24/7 in my body… ME.

So to that end, I have decided to bombard my cold with nutrition! And what better way to start than with a healthy smoothie.

Good Start Smoothie

Strawberries: Contain Folate and Potassium as well as a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C and Manganese.

Blueberries: Another good source of Dietary Fiber and Manganese and packed with Vitamin C. Blueberries are known for their polyphenols – which have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Elderberries: Contain an astounding 60% of Vitamin C, 12% of Vitamin A, 11% of Vitamin B6, as well as Thiamin and Riboflavin. They have powerful antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties thought to sooth coughs, sore throats, bronchial infections and to make sinus conditions looser.

Yogurt: Contains Calcium and Vitamin D along with good bacteria for the digestive tract. (Could easily be omitted. I add yogurt for a smoother texture and to be sure I am getting a dose of my daily calcium.)

Orange Juice: Contains Thiamin, Folate and Potassium and is a very good source of Vitamin C.

Banana: A good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese, and very high in Vitamin B6.

Good Start Smoothie

  • ½ banana
  • 2 handfuls of frozen strawberries
  • 1 handful of frozen blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons of organic yogurt
  • ¼ cup elderberry syrup
  • ½ cup orange juice

  1. Starting with banana and add all ingredients to blender. Blend until completely smooth. Add more orange juice as necessary for desired consistency.

Serves 2


 Posted by at 11:26 pm
Dec 232012

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from all of us at Virginia Lamb & Meats.

This time of year, we can’t help but pause and reflect on all the wonderful friendships we have made over the years. Thank you for becoming part of our farm family. Your continued support and loyalty is what strengthens us, allowing us to continue a family tradition of farming!

With love, The Childs Family

 Posted by at 7:00 am
Nov 022012

As some of you may have noticed, I have been a bit lacks in updating the blog lately. I love creating new recipes and can’t wait to get the camera out to capture the perfect shot. But unlike my fellow food bloggers who make it seem so matter of fact… fix dinner, hold off the kids and hubby, snap some photos, eat… that’s not the way we roll here. Dinner is often planned on the fly and I find I have to be very intentional in planning, setting up, and photographing my dishes. Oh, and it’s gotta happen before noon, as that is the only time of day that I get any measurable amount of natural light in the house.

So why the absence? I thought I would be blaming the kids’ soccer schedule OR going back to school OR farm choirs OR even that I have just been super busy working in the kitchen. And all of these have been partially responsible until a month ago, when early one morning as I was leaving for school, I did a nose dive down the front porch steps. Actually head first might have been less eventful. Instead thinking I had finished descending the stairs, I started walking to the car. Instantly I realized I had miscalculated and had another step to go. Flailing in shear panic, I hit the ground breaking my left foot and shattering my right ankle.

After surgery and while under the euphoria of pain medicine, I mistakenly thought, “Oh, wow, I get all this free time to read, plan, and write!” Ha! It has just been recently that I have been able to read more than a couple pages in one sitting or stay awake for more than a couple hours at a time.

Because this is a food blog and aside from perhaps a post on pickled pigs’ feet, I’ve hesitated posting as feet aren’t exactly a topic of culinary interest. But I really wanted to thank everyone for all the wonderful emails and cards. And to ask that you continue to be patient with me over the next couple of months. I still occasionally burst into tears for no obvious reason and believe I can accomplish much more than my body will allow. Other than that, I am definitely on the mend!

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 Posted by at 7:08 am