Posts Tagged ‘Readers’ Questions’

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Answering Your Questions: Our Vaccination Journey

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Question asked via FB:  I want to ask you for more information about immunizations…

Answer: Now there’s a can of worms.  I think the issue of vaccinations vs. no-vaccinations is one of the most divisive among parents of young children.  However, for you, our dear readers, we are willing to go there!  🙂 We only ask that you be civil in your discourse on the subject and TRY not to judge one another.  We are all on a journey. 

Our Vaccination Journey Read More

Question asked via FB:  I want to ask you for more information about immunizations… Answer: Now there’s a can of worms.  I think the issue of vaccinations vs. no-vaccinations is one of the most divisive among parents of young children.  However, for you, our dear readers, we are willing to go there!  🙂 We only ask […]

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Veggie Tasting Party Winners!

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Sorry to keep you all in such suspense!  We have reviewed the scores and are ready to announce the winners of our Veggie Tasting Party!!!!

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For those just joining us, back in April we were asked by a reader, ““Would you write a series about vegetables? A ‘How to cook them so people will eat them’ type of series.”  

Rather than just answering with our families’ recipes, we put the question to all of you!  Throughout the month of April y’all submitted your very own, family-tested-and-loved, favorite veg forward recipes.  Our agreement was that we would cook them all, have our husbands, children, and friends taste and judge in a blind taste-test.  You were so generous with your culinary delights that we had one day, in fact, just a few hours, actually, to cook 26 veggie recipes!  Everything from Brussels Sprouts to Turnips!  From Tomatoes to Carrots!  From Kale to Okra!  Add a few bottles of lovely wine and a some locally brewed beer and we had a true foodie party on our hands!

It took two tables to hold everything!

It took two tables to hold everything!

But what fun!  You can see more pictures of the food and mayhem here: Food Revolution Day Tasting Party!

From the 26 recipes we have chosen the 10 that were rated the yummiest by our panel of critics.  (And let me tell you, you don’t know a food critic until you’ve met our children.  Ever heard a child say, “This would be perfect it was baked off, instead of steamed and if you added a bit of acid, like maybe a balsamic reduction.”)  These 10 will be included in a Veggie Cookbook to be released next month!  Along with those 10 we are going to add 10 Provision Room fool-proof favorites, for a Veggie Cookbook for real people! You’re gonna love it!

WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, HERE ARE THE WINNERS:

Kale Chips, submitted by Rebecca of Food, Laughter and Love

Fresh Ginger Roasted Yams, submitted by Karen of Only Sometimes Clever

Summer Salsa, submitted by Jada of Jada Swanson

Creamy Lemon-Honey Slaw, submitted by Karen of Only Sometimes Clever

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, submitted by Barb at SFO Mom

Roasted Vegetables, submitted by Sara at June Cleaver In Yoga Pants

Tomato Confit, submitted by Karen of Only Sometimes Clever

Vegan Ceviche, submitted by Nadia

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Blue Cheese, submitted by Jada of Jada Swanson

and finally, in what perhaps was the biggest surprise hit of the night:

Baked Okra, submitted by Rebecca of Food, Laughter and Love

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!  For contributing to our cookbook (and to a very successful FOOD REVOLUTION DAY!) you will receive a FREE copy of the cookbook when it is released and full credit in the book, along with links to your blog or website!  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

Cooking away!

Daja, our good friend KayLee, and Kristina

(Linked to Tasty Traditions, Fantastic Thursdays at Five Little Chefs, and Homemaking Party at Hope In Every Season and Small Footprint Fridays)

Sorry to keep you all in such suspense!  We have reviewed the scores and are ready to announce the winners of our Veggie Tasting Party!!!! For those just joining us, back in April we were asked by a reader, ““Would you write a series about vegetables? A ‘How to cook them so people will eat […]

7

Answering OUR Questions: Parsnip Greens

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This week we are flippin’ the script.  This time you answered OUR question.  And might we say, you are some very clever readers!

The following question WE asked via Facebook a few weeks ago and the answers y’all came up with!  THANK YOU!  You probably saved us some stomach upset.  😉 Read More

Photo source.

This week we are flippin’ the script.  This time you answered OUR question.  And might we say, you are some very clever readers! The following question WE asked via Facebook a few weeks ago and the answers y’all came up with!  THANK YOU!  You probably saved us some stomach upset.  😉

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Answering Your Questions: How To Protect My Plants!

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Q. Reader Rebekah asked via Facebook: OK, Provision Room, I am still such a novice at this growing my own food stuff, but I was so inspired at your garden dinner last summer that I’m trying hard. So my question…last summer we yielded 1 strawberry and some creature got to it before we did. This year I see tons of little green guys peeking out, so how do I keep them safe from birds and/or bugs?

gardening poster

A. Kristina, our resident gardening expert says: Good for you! The critters really do love strawberries and it can be very difficult to keep them from eating your prize fruit and veg possessions! You might try putting netting or even homemade wire cages over them to keep them safe for this growing season. I’ve had mixed results with those, though. It seems like little squirrely hands can just about get through anything! The easiest way I have found to grow strawberries specifically, is in hanging baskets. This will keep the squirrels out and they’re probably your real thieves.

For bugs, you can try laying what is called “black mulch” underneath the plants. This does two things. First it makes it hard for the bugs to get to the fruit but it also increase the ground temperature for the plants. Since strawberries like heat it should increase your yield as well as protect the fruit. For the home gardener you can just use a black trash bag as “mulch” underneath the plant and use rocks or stakes to keep it in place. Hope these ideas help!

Happy gardening!

(Linked to Farm Girl Friday Blog FestFight Back Friday!Backyard Farming Connection HopManic Monday, Tuesday Garden Party and Wildcrafting Wednesday)

Q. Reader Rebekah asked via Facebook: OK, Provision Room, I am still such a novice at this growing my own food stuff, but I was so inspired at your garden dinner last summer that I’m trying hard. So my question…last summer we yielded 1 strawberry and some creature got to it before we did. This year […]

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Answering Your Questions: How To Cook Vegetables So People Will Eat Them

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Q.  Starr asked, “Would you write a series about vegetables? A ‘How to cook them so people will eat them’ type of series.”

Summer's bounty.

Summer’s bounty.

A. First of all, may we say that we are so proud of so many of our readers who have made it a goal to eat less fast food and junk food!  It’s a challenge, we know, to substitute carrot sticks for French fries and veggie burgers for Big Macs!  But, it’s SO VERY worth it!

That said, a lot of people did not grow up eating a variety of fresh vegetables.  The vegetables they did eat came from a can and were served school cafeteria style.  ICK! Well, it’s no wonder people say they don’t like vegetables!

In considering this request from our readers we had a stroke of genius.  We want to share our best veggie recipes with you…but we also want to hear from you, our homemakers in the field!  Here’s what we propose:

Let’s work together on this project!!!!

Send us your best veggie recipe!  Then Kristina and I will prepare them and test them out on our special panel: our husbands and children.  We’ll pick our favorites from among the submitted recipes, add our own tried-and-true veggie dishes and release them all together at once–in an ebook!  Does that not sound AMAZING?!

Cheers to you!!!!

our panel of experts

Here are the details:

1. Submit your recipe by April 30, 2013 to theprovisionroom@gmail.com

2. Your recipe may contain things other than vegetables, such as grains, meat, cheese, etc.  But, we want the vegetable to be the hero of the dish, not just the garnish or condiment.

3. You may submit as many recipes as you’d like.

4. We will choose our favorite 10 recipes.  Those whose recipes we choose will receive a free pre-release copy of the ebook.!!!! You’ll receive full credit for inventing and submitting the recipe.

5. We’ll test the recipes in May and release all the recipes in June–just in time for the abundance of summer vegetables and Farmer’s Markets in full-swing all over the country!

6. Need we say this?  It needs to be YOUR recipe.  Don’t copy something out of Bon Appetit Magazine.  It’s OK if it originated as someone else’s recipe and you’ve changed and adapted it for your family.  But, no recipes verbatim from a cookbook, please.  Thanks!

We can’t wait to see what wonderful and creative recipes you submit!!!

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In the meantime, here are some of the veggie recipes from The Provision Room Recipe File.  Hopefully, this will tide you over until the book release in June!

VEGGIE BURGERS

CURRIED CHICKEN SALAD

VEGAN SOUP

SEAWEED SOUP

CACTUS SALSA

CARROT SOUFFLE

ROASTED GARLIC AND ROSEMARY MASHED POTATOES

MONGOLIAN VEGETABLES WITH RICE

(Linked to Best Posts Of The WeekThrough My Creative MindManic Monday, Motivation MondayTry A New Recipe Tuesday, Project Inspired at Cupcakes and CrinolineEco KidsFrugally SustainableThe Backyard Farming ConnectionWise Woman Link-Up, Tasty TraditionsFight Back Fridays!, Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest and Tasty Traditions 24)

Q.  Starr asked, “Would you write a series about vegetables? A ‘How to cook them so people will eat them’ type of series.” A. First of all, may we say that we are so proud of so many of our readers who have made it a goal to eat less fast food and junk food! […]

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Answering Your Questions: Emergency Cooking Supplies

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In response to our 72-Hour Kit Challenge one reader asked:  “What kind of stove and cookware will you be using?”

Daja and I are keeping the cooking supplies really simple.  Both of our families are well stocked with camping supplies, both for tent camping and in trailers (glamping).  We have these items in an easily accessible area of each of our garages.

This is what I have collected over the years…

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This is a spacious two burner stove we purchased at Costco for around $150.  Each burner puts out a serious 30,000 BTU’s.  We keep a 20lb (standard BBQ) propane tank full and ready for whenever we need it.  (A handy tip...  Most U-Haul locations will top-off your propane tank and only charge you for what they fill instead of the full replacement cost of the tanks you can get at most exchange locations.)

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This is our standard Coleman two-burner folding camp stove.  This is a table-top version and uses a 16.4oz propane fuel cylinder.  (Another handy tip… you can buy an adapter at Harbor Freight to fill the 16.4oz cylinders using your 20lb tank instead of purchasing new cylinders every time.)

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This last little number is a portable gas cooker you can pick up  for less than $20.  This stove uses butane canisters and typically comes with it’s own carrying case.  I especially like using this when I’m canning.  I set it up on an outdoor table and keep the heat out of my kitchen.

(Linked to Farm Girl FridayFarm Fun Friday, Small Footprint Friday and Simply Natural Saturdays)

In response to our 72-Hour Kit Challenge one reader asked:  “What kind of stove and cookware will you be using?” Daja and I are keeping the cooking supplies really simple.  Both of our families are well stocked with camping supplies, both for tent camping and in trailers (glamping).  We have these items in an easily […]

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Answering Your Questions: Preparedness

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Q.  Andrea asked, “What I’ve always wondered is if we had a true disaster like a tornado, all my water & stores of food & flashlights & probably even the (anchored down) generator itself, would all go up in the funnel & land in the next county before we hardly knew what hit us. You’ve seen people going through the rubble after a tornado.  There’s no way gallons of water or cupboards filled with food stores could survive that.  So I’ve always wondered…. why go to the extent of all that preparedness, if it’s going to be sucked up like Dorothy of Oz anyway? You know what I mean?”

Read our interview with Kelly Crawford who survived a tornado and shares the lessons she learned.

Read our interview with Kelly Crawford who survived a tornado and shares the lessons she learned.

A. Excellent question, Andrea!  Thank you for being so bold to ask!  

I think what makes this site unique is that we are not preparing only for the end of the world, the proverbial zombie Apocalypse, but also for “life’s happenings.” Sure, we might have to face “The Big One” in our lifetime. But for sure we will have to deal with things like the Santa Ana winds knocking at our power for a week, gas and food shortages, etc.  In California at least, we have had to deal with these things in the past year.

I think preparing for the major disaster can be really daunting and freeze a lot of us in our tracks. Because we can’t do everything, we do nothing. What we’ve been striving for at The Provision Room is to begin by preparing for the small things-–for the spouse who loses a job, for a downturn in whatever market you’re working in, for power outages, wind storms and skyrocketing grocery and gas prices. And then gradually to build our storehouses and supplies for the big disaster.

How each of us plans for that will be different, of course.  Our big risk in Southern California is a major earthquake.  For some others it might be the tornado or hurricane or ice storm.

I think there are a few things that we emphasize that you don’t really see in other preparedness websites.

1) We are always encouraging our readers to prepare, but also to put their trust in the Lord.  “Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.”  Psalms 127: 1  That is why you’ll see us start each week with prayer.  As Oswald Chambers wrote, “Prayer doesn’t prepare us for the greater work.  Prayer is the greater work.”

2) We want our readers to build community–-through their churches, neighborhoods, friends.   If we are going to survive life’s happenings, we’ve got to do it together.  If we can share knowledge and resources we are so much stronger.  Perhaps you’ve got a bumper crop of tomatoes, maybe you can share with a friend in exchange for help with the canning and processing.  Maybe you can do auto-repairs and your neighbor is a whiz at carpentry–share skills.  Not only will you save money, you’ll both come out stronger and better prepared for the future.

“More than simply soccer moms, Radical Homemakers are men and women who have chosen to make family, community, social justice and the health of the planet the governing principles of their lives.  They reject any form of labor or the expenditure of any resource that does not honor these tenets.  For about five thousand years, our culture has been hostage to a form of organization by domination that fails to honor our living systems, where “he who holds the gold makes the rules.”  By contrast, Radical Homemakers use life skills and relationships as a replacement for gold, on the premise that he or she who doesn’t need the gold can change the rules.  The greater our domestic skills, be they to plant a garden, grow tomatoes on an apartment balcony, mend a shirt, repair an appliance, provide for our own entertainment, cook and preserve a local harvest or care for our children and loved ones, the less dependent we are on the gold.” (Shannon Hayes in Radical Homemakers)

3) Our preparedness is not only for ourselves.  If we are better prepared for whatever life throws at us we can be a true light to the world and a help to others in times of need.  For example, if there is another big storm resulting in another large scale power outage in our valley, instead of rushing to the store and trying to find food and gas we can share food with our neighbors and help with the clean-up.  If a disaster takes all your storehouses, fall back to point #2 above.  Hopefully your community is also prepared.  If you’re not sure your friends are prepared, why not pass along our website to them.  Pick a do-able goal, such as the 72 Hour Food Kit, and work on it together!

Have a question for us?  We try to answer one every Friday!  Ask away!  Anything goes!  You may email us at theprovisionroom@gmail.com, leave us a comment on Facebook, or drop us a comment right here on the blog.

(Linked to Wise Woman Link-UpFarm Girl Friday, Fun Farm FridayFight Back Friday! and Motivation Monday)

Q.  Andrea asked, “What I’ve always wondered is if we had a true disaster like a tornado, all my water & stores of food & flashlights & probably even the (anchored down) generator itself, would all go up in the funnel & land in the next county before we hardly knew what hit us. You’ve […]

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Answering Your Questions: Sugar!

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Reading Sheri asks:

Q. Which do you think is the better sweetener: Stevia, Truvia, Agave, honey or raw sugar?

A. Oh this can be so confusing, can’t it?!  We are all just trying to eat better and there are just way too many choices.  And each one is marketed to be THE best.  Here’s the thing, if they have to market it to you with fancy labels, bells and whistles, it’s likely not a food.  Real food doesn’t require all that.  I mean, think about it: fruit and vegetables just have the little code to ring it up, unless it’s from the Farmer’s Market, then it has no labeling at all!  Meat from the butcher counter is wrapped in plain brown paper.  If you have to dress it up, it’s probably better to pass on it.

Food flow chart

But what about these sweeteners make them healthy or unhealthy?

  • Stevia is a plant, which you can actually grown and harvest and use to sweeten things yourself. However, we mistrust some of the commercial varieties.  Truvia is a chemical, derived from stevia, but is NOT stevia in its whole food form. It contains other ingredients besides stevia, including sugar alcohols.  Therefore, we do not consider it a food, rather a lab experiment and we get to all be guinea pigs for the Coco-Cola company who produces it through a highly secretive and patented extraction process. Hmmmmmm……  No thanks.
  • Agave, is a plant most commonly known for making Tequila.  If you had visions of someone essentially pushing the succulent through a juicer to get the sweetness out, think again.  In order to extract the “nectar” for commercial bottling, they use a chemical process that essentially turns it into high fructose corn syrup (which we all know to avoid like the plague, right?). Your body cannot tell the difference between the two. Traditional agave sweeteners use the leaves of the plant. Commercial varieties today use the starch from the root. The result is an unnatural product that raises your triglycerides the same way HFCS does.  Avoid.
  • Honey, love it! Especially if it’s raw and local. I won’t buy most commercial varieties because there is a lot of corruption and “honey laundering” going on.  There can be unsafe levels of heavy metals and essentially sugar water or HFCS fed to bees which make the honey no better than straight processed sweetener.   Commercial varieties usually contain no pollen whatsoever.  But raw and local is excellent for you, safe, and tasty!  Plus, it can help boost your immune system and build your defense against seasonal allergies.
  • Raw Sugar, if it’s truly a raw sugar than I like it–especially for baking. But don’t be fooled by brown sugars that are essentially just colored white sugars. Look for Organic Evaporated Cane Juice or Sucanat (which is short for sugar cane natural) or Rapadura.  We buy ours from Azure.

Then why not explore sweetening with other things.  A couple dates in your yogurt smoothie or a frozen banana.  No need to add any additional sugar!  Sometimes I put a piece of dried fruit, such as an apple ring, in my tea to give it just a hint of sweetness and delicious flavor and then I can eat the apple when I’m done!  And sometimes it’s a matter of learning to enjoy some foods without the sugar.  We’ve been so conditioned that everything should be sweet.  But when we finally wean ourselves off it, it’s amazing how good coffee can taste by itself or with a bit of cream.  Or plain yogurt with a few berries and a handful of raw oats.  Some foods are so amazingly flavorful on their own we don’t actually need the sugar.

So what sweeteners do you use most in your kitchen?

(Linked to Fight Back Friday!The Creative HomeAcre Blog Hop, and Tasty Traditions)

Reading Sheri asks: Q. Which do you think is the better sweetener: Stevia, Truvia, Agave, honey or raw sugar? A. Oh this can be so confusing, can’t it?!  We are all just trying to eat better and there are just way too many choices.  And each one is marketed to be THE best.  Here’s the […]

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Answering Your Questions: Water on the Go

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Q.  So I read through most of your posts on fast food. That is one thing I would love to change for our family. We don’t eat out often but drinks happen more often than I would like. Do you recommend keeping water bottles in the freezer? The bpa free ones? Read More

The orange one on the right is my favorite bottle to keep in my purse.

Q.  So I read through most of your posts on fast food. That is one thing I would love to change for our family. We don’t eat out often but drinks happen more often than I would like. Do you recommend keeping water bottles in the freezer? The bpa free ones?

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Answering Your Questions: Ordering From Azure Standard

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After seeing Daja’s reveal of her beautiful and newly remodeled provision closet one of our readers asked this question:

Q.  It looks GREAT! So, tell me, what all do you find that is a good buy from Azure? I have their catalog, but have been a bit overwhelmed by it. Read More

Kristina's Pantry after 3 months

After seeing Daja’s reveal of her beautiful and newly remodeled provision closet one of our readers asked this question: Q.  It looks GREAT! So, tell me, what all do you find that is a good buy from Azure? I have their catalog, but have been a bit overwhelmed by it.