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Monday, June 29, 2015

The Moon of Making Fat

The Moon of Making Fat is one of the names for the lunation that began with June 16th's New Moon, and is from the Lakota (Sioux) calendar. Upon considering this, my own contradictory nature irresistibly counters with, "Wait, aren't we more likely to burning fat at this time of year?" In the season of putting it in high gear cuz we gotta get it all done (and quick!), and/ or putting on our swim suits for the first time in months, it seems that we are doing anything but making fat.

All the humans I know around here are making plenty of things, of course. The business of our busy-ness seeps into almost every conversation I've had recently. As for myself, among other things, I have been:
  • making the ground as welcoming as possible for little seedlings; 
  • making the sheep a little more comfortable (hopefully) by sheering them 
  • making the conditions right for milk to turn into cheeses and yogurts; 
  • making it to the <insert ephemeral Spring wild edible here> patch to harvest before their fleeting season passes; 
  • making it out to the garlic bed before the weeds take over; 
  • making sure the goats and chickens stay out of the garden;  
  • making a schedule that makes sense now that the "littles" are on summer break.
Sound familiar? In other words, this is the season of making hay while the sun shines, making sure we haven't forgotten anything, making ourselves worn out. Maybe your list varies from mine a little. Or even a lot. But fat? No, it probably does not include making fat.

And then I remember. It's not always about us.

At this time of year, right in my very own refrigerator, a thick layer of heavy cream will rise to the top of fresh milk from my goats if left undisturbed for a couple of days. This, even though goat's milk is not supposed to do that, being naturally homogenized.

When I get caught up in this Moon of Aren't I Just So Busy and Important, it's good to remember the reason we decided to celebrate the cycles of the moon at Wagbo with Full Moon Feasts.

To take that breath and hold that space for a different perspective on what's happening in the world this season, this hour, this right now.

To recall, for example, the remarkable fact that at this very moment, ruminant animals on the farm and in the woods and fields are eating green things. I'm not just talking about the broccoli we just transplanted. They are chowing down on green things that are highly un-digestible for us. Like grass, for example. And they are MAKING THEM INTO FAT.

Yes, fat. Beautiful fat.

The beauty of this process is that the fat that these animals make now will help them survive through the winter season to which we so recently bid farewell at our north latitude.

Yes, fat. Essential fat.

Of course, fat is essential for other animals as well. I've read about Rocky Mountain Grizzlies eating moths (moths!) by the tens of thousands for... guess what! What else?

You got it, fat. Tasty fat.

We humans like the taste of fat too. But much of the kajillion dollar (approximate), celebrity endorsed weight loss industry and check-out stand magazine covers would have us believe that fat is bad, urging us to avoid it. There are many that might call this the "Moon of Last Chance To Get That Bikini Body."

Years before I would consider my own bikini body to be a thing to question, I considered my dad quite odd for preferring whole milk and for spreading butter as thick as frosting. Like many of my friends in the burbs in the 70's and 80's, skim milk and margarine were the norm and Weight Watchers weigh-ins became a weekly standard of my female kin.

As it turns out, however, without fat we don't absorb certain vitamins adequately or maintain our nervous systems, skin and other tissues very well. Good fats are finally and thankfully coming back into fashion. To our benefit, the "low fat" doctrine is slowly but surely being debunked.

So, in this season of running ourselves ragged with all the things, may we at least dance the frenzied dance of Spring-into-Summer knowing the real way to a bikini body. :)

As the moon waxes into fullness on Wednesday, let the growing roundness in the night sky remind us of the remarkable goodness of growing fat. Let us pause at least long enough to consider the richness in the rolling, rippling fields we pass as we race to our next appointment.

And if you make it to the Full Moon Feast here at Wagbo on Wednesday, we'll raise a glass (of whole milk) to that!                                    

Cheers,
Jen                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Full Moon Feasts at Wagbo

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Maple Muffin Week!

'Tis the season for all things Maple! And to celebrate we'll be cooking with the sweet stuff and posting our results and recipes here for everyone to enjoy. We're starting out with muffins since the kiddos are home for Spring Break - a perfect chance for them to help out in the kitchen and enjoy the fruits of their labor!

Muffin #3


Healthy Maple Glazed Pumpkin Muffins


This one was just too easy. I found the recipe for these glorious muffins and didn't mess with it a bit. OK, well I did throw some chopped pecans in there just because they were sitting in a jar on my counter when i was mixing up the batter. But they already had a good dose of whole wheat flour in them, plus Maple syrup in both the muffin and the glaze. Not only that, but I've been experimenting with baking with olive oil recently and, wouldn't you know... these are made with olive oil! A woman after my own heart. 

My glaze didn't come out quite like Lindsay's from Pinch of Yum (blog linked below), but these were good enough to try again. And again. Until I get it right. And believe me, no one turned down the ones I made today!

Check out the recipe here: Pinch of Yum's Healthy Maple Glazed Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Maple Muffin Week!

'Tis the season for all things Maple! And to celebrate we'll be cooking with the sweet stuff and posting our results and recipes here for everyone to enjoy. We're starting out with muffins since the kiddos are home for Spring Break - a perfect chance for them to help out in the kitchen and enjoy the fruits of their labor!

Muffin #2



Oatmeal Pecan Maple Muffins

  • cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground spices (I mixed cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and star anise)
  • 1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease two 12-cup muffin pans with butter.

In a medium bowl, combine oats and milk; let stand for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and spices of choice.

Stir maple syrup, melted butter and egg into oats mixture. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold at least half of the pecans into the batter.

Divide batter evenly into prepared pans, ideally using an ice cream scoop or "disher". I got 23 muffins this time instead of 24. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Try to remember to sprinkle your muffins with remaining nuts. (I forgot.)

Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool five minutes before taking muffins out of the pans to cool the rest of the way on a wire rack.

Critics opinion: "They were GOOD!" Personally, I really liked the texture of these - thanks, I'm sure, to the oats and nuts. It's also worth noting that I didn't use any sugar other than Maple this time.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Maple Muffin Week!

'Tis the season for all things Maple! And to celebrate we'll be cooking with the sweet stuff and posting our results and recipes here for everyone to enjoy. We're starting out with muffins since the kiddos are home for Spring Break - a perfect chance for them to help out in the kitchen and enjoy the fruits of their labor!

Muffin #1



Banana Maple Muffins
2 cups (280 g) all purpose flour
2 cups (260 g) white whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups mashed banana (2 med-large, 3 small-med)
6 tbsp coconut oil (warmed to liquid or near liquid)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar (I used evaporated cane juice crystals aka rapadurra*)
1 cup Maple syrup (the dark stuff or "grade B" is best)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease two 12-cup muffin pans with butter.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

In another bowl, whisk together mashed banana, coconut oil, eggs, sugar, Maple syrup and vanilla. Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture just until everything is moistened.

Divide batter evenly into prepared pans, ideally using an ice cream scoop or "disher". I overdid it at first and only got 20 muffins instead of 24. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. I started checking mine at about 15 minutes or so because I had some cups with less batter.

Cool five minutes before taking muffins out of the pans to cool the rest of the way on a wire rack.

P.S. I think these would be good with the addition of some nuts or even some Maple sugar sprinkled on top before baking.

*Read about different types of sugar

Critics opinion: "I can taste the Maple, but the banana even more." "They're good!" "A two muffin muffin!" (Actually, five out of five tasters agreed that a second muffin was indeed required.)