10 Reasons Why We “Get it Right” on Thanksgiving – free lessons for a wise Christmas and beyond

Offering free lesson series from now to Dec 28th – sign up below

What are 10 Things we generally “GET RIGHT” at Thanksgiving time!!

#1 We intend to remember to be Thankful for all we have!

#1 repeat – We intend to remember to be Thankful for all we have!

#2 We use the turkey drippings to make a healthy “bone broth” gravy

#3 We use the leftover turkey carcass to make bone broth soup

#4 We take advantage of the healthy cranberry. Wise cranberry sauce includes gogi berries too.

#5 We remember that the CONDIMENT TRAY used to be an important part of a meal – but most of us dont know how to prepare it so that we get the REAL benefits from it.

#6 The traditional gelatin dish !  If you still have this as part of your “traditional” dinner, this also has an extremely healthy part of your dinner – or any meal or snack. I use to go to a friends house when I was little and she always had a gelatin “salad” at Thanksgiving.

#7 We make use of healthy root vegetables.

#8 We use alot of colorful foods for this meal. A variety of colors means a variety of nutrients.

#9 A great Thanksgiving table will use cultured dairy. An awesome meal will have cultured beverages too.

#10 Even desserts have a healthy component : we use pumpkin and apples and even lots of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger.  Nuts are used alot but most of us were never taught how to prepare these in a healthy way.

Its not often that we get our Family together to share a meal! Why not make your next holiday meal together extra special and nutritious !

I will be offering a series of posts on how to make your next meal “extraordinarily nutritious”.

Follow along the preparations of ONE meal and learn WHY Old World preparations are the most nutritious.

SIGN UP HERE for the free lessons , this will give you access to our free forum

BONUS  free video conference

Listen in HERE for some background on how and why foods can be truly Nourishing.

See you on the inside !  Chef Cathy, Adirondack Wellness Chef


You CAN have your Pancakes and Eat them too!

September 26th was National Pancake Day – who knew?  Image

……except for pancake lovers maybe

…..except that there is less of them now that gluten and grain and flour is taboo..

This is about a better way to make pancakes… it is NOT about alternative flours – the alternative flours and ancient grains can be awesome but if you or someone in your family is partial to “white flour” pancakes – read on.

Do pancakes HAVE to be on your no eat list?  Well, that is up to you, as long as you know all the info – for most of you, if you want your grain you can eat it too. Yes there are all sorts of recipes for pancakes now, all free of something. I am talking about good ole flapjacks and why the traditional way of making them is still one of the best in my book.

Answer this – how many years has there been a form of bread in the world?  Then how come – like all of a sudden – bread is “not healthy”.  There are a few reasons, most of them wrapped  up into us humans fooling with foods and processes that nature gave us.

As early as 8000 B.C. bread was a staple with the Egyptians honing the practice of rising bread before baking. Bread was used as a form of money in times past – I am sure I do not have to say again – bread has been around a long time.

Let’s cut to the chase – you need to know about sourdough – REAL sourdough

REAL sourdough Fundamentals:

1) First of all – sourdough does not mean that it is sour. Don’t let the word sour turn you away, think of sourdough as a PROCESS not a flavor. It is a culturing and enlivening of ground grain.  And – sourdough is not just for bread! Anything you make with flour, you can make “sourdoughed”..

2) Sourdough is a live culture that does amazing things to flour and it can help you make bread and bread products that are lower in gluten (our ancestors did not make a gluten problem so they did not have a gluten problem) I have some friends that order my sourdough bread, when other bread products make them feel like they should not be eating it.

3) It rises the bread without any other commercial yeast you buy from the store

4) You can make your starter from thin air -literally!  So really it is an awesome, self – perpetuating, “sustainable” food source that can always be around to make any kind of bread products you want – I made sourdough brownies the other day that were amazing.

Why did I make brownies with sourdough?  Mostly – because this process works within the batter and makes your baking goods more digestible. Once you start seeing the wonders of sourdough you won’t want to make anything without it.

Think of your bowl of sourdough as a little fish tank with invisible little friendly fish – you have to feed them, most everyday. But if you are using it most everyday you want your little critters to be healthy and happy. You say hello, you feed your little batch of starter and – poof – a couple hours later it is bubbly and growing. When it gets to this jiggly stage is when it gets fun. When you don’t want to bake for a while – you just place it in a fridge – and will wait til you feel like wanting to deal with it again – it is very patient with you.

Now back to jiggly!  You add this sourdough to a recipe and it transforms it to – well – a more cohesive batter that has a life of its own.  Except for really cool pancakes – it you like a really spongy pancake – pure sourdough pancakes may be for you, and they are not like a rock in your tummy.

Sourdough baking is an artisianal process – meaning that does not follow strict rules on time, temperature and amount of ingredients.  If you are a real “measurer” in the kitchen I may lose you right here – but on the other side it is a very forgiving, it is an “anyone can do it kind of thing”.  It is just one of those processes that your mom or grand mom would have shown you – that you could have worked on together in the kitchen, like learning an art that you finally master and can teach to your kid!  Bakers were once revered in the communities – and specialized in this craft alone.

So lets make pancakes!   Here is my favorite!  It is especially good to do on days that you have been feeding your sourdough but just have not gotten to making anything with it.

Here is how easy it is once you have the sourdough: While you are heating a griddle place a couple cups of sourdough into another bowl, add a bit of sugar if you want plus an egg, a dash of salt and a dash of baking soda (you can add more flour too, but why do that is you have lots of starter?)  Place coconut oil (or other good oil) on your griddle – make pancakes with that starter. done.  The jigglier the starter – the spongier the pancake!

Want to know more??  Come to one of my sourdough classes at www.LodgeOnLakeClear.com – my resort in the Adirondack Mts where I am Executive Chef – and passionate about sharing Old World healthy methods of cooking.

Bring a group and learn how to incorporate Old World preparations into a New Age!

This article from a Baker’s Forum does a nice job at explaining the history and science of sourdough.  Go here for more.


An Extra Special Quality of Food Cultures

Loving Your Cultures

I love my cultures and microbes that kick around my kitchen. In fact, I have gotten so used to them being around I made them a special cabinet. I called a friend the other day and told her that there was something about them I could not explain, it was just a feeling that I got when I was kneading my sourdough bread – now I know what! I even wrote this article years ago, only to modify it and reprint it. However many months later – I can “explain” what I “knew” then.

You may be familiar with some of the different style of “cultures” and creatures….

I “brew” water kefir, dairy kefir, ginger bug and kombucha and keep an active sourdough.  I make cultured veggies and the true cultured saurkraut. There is even more you can do with dairy and even more kinds of beverage cultures that I have not tried yet. When I started out I could pretty much only keep a couple at a time. You have to feed them and take care of them – at somewhat even intervals and they are all different. It is like having 5 fish tanks, all with different fish! But – it is so worth it!

Lets drop back a bit. If you have not tried culturing yet – you are literally in for a treat. If you have, this can move you to a slightly different level, if you have not “gotten it” already.  For a beginners article on culturing, and the why’s and where to start then read this article  – Making Local Foods Superfoods. 

So now I am even more “fired up” about cultured foods and As of this writing I am writing a series of culturing for health, so follow along if you would like to learn. Your family, your home and even your garden will thank you for taking the time – oh, and me too!

The punch line here?  Aside from helping our immune system, lining our guts with a protective layer etc etc etc … these “back to the source” little microbes are just that – a form of back to the source energy.  Probiotics are said to be able to contain ORMUS, something not easily defined and sometimes akin to magic.  Here is an excerpt from an interview on the potential of ORMUS with David Wolfe, since I just finished his Raw Food Certification course – it’s great to put that here.  And a link to more info about ORMUS energy and others that help us detox our bodies and our places in the world. 

And if you aren’t into all that – just try some veggies or beverages and see how good they make you feel.  I feel that they reconnect us to a part of nature that assists our healing, and science is there to back that up on many levels.

Happy Culturing!




Learn about real “Nourishing Traditions”


Learn the “Nourishing Traditions” that kept – and can still keep – generations of peoples healthy – truly.  No fads or “new” material – only researched and documented preparations of foods – most that we have forgotten or have never been taught – they have been lost though the last few generations of “convenience” foods. These preparations of real foods work with our physical bodies and provide them with nutrient dense foods.

This book is available for browsing and purchase here, in the Adirondack Nourished Market and 100 Mile Store, onsite at The Lake Clear Lodge, 6319 State Rt 30, Lake Clear, NY  12045

“This well-researched, thought-provoking guide to traditional foods contains a startling message: Animal fats and cholesterol are not villains but vital factors in the diet, necessary for normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels. Sally Fallon dispels the myths of the current low-fat fad in this practical, entertaining guide to a can-do diet that is both nutritious and delicious.

Nourishing Traditions will tell you:

  1. Why your body needs old fashioned animal fats
  1. Why butter is a health food
  1. How high-cholesterol diets promote good health
  1. How saturated fats protect the heart
  1. How rich sauces help you digest and assimilate your food
  1. Why grains and legumes need special preparation to provide optimum benefits
  1. About enzyme-enhanced food and beverages that can provide increased energy and vitality
  1. Why high-fiber, lowfat diets can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies

Topics include the health benefits of traditional fats and oils (including butter and coconut oil); dangers of vegetarianism; problems with modern soy foods; health benefits of sauces and gravies; proper preparation of whole grain products; pros and cons of milk consumption; easy-to-prepare enzyme enriched condiments and beverages; and appropriate diets for babies and children.”

Try Cultures – for Health

An interesting “other name” for bacteria …..  Cultures!  But do you know that they outnumber body cells by 10:1

What do you think of first when you hear the word – bacteria ??  Yuk right? We are led to believe that bacteria are bad – that they cause disease, that we need to sanitize.  We need to redefine our thinking – for the most part these bacteria we are talking about here are GOOD bacteria. And …. we need to nurture them.

“All the bacteria living inside you would fill a half-gallon jug; there are 10 times more bacterial cells in your body than human cells, according to Carolyn Bohach, a microbiologist at the University of Idaho (U.I.), along with other estimates from scientific studies. (Despite their vast numbers, bacteria don’t take up that much space because bacteria are far smaller than human cells.) Although that sounds pretty gross, it’s actually a very good thing.”   This paragraph that you just read is an excerpt from a Scientific America article .  The article is not too long and is worth reading

From what I understand we live in dimensions 3-5 for the most part.  Bacteria are, in a simple way, the second dimension (read The Alchemy of Nine Dimensions by Barbara Hand Clow).  So maybe just maybe these tiny bacteria give us the fundamentals of life for a physical form. Umm, maybe we should pay attention to the FUNdamentals!

The bacteria in our gut relate to our immune system. “Further, probiotics—dietary supplements containing potentially beneficial microbes—have been shown to boost immunity. Not only do gut bacteria “help protect against other disease-causing bacteria that might come from your food and water,” Huffnagle says, “they truly represent another arm of the immune system.”” (reference the article above)

Make your dietary supplements consist of foods you make, not pills you swallow..

You recognize yogurt. But do you know about dairy kefir, japanese water crystals or kombucha? Do you know what real sourdough is all about? Do you know that condiments like ketchup and mustard used to be cultured and that they used to help us digest the hamburger that we put it on?

Did you know that the origins of the kefir grain is a mystery?  And that it can not be duplicated in a lab!  I think it truly nourishes the depths of your soul at a level of origins of your cells.

Join me for a “You Need to Get Cultured – for Health”  class onsite and online.  We can share cultures, ideas and techniques.