Adirondack Maple Syrup – Liquid Gold

Is it Liquid Gold Time Yet?!

What has always been local and sustainable, is one of the oldest food industries in Northern NY and is exclusively made in only a few areas of North America?  It’s our “Liquid Gold” – maple syrup.

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Now that it is maple syrup time it makes me thankful for yet another wonderful food source available to us here in the North Country.  It has been used as a sweetener and health food for centuries, and is part of the North Country mantra – a sign of warmer weather – flowing sap means spring!

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A website that lists 125 of the “healthiest foods” calls maple syrup “one of the many wonders of the world.”   It gives maple syrup credit for a healthy dose of both manganese and zinc – trace elements good for your immune defense, health of your heart and – men – you need to check it out for the health of your prostate!

It is agreed that TOO much sugar of any form, even natural, is not a particularly good  “health” item.  But lets face it – sweet IS one of our major taste sensations is it not?  Did you know, that in 2011, the University of Rhode Island identified 54 beneficial compounds in maple syrup, five of which have never before seen in nature. These compounds have anti-inflammatory properties, which prevent illnesses including heart diseasediabetescancer and Alzheimer’s. And in comparison to honey, maple syrup contains fewer calories and has a higher concentration of minerals.

While cost can certainly seem a factor today even here where it is produced, don’t forget to go with the seasons and make a one of a kind meal for family or friends using maple syrup. It is stated that one-gallon weighs 11 pounds and is made from approx 40 gallons of precious sap! So as most people know, it takes a lot of sap to make a little of the product – but like any really good food – a little goes a long way.

Think “out of the breakfast box” when cooking with maple syrup.  While a great pancake is only made greater when served with the “real thing” (pancake syrup in the store can not come close) – there is much more to maple syrup than breakfast.  You can use it as a marinade for fish or meat, or to glaze & caramelize vegetables.  And desserts are a given – maple ice cream, maple pudding (with local fresh eggs- yum!) and even maple poached pears.  Then there is maple fruit bread, maple BBQ ribs, maple glazed carrots – the list goes on. And please, don’t microwave.

Experiment with replacing the present sweetener in some of your recipes with maple syrup. To substitute for sugar in cooking, generally use only 3/4 cup maple syrup to each cup of sugar. To substitute maple syrup for granulated sugar in baking, use the same proportions, but reduce the other liquid called for in the recipe by about 3 tablespoons for every cup of syrup and add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda for each cup of maple syrup used. When maple syrup is substituted for all sugar in a recipe, reduce the amount of liquid used by one half, if maple syrup is substituted for half the sugar, reduce liquid amounts by one-fourth.” Baked goods made with maple syrup should be baked at a slightly lower temperature than the same recipe using granulated sugar.

While sugars are always downplayed in the “healthy” food scene, we a have access to a wonderfully versatile sweetener. It has much more “culinary” potential than we give it credit for and in small amounts, we in the North Country get to satisfy our “sweet tooth” with a natural flavor that many other people in the world only get artificially.

You can stay at The Lake Clear Lodge and visit many of the maple producers nearby.  The Paul Smith’s VIC offers programs or you can visit the VIC’s sugar house. For  many more in this region see The Maple Weekend site.

The Lake Clear Lodge offers maple cooking classes both at “maple time” as part of the Stay Packages and throughout the year. Check them out.

Here are some of the basic maple definitions:

Maple sugar candy, has a semisoft texture and fabulous flavor, is made from syrup that’s boiled, cooled, stirred and poured into molds.

Maple sugar blocks are more granular ,and can be chipped or shaved and added to cereals or beverages.

Granulated maple sugar comes from syrup that is boiled, cooled, stirred and sifted. It makes a wonderful addition to baking and beverages.

Maple butter (cream or spread) is syrup that is cooked and stirred to give it the smooth, creamy consistency and flavor of soft maple fudge.

Pure (natural) maple extract is a flavoring made from alcohol and sugar maple tree oils. It adds maple punch to baked goods, frosting and fudge.

Imitation maple extract  uses synthetic ingredients to create flavor similar to pure maple extract.

PDF poster Benefits of Maple Syrup and its benefits

Enjoy Liquid Gold season!

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Chef Cathy Hohmeyer specializes in real food preparations that keep nutrients in

Follow my blog at www.OldWorldKitchen.net

Chef Cathy

Secrets to Eating Out Healthier

Hello!

I’ve always adored dining out.

Yet ever since I switched to eating Real Food and prioritizing ancestral food ways, I’ve felt more and more challenged by my experiences in restaurants.

How do I make the healthiest possible choice?
Is it better to eat the pasture-raised chicken that was fried in canola oil, or the CAFO-raised grilled chicken salad with olive oil & vinegar dressing?

How do I find out how ingredients were sourced (and what they are!) without embarrassing the servers (or myself)?

That’s why I am so glad my friend Kristen Michaelis (AKA Food Renegade) wrote The Renegade Guide to Dining Out Click here to view more details

As a health and wellness blogger who loves a good meal out, I’ve received hundreds — literally hundreds — of emails from readers over the years asking these questions.

I’d always felt like my hands were tied answering them because my system for prioritizing food choices when out takes A LOT of information into consideration and weighs it all on a delicately balanced scale.

That’s why I’m so pleased to be able to offer you Kristen’s e-book!

Pre-orders of the e-book are on sale now Click here to view more details, but while we wait for the e-book’s release, I want to start answering your questions!

In the example above, Kristen would actually choose the CAFO-raised grilled chicken made with olive oil (or no meat at all) over the pasture-raised chicken that was friend in canola oil.

Here’s why.

She believes (as I do) that the single greatest thing you can do for your health is to switch to nourishing, wholesome, traditional fats.

It’s hard to put into practice, I know!

I used to just dismiss caring about it altogether when dining out. I’d accepted that I was never going to get a good meal made with good fats if I wasn’t eating in my own home.

Kristen felt the same way. But then she noticed she was slowly putting on weight, 5 to 10 pounds per year. So she started being more strict with how she prioritized good fats — even when dining out.

Want to guess what happened?

The weight started melting off.

Yes, the weight-loss is a convergence of choices. It’s not all about how she prioritized my food choices when eating out.

But she’s convinced it’s a significant factor, and here’s why. Not too long ago, she had a week where she “cheated.” She splurged. She stopped following my rules when dining out.

Want to guess how many pounds she lost last week?

None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero.

She actually gained two pounds.

In my next email, I’m going to teach you Kristen’s system for prioritizing food choices when dining out.

It’s not about weight loss, I promise.

It’s not a diet.

It’s just how I choose what to eat in restaurants so that I can be optimally healthy.

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P.S. If you haven’t already checked out The Renegade Guide to Dining Out, you’ll want to!

It’s on sale right now for a ridiculoulsy low price .

Click here to view more details

And feel better about eating out!

Chef Cathy

Adirondack Wellness Chef

Broth Cuisine for the Flu Season

Guest Post by Lynn Cameron

The Old World Kitchen specializes in appetizing Soups and Entrees made with nourishing and easy to digest Bone Broths – delivering rich food value for those that choose carry-in meals regularly or on occasion.

Chef Cathy produces real stock created from hormone-free NYS farm-raised produce as it is available.  Beef, chicken and fish creations alternate according to seasonal supplies of fresh and natural ingredients.  The Lodge restaurant kitchen is NYS inspected and certified for catering/carry-out.

If you haven’t the time or resources to make enough broth in your own kitchen, and if you have the need or desire to get the nutrition and taste benefits of rich bone broth in your meals – call Cathy for the help you need!   Store some in the freezer for emergency health support or take it for supper to ‘grandmother’s’ house.

 

A simple broth soup may start a meal well

Add vegetables, grain and/or legumes,

 It becomes a sustaining main course

SOUP & SOURDOUGH take-away is available

Save time and 5% with Value 6-Packs for busy homemakers and caregivers.

Choose from a menu of simple broth for a convalescent to a hearty supper stew

ALL made with traditional bone broth stock base

& a sprouted grain, sourdough, or gluten-free biscuit

SOUP & SOURDOUGH SUPPERS are perfect for:

  • the nutritional requirements of housebound seniors
  • busy and dedicated caregivers of elderly relatives
  • tempting aroma & authentic taste for the sensitive palate
  • tasty, nutrient-dense suppers for picky eaters
  • satisfying, low-calorie comfort for those with special dietary needs
  • quick early suppers to sustain after-work activities
  • comforting, easy to digest late suppers after a long day
  • recovery support from illness

Broth-based soup does more than please the taste buds as convalescent care has proven.

Sadly, broth seems gone from the American tradition even as science validates what grandmother knew – rich homemade bone broths can regenerate a weakened system.

Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.  Broth and soup made with fish heads and carcasses provide iodine and thyroid-strengthening substances.

When stock is cooled, it congeals due to the presence of gelatin. The use of gelatin as a therapeutic agent goes back to the ancient Chinese. As supplements and medicines occupy center-stage in health research today, so two hundred years ago gelatin held a position in the forefront of food therapy. Although gelatin is not a complete protein, containing only the amino acids arginine and glycine in large amounts, its protein is immediately ready for use in tissue building making it particularly nourishing for children, the convalescent and the elderly.  Gelatin, heritage from the French and probably the first functional food, is easily digested and tolerated well by all systems.  Gelatin is a hydrophilic colloid, which means that it attracts and holds liquids so crucial in diets of those on medications that cause dehydration.   It helps digestion in everyone by naturally attracting digestive juices for assimilation of food.

Gelatin has been researched and used continuously for the three centuries that diet was a major form of therapy for all illness.  Babies had fewer digestive problems when gelatin was added to their milk.  It was found useful in patient convalescence from a long list of diseases including peptic ulcers, tuberculosis, diabetes, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice and cancer and early cookbooks dedicated whole chapters to its proper preparation.

Only stock made from bones and dairy products provides

calcium in a form that the body can easily assimilate.

Broth is important because gelatin in properly made bone broth helps the body use protein in an efficient way – a rare protein-sparing nutriment when meat is a luxury item.  For the malnourished, those with a limited food budget, caregivers and senior homes, this is an important dietary consideration because quality protein is as essential as it is costly.

An important source of minerals disappeared from the American diet when homemade stocks were pushed out by easier and cheaper imitations.  This has provided enormous opportunities for long-term profit for all industrialized food processors.Image

The protein in food has receptors on the tongue called glutamates that the human body has recognized as the meat taste since Paleo times.  In the 1950’s General Foods and other food conglomerates discovered that hydrolyzed proteins could mimic this meat taste naturally pursued for eons by humans as a nutrient-dense food source. Because these fake molecules artificially satisfied the tongue, soup became popular as a powdered base from a package or can – which are likely to contain the disrupting chemical we all know as MSG.

The food industry has worked for decades to conceal from the public that MSG causes a wide range of reaction, from temporary headaches to permanent brain damage.  As early as 1957, scientists found mice blind and obese when MSG was administered; in 1969, MSG-induced lesions were found in the hypothalamus region of the brain.  Decades of studies all point to MSG as toxic to the nervous system.

The 10 things I just did with my bone stock

It is EXTRA important to have these days and WAY cost effective!

With foods getting more expensive – you really need to make this – alot!.  It is good for so many things – like your senior Mom and Dad, like your youngsters, like you and like your neighbor who is recovering from a broken bone and surgery.

See here for the long version of the MANY benefits of bone broth

It’s simple to make, nutritious to the max and costs pennies.

So, like I said, I just made a big pot of bone broth – it simmered most of the day, all on its own, I didn’t have to do much at all. I mostly ignored it. I meant to put some celery and veggie scraps in – but I never got to it – no big deal.

Bones, good water, a splash of vinegar to pull the minerals out of the bone – cause that is one of the things I am after in doing this – the minerals I mean.

Here’s the 10 things I did with it….

1) I immediately took a cup and heated it with a clove of garlic – my tonic while I was making dinner

2) My son wanted a snack so I took a ladle full, added some leftover macaroni and gave it to him in a big mug (shhhh healthy appetizer before dinner – and digestion of dinner will be assisted too!)

3) I made rice for dinner two ways:

3a) I made white rice for myself and the kids, I added broth and water to cook it in – more nutritious rice. We will eat some tonight, the kids will make sushi tomorrow – nutrient, mineral rich rice! so even lunch is bumped with nutrition already.

3b) My husband would rather have spanish rice, rice made with spices and tomatoe sauce.  I added broth to that rice as well

4) while i was at it I took out another pot, added spices, tomatoe paste, tomatoe sauce and broth to the make spaghetti sauce – tomorrow we’ll have spaghetti and the sauce is already on its way to being super nutritious.

5) I gave a quart to my employee, his girlfriend just had her ankle operated on – soothing to the stomach, full of nutrition and healing to the ankle. He was going to make burgers, but decided that burger soup with this broth would be really good instead.

6) I froze a few cups of broth in a solid block, to pull out later for a beef stew.

7) A few more cups were frozen, to sell in our Old World Kitchen store so that others that don’t have access at the moment to our great organic, pastured beef bones or don’t want to make broth – can buy it here and have it in your own kitchen.

8) Hmm – oh yea – soup – any soup – tomorrow I will make soup

9) I froze some in ice cube trays – to take out and make a cup a stock or add to anything else that needs beef flavor and nutrition

10) After using most of the stock I added more water, because all the goodness is nowhere near out of all my big bones still in the pot.  It will go in my crock pot overnight with veggies pieces, and bay leaf-  if I remember!

Beyond organic produce available – preorder by Wed PM for pickup 10/23/14

USE BEST QUALITY FOOD FOR STORAGE . . . Lynn M. Cameron

This will be the 4th season that Barbara and Timothy Martin will supply most of the root crops that I put-by for my 40th Winter isolated on an Adirondack lake.

This week I will drive to their farm for autumn produce. Their vegetables are beyond mere organic. Their root vegetables come on later and with slow ripening that seems to help elevate the sugars (brix) responsible for their delectable taste.

Accordingly their bio-dynamic methods yield products of exceptional keeping qualities; soil tilth and quality are cumulative and does not happen in just a single season.

Stored properly, carrots from their small farm kept well into March, crisp and sweet . . . for those who purchased enough of them. This reflects their high brix value – superior flavor is the value added.

See MORE about why BRIX is important

PRE-ORDER Before Thursday 10/22 :Here  and see more items  here  from the Old World Kitchen Store

Or email your order to  lynn@frontier.com

Lynn plans to travel to the farm on Thursday, 10/22/14. Choose from their list below and email me your selections – 20 lb. minimum.

Remember that high brix food weighs more due to the weight of the minerals (already chelated) contained in their sweet juices. Mix and Match from the list here.

Don’t be afraid of caring for Sourdough

Your bowl of sourdough starter is a very forgiving “puppydog”!

I have ignored mine for about a week now – and it sits waiting….   sometimes I think it is happy for the rest period, because it has been pretty active all summer helping make digestible pancakes, breads and even brownies!

Sourdough starter really can be made from flour and “thin air” and although to keep it really active you have to feed it (more flour) most everyday – it is very forgiving on your timing.

Follow my blog for more and check out the online and onsite sourdough classes  email me at natureconnects@live.com

Visit us at The Lake Clear Lodge

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Listen in to our radio show

What is a Schnitzel?

Schnitzel is one of the most popular items on our menu but ……More and more, new people who come to our restaurant don’t recognize the word “schnitzel”.

The word (and recipe) seems to have been around since the early 1700’s.  It has its variations and we at The Lake Clear Lodge have ours – a special secret that I have not seen elsewhere or in any other recipes! (hint – we know how to get the egg “souffled” as in the definition below.  We have chicken schnitzels, veal schnitzels, pork schnitzels and even salmon schnitzels!!

Occasionally we offer the “SCHNITZEL BAR”   various schnitzels made from various meats and topped with various toppings! It is a yummy fun thing – especially around Oktoberfest time!  Wurst? yes we have it – have some as a tasting as an appetizer – but have the real deal schnitzel for a meal!

Here is Wikipedia’s definition/recipe…………

The dish is prepared from butterfly cut, about 4 mm thin and lightly hammered veal slices, slightly salted, and rolled in flour, whipped eggs and bread crumbs. The bread crumbs must not be pressed into the meat, so that they stay dry and can be “souffled”. Finally the Schnitzel is fried in a good proportion of lard or clarified butter at a temperature from 160 to 170 °C[9] until it is golden yellow. The Schnitzel must swim in the fat, otherwise it will not cook evenly: the fat cools too much and intrudes into the bread crumbs, moistening them. During the frying the Schnitzel is repeatedly slightly tossed around the pan. Also during the frying, fat can be scooped from the pan with a spoon and poured onto the meat. The Schnitzel is done after it turns golden yellow or brown.[10]

The dish is traditionally served in Austria with Kopfsalat (lettuce tossed with a sweetened vinaigrette dressing, optionally with chopped chives or onions), potato salad, cucumber salad, or parsley potatoes. Currently it is also served with rice, french fries or roasted potatoes. It is common to serve it with a slice of lemon, to give the bread crumbs more taste, and a sprout of parsley. “It has however become common in Northern Germany to serve it with lemon, cucumber slices, sardines and capers, to achieve a pleasant appearance”.[11]

Come on out and have a schnitzel – simple yet with a secret ! it is a favorite of children and adults alike