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Tracy R

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About Tracy R

  • Birthday 12/08/1969

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    Manitoba, Canada
  1. Tracy R

    Pray for my DH & family

    I'm very sorry. I hope her husband and children are able, in time, to find some peace.
  2. Tracy R

    Tough times

    This is part of the reason I have hesitated to get involved with foster care, despite considering it many times. While I adore children, and would love to open our home to children in need of some stability and love, I just don't know if I would be able to let go when it was time for them to go. I don't know that I could do it, and I'm absolutely certain it wouldn't be fair to the child to allow them to see this conflict in me in their returning to what was once a bad situation. You have my unstinting admiration, Rez -- you and your DH must be incredibly special people.
  3. My boys (15 & 13) went for a hunter safety course yesterday. Both returned, absolutely GLOWING! 100% scores for each of them! I'm so proud of them! Especially my youngest. You see, he's learning challenged, and has a terrible time with written tests. I really feared that this was going to be a disappointment for him, not because he didn't know the stuff, but because he couldn't regurgitate it in that kind of environment. He can TALK all day long about the things he knows, backwards and forwards, but put it on a multiple-choice sheet with 100 other questions and hand him a pen, and he's lost! But he ACED it!!!! I'm so very proud of them. Thanks for letting me share!
  4. Agree totally -- you're using too much yeast, or the yeast is fresher than what you're used to using. I'd cut it back by half and see what you get. Also, if you're not using white flour or vital wheat gluten in your recipe, you'll have to let it proof for LONGER and SLOWER to get a nice crumb. 100% whole wheat wants a long, cool, slow rise, or you'll get separation between your top crust and the bulk of your loaf (one big air bubble that pops, and leaves you with a flat loaf). I often add an egg or two to my recipe to up the protein content, which seems to help, as well.
  5. Me, too. I made mention of the fact on another site that VERY FEW have been actually affected, specifically asked how many people actually KNEW someone PERSONALLY who was diagnosed positive for swine flu -- it didn't go over well, to say the least I think people LIKE to have something to focus on that isn't the economy or politics, occasionally. This makes good media-fodder, sells air time and newspapers, and provides a nice distraction from other, more serious issues. Do I think there is cause to be concerned? Of course there is! Correlations have been drawn between this and the Spanish flu of 1918, with good reason. I *DO* think that we are in for a nasty flu season next winter, and many people will be ill, and many will die. I absolutely, without question, believe that we are overdue for a pandemic that will greatly impact the entire world population -- nature has ways of controlling infestations, and there are a LOT of people on the planet right now. Is it time to PANIC? I don't believe it's EVER time to panic! Do I think we need to be stockpiling guns and ammo enough to lead a revolution, make lists of those who we would help and who would be turned away from the "compound", and take a "me and mine are fine" attitude? No. We are not facing the Apocalypse, we're facing a plague. I think it's ALWAYS prudent to be prepared for the worst, yet hope for the best. It's when you prepare for the worst, and actually start hoping for it to happen in order to vindicate your opinions on other things that we run into trouble. There is no reason to panic, but a healthy concern is prudent, I believe. I'm also unconvinced that there isn't a component of "let's see how prepared the masses are" in this. I think that there is a certain level of tin-foil consumption in certain levels of government, and I think that this came along, and as someone once said, "don't let a good crisis go to waste". Call it a fact-finding mission if you like, but I think there is a component of that to it. But that's just my opinion, and I'm sure that OMMV.
  6. I don't know about the story, but I would like to say that The Toronto Sun is MAYBE *ONE* step up from the National Enquirer. I'd never believe anything I read there, unless and until it was published by a credible news source.
  7. Tracy R

    Someone's personal experience...

    I am so glad that our hospitals here in Canada are not run for profit. I know a lot is said in the US about Canadian health care, but seriously, there is none of this "we don't do that here" and being sent to another health care provider simply because they're afraid of their profit margin being affected. Waiting rooms sound equally "fun", but if a nurse treated me like that, she wouldn't be a nurse for long. Manitoba has not had a case yet. I'm sure it's only a matter of time, but I'm very, very glad that I live where I do, so far from highly populated areas. I worry about my friends and family in areas where there are outbreaks, and I really, really hope that it is just a passing panic, and will come to nothing. I really hope for that, actually, because if this is what is happening with a FEW cases being diagnosed, can you imagine what health care waiting rooms are going to be like if it really does develop into a pandemic?
  8. Tracy R

    We are at level 5

    We have a lot of Mexican workers here in Canada -- many work in food processing plants, and a LOT work in agriculture as farm labour. The farming season is just beginning, and these folks are starting to arrive. Canada has declared that all Mexicans coming into the country MUST be examined by a health practitioner PRIOR to being allowed through customs. Kind of like closing the barn door after the livestock's already out, IMHO, as we already have seven confirmed cases in the country. I have a terrible feeling about this. IMHO, the number of dead do NOT justify the steps currently being taken by WHO. I'll admit I'm no scientist, but I expect that a lot of people die of the flu every year -- I understand the fact that this is new, but the response seems rather abrupt. Maybe that's a good thing, but I'm still wondering. I'm not often frightened -- I'm NOT one of the tin foil hat crowd, and I tend to take most things with a "we'll see" attitude. That, and I know that we're relatively well prepared for most eventualities, but I'll admit, this time, I'm frightened, and I'm not even sure of what.
  9. Tracy R

    Grain Grinders

    I bit the bullet and bought the Retsel MilRite with both the stone and steel burrs, and I couldn't be happier with it. It *IS* expensive, but it's a workhorse. I bake artisan breads for clients through the winter and for the farmer's market in summer, and this is one appliance that has NEVER let me down. It chugs along beautifully, and I wouldn't be without it.
  10. Tracy R

    Food stretching experiment

    My father told me once that, during the depression (my Dad was nearing forty when I was born, and remembers the Great Depression years well) my grandmother always had a big soup stock pot on the back of the wood stove. She would scrape the plates from dinner into that pot, and it was constantly kept simmering. Every meal started out with a bowl of soup from that pot . Occasionally, she'd fish out the bones from previous meals that were all but mush (they then went to the dog), or add a jug of water. When she canned something and had a few spoonfuls extra, or trimmed something to cook, or picked some over-ripe vegetable from the garden, the leftover bits went in the pot. If she had an extra egg, it went in the pot. If she cleaned a chicken, the trim (wing tips, skinned feet and organs) went in the pot. If she snipped a few herbs from the garden of a morning, they went in the pot. Sometimes, when there was nothing for dinner, they only had soup. But that soup pot was always on the back of the stove, and according to my Dad, the best soup in the world. To this day, he loves soup. I agree, times are about to change, and priorities will change right along with it. I just hope that people really learn this time that over-consumption is going to ruin us if it keeps up. It might be worth it to go through a severe economic crisis if it teaches people to be a little less wasteful. I think it's already beginning, so hopefully, in this case, change will be for the good.
  11. Tracy R

    Food stretching experiment

    Green pine needle tea is what the Natives gave early settlers and explorers who were dying (in droves) of scurvy. It's what used to get many of the natives through the winter when no fresh foods were available in northern climates. I also boil my meat bones and make my own stock from them. If you add a chopped onion (I always roast an onion in with my roast chicken/beef/whatever) it strengthens the broth. I always add eggshells to my stock as it simmers, too, along with anything else I have, including the stale ends of bread that no one wants and the hard, dry corners off the cheese block. There is no sense in throwing away something that might be past it's prime when you can leech out the nutrients for stock. We haven't used vitamin supplement tablets for years. There is no need to when you're eating a complete, balanced diet, IMHO. Taking your nutrition from natural, available, LOCAL sources is important. We are creatures of the environment we live in, and the food grown locally is, as far as I'm concerned, what is best suited to those who live there. Some are shocked by the fact that I use bones that have been on a diner's plate at my table. Grilled bones from chops, etc make EXCELLENT stock. I figure, I'm boiling it, any germs aren't going to last through a couple hours of intense heat. There is too much good there to waste, sorry if that offends people, but my grocery budget doesn't stand for waste. My children are well fed, we seldom get ill, and we don't use supplemental vitamins, so I guess we're doing something right.
  12. Tracy R

    Left Over Coffee ....

    You know, they make coffee makers with timers now. You can set it the night before (although it doesn't work well if you like your coffee ground as fresh as possible), and HAVE coffee the minute you wake up -- instant caffeine hit before you even really have to open your eyes. *Fresh*, hot coffee. Not cold, day old, stale, burnt coffee :shudder: Not to mention the fact that waking up to the SMELL of fresh-brewed coffee is just about the most wonderful thing in the world....
  13. Tracy R

    Left Over Coffee ....

    I use it as the liquid portion -- or part of it -- in quick breads and muffins. It stretches the milk required by the recipe and it gives a richer flavor to the baked good, and depending on what kind of flour you're using, a nice color, too. I've also used it to marinate beef -- with some other ingredients, of course -- it's nice for steaks, and if I have some leftover the night before I make beef stew, it's lovely to soak the stewing beef in overnight, and then add to the gravy.
  14. Lucy the Wonder Dog is a 2yo tri-colorAustralian Shepherd X -- apparently crossed with a small breed of horse, as she currently weighs 85 lbs and is twice the height of an "average" Aussie. She is one of the lights of my life, even when she's being a royal pain (she's very, VERY active ) We feed her a version of BARF -- bones and raw food. She gets 1 lb a day of ground meat, along with free choice of meaty raw bones. On our vet's recommendation, we cook the meat offered and mix it with vegetables. I supplement with IAMS kibble.
  15. We, too, struggle with food allergies. Luckily, they're not life-threatening, and there are no issues with gluten here! I don't know what I'd do if there were! I don't know what your specific allergies are, but there are some substitutions you can make for eggs --- not for ALL of the eggs in a recipe, typically, but some. A tablespoon of flaxseed, crushed, can be substituted for each egg up to 1/2 of the eggs called for with good results. So can applesauce, but I'm not sure of the ratio -- I think it's 1/2 cup per egg and adjust your liquids accordingly. If you have issues with gluten, then you're probably going to have problems with oatmeal, if my memory serves me correctly. You could try rice pudding as a healthy, inexpensive breakfast alternative. Do you grind your own flour? Rice flour is pretty expensive, at least here, but you can still buy rice at a reasonable price, and grind it yourself if you have a grinder. Most of what I feed my family is from basic sources (so I know for sure what is in them and that they're not going to set off DS's allergies because of undeclared ingredients) with basic recipes that I adapt for variety. A great side-effect is that this way of eating is a LOT less expensive.

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