November 18, 2017

PAP-Porridge

Honestly, you've probably never heard of PAP, but I will assure you, it's a quick and a really historic dish. My grandmother, Edna-Mae, was Cherokee Indian and also grew up during the Great Depression. Somewhere along the way there's a book that talks about family on her side walking the Trail of Tears. If you recall, my family is in Arkansas and we also have family in Oklahoma, where my grandparents, on my mom's side, live. My uncle/aunt, cousins, second cousin, extended family, etc. still live in Oklahoma. Right on the edge of the Oklahoma/Arkansas state line is a town called Fort Smith, Arkansas. Fort Smith is the end of the Trail of Tears. My grandmother had it rough at times and the stories family tells about her is amazing. Her family, my great grandmother/father didn't have a lot and my grandmother would dig for used notebook paper and erase what was on the page so she could use it again for herself in school. I don't look at that as poor, but as resourceful and honestly, she was recycling before recycling was cool.

...I digress, with the family of my late grandmother being part of the Indian-forced movement and also being in the middle of the Great Depression hoarding of food, and trying to extend the use of food happened. And of course, more thought was given to the children and babies than the older children, or adults. So PAP was created as a makeshift type of baby food, since actual baby food was expensive and babies are finicky when it comes to eating. PAP could still be used as a baby food nowadays, but with the options and healthier varieties, it might not be the first choice. Many a night has my grandmother, and many others, during the Great Depression gone to bed hungry. Porridge has been used for centuries, different forms of it, but used nonetheless for a quick, cheap food option to feed many. Makes you appreciate the way the world has become and how it's easy for us to go and find food when needed. We make PAP at least once or twice a year and I think it's best on Christmas morning with pancakes, and reminds us that family history is amazing and we should be grateful for what we have now thanks to their sacrifices.

Here's how it's made-which is incredibly simple.

PAP

What you'll need:



5 cups organic whole milk (We prefer Organic Valley brand)
2 cups organic sugar (more to taste, if you like)
1/2 cup organic white flour (or more for desired thickness)
Ground cinnamon (We use Simply Organic brand)

What to do:

Add all five cups of milk to a double boiler. If you don't have a double boiler you can use a saucepan full of water and a large bowl over the sauce pan. the point of the double boiler is to keep the mix from burning, which is easy to do. While making this recipe do not leave the stove, or mix unattended. It's a slow process, so be patient. Bring the milk to a small boil over medium-high heat. Don't allow milk to boil rapidly because it will boil over. Once the milk is at a small boil add the sugar and turn the heat down to medium. Stir with a whisk until the sugar is dissolved, about five minutes.

Once the sugar is dissolved add the flour at one tablespoon at a time, whisking the entire time. It will begin to thicken over time, so go slow and add the flour slowly one spoonful at a time. You can either have runnier PAP, or thicker PAP. We enjoy the thicker PAP in our home and growing up my mom's mix was a thick mix as well. Keep stirring in the flour with the whisk until your desired thickness is reached. Removed from heat and allow to sit for five minutes. Serve up on a flat plate one ladle at a time until you have a good amount of the plate. Sprinkle the middle of the PAP with ground cinnamon and serve. You eat the PAP by stirring the middle cinnamon area to combine while leaving the sides white. It's wonderful and I hope it becomes a tradition in your home like it was in my grandmother's, my mom's, and now mine.


Serve it while it's hot and enjoy!

Other forms of PAP:

-Version One
-Version Two
-Version Three
-My post from 2012

(As with any recipe, be sure to use quality, non-gmo, organic ingredients) 

November 17, 2017

Friday things

Hello.

Today is a beautiful day in Oregon and the sun is out, but it's still 48 degrees. When I woke up this morning it was about 39 degrees and a little foggy. We are anxiously waiting for winter to hit here in the valley and dump buckets of snow on us. We got a good snowfall last year and we are hoping it happens again this year too. Fingers are crossed in our house. As far as the rest of the week we have been having lots of rain and wind. The wind happened to topple over our gazebo and actually break one of the support bars. We were pretty bummed, but we are able to return it to the store we bought, so it's not a huge loss. We always take it down before the weather change, but the weather change came a bit sooner than expected this year. At least we are able to return it and get a new one. We have cleaned up our garden for the winter season and while putting a layer of straw over our strawberry plants we got a nice "end of the year" strawberry waiting for us. 


The Bean was the one that got to eat the late season surprise and he said it was pretty juicy. We are getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday and have a lot planned for our menu, Thanksgiving Day fun, and togetherness with some good friends. But for now, here are the things that made this week great.


1. Veteran's Day.

We took the day last Saturday and traveled to Albany, Oregon, to watch the Veteran's Day parade. We watched the Northwest Civil War Council walk through with their large number of members and their rebel flag flying the way it's supposed to be represented. We also saw some older men and women that were part of World War II. The older history-type displays are always our favorite. 



2. These socks.

I'm not one to show off my bare legs, but I can't help but brag about these socks. They have been wonderful with the colder nights and mornings we are in right now. The socks pictured here aren't sold anymore, but these are similar.


3. Little library.

After months of contemplating it we decided to go for it and get our own Little Free Library. It's brought about a lot of kids and adults looking for free books to read and share.


4. These boxes.

Yogi Surprise Lifestyle box and Jewelry Box for this month was pretty on point, as always. The Walball is getting worked overtime in out house lately and I'm loving the Gratitude bracelet from the Jewelry Box. You can pick up your own here and Get 25% Off Your First Box When You Use Code: YOGI25


And just a side note, Honest Beauty has a new acne treatment out now and it's working wonders for The Bean's teenage acne. Check it out here.



5. These ducks.

Our ducks, Rosey and Happy are loving all of the rain lately. They don't have a proper swimming hole, so we've set up a make-shift one in the wheelbarrow and they love it!

• A few more things:

Instead of Black Friday join us for 
Blue Friday here in the Willamette Valley. 






Have a great weekend!

November 3, 2017

Friday things

Hello.

Something wicked this way comes... Halloween was a success this year, and with over 600 trick-or-treaters, it was exhausting. We spin cotton candy for the community and it's a lot cheaper than passing out loads of candy treats, and honestly, it's a lot more fun. We enjoyed seeing some repeat visitors and a lot of them reminded us of who they are and we did a proper catch-up. It was nice seeing some of the kids another year and it made us feel great that they put our house on their list for another year.

Today we have taken down the decorations and we've steered clear of the rain so far today, but I think tonight will bring more showers. The temperature has dropped a lot in the last few days and we've had to fire up the fireplace in order to stay a little more toasty than the heater can bring. I enjoy this time of year, but the rain makes it a little less enjoyable, so we are hoping if it does rain that it won't stick around for days on end. I've gone through all of the Halloween decorations as we take them down to see what we can part with and no longer store throughout the year. The Goodwill box is overflowing and we are now down to a small cardboard box with only a few things we feel set the mood for Halloween night. And the minimal journey continues. Oh, for a zero-waste household. Definitely a work in progress still. *sigh*

Here are the things that made this week great!

1. Monopoly man.

The Bean went as the Monopoly Man this year and he rocked it well.

 



2. Cookies.

I did a bit of baking for Halloween night and decided to give Annie's Organics a try since they are USDA Organic. I normally make a pot of chili for the night and call it good, but I think baking some of these cookies might be an addition to the tradition now. 

3. Persimmons.

I contemplated on whether I should include these or not, but then I thought, my mistake might help others that are interested in the persimmon seed weather predicting. So I purchased these persimmons in the hope of cutting them open and viewing the seeds. The folklore is sort of ongoing fun in our house and this year we decided to give it a try. Well, we purchased the wrong persimmons. I guess there are a variety of different ones and the ones we picked up are the seedless variety. Ooops. Well, now I know that the ones I need to look for are called the American Persimmon. I am not sure which ones we have here, but they are seedless and do us no good. So watch out for that if you decide to give the weather prediction to persimmons a try. We will give this another go with the right persimmons and update on what we find.

4. Mightynest.

This month's Mightynest was olive wood spoons. These are great and much needed in this house. If you haven't given Mightynest a go, try it out here. They send you an item(s) that helps your home be greener and more environmentally-friendly with each shipment.

5. November books.

This month brings us "Simple Matters" by Erin Boyle. She is the creator behind the blog 'Reading my Tea Leaves' and gives such helpful ways on helping one live more simply. I've been following her advice for the past year now and it has brought a new thought process to our home. It's a great read and her blog is a necessary addition to your daily internet cruising. The other books below are suggestions for this month as well and there are new selections each month that can be found here. 


Have a great weekend!
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