Sunday 15 January 2012

Feels Like Winter

 I don't mind the cold.
It is easier to keep warm in Winter than cool in Summer.
The Temperature here ranges from +30 degrees Celsius to -30 degress Celsius.
Sometimes the extremes are greater, but not too often.
So far this Winter, the temperature has been warm.
Lots of people think that it is foreboding.  I don't know.  It definitely is warmer than usual.
Not today though.  Last night saw -29 degrees.
Our house has cottage thick walls.  That is about four inches.  It really is not enough for our climate.
When the mercury shows 20 below or colder then I must take precautions against the cold.
Our basement is above ground and is not insulated yet.  The temperature will easily fall below freezing so I have a few things in place to keep the water from freezing.  There are two heat lines on the incoming water from the well.  There is an electric baseboard heater behind the jet pump.  I also have a fan that draws warm air from the top of the house into our utility room.  It all uses electricity so I only put the plan into action when we break that 20 below number.  We haven't had our water freeze for quite a few years now, although a few lines will freeze but not burst.  Once the basement is insulated and heated then there shouldn't be any problems or funny rigging.  Until then however, I do what I can to keep the water flowing in.....and out (which is more important than in).
Upstairs, I stay up late on cold nights to keep the woodstove going.  It is a good stove but the naturally aspirating house is difficult to heat.  It is not a matter of survival.  I just like to keep the family comfortable.

Cold weather brings sunshine.  Much needed sunshine.  
The biting cold can't subdue a winter weary soul when the Sun is bright and high.

Keeping the kids fueled-up for the cold is just as difficult as heating the house.  Fern is quite an eater, but Auren is fussy and never seems to be hungry during mealtimes.
We try to power-pack their food so that if they only eat a little they at least get more bang for the bite.
Auren and Fern both like pancakes.  Well, who doesn't.  Especially the maple syrup part.
Unfortunately, most pancake recipes are heavy on carbohydrates and sugar and don't offer a long energy burn.
I have been working on our recipe to give the kids the most nutrition that we can, without sacrificing the appeal.  The problem is that the more eggs and heavier flour weigh the pancakes down and the kids don't like them, syrup or not.  
Here is the recipe so far.  I don't have exact measurements for you so you'll just have to get a feel for the recipe.  Besides, this is about technique.

 The best measure of success on this one is the leftover factor.
  Your goal is to have no leftovers.
About a cup of organic spelt flour 
1/3 cup soy or quinoa flour
6 eggs, separated
About a cup of milk or soy beverage
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (we use olive)
1 tablespoon of raw organic cane sugar
Some maple syrup (just a little hit to taste)
A banana or two (optional)
2 tablespoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt

I use a blender, a whisk, and a good size mixing bowl.
Hand-made, Hand-raised
Put the milk into the blender.
Put the egg yolks into the blender.
Fire up the blender.  Add the oil and bananas.
Throw the sugar, syrup and salt in.
Gradually add the flour.  Soy flour goes in
first and then use the spelt to get the batter to the right consistency.  You know...batter consistency.
Put the egg whites in the mixing bowl and whip them into a heavy froth with your whisk.
Then, fold the batter into the froth while carefully adding the baking powder.  Mix it gently and just long enough.

The World is a Better Place with Fluffy Pancakes

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