Are you a Soaky McSoaker?

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“The treadmill routine of the week is: washing, baking, ironing, fixing dried fruit, airing clothes, sewing, cleaning, baking and cleaning again. So it goes week after week. Eating and drinking, cooking and cleaning, scrubbing and scouring we go through life; and only lay down our implements at the verge of the gravel!…You bake, and boil, and fry, and stew; worry and toil, just as if the people’s principle business in this world was to learn how much they could eat-and eat it.” Jane G. Swissholm, Letters to Country Girls, 1853.

I love Helen Nearing’s book Simple Food for the Good Life. Filled with recipes and pithy sayings, I selected the above quote from Nearing’s book because it sums up my average day. I try not to find drudgery in homemaking and consider a skill, a privilege and a science. Our world has belittled the career of motherhood and domesticity. Most of us don’t teach these skills to our children and then don’t understand why our kids can’t take care of themselves, eat horribly and have homes in disarray when they are older. My three sons are ages 22, 18 and almost 16 and they know I’m on a mission to change that. They make a mama proud. God gave me three olive shoots for a reason and in general, I like how they’re sprouting up to be competent, Jesus loving, strong men who can also throw down.

But today I want to write about pre-soaking grains and seeds literally. I am a total neophyte in this arena. A caveat, please correct any of the information I am going to share as my desire is to contribute to the discussion. Add to the conversation also, I want to learn.

But first, did you know about 15 years ago, I had a funny flax seed story published in a book? It’s true! I shall soon share. It’s about Nate, brownies and a little bit of trickery on my part.

Do you want to hear a super creepy story in the interim? I had a friend whose boyfriend had his wisdom teeth extracted. He ate pizza a few days post-surgery. A few days after that, the guy went into the bathroom and screamed to his girlfriend to come right away. She rushed right in and there he was mouth agape. He said, “@*&@!!,” pointed and she spotted it. Back where one of the wisdom teeth had once lived, a tiny sprout had grown in its place! Can you imagine what it would have been like to pull a small plant out of a hole in your mouth! I would have Instagrammed it.

If you thought the only time you sprouted a seed was before you planted it or following dental surgery (!), here are some things to know.

Sprouted seeds

Sprouting biologically activates the seed and makes the plant proteins, essential fatty acids, starches and vitamins bio-available.

Flax seeds are hard for our body to digest. They have natural enzyme inhibitors which prevent digestion. There is much to love about flax seeds – their crunch, color, flavor, even tactically, put your hand in a bag of flax seeds before and after you buy them from Whole Foods and you’ll notice their silky texture. Let’s just say I “know” someone who does this. You’d really like her. 😉

Despite a flax seed’s many attributes, though I don’t need a stomach ache. My family will usually try anything I make but if they have a bad reaction or don’t like it, I’m done. They won’t revisit it. Ask them about kale cake. Gigantic epic fail. If you’re sensitive or allergic to certain grains, soak your whole grains beforehand, in a salt brine, anywhere from 7-24 hours and it will probably lessen the symptoms. Oh, and don’t ever make kale cake. Ever.

Use warm water. It coaxes the enzymes out of their little crusty shell. Don’t soak them too long or they will grow bacteria. I think I did this for you, so trust me. Last year I made a batch of granola. I was a Soaky McSoaker and soaked the oats in a mixture of keifer, coconut oil, butter and water. Recipe said overnight but I pushed it a little. This resulted in a granola which brought facial expressions reminiscent of kale cake. I fed the trash can, not the Hubs or my OS that time. Duly noted.

SueGregg.com puts it this way,  pre-soaking, “allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to not only neutralize the phytic acid, but also to break down complex starches, irritating tannins and difficult-to-digest proteins including gluten.”

Here are some great websites with additional information. I’m giving them mad props for their discoveries and information. They’re not quite as humorous but super helpful.

Passionatehomemaking.com

The Nourishing Gourmet

and in case you’re interested in soap nuts, which are not edible but organic, biodegradable and incredible, 100% natural laundry soap, there’s always

Olive Shoot Institute!

Let’s be Soaky McSoakers, kk?

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Taa daa! Construction is complete!

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“Look at me holding a glue gun next to my very own Sears Tower!”

Tomorrow is Aaron’s party and today we finished our Sears Tower.

Aside from knowing my OS are walking with the Lord, I can think of no greater joy than seeing my boys at home in the kitchen and handily wielding a hot glue gun. I’m a simple woman, don’t ya know?

Note the skill and concentration on this guy’s face

As Aaron was attaching the last story to our very own indoor Sears Tower, I proudly announced to him, “You are going to make a very fine husband one day.” He will be quite a catch, ladies, I assure you. Martha Stewart would be so proud!

If you have a beautiful, godly daughter who likes crafts and is between 17-19 years old, feel free to send me her resume and upon approval, I will have my OS contact your daughter to schedule a wedding in a few years. I thank you in advance. Gotta run and do some more things for the big event, we’re getting ready to par-tayyyy!

Teamwork

Anticipating change

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My oldest OS Nathan got accepted to UNC-Chapel Hill last week. He has finished all his college apps and is awaiting news on the other schools. With only 20 minutes to spare, he sent his application to Georgetown University the other day. It looks like our son is going to spread his wings and fly! It could be to a well-respected school nearby or one nine hours away. 

As we anticipate great change in our household, I admit sometimes I struggle. 
Where does the Lord want my son to be? What if it’s far away? What’ll I do? I have to grant my son freedom to go where he feels called but ouch, y’all it’s painful!

This includes taking him to visit West Point Military Academy in New York.

In record time, Nathan completed all the necessary paperwork to apply to West Point. He had an endurance test, eye test and physical exam. He got a congressional nomination from a State Representative and we’ve heard they only give out five a year. Our boy was diligent and focused – normally these things take some time, Nathan did it all in less than a week.
One night before Christmas, my OS began to read his responses to the West Point questions on the application. With great conviction, Nathan recited his answers. He spoke clearly and didn’t waver as he read to me that he was willing to die for his country and stand up for what is right even to the point of sacrificing himself. That’s when I began to lose it. Whoa…I had to ask him to stop for a minute so I could get myself together. Of course I was crying as I told my handsome OS that my mama’s heart needed a second to gain some composure. “Nathan, you have never had little feet kicking inside you and you’ve never heard that person who you gave birth to, say things like this. Mom just needs a minute here.” 
My sweet boy understood as best he could. Pride, fear, excitement, sadness, love, oh the love overwhelm every part of me even as I write this tears stream from my face. 
Being a mom is at times the most selfish thing I’ve ever done but I’m learning to expect new lessons involving having to completely forget about myself and give my growing sons the courage to fly, even if it’s far from my safe and cozy little nest.

I’ll let you know how things are going. For right now, I need to get some Kleenex…