Monday, June 20, 2016

Announcement: Domestic Felicity is moving!

It's funny, but when I think about it, I realize that in the years that passed since I started blogging I have moved house five times - once when I was still single, four times together with my husband - but kept to the same blog.

For a while now I have been thinking that it would be better to move to WordPress, for a more advanced blogging platform and better options overall, and in the past week I have taken the leap, creating a new place for Domestic Felicity where I will be blogging from now on. It's still a little rough around the edges, but I hope you will bear with me as I figure out the quirks of WordPress.

I invite everyone to keep following the blog at its new location.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Coconut, date and coffee cake

I don't often post recipes these days, but I just couldn't resist this one. This is a simple, easy to mix cake that is perfect for when company is coming over, or when you just want to pop something in 3 the oven with minimal effort. And it's pretty nutritious, too!

1 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut
3 large eggs, or 4 if you use medium-sized
3\4 cup honey, maple syrup or other desired sweetener
1\2 cup coconut oil
4 tbsp. date spread, or 1\2 cup crushed Medjoul dates
1 rounded tsp. instant coffee, dissolved in 3\4 cup warm water
Approx. 2 cups flour - the batter should be just short of being runny
1 tsp. baking powder

Mix everything thoroughly in a large bowl. Pour into baking tray and bake at medium heat for about 40 minutes. Let cool slightly before slicing.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

My little one


Rest next to me, my little one.
There will be time to get up and go on;
But for now, just sleep next to me,
My little one. 

Play with me, my little one.
There will be time for serious things,
But for now, let's play together,
My little one.

Walk with me, my little one.
A time will come and you will run far,
But for now, just walk with me,
My little one.

Let's tell a story, my little one.
There will be time to face the world.
But for now, let it all be magic,
My little one. 

Give me your hand, my little one.
A time will come when you'll have to let go,
But for now, let's hold hands,
My little one. 

***

Painting: Picking Daisies by Hermann Seeger, 1905

Monday, June 6, 2016

Thinking of getting a dairy animal? Things to take into account

If you have the possibility to do so, keeping dairy animals – cows or goats – is one of the best investments you can make, speaking from both a nutritional and economic standpoint. We have kept dairy goats, and the milk, cheese and yogurt were a superb addition to our diet, and our grocery budget was significantly reduced. However, goats or cows are certainly a higher-maintenance project compared with chickens, and before you are tempted to bring home a couple of cute Alpine does, consider the following:

1. Housing. A goat barn needs to be sturdier than a chicken coop, with the possibility to lock the goats in if needed, and provide adequate shelter. It is possible to keep your chickens and goats together, and some people do that, but I don’t recommend this option, in particularly if you have young chicks that can be trodden on.

2. Fencing. Goats are notorious for leaping over fences. If there’s even a slight possibility of doing so, they will get into your neighbors’ flower beds and get you in a very unpleasant situation (ask me how I know). Be a responsible neighbor and keep your animals securely fenced.

3. Pasture. How much you can rely on pasture to feed your dairy animals will depend on the extent of your acreage and your climate. In Israel, the lean season is the summer, when everything is parched and dry. In colder climates winter is the hardest season. When you don’t have adequate pasture, you will need to buy hay and that can get expensive. You can also supplement the diet of your goats by giving them fruit and vegetable peels and weeds from your garden.

4. Commitment. Once you have a dairy animal, it needs to be milked daily. If you need to be away for a day or two, you must make arrangements with someone to come and do the milking for you (though we could work around that by letting the goat kids have all the milk while we were gone). Also, if you have a high yield of milk, you will need to dispose of it by making cheese, yogurt, etc, on a daily basis, and this may be inconvenient at times. If you have several goats who produce a lot of milk and you skip a day of cheesemaking, you may find your refrigerator overflowing with milk.

5. Breeding. Unlike chickens, goats need to be bred to be productive; that is, a goat will not produce milk until after she’s kidded. You will need to breed at least once a year, and if you’re very small-scale, keeping a buck may be inconvenient, in which case you will need to make arrangements to take your does to be bred, or borrow/rent a buck on a temporary basis.


We currently don’t have dairy goats, mainly due to reasons of constricted space and compassion for our neighbors, but I do hope to return to this exciting venture someday.

Friday, June 3, 2016

From around here

Our cats and chickens get along great. As you can see in this photo, even the little chicks can peacefully stroll across the yard right under the cat's nose. Intent on consuming a treat we just gave her, kitty doesn't display even the slightest bit of interest in them.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Nurturing Hands - natural health ebook giveaway

Following several requests, I have put together a compact little e-book based on selected articles on nutrition, breastfeeding and healthy cooking that I had published on this blog over the years. The e-book, titled Nurturing Hands, is now on Payhip where it can be purchased at a very reasonable price, but I'll be very glad to hand it out for free to anyone who participates in this giveaway.

The rules are simple:

1. Share this giveaway on your Facebook, Twitter or blog, or if you're not a fan of social media, share it with at least one friend by email.

2. Come back and leave a comment telling me about it.

3. Either contact me at domesticfelicity@gmail.com, or leave your email within your comment (see number 2) and I'll be happy to send you the e-book.

Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor, nurse, midwife or lactation consultant, and do not presume to give professional advice. I am simply sharing some of my own convictions and tips that have worked for me and my family in our pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.

* Free image from Pixabay

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sourdough Simplicity: book review

For a while now I've been meaning to review a very useful little book by my friend Rose Godfrey, Sourdough Simplicity. It's really a very handy, practical instruction manual for those just striking out in the world of sourdough starter. Personally I've been wanting to try sourdough for a while, and was only stopped by my husband's "eek!" factor. Now I'm more inspired than ever to give it a shot.

I'll be honest: despite Rose's just warnings about whole-grain sourdough bread coming out dense, if I do try sourdough, it will only be with whole grain flour (either wheat, rye or spelt). I just don't see much point in making a starter, keeping it going, investing in a long rise process, making the gamble of an unpredictable product, and all this to get what essentially is still white bread from refined, nutrient-stripped flour (though undoubtedly superior in taste to the usual quick-rise bread).

Yes, traditionally fermented bread is in many cases better tolerated by those with grain allergies, as opposed to quick-rise bread made with baker's yeast. But still, from a nutritional standpoint, it isn't much. It might not give you an allergic reaction, but it won't give you much of anything else, either.

Either way, Sourdough Simplicity is a great way to get going in that confusing new world of sourdough starter. It also provides many great recipes, creative ways of utilizing leftovers, and troubleshooting tips.

"I needed a method that was pure simplicity and a recipe that tasted great. In the end, I found that sourdough baking did not have to be complicated, and it could fit all my objectives. I started with a wonky oven that had 4 distinct heat zones and still managed to bake delicious breads. My loaves are not always Pinterest-perfect, but they are tasty, nutritious, and easy to make. There is always some minor variation from loaf to loaf, and we are OK with that."