Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Leg powered lawn mowing is gaining momentum

I have the worlds best sister.  She found an old reel lawn mower left out for free.  Only a true sister would know this old - dinosaur - out dated - rusty- uncool piece of discarded trash would make me very happy!

A few years ago, I looked into reel mowers for our home.  After much, probably too much, research I decided my lawn is too big.  Plus it has too many bumps, sticks and pine cones for a reel mower to handle.  On top of that, I wouldn't be able to grind up leaves, straw and grass for my lasagna garden beds.  So after much ado about mowers, we got a hearty craftsman.  (Which I really do love- it is a work horse for chopping up and mowing)

But now I have my reel mower. It needed a tiny bit of TLC- mainly blade adjusting which my husband and neighbor did for me- thank you!!!  Mowing is one of the little things in life, and this little act of kindness from my sister, hubby and neighbor is priceless. 

7 bonuses gained from leg powered lawn mowing

1.  No gas!  Gas cans, gas spilled on gloves and sometimes shoes, lifting heavy gas cans, discovering you need to go get gas before mowing, gas fumes, gas used and of course gas purchased.

2.  No mower noise!  As I mow I can actually hear birds singing.  My hubby calls out the door, I just stop walking and we can talk like normal people.  Now all I hear is mower scissors happily clipping away. I don't have to wear ear plugs, damage my ears or irritate the birds and bees.

3.  Our dog Sally is much happier!  She smiles as I mowed.  She used to hide up on our back hill as I mowed. Then when I moved to the front lawn, she got all droopy as I shut her in the back yard. Now I let her stay with me for the whole yard- this has made my flop eared smiler very happy!

4. I am getting my farmer muscles back.  While this mower is not hard to push at all, I have noticed it is a lot like exercise.  As my grandpa Alton would have called it - power by arm strong.  I don't know about you, but staying strong and having time to work out is a constant battle.  Mowing gets me outside.  I can feel myself getting stronger and I'm accomplishing something at the same time- sorry gyms!!

5.  It is environmentally kind.  Not only am I not using any gas there are no emissions.  A few years ago, I heard every time you start your lawn mower, it is the equivalent of driving from Seattle to Spokane!  With this mower I don't even use electricity- only foot power!

6.  Less prep.  When I use my gas mower, there is more prep time to get into my work jeans, my gardening gloves and shoes.  I have to pull the mower out of the shed and fill it up with gas.  (hopefully the gas can has gas or is not freshly filled and heavy)  Now I put on my five fingered shoes and go outside.  Last night I mowed my back yard while my veggies were roasting in the oven.

I'm sure I will still use my hearty craftsman when the grass gets too tall, after a wind storm, when it rains and of course in the fall and early spring as I build my lasagna garden beds and need mulch.    My gas powered mowing is not extinct but is greatly reduced!  

Reel mowers may not create world peace, but they make this mower Smile!  
    Happy smiling and mowing to you,

"Smile a while and as you smile and another will smile and soon there will be miles and miles of smiles because you smiled"  Author unknown

Paleo Pancakes makes for a happy brain

A happy brain makes for a happy life...

One of my all time favorite meals is pancakes and fruit.  Over the years I started noticing an irritating cause and effect relationship between pancakes and my energy level.  Basically,  I would eat pancakes and in an hour I turned into a zombie.  I lost energy, my brain got all muddy and I was less than fun to be around. (was is the key word here)

I don't want to become a zombie but I still love pancakes.  A couple years ago, I found a recipe for what I call Paleo Pancakes.  It is mostly squash and eggs.  The best part is it tastes delish,  keeps my energy happy and gives me a nice little serving of veggies.

 I have made the below recipes a zillion different ways.  Recently I added beets, which turns the batter pin, a color my little 14 month old niece would love.   On a job, I will pack up a container of pancakes and eat them for snacks.  In the morning, when they are fresh off the grill I put top with a bit of coconut oil and fresh fruit.  These mock pancakes are easy, yummy and have great staying power!

 Hope you enjoy,

Paleo or Gluten free Pancakes 

    1 1/2 cups cooked butternut squash
    1/2 roasted beet
    1/2 gluten free flour - Trader Joe's brand
          grain free substitute: coconut flour or almond flour
    1/4 cup coconut milk- water or any other milk will also work
    Lots of chopped up pecans
    1/2 tsp baking soda, the soda is optional but it does make your cakes a little fluffier-

               (who doesn't like fluffy pancakes)
          Cloves, cinnamon and ginger powder
     7 eggs
     Coconut oil for cooking and topping pancakes
    Fresh fruit- for topping

   In a blender mix:  
       Squash, beets, eggs, flours, spices, milk, baking soda
  On a hot griddle pan- put a bit of coconut oil
       Pour on your pancake mix and add lots of pecans to the batter

  The other day I made a peanut butter sandwich from two pancakes- quite yummy

Pumpkin Pancakes
  Here is the original recipe:  

           from the Book Paleo Comfort Foods Pg 112

    4 large eggs
    4 large egg whites
    1 cup canned pumpkin
    1/2 cup almond flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/4 coconut milk
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 cup crushed pecans
      1-2 T butter or coconut oil

1.  Mix all ingredients in a large bowl except pecans.
2.  Heat a griddle or large skillet to medium heat and coat griddle/pan with butter or other fat source when hot
3.  From here, traditional pancake rules apply with a slight modification.  These will not bubbly like your traditional pancakes.  The batter is a bit thicker.  On medium heat the first side takes about 2-3 minutes to brown then another 1-3 minutes on the other sides.  

Variations-  They are fans of "adding a few chopped nuts on top of a freshly poured pancake.  You can also top a stack of these beauties with a few berries, or mix into the batter some finely chopped apples for a little sweetness.
                                                              Paleo Comfort Foods page 112