Thursday, December 27, 2007

good news for raw milk in CA

from Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures

December 16, 2007


California's raw milk supply will NOT be interrupted in
January, 2008 or beyond!

It will be a happy, healthy New Year indeed! California consumers have spoken loudly against AB 1735's biased, scientifically unsupported restrictions on raw milk. Your passionate voices have been heard.

In the last three weeks, the CA raw milk battle front has been abuzz with tremendous grass roots effort, back stage political activity, and high level meetings. As a result, the course of California raw milk history has been changed.

Here is a brief update of the progress:

Three things protect your raw milk in California:

1.. The Secretary of Agriculture has offered political support. A.G. Kawamura has dedicated himself to safe raw milk for California, declaring that "AB 1735 standards will not act as a de-facto ban on raw milk." Secretary Kawamura made this statement adamantly and repeatedly at a December 20th meeting with Claravale and Organic Pastures dairy representatives. He pledged to review our four-inch stack of documentation entitled “AB 1735: Raw Milk-The Unheard Argument” and promised to work with us to assure raw milk's continued availability.

2.. A new law will be introduced in January reversing AB 1735. An investigation has exposed certain CDFA employees who met without authorization and, using erroneous data, advised staff members of the Assembly Agriculture Committee to place "eight special anti-raw milk words" into AB 1735. All CDFA agency legislative matters and bills must be reviewed and authorized by the governor's office, as required by executive branch and administrative policy and procedure. Instead, highly misleading information was used to rapidly and secretly pass AB 1735 on a "consent item" basis without discussion or open debate. Assemblymen and State Senators who voted for AB 1735 are now very upset that they were misled, and support immediate repeal on procedural grounds. The attorney general's office might step in, having noted an aberrant violation of established process in furtherance of a "biased agenda that is far from being consent item."

3.. A lawsuit is being filed this week in San Benito County. Part of that lawsuit includes an injunction which legally secures raw milk producers against enforcement of AB 1735 standards. This allows more certain protection against AB 1735 until a new law can be passed.
While the raw milk fight is far from over, the safety of the California raw milk supply has been secured with multiple layers of strategic political, legislative, and legal efforts. Hearings will soon be announced as part of the new bill and legislative process that will start in January. Your attendance will be essential to deepen the protections put in place.

Keep Sending a Powerful Message: In order to strengthen our work going forward, we ask that you take pictures of yourself and your family holding raw milk bottles from Claravale and/or OPDC. Write on the picture: "Please support repeal of AB 1735." Then mail them to the Governor's office, your State Assemblymen, and State Senators' offices. The impact of a personal plea with a picture of your family is worth a thousand words.

Congratulations to all who participate in the "grass roots raw milk revolution." Your thousands of letters and calls made all the difference! CA Raw Milk is SAFE from AB 1735 and those that sought to eliminate this sacred healing whole food.


Mark McAfee, Founder OPDC

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas 2007

our Christmas day feasting came in two parts: breakfast when my sweetie got home from the night shift, and then dinner when he woke up to go back to work.

we had pancakes, Marin Sun Farms bacon, and mimosas for breakfast.
here's the pancake recipe i created. it's reported to be a favorite of Mr. Sealion:

1 1/4 cup sprouted spelt flour
1/4 cup polenta meal
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
4 eggs, beaten
enough whole milk added to the eggs to make 1 1/2 cup
1/4 cup melted butter
1 T real maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla

whisk the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
in a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the milk, syrup, and vanilla.
add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing thoroughly but not too much. add more milk as needed to create a soupy batter.
fry in butter. savor.

a note on "sprouted" flour ~ this i ordered from Summer's Sprouted Flour online. sprouting the grains before grinding the flour makes it more digestible. another way to make flour more digestible without buying fancy "sprouted" flour is to simply soak the whole grain flour overnight in the recipe's milk, plus a couple Tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar, or in yogurt. soaked overnight, this will be ready by morning, to create "sourdough" pancakes. you can make sourdough waffles this way, too! delicious and wholly nutritious. if you use this overnight soaking method, you can leave the baking powder out of the recipe.

for dinner we had:
roast Highland Hills Farm beef braised in red wine and beef broth, with onions, and tiffie-kraut
pureed beet-cabbage borscht with spicy garlic-sauteed rainbow chard, and a generous dollop of yogurt,
butter head lettuce salad with bosc pear and goat cheese.
individual vanilla custards sprinkled with nutmeg for dessert

my latest favorite kraut recipe

it's kraut time again! time to buy winter vegetables, use a little of them, and then forget about them in the back-bottom of your fridge! never fear: winter vegetables last forever, and often taste even better as ingredients in sauerkraut (this is definitely my experience of cabbage; i like it much better once it's kraut).
sauerkraut is so easy and fun to make. all you do is chop up some vegetables ~ as simple as a head of cabbage, as complex as a ten-item recipe. you can grate the vegetables all fancy-like, chop them haphazardly, or even leave them whole. pile them in a big bowl, sprinkle with ample sea salt, and pound. i did a little sauerkraut demo/workshop for our family when we recently visited North Carolina. i wanted them not to be intimidated by the process. i think they enjoyed the pounding part ~ they took turns banging a ceramic cup into the veggie-concoction to get the veggie juices flowing. a wooden pestle or meat-tenderizer i think might be the nicest tool for this, but a small jar or cup work well. just be careful to hit the veggies and not the bowl. once the vegetables start to soften and juice is beginning to flow, smoosh the vegetables into a clean ceramic crock or glass jar. cram them in there tight as you fill the container. find a clean weight, such as a jar or bottle filled with water, a stone that has been scrubbed and boiled, a ziploc bag filled with water (although i do like to avoid plastic). this weight is needed to keep the veggies submerged in liquid. there might not be enough to cover them the first day, but probably will be in the days following ~ even overflowing from the jar! leave your containers out to ferment at room temperature from 3 days to 6 weeks, depending on how patient you are; the flavor will mature and ripen in this longer period. then enjoy!

here's my latest favorite recipe ~ a collection of veggies from the back-bottom of the fridge, and then some. :)

cabbage ~ both green and red ~ grated
strawberry daikon radish, sliced into pretty rounds
pink lady apple, sliced into pretty rounds
garlic, sliced
ginger, grated
celeriac (also know as celery-root), cut into match-sticks
carrots ~ the adorable little baby kind, left long
red pepper flakes
and sea salt, of course

a large jar of kraut, just chopped, alongside a gift jar already fermented