Weekly Update 12-17-09

Posted December 17th, 2009

Clouds dispersing for a spectacular lake reflected sunset. Flutterings of yellow, rust, and burnt umber leaves scattering upon the ground. Recent rains remaining as extensive puddles beneath elevated boardwalks. A turtle lounging in the pool. Mist hovering above the duck pond as dusk set in. A swarm of khaki dragonflies zipzapping around the bench of giants. Two bats swooping between the tree silhouettes. Mosquitoes, somehow still in season, leaving their itchy marks. (This is definitely a swamp forest!) Smiles and celebration permeating the potential gloominess of lingering overcast. Cedar shingling of the new dome being orchestrated by Denis from beautiful Deer Isle, Maine. Radishes, leafy greens, and more tangelos being harvested. Deliciousness for dinner, chomped at shining refinished tables. And hula hooping around a blazing fire. Just another evening into night at the Hostel… how marvelous!

Bulk ordering is a grocery acquisition approach applied at the Hostel that can be adapted for any pantry. Reduced packaging and fewer trips to the mart are pillar eco-friendly factors. More bang per buck is possible due to cost effectiveness and subsequential access to higher quality ingredients, while staying within a budget. The Hostel bulk orders oils, vinegars, grains, beans, and sweeteners in conjunction with a local health food store. This is a symbiotic relationship, since our order in addition to theirs meets the minimum quantity required by the distributors. It is quite possible that you and yours could cultivate a similar collaboration.

Organic hard red spring wheat berries are amongst the bulk goodies in the pantry. Sprouted and coupled with dates, the wheat berries can become yummy wholesome bread. Homemade sprouted grain bread is a simple, ultra-nutritious, and dollar-wise alternative to grocery store offerings. The recipe below is an adaptation from The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book:

Soak 2c of wheat berries in room-temp water for 18 hrs. Keep covered in a dark place, rinsing 3 times a day. Ready in apx 36 to 48 hrs, when the sprouts are one third the grain length. Final rinse and towel dry the extra moisture away. Grind the sprouts and 1/2c of dates or other dried fruits in a food processor until a dough ball forms. Remove and rest the dough, covered, for about an hour. Place on a well-greased baking sheet. Bake gradually, 300 degrees F for 2 1/2 hrs or until browned. Cool loaf, wrap in a towel, place in a brown paper or plastic bag, and refrigerate for a day or two to soften the leathery crust. Enjoy!

Much gratitude for the kindness, caring, and sharing of previous, recent, current, and upcoming guests. Your participation and contributions enhance the thriving nature of the Hostel.

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff