Saturday, 26 September 2015

PaulssonPaleo sauerkraut going down a storm at the Oktoberfest party! #paulssonpaleo #fermentation #blog #eatclean #eatseasonably #organic

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PaulssonPaleo at the local Autumn Market. #simlångsdalen #höstmarknad #paulssonpaleo #surkål #paleoballs #blog

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Last preparations ahead of autumn market

Whoop, the day has arrived! Now we're just keeping our fingers crossed that the weather gods stay on our side. :-)

We'll be flogging our paleo balls and sauerkraut to the right of this sign. 

Fantastisk dag för höstmarknad! #paulssonpaleo

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Thursday, 24 September 2015

Loving Our Village!

Here's a declaration of love to our village, Simlångsdalen.
Our apple trees decided that this wasn't going to be their year; we can count the number of apples for human consumption on one hand. The miniature, worm eaten ones are happily devoured by the chickens.
Lucky for us, we live in Simlångsdalen with generous people like Ylva and Anders who kindly let us pick as many apples as we wanted from their enormous apple trees. They even provided the apple picking tool! Two trips and four big baskets full of apples later and we have made eight litres of apple juice, which is fermenting into apple cider vinegar, and several jars of unsweetened apple sauce.
We are so grateful! Here's a big thank you to Ylva and Anders! Mwauh!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Evening cycle and swim. #paulssonpaleo

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The forest keeps giving us mushrooms! #eatseasonably #selfsufficient #mushrooms #paulssonpaleo #blog #movetoSWE #forage

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Last nights rain turned our little brook into a gushing river. #fieldflooded #sheepmoved #bankbursting #movetoSWE #brook #paulssonpaleo #blog #farming #selfsufficient

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Getting Creative and Sour with the Harvest

Part of the not so ripe harvest - the really green ones are hiding at the bottom of the bowl.
Spring was late and summer a bit cold, which means we have a load of green tomatoes. What to do? Time to put the thinking cap on and hey presto… I came up with fermented green tomato salsa.
Chop, chop, chop.
Chop up a couple of kilos of green tomatoes, add around two tablespoons of salt and four to five chopped chilis (including the seeds). Mix well and squish with your hands till you get loads of liquid. Fill glass jars and make sure you press the tomatoes down, removing any air bubbles. Let the jars sit on your kitchen counter under a towel for around a week (or somewhere else dark and at room temperature). Taste it and if it is to your liking, then put it in your fridge to consume within a few months. If it isn't sour enough, then leave it on your counter, tasting every few days.

Green + red = brown.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Evening walk and swim last night. #paulssonpaleo #resilience

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Filling a chest freezer or two

We finally decided to get another chest freezer. That makes two chest freezers, two normal freezers and two fridges. That sounds like a lot of capacity, but I am sure it will feel too small in a year’s time. 

Delivery man trying to calm his nerves after braving our road...
Most of the space is taken up by our bulk purchases of organic/ grass-fed meat. However, in a year’s time, we will need some of that space for our own meat! Although our rare breed lambs won’t be that big, an estimated 14 x 15-20 kg of lamb meat will probably fill up our freezers pretty quickly. 

These ladies will hopefully put a lot of food on our table (however macabre that may sound). 
In addition, we are currently topping up our freezers with all the berries that we can find. We’re preserving as well, but since we don’t use much sugar in our household, we would rather not try our luck by making preserve with ALL our berries, lest it should fail (low sugar/ honey content = more likely to spoil). We’re currently at 120 litres and counting, blueberries and lingonberries…

They're alright to pick, but cleaning is another thing...
Now we just need to find some space for the all the mushrooms we’re planning to pick!

Porcini deluxe. 

Sunday, 13 September 2015

What a weekend!

Wow, what a weekend!

We were already one-man down as Cat was continuing her yoga course in Stockholm at yogayama, so when the little chicks started popping out of their fragile eggs on Friday we knew it was going to be a frantic few days. In total, we had two hens, Vita Vera and Svarta Sara, laying on 14 eggs, all due to hatch on Friday, sure enough just after breakfast we heard our first 'peep-peep' and there was the first fluffy, wobbly chick.

7 freshly hatched chicks 
Throughout the day, the rest of the chicks started to peck through and before long our coop was a chorus of 'peep-peep'. We now had 8 little chicks bumbling around! We had lost one little chick during the day, so 5 eggs were left. In an attempt to keep them warm, as the hens were pre-occupied with their lively 'peep-peeping' hatchlings, Cecilia took one for the team and stuffed them in her bra!

After what seemed hours of seeing Cecilia walking around with a terrible swelling condition of the chest, we heard our next 'peep-peep'. The 9th little chick broke through! This little chick was very small and fragile, so we tentatively placed it in the coop under one of the hens for the night. The next morning, the 9th chick was still alive, but very weak and laying on its own in the corner of the coop. We quickly scooped it up and our 'chick recovery centre' opened. A box filled with lovely soft hay, with a warm heat lamp above has been its place of rest for the last 36 hours and as it is a safe distance from the incessant 'peep-peep' of its brothers and sisters, recovery has been swift. Tomorrow is integration day though, so fingers crossed the 9th chick will be embraced with open wings and a 'peep-peep' chorus!

The 9th chick
Saturday afternoon was also very exciting, as we were due to receive our first Gute Ram to join our 7 lovely Gute ewe lambs. At about 4pm, we heard a honk, as Cecilia and Mats drove up with the horse box in tow and the Ram inside. As the ramp was lowered, this heroic and steely eyed Ram stood there taking in his new surroundings. Wow, what a beast!

'The Ram'
Feeling slightly lacking without a pair of massive curly horns, I tried to make friends. At first he was very indifferent to my approaches, but the branch and leaf trick worked a treat and soon I managed to get within an arms length. We left him to explore his new field and march around as if he owned the place!

'The Ram' already owns the place!
Sunday morning came and we learned that we needed to introduce 'The Ram'* to our ewe lambs, so that he didn't become lonely wondering around on his own. Being pretty testosterone fuelled, a contraceptive apron had to be strapped around his waist to prevent him from getting too friendly with our ewes, and so that we had control over when lambing occurs. Cecilia, Kerstin and Tora managed to strap this apron on and coax and move 'The Ram' to where the 7 ewes were enjoying a peaceful life. Then chaos ensued as he went on the rampage. Mats had I had been out in town while all this occurred, so we returned to see Cecilia standing in the middle of the field between the ewes and 'The Ram' as a sort of peace keeper. 'The Ram' was strutting around not looking so manly, with a lop-sided apron strapped around his nether regions…HA! The next hour was spent trying to catch 'The Ram' and make alterations to his apron so that it was a more tailored fit. Thankfully, while this was going on, the ewes began to get used to their new field-mate and started making advances on him! Peace (sort of) resumed!

So, we have now increased our animal count and have 10 new mouths to feed, but the bonus for us is that we get more eggs and lots of lambs next spring!

*'The Ram' is nameless at the moment, so any suggestions are more than welcome!

Sheep and chickens. They now have their own binder. #paulssonpaleo #sheep #gutefår #hedemorahöns #chickens

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Thursday, 10 September 2015

Bye-Bye Coffee and Achy Fingers

My love affair with coffee lasted for a fair number of years; from the first attempts at drinking coffee at university, to then loving iced coffee, cappuccinos and lattes, and finally drinking bulletproof coffees the last few years. Coffee had become a part of my everyday life and not something I would relinquish easily... Until I gave it up for my first nine days of yoga teacher training - not so much by choice, but due to lack of access to bulletproof coffee (why settle coffee with milk?).

Something interesting happened after four days without coffee: the pain in my right middle finger disappeared. I had put the pain down to an inevitable side effect of ageing, as Cecilia has had achy fingers for a while and our mother suffers from arthritis. I thought 'that's it, it's only downhill from here'. Turns out, the coffee was accelerating the arthritis in my body. I have now stayed off the coffee for four weeks and the pain has stayed at bay. I have even got Cecilia to reduce coffee intake and she has also noticed a correlation. Coincidence? I don't think so, but obviously, we are only a test group of two. I am definitely going to stay off coffee from now on, as my health is far more important to me than the taste of coffee.

Monday, 7 September 2015

First PaulssonPaleo Fermenting Course Done - Boom!

We organised our first ever fermenting course yesterday afternoon. Eight lovely ladies joined us at PaulssonPaleo HQ for three hours of discussion and cabbage stomping. It was absolutely glorious to impart some of our enthusiasm for fermenting on such willing participants. Cecilia talked about the chemistry behind lacto-fermenation, some history and health benefits. At times the chat drifted off to some of our other favourite topics, like healthy fats, soaking nuts and the evils of sugar.

After some uplifting 'fika' (Cecilia's paleo balls made another appreciated appearance, recipe here), I walked everyone through the practicalities: how to actually make the sauerkraut.

Our kitchen got pretty messy with all the kraut juices flying around, but it was great watching everyone get stuck in, chopping, squishing and stomping away. The ladies filled a jar each to ferment for a week or two and then we sent them on their merry way with their very own sauerkraut-to-be.

Success and high fives all round!

Read more about our courses here - there are spaces left on the 19th of September and more dates added in October.

Cat making fermented green tomato salsa. #paulssonpaleo #dontrubyoureyes #fermentation

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Saturday, 5 September 2015