Thursday, March 7, 2013

Well, That Didn't Work

I have been avoiding updating here because the FODMAP thing did not achieve what I hoped it would. During the time I was trying it, I was in severe and ongoing pain and was ready to do  just about anything to stop it. 
At first, I didn't have too much of a problem. I wasn't noticing a big difference, but at least I had the possibility of helping myself. Control over my own body, which is scary when lost, was very important to me.
Alas, it was not achieving what I had hoped. It did however prove that I am not currently lactose intolerant. I have noticed that I tend to go in phases with that, with years in between having problems and not having problems. I actually am eating a number of "bad" FODMAP foods and have actually been almost pain free (at least as pain free as I ever get) for about a week now, and before that have had stretches without pain. 
This leaves me fairly certain that my problems are unlikely to be dietary in that extreme. My doctor and I are looking into allergies. Part of me is good with that, another part feels it is a bit of a cop out, kinda like my IBS diagnosis in the first place.
IBS is diagnosed by ruling out other digestive problems. While there is something going on for sure, IBS is more a catchall for things that the medical profession do not completely understand yet. All well and good, but you can't cure a catchall with a single change or medication.

As such...... I am back to homesteading! 

Last night I made a sausage ragu for dinner using up the last of my canned tomatoes from the summer.  It was my first experience canning whole tomatoes and I followed directions that told me to press the tomatoes down firmly until the juices rose up. I did that, and during the pressure canning, "lost" several inches of liquid so that the solids were above the juices. The tomatoes were absolutely fine, but I learned that packing too tightly does tend to cause that issue. Lesson learned.

Here is the ragu, which was quite delicious and there was enough leftover for another meal for the three of us.

It was extremely easy to make, and reminded me to definitely make quarts of tomatoes next time! If I ever get some good, farm raised pork I will try my hand at sausage making, because it must be much better than the stuff I used.

Sausage Ragu

1 lb Italian sausage I used 1/2 hot and 1/2 mild. Remove from casings if in them and crumble

Tomatoes: This one is tough to measure. I did not weigh them before using them, but I did use about six pint sized jars. Drain the water, especially if the tomatoes are not in puree. I was not careful enough this time.

4 cloves minced garlic (or more!)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely diced
2 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. dried oregano (I rarely use this for anything other than pizza, but it was good in this dish)
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Brown the sausage until cooked. Remove excess oil from pan then add the onions and peppers. Cook several minutes until onions are translucent. Throw in the garlic and saute until you can smell it cooking. 

Throw that, the seasonings and the tomatoes which are either squished or chopped, into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours or more.

I put the parsley in at the end to avoid the brown bits in the sauce as the parsley over cooks. 

Also, I use this fantastic slow cooker that I love so much. You can take the insert and put it on the stove top for browning. TRUE one dish cooking! And yes, it works great as a slow cooker. I was dubious because I have been sold on the crockery versions, but this had done a lot of excellent work so far.

These ones are only offered at William Sonoma, but are available now for 129.99. I do NOT get kick backs from William Sonoma, I have just had this until for six months now and want to share the love. Here is a link to the product on the site if you are interested: Breville Slow Cooker

Now, back to school work!

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