Sunday, May 20, 2012

Do you ever think about why you do things in life?  Like picking up and moving to a state where you don't know one person who lives there and where there are fewer people in the entire state than in the county you lived in at the time.  Or after 20+ years of working for someone else, you decide to give entrepreneurship a shot and open your own business. Or go back to school and become a teacher. Or finally find your voice realizing that what you think and what you believe in matters, even if it's, well, sort of weird.

Today, on this beautiful Sunday, I was reminded of my love for digging in the dirt, writing and pondering life.  When we moved to Spearfish from Sacramento seven years ago, I started this blog a Sunday on July 6, 2008 when I had first heard the word Locavore.  I thought it would be fun to see if we could focus on living, eating, shopping within 100 miles.

In those seven years, I have started my own business Black Hills PR, Mike has gone back to school to get his teaching certification and we are in full-fledged life with a special needs middle-schooler.

In the garden, I have expanded to a 30 x 30 foot L in the backyard and have a plot in the Spearfish Community Garden.  And seven years ago, we move to the 'fish not knowing anyone and today, I can't go anywhere without running into someone we know.  I like that.

So maybe this is the seven-year-itch of wanting to get back to more writing and pondering.  I'm looking forward to resurrecting Black Hills Locavore.  I'm glad you are reading this.  Welcome back!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In the winter here in the Black Hills, we should be bundled up and trying to stay warm.  What  a "winter" this has been.  Yes, we've had some snow but nothing too crazy to speak of.  I'm actually looking forward to "when" winter will actually start.  Recently, we've been introduced to Bountiful Baskets and have been loving the fresh produce.  Local? Well no.  What we do local is eggs, milk at meat at Black Hills Milk and of course, beer at Crow Peak Brewery.  Alas, we await summer!

Friday, November 25, 2011

There is something so wonderful about farm-fresh eggs.  We get ours at Black Hills Milk which is located in the same lot as Crow Peak Brewing Company in Spearfish. The difference is clear.  All you need to do is compare the color of the yolks.  The yolk should be bright yellow or sometimes, even orange.  Now, open up the eggs you just bought from the stack of 100 dozen eggs at Safeway or Wal-mart and crack one open. Lemon yellow yolks will await you. 

You can find local eggs at your local farmer's market and if there isn't one open over the winter, ask around because there is probably someone that has eggs to sell.

For those of you in Spearfish, head over to Black Hills Milk and support this great local business.  They are open from Monday - Saturday, 11am - 6pm and offer grass fed / finished beef, raw milk, a great selection of cheeses, produce, homemade bakery items, jellies / jams and all sorts of good things. 

Shop local - it's a GREAT idea!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Shopping locally is so important.  I'm continually reminded of the power each of us has when we choose to head downtown to buy a candle at an independently owned store instead of going to Wal-Mart or ordering something online.

With the holiday shopping season upon us, please remember your town's small businesses and really make an effort to shop there.  Yes, I understand that Wal-Mart and the like employ local people and offer cheap(er) products. I also understand that's it's really convenient to order online to get EXACTLY what you are looking for. However, every time you give your local businesses a shot at your business, you are providing a larger impact on your LOCAL economy.  We have the power to make or break a small business.  I say, let's try and make it.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sturgis awarded $25,000 for recycling

Good news this morning that the city of Sturgis will receive $25,000 for larger scale recycling options.  Stated in an article in the Rapid City Journal today, Sturgis recycles old newsprint and corrugated cardboard and that these funds will allow for holding trailers and a larger baler for cardboard.  Instead of these usable materials heading to the landfill, they will be separated and taken to recyclers.  Good news!  Randy Nohava, Public Works Dept Director also notes that "a good 85% of that stuff is worth money".

Just today, we started our week of "tracking our trash".  It's really making me think about everything we thoughtlessly toss in the trash that will soon head to the Belle Fourche landfill.  Already, the orange plastic bag the RCJ came in this morning, a piece of saran wrap, an old receipt and even lint from the dryer.  And this just in the first 30 minutes of a Sunday!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Track your trash - recycle, reuse and be smart

Swirling trash in the ocean bums me out.

Do you ever think about the amount of trash your family creates every week?  It's probably more than you think.  And I'm not talking just plastic trash -- stuff that can be recycled or reused often gets thrown in the trash and then magically, the garbage man comes once a week and takes it all away leaving us a big, empty can to refill again. 

I can't remember the last time I went to a landfill or, as we called it when I was a kid, the dump.  The dump was always a fun trip with my dad.  We'd throw some branches, an old couch and a bunch of trash into the back of our light blue Ford pick-up and off we'd go to the dump.  My brother and I would love to poke around but never found anything good.  And there were always seagulls which was perplexing to me since I grew up in the middle of California, 150 miles from the ocean.

If each of us took more care to consider our trash, little by little, I think it would help the volume of swirling mess and maybe it would help us to consider that this earth is a living organism and it should be treated with respect. If we as individuals don't do something, who will?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Gluten Free Pancakes back on the menu

This is a repeat recipe because I am making them this morning and pancakes just seem like a pre-fall sort of delicious breakfast.  Gluten free pancakes! After many, many attempts, the best gluten-soy-dairy free pancakes have emerged from our Spearfish kitchen.  Using coconut flour really makes a difference, as the little cakes are fluffier.  There is no hint of coconut flavor.

Here's the skinny:

Start with the Gluten free flour mix here pour a steaming, hot cup of rich coffee and do this:

1. Sift gluten free flour mix before measuring 1 cup of the mix and ½ cup coconut flour
2. Then re-sift with 1 TSP salt, 3 TBL sugar and 1-1/4 TSP baking powder
3. In a separate bowl, slightly beat 2 room temp eggs with 3 TBL melted coconut oil (make sure it's cool), 1-3/4 cup rice milk (not too cold - better room temp)
4. Then mix the liquid into the dry ingredients with a whisk.
5. Use coconut oil to grease a frying pan or griddle between batches and make sure it's hot (a few drops of water dance on the surface = ready). Use an 1/8 cup measuring cup to make small, 3-inch cakes. Watch the heat - I usually flux between medium high (to start) to medium on my electric stove.
6. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar for oh so yummy pancakes.

I typically make two batches so I can freeze some for breakfasts during the week. They freeze great -- just lay them on parchment paper individually in the freezer.