Dwellings: the Saltbox

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

When Europeans arrived in New England in the 1600s, at first they lived in whatever shelter they could devise. As they had the means to plan their living spaces, they invented a new style of architecture: the Saltbox House. First seen around 1650, the house is named for its distinctive roof-line, which looks like a box that was always nailed to the wall near the fireplace. It held salt and had a sloping lid that could flip up when the cook reached in for a pinch of seasoning. A short description: the house has a center chimney and a 2-story facade, flat or garrison. The roof rises from there to a ridge, then swoops down to a 1-story height in the back. The advantages are several: the South-facing facade takes advantage of light and sun’s heat in the Winter [early passive-solar heating]; the North-facing, windowless back roof shields the house from winter winds and sheds snow; the 2-story parts of the house are roomy enough for a large family; the 1-story back of the house works for pantry and kitchen. Built with post-and-beam construction, the house was fairly easy to assemble, all without costly nails. Dear Husband and I love the iconic look of this style so much that we build one for our own home. It is odd that the style did not catch on in other areas, perhaps because by the Revolution [1770a] the style was considered old fashioned. It may be old-style, but that is why we love it.

Salt was an important commodity in early America, most importantly for preserving food by salting or brining. The ingredients of our foods today use ingredients that require salting: salt cod and ham, both of which would have been in the larder of a 17th century Saltbox house-wife.

Brandade Bake: 145 calories 8.5 g fat 1 g fiber 11 g protein 4.3 g carbs [2.8 g Complex] 45 mg Calcium  NB: The food values shown are for the egg bake and the fruit, not for the optional beverages.  PB GF  Salt cod was common in New England. In Southern France it is turned into brandade which is worth trying. Here it is at breakfast, all creamy and garlicy.

1 two-oz egg ½ Tbsp cottage cheese 1 Tbsp brandade    shake of granulated garlic 2 oz melon OR 1 oz peach slices + ½ oz blueberries   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Cream together the cottage cheese, brandade, and garlic. Whisk in the egg. Bake in a lightly-spritzed ramekin at 350 F. until cooked through, about 12-15 minutes. With the fruit and beverages, you have a fine start to the day.

Ham & Oyster Pie: 256 calories 4.6 g fat 3 g fiber 21 g protein 25.5 g carbs 125 mg Calcium   PB GF — if using GF bread  This dish was popular in the tidewater American Colonies in the winter. I first enjoyed it in the Fox Tavern of the Hancock Inn. As long as oysters are available, one can have it anytime. HINT: This recipe serves 2 [two].

A casserole to serve two people

3 oz [2/3 cup] roast ham in ½” dice 1 cup oysters with their liquid, about 19 ½ cup onions, chopped ¼ cup milk 2 Tbsp white wine 2 tsp potato starch ½ cup peas, frozen one slice of 70-calorie whole-grain bread

Using a small star-shaped cookie cutter, cut 4 little stars from the single slice of bread. Toast lightly. Drain oysters and reserve their liquid. Combine onion and oyster liquid in a small pan. Simmer, covered, until onions are transluscent. Stir wine, milk, and potato starch into the liquid until it is smooth. Add oysters and ham. Stir and heat over low until sauce has thickened. Add peas, stir, and turn into a two-cup casserole. Bake uncovered at 400 F. for 15 minutes. Before serving, nestle the stars into the bubbling sauce.

ngredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday …………………………… single portion for Thursday:

2 buckwheat blini = buckwheat flour1.5 two-oz eggs 
+ all-purpose flour + eggsbleu cheese
+dry yeast + white whole wheat flourfat-free cottage cheese
butter + milkunsweetened applesauce
3%-fat ham + sour cherry syrupoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday:………………………….. single portion for Thursday:

chicken stock + potato + dill weedcubes of lamb leg meat + red bell pepper
cabbage + carrot + onionzucchini + red onion + granulated garlic
butter + parsley + sauerkrautrosemary + tomato juice, optional
whipped cream cheese + dark rye breadcorn-tomato salsa
Sparkling waterSparkling water

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