May 5, 2010

strange new sights in my kitchen

Monday was kind of a big day for me. I joined a food co-op. Basically, I am buying some food from an online company called Azure Standard. It's ideal for items you have trouble finding at Trader Joes, but are too expensive to buy at Lassens:)

Monday was the day to meet the food truck at my drop off point and meet up with a bunch of strangers. I was pretty sure I was gonna meet a bunch of nuts, but they ended up being very sweet. And they looked very normal.

Most people ordered huge bags and boxes of food. And there I was, with my meager little pile.

Here's a sneak peek into one of my little boxes.

Enters *helper* #1 to unload the boxes.

I was super excited to get my very first Sprout Screen. My sister ordered it last month and never got it because it was on back-order. Jess, you can live vicariously through me and admire my lovely screen below.

What is this sprout screen for, you ask? Why, I have no idea! I think it's used when you soak your grains and then transfer sprouts...Help!Jess???

One of my other favorite items was the raw almonds.

And now, to demonstrate my first experience preparing Crispy Almonds. I know you are all super pumped.

(side note: I realize I have NO BUSINESS WHATSOEVER doing a food post, considering my vast ignorance and general cludginess in the kitchen, but this is what I have been up to lately!)

Gettin' my stuff together: Jars, filtered water, sea salt and of course, almonds.

Enters helper #1 again, this time a tad disturbed at his mother's new zest for preparing food like our traditional ancestors.

"I will have none of this!" he declares, backing up for emphasis.

And when all else fails, helper#1 resorts to pure blackmail: the big fat crocodile tear that no mother can resist.

Ok sweetie pie. You win. Up you go into your high chair with some modern civilized food: the Cheerio.

All has been forgiven.

Ok! Now, back to my almonds!

Enters *helper* #2

"Hi mommy. I made something for you", helper #2 says, handing me a card.

It reads "Dear Davi, Happy Mother's Day. I love you very much. Love Finn.

"Oh how sweet, Finn! Is that a picture of mommy and daddy?", I ask.

"No," he replies. "It's a picture of you and me".

And now, I am a puddle of goo on the floor.

Ok, now back to those almonds!

Here they are soaking in some water with the sea salt. The purpose of soaking the almonds is to neutralize the harmful enzyme inhibitors, that make the nuts hard to digest.

Now they need to soak for 7 hours or overnight in a warm place. Helper #2 transports them outside.

My almonds are now happily soaking to their hearts content in the sun.

Enters crazy neurotic protective mother of the almonds.

After dinner, I realized the sun was going down in back, so I moved them to the front of the house where there was still some sunshine.

And when we went on a walk later that night, I put them in our toasty warm garage.

And before bed, I brought them inside to sleep with the folk.

Next morning, I was a bit horrified at their metamorphosis. Ew. Gross.

Enters helper #3 to help drain and clean the almonds.

And finally, it is time to place in warm oven for about 12 hours or overnight.

No prob! By my calculations, they should be ready by 2 in the morning!

Apparently my timing is still a wee bit off. This is what happens to me every.single.time. I try and make chicken or meat stock. Speaking of which, I think I have now attempted 4 beef stocks and 1 chicken stock. They are coming out more tasty each time.

Although my first chicken soup was a flop, according to the peanut gallery. Even little Twain, who will eat anything, was protesting. And flinging teeny tiny pieces of rice all over the floor. And yelling at my chicken.

Sheesh. Fussy customers, I tell you. I thought it was pleasant enough though.

And 3 jars of my precious stock have broken in the freezer. John could not resist poking fun at me--"I can't believe you have a chemistry degree and you forgot that liquids expand when freezing".


And we will not mention my potholder catching fire.

And if that above photo was not appetizing enough, I will further entice you with my gravy juice.

I made my first pot roast on Sunday, and so I saved the juices that were left behind. I think this will be my first time ever making homemade gravy.

So, in sum, there have been a lot of new strange sights in my kitchen lately(ie, ME actually IN the kitchen). And a lot of gross looking pictures. And I have been cooking nonstop. And by Thanksgiving, I will hopefully have figured out this cookin' stuff and have some tasty vittles for all the kinfolk gathered round my kitchen table.


  1. wait time out.
    chemistry degree?

  2. Ok, I was impressed and laughing out loud all at the same time while reading this. Go you! Seriously! I wish I could be "food mentored" by you, and gain some motivation. Love that I can hear your voice as I'm reading it now, after having met you. You are funny!

  3. I minored in chem and I've shattered more glass than most people.

    Good work on your Nour Trad food!

  4. That Celtic salt you bought?? My fave of all time. I looooooooove it. I kind of have a little love affair with salt. Good that it goes so well with avocados, huh??

  5. I love this post! I kind of think it was so funny about putting the glass jar in the freezer, but seriously, kudos to your for trying all of that stuff because I only wish I had the time and patience :)

  6. could you freeze them in bags?

    Um..I'm lovin you fun!

  7. You're too cute, my friend. May I ever so humbly offer this link to a post I did on sprouting which indeed talks about sprouting screens although mind you I've had trouble with my sprouting screens lately rusting. I buy mine from Azure as well and by golly they rust. Now I have to solve that problem.

    Here is said link:

    AND, just so you know that you are in good company, I have had several of my chicken stock jars bust in the deep freeze....apparently I didn't even take chemistry.

    Changing subjects, when do I get to see a picture of Twain in the PJ's or has he out grown them already? I can't believe he's walking already!

    much love-

  8. WOW! A food co-op, that's awesome...I was just proud of dusting off the bread maker this week! Maybe we could trade chicken stock for homemade bread! Kudos on all the healthy food...inspires me to look further into the healthy realm!

    Love Finn's card...also love your squared shoulders. Very nice.

    Have fun cooking, can't wait to see more posts!

  9. Finn's card is so precious, D!

    As for the sprouting screens, I usually buy a big mesh splatter screen that goes over bacon. Then I trace circles the size of the jar opening, and cut them out. Then you get a whole bunch for $3.
    They still rust, but then you can throw them away. I thought the Azure ones wouldn't rust, so that's why I've been wanting one. But if they do, I'll just keep on with my splatter screens!

    Your broth looks lovely, btw. Was it broth or soup?

  10. Jess, great idea! I'll switch to the bacon screen. Ya, I was really bummed that the azure one rusted. You'd think they could come up with a stainless steel screen. How hard could that invention be?

  11. Tweedle and all those teeth! Too cute

  12. um who are you and what have you done with my davi? you know, the one that would feed their kids fish sticks? seriously.

    I'm constantly impressed by you friend. And inspired.


  13. Wow! You have been busy - I just had to comment on this because last night for my something new I ordered a produce box from a local organic farm (I am a bit behind on posting) - it should arrive soon.

    I thought it was pretty funny to read this timely post today (your box looks much more intense than what I am expecting) - but still, same idea and I love it!

  14. My generic coment on your posts...I love your kids!

  15. Go Davi!
    I am moving much slower than you in assimilating all this Nourishing Tradition into my kitchen but I'm enjoying what I have done. My BF orders from Azure and soon, when we have more surplus income I think we'll join too!

  16. Kourtni-funny you mentioned avocados. I just ate a BUNCH this week and usually I am allergic. I bought the organic kind so I am wondering if that's what made the difference??

    Tristan-yes, I think I SHOULD use bags instead of glass. thanks for the tip!

    Things We Do-thanks so much for the link!! And no, Twain has not grown out of the pj's yet. He's still small. They will fit him perfectly this coming fall/winter and surely we will take pics for you then!

    Jess--it was just some beef stock.

    Loriloo--still laughing at Scott's trans fat joke. Last time I checked greasy beef is still welcome here! He would have loved my greasy gooey pot roast. I felt like I was wearing lip gloss for days.

    Summer-Yah, we are kind of in the same boat when it comes to budgeting. One can only do so much, right?

  17. You are amazing Davi! I am coming over to try some of those nuts this week K?! Luv ya!

  18. I am allergic to avocados too... but NOT the organic kind. It's funny because when I was in labor with Genevieve the nurse asked me if I had a latex allergy. I said I didn't think so... and she asked me if I was allergic to avocado, melon, banana... yes, yes, yes. So word on the street is that those particular fruits are sprayed with a latex pesticide and you can cure your allergy by just eating the organic versions. Hooray for food! ;)

  19. Welcome to the Azure Family! We've been ordering for almost two years, and now we get almost all of our food from them - except for produce, that's from our CSA. It takes a bit to work up to it, but now my kitchen is filled with colorful jars of dried goodness year round!