6.18.10 Condimental: From Scratch
Welcome to my 200th post. (Although my site didn't go live until December, I had a backlog of posts dating to last July.) Those of you who frequent other blogs may notice that I update quite often. I've really been enjoying pouring my passion out on this page, and sharing with you all my recent nutritional discoveries. It's as though the scales have fallen from my eyes and I see the world of food in a new way. I find it a little challenging to write about things like fats, raw milk, lacto-fermentation, grass-fed beef, etc. because I imagine some of you don't have access to these things—or may not be ready to incorporate them into your lives. But as I move closer to the earth and closer to the traditional way of using what nature offers us—without the tyranny and destruction of industrialized agriculture and mass processing—I am compelled to tell you about how wonderful it is! I fervently hope I can continue to pique your interest and your palate. This shot of my fridge, above, and the ones that follow, are as good an indication as any of the transformation of my kitchen. I am so much more in control of what goes into my body, because I'm making my own mayonnaise (from farm-fresh egg yolks and cold-pressed olive and peanut oils); and my own stocks and syrups and nut butters and pickles.
I'm saving animal fats and rendering them, re-using drippings from bacon and roasts. I'm baking my own crackers (from nuts) and making my own ice cream and cream cheese (from raw milk) and even my own fresh almond milk. And spinach and kale and cucumbers and tomatoes and snow peas and chicory and eggplant and okra and pole beans and blue hubbard squash and watermelon? With any luck, all coming out of our garden at some point this summer.Now, I'm not totally unaware of the fact that "store-bought" is considered a valuable necessity in these hurried times. And I know not everyone works from home as I do (and thus can run in and out of the kitchen all day long). But when I hear how many hours of television the average American watches in a week, or when I think of the time spent driving to and from the store, I wonder if there isn't a better way..? I'm not being Pollyanna-ish when I say that I'm actually saving time and money by avoiding many of these "convenience" foods. Throw a few ingredients in a pot on a Saturday morning, leave it on a low flame until Sunday, and you've got an amazing stock. Beef, seafood, chicken—they're all ready to go in my freezer. Pickles? Make them once and they're good for months! You can whip up a mayonnaise in minutes and totally avoid all those weird additives and rancid oils. Just sayin'.
Vegetables roasted in beef fat? Syrup made from raw honey and saffron to flavor your latest cocktail concoction? Chewy carob energy nuggets? Iced almond milk with maple syrup? This is art, this is craft, this is health, this is entertainment, this is living! And that, fellow gluttons, is what we all hunger for...