Cooking, food, and recipes are three favorite topics around here, with most of our gardening focused on producing food as well. It’s no accident that this section of the website is one of the largest!
The most popular article in this section, at this writing, is one on how to vacuum seal jars. It always fascinates me to see what gets the most attention. Because of this one, I have plans for a variety of articles on storing foods and cooking with stored foods.
Besides unusual recipes like Hot Tub Brown Rice and Carob Pudding Cake, there are how-to articles on making bread, making yogurt, canning foods, sprouting at any time of year, and the like.
Ingredients come in for their share of attention, especially healthy ones like olive oil and ACV, or apple cider vinegar.
I also write about useful tools. That includes the humble but so-handy stainless steel kitchen bowls, the best kitchen scissors, and the innovative non-electric slow cooker from South Africa, the Wonderbag cooker, to name just a few. I tackle the gas grill vs. charcoal grill controversy.
Sprouts are high in vitamins but they can also provide protein, minerals, and other goodies. Their fresh aliveness provides a nutrition that you can get no other way. There are people who become devoted sprout addicts! You don’t have to go that far, but I’m rapidly heading that way. It’s really quite easy to grow sprouts. You can use wide-mouth canning jars, with screening cut to size to fit inside the outer jar lid. You can do the same thing with any fairly wide-mouth jar, a rubber band, and screening, cheesecloth, an old stocking, or some other covering that will …Continue reading →
Bread machines are wonderful inventions, and if you have one, you may never need to learn to make bread by hand. If you don’t have one, you can certainly enjoy the special flavor of fresh homemade bread. This recipe can be made with spelt flour instead of wheat, if you prefer. Making bread by hand takes time, but really not all that much. Sometimes I’ve done it after dinner, while half-way watching television, and we’d have hot bread for a bedtime snack. (We now have a bread machine, and we use it all the time. That link goes to my …Continue reading →
It probably won’t surprise you to know that your tap water may have contaminants in it. From nasty chemicals to who-knows-what, there are hundreds of things that turn up in tap water in the US. (I won’t even start on Mexico, where I am living till the spring… we don’t even brush our teeth with tap water here!) There is an excellent website, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) where you can t ype in your zip code and find out what is in your water — they have analyzed almost 20 million records obtained from state water officials and found …Continue reading →
You can make your own yogurt. I do it often. I use either a commercial yogurt with a live culture or with a . If your yogurt turns out kind of stringy-slimy, it’s gotten some other strains of bacteria in it. I don’t know if it’s bad for you but I don’t like it so I used to toss it out when that happened occasionally. It used to happen when I used homemade methods for keeping the yogurt hot but since I bought a yogurt maker, it is rarer… or maybe it hasn’t happened at all, come to think of …Continue reading →
The other day, I noticed that the teakettle that we keep on our stove was a few inches closer to the front, instead of sitting on the back burner. Without giving it any thought, I moved it back to where I was used to seeing it. The next day, there it was again, between this burners. Had to be something my husband was doing.What could he be up to? This old gas cooktop has pilot lights between both sets of front and back burners, and Kelly was experimenting with keeping the kettle over a pilot light. He’s found that it …Continue reading →
My husband Kelly has been making homemade peanut butter for about seven years, ever since we got a , a sturdy workhorse that we’ve been very happy with. We start with peanuts, lots of them. Kelly likes to buy two different kinds: about half already roasted, and these have been salted. The other half would be raw or lightly roasted but definitely without salt. Here is our VitaMix. Looking good for seven years of near-daily use. Besides making smoothies, salad dressings, soups, and the like, we use it to grind wheat berries for homemade bread and of course peanuts like today. …Continue reading →
Thanks to Emma Holister, I’ve had an illustrated article here on how to cook with twigs in a stove made from an old can. If you don’t want to make a rocket stove yourself, you can buy one. Well, I lost the photos when I moved my website, so just go to her blog for the original article: http://candida-international.blogspot.com/2009/08/rocket-stove-how-to-build-one-in.html Alternatively, here are some rocket stoves you can buy: EcoZoom Rocket Stove – Versa Ohuhu Potable Stainless Steel Wood Burning Camping Stove EcoZoom Rocket Stove – Dura Stovetec Two-Door Deluxe Lite Wood/charcoal Stove Affirm Global IT117469BBLK Wood Burning EZY Stove, Black Emberlit Stainless Steel stove,Compact Design …Continue reading →
Kelly and I are suffering “sticker shock” from the prices in US grocery stores after living in Mexico for several years. I am enjoying getting a lot of things that I haven’t eaten while out of the US. (Panda Licorice, bison meat, Crenshaw melons, to name three from yesterday’s grocery shopping.) But now it’s time for us to settle into spending less in the grocery store! Here are some tips for cutting your grocery bills. Chances are good that you will increase the nutritional value of your food at the same time. Updated: Thursday, May 4, 2017
I was looking over some Chinese recipes the other day… It got me thinking about how much my own cooking is derived from Chinese methods. One of my favorite things to cook is a big stir-fry with brown rice: I put on the brown rice, using about 1 cup of rice and 2 1/4 cups of water. I cook it on a very low temperature for about 35 or 40 minutes and then without opening the lid and letting the steam out, I turn it off and let it sit for another 10 to 20 minutes. Actually, that method of …Continue reading →
Emma Holister wrote a thorough guide to sprouting and gave me permission to post it here, a few years ago. When I moved this website from one webhost to another, somehow I lost all the pictures. So if you go to http://candida-international.blogspot.com/2009/08/growing-sprouts-step-by-step-photos.html you can see the full article. I’ve been sprouting for many years, off and on, and I picked up a few tips from Emma. I’m not as well-organized or tidy as she must be to have created this article. I use canning jars with their rings, and cut inserts to the jars from window screening. Also, in our house, the …Continue reading →
If you garden, or have access to fresh veggies in season, canning food is something you may want to do. There is something so satisfying about those pretty jars full of delicious food on your shelves, not to mention the delicious tastes from last summer’s produce in mid-winter. With the locavore movement – that is, buying as much of your food as possible from relatively local farms and gardens – I would imagine that possibly more people will want to can summer goodies for year-round eating. are simply large enamel pots that come with rack that fits inside. You can …Continue reading →
Storage of food and other basic supplies that you know you’ll need can help you feel more on top of things. I grew up in a family that stored food. We had Mormon ancestors, and while the religion had gone out with my grandparents, the tendency to stock up on things stuck, specially with my mother. How much might you want to store of any given item? That depends on your use of it, how much space you have, how much more expensive it might become, whether it might be hard to get ahold of later, how long it lasts, etc. …Continue reading →
Pressure cooking has changed a lot lately — there is a whole new generation of pressure cookers that are said to be foolproof. No more stories of the canner exploding and spewing its contents around the kitchen! If you are younger than I am, maybe you never even heard those stories. Why use pressure cookers? They can cook food faster and thus save not only time but fuel. Beans, a mainstay of many simple food systems, are much tastier and easier to digest if they are thoroughly cooked, and this is where a pressure cooker excels. You can even cook …Continue reading →
It’s really nice that eating simply is also eating very healthfully. By eating simply I mean: Lots of vegetables and fruits. As much as possible, organically grown — whether in your own garden or by someone else, the closer to home the better. Produce labeled organic in the grocery stores may have come from far away (even China) and have been picked quite a while ago. Furthermore, there is a significant energy cost Updated: Saturday, May 31, 2014