Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cooking Day

OMG I haven't done one of these in forever.  Of course everything I did today I wouldn't consider a miracle if I were well.  Everything I did was relatively easy but considering I've been just this side of bedridden since winter wowza.  I did good today!

I was actually excited and happy when I got up this morning.  I was looking forward to making various food stuffs today.  I had a long list and knew I wouldn't be able to do all of it.  So I made a nice Paleo breakfast of spinach sauted in garlic and butter topped with a poached egg with cheddar on top.  Yum!  I drank my tea out on the deck and got to enjoy some sunshine.

Then I put all my cooking supplies into the dishwasher and ran it on a short sanitize cycle.  Today was bacteria day.  I wiped the counter down with a chlorox wipe and laid out paper towel.  I got all my cookbooks and cultures out and read my directions.  Then I went for a nice lie down.  About an hour later I got up and carefully fished everything out of the dishwasher making sure I didn't touch any edges/surfaces that would contact food.  Then I made some yogurt and buttermilk cultures.  I bought the easy stuff.  Mix dehydrated cultures into a cup of pasteurized milk; pour into a canning jar; cover with napkin held on with a rubber band and let it sit on the counter until set.

After that I had to take photos so I set everything up for a picture.  Which of course meant clearing off my counter top.  Which of course meant I'm making even more work for myself than I need to.   Okay now for another lay down.

Half hour after that was pickle time.  I cut up my pickles, smashed up some garlic cloves and trimmed up lots of dill (they came with the roots still attached: maybe I'll put some in soil and see what happens but that means more work).  I boil some water and mix up the brine and away we go.  Dill into the bowl, then garlic, then pickles, more dill, the rest of the pickles, cover with water and brine.  Put a bag of rice on top to keep the pickles immersed, cover with a towel and set in a spot for 24 hours.

Next is preparing crispy almonds from Nourishing Traditions (WAP cookbook).  Apparently all nuts and grains have to be soaked prior to eating.  So the almonds have to soak in salt water for a minimum of 7 hours prior to spending 12 hours in a 100F oven to dry.  This removes the bad stuff.  I already tried one of the almonds when I checked on them in the oven and OMG they taste so much better!  They have to stay in the oven overnight.  I'm looking forward to having some for snack tomorrow.

The only thing I'm concerned about is that my house is a tad too cold to properly culture the yogurt and buttermilk.  They should have been done by now.  They have been sitting for 12 hours and they still aren't set.  I was hoping to get them into the fridge before I went to bed but I don't think that is going to happen.  I don't really have a warm spot in the house to keep them.  They are supposed to culture between 70 and 78F.  It is 68F which means it will take longer.  Of course I'm also unsure of the milk I used.  It is a new brand that is supposed to be single pasteurized at low temp.  Apparently the ultrahigh temp pasteurization kills the milk so much that you can't culture it and the mother culture has to be made from pasteurized milk not raw milk.  So now I'm waiting.  What is going to happen?  Will I have yogurt?  Will I have buttermilk?  Will I have to start over again when the weather is warmer and I have different milk?

Oh and after a good long nap I made dinner.  Yes, I made Cowboy Beans.  Yes, when I get the recipe perfected I'll post it on Fast Foodie.  It is basically sauted ground meat with baked beans and corn.  I used the stuff out of a can and it was just too sweet so tonight's version was from Cook's Illustrated but it still isn't quite right.

But I'm floored.  Yesterday I cleaned the kitchen, loaded the dishwasher, showered, went out to dinner and went to Whole Foods.  Today I made yogurt, buttermilk, pickles, crispy nuts and dinner.  Of course I haven't showered and I'm still in my jammies from last night but I'm so happy that I've managed to do so much these past two days.  Wow!!  Maybe this glutathione and diet combo pack is doing something good for me!

I'm curious what tomorrow will bring.  If I have enough energy and two viable mother cultures it will be raw milk yogurt and buttermilk making day.

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