Alright my friends, originally I had multiple intentions for this blog. One was to keep all the family, especially those down in the south (hey ya'll!) up to date on our little family. The second was to have a collection of all the things I love for homesteaders like me: gardening tips, recipes, natural foods, cleaning products, homemade baby products, and the like. That being said, this post is about my kitchen. More specifically, the goods in it.
If any men read this blog, or for that matter any women who do not like food, then I apologize. But I love food. Especially good food. And I love cooking it. So there.
And so begins the beginning of a series: A tour of all my staples I keep in my “natural” kitchen. While it's not perfect, it's a every evolving process.
Our First Shelf of the Kitchen
Shelf #1: Left to Right
Multicolored Organic Popcorn: You can get this for about 89 cents a pound at the health food store! Dump kernels into a brown lunch bag with some salt, toss it in the microwave for a few minutes, and it's a quick, healthy snack! Cheap, easy, and healthy. That's our style.
Arrowroot Powder (little white jar in front): You can use this to replace corn starch in any recipe. I like it specifically for thickening the fruit juice in a cobbler. I also make my baby powder out of this – more on that later.
Cinnamon Sticks: Bought from bulk herb jars at the health food store, it's significantly less expensive than buying it in the regular grocery store. I love to keep cinnamon around for grating in pancake batter or spicing up apple cider. Yum!
Cloves: Perfect seasoning for cobblers, cider, and stews. Cloves are a wonderful pairing with lamb. It's a great spice that adds a ton of flavor.
Flax Seeds: Grind them up in your smoothies, sprinkle them on your oatmeal, or add them to your granola. They are a powerhouse of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein! They are chuck full of goodness. Eat them. I demand it.
Dried Green Onions: We grew these in our garden. Once it was time to harvest them, I just cut them into little pieces, dried them in the sun, and put them in a jar. Pretty dang easy. It nice to have them to use in soups, stirfry, scrambled eggs, etc. Just a slight onion flavor, but not too overpowering.
Dried Tomatoes: Remember these guys from here? We eat them on sandwiches, in pasta, in eggs, in soups, and on and on. We substitute them for fresh ones during the winter.
Dried Parsley: Can't quite see this in the picture, but there is another jar of dried parsley in the back. We harvested it from our garden and still have an entire bush of it. If anyone wants any, please come pick some.
Parsley is a wonderful herb to use on roasting chickens and mixing in with smashed potatoes.
Organic White Beans: Stuart hates beans. I wish so badly that he didn't because I love them. Beans are God's little nuggets of protein. Cheap, full of fiber, and delicious. We all should eat more of them!
Kosher Salt: Course grain salt, perfect for sprinkling and with no additives. If I was rich, I would have an elaborate salt collection. There are tons of smoked salts, grey salts, black salts, crystallized sea salts, etc. For now, it's kosher.
(Also tucked in the back is Organic Corn Starch, Dried Lemon Thyme from my Ma's garden, and baking soda)
Working up a collection of good spices and herbs is essential to a natural kitchen. These are the backbone of our food – used for flavor and pizazz (yes, I just said pizazz!) Used correctly, they can easily replace the standard salt flavor so much of our food depends on for flavor. Even if you have to build your collection little by little, it's okay! Just pick your favorite spice and start there!
I'll be doing a few more posts on other dried goods, spices, canned vegetables, etc. but I would love to hear your thoughts and some of your favorite goods. Maybe I need to add a few of your things to my collection! Please let me know I am not alone.
Or am I truly the only geek that gets excited about rye berries?