Monday, November 15, 2010

Food- it's in the details!

My mother put on a pot of lentils this morning. I saw that they were soft so I served up a cup. After the first taste I realized that aside from a few slices of bacon, she hadn't seasoned them. So I shook some garlic powder, cayenne, and a pinch of sea salt into my cup... what a difference!

I have one each of garlic, sea salt, cayenne, cumin and onion powder in a mylar bag. These bags are so cheap at my local LDS Food Storehouse that I can't resist. I have four bags filled like that- should last over a year. I also have a few cinnamon's and vanilla extract too. (Real or imitation vanilla? check out this article by Cook's Illustrated.)

Have I ever told you the secret about baking powder? It has a short shelf life. But baking soda and cream of tartar have a pretty long shelf life, when stored properly. And guess what happens when you mix them? Yep- baking powder. These are baking essentials.

Mix 1 tsp baking soda with 2 tsp cream of tartar. Mix well and store tightly sealed.

Another thing we need when baking is yeast. Yeast can be caught from the air pretty easily by putting a dish with a cup of flour and water in a glass bowl outside. Loosely cover it, and wait. It should turn frothy, but not black or red. You'll have to keep feeding the yeast to keep it growing, but if you're baking a lot it shouldn't be a problem, just keep saving a portion to "start" the next batch, and you won't have to catch it again. Here's a great article to print out for hard copy.

When my husband and I dated we almost always ate Thai food. Wherever we lived when we served in the AF we found a good little Thai place to enjoy. Sometimes I just get a hankering for Thai, so I created a "Thai comfort food" bucket. It has 2 cans of coconut milk, some dried mushrooms, 2 cans of chicken, dried lemon packets, 2 cans of crab meat, 6 cans of Thai tea, and boxed Thai rice and noodle dishes (preseasoned). I should add some dried cilantro (wonder how that rehydrates?). What is your comfort food? As long as it isn't ice cream, I bet you can figure out a way to make your own bucket!

As I was reading about hyperinflation, I thought it would be smart to pick up a few of the candybar assortment packs at Costco next time I go. I love chocolate but I'm not paying $15 a bar for it!

We're so pleased you are reading Farming Salt & Light! Choose how you live!

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