My Kitchen Staples – How I Keep My Family Healthy

www.mypicshares.com

I’d like to invite you to come into my kitchen for a moment; I’d like to share with you some of my staples I’d never be without: the foods and kitchen tools/appliances we use every day to maintain health and wellness.

Everyone has a list of things they use in their kitchen. Invariably, those items change over time, but I wanted to share mine and elaborate as to why these foods are so important to me and the health of our family.

The following are items we use in cooking and in raw/fermented/cooked preparations such as home-made salad dressings, sauces, marinades, and for baking.

Coconut oil – I’ve been buying various brands over the last few years including Nutiva, Jungle Products Beyond Organic, and Tropical Traditions. I’ve liked all the brands pretty well, but I think Beyond Organic is my favorite so far. Right now I’m using a northwest regional brand called Aunt Patty’s Extra Virgin Coconut Oil from Eugene, Oregon. It’s a really great oil too, although my son says he prefers the Beyond Organic, which is an especially nice coconut oil, but Aunt Patty’s is currently cheaper than Beyond Organic. Read here about the amazing health benefits of coconut oil.

Olive Oil – We have been using Napa Valley Naturals extra virgin olive oil brand for some years because the health food store sells it and the taste is really good. This year we bougth a gallon of Chaffin Family Orchards Olive Oil, which we really love. It is fruity and light, and I can use it for making mayonnaise.

Apple cider vinegar – we use Bragg’s organic raw apple cider vinegar. It’s a great all-purpose apple cider vinegar, and it’s the only raw vinegar I have been able to find in our health food store. I’d like to start buying my other vinegars raw, but I’m still looking.

Red wine vinegar – we use Eden Organic and Napa Valley Naturals organic red wine vinegars. The Eden is especially great because it’s a larger size and is always very cheap – about $2.65 per bottle.

Cod liver oil – we buy the Blue Ice Royal fermented CLO from Green Pastures. This along with our diet and the fact that we received a great deal of sun exposure last summer and fall before the extreme cold set in, I believe, has really helped to keep all three of us from getting sick this winter (knock on wood). This is the only way I can get my son and husband to take CLO (capsule form). I admit, I have a hard time swallowing the cream form myself.

Omega 3-6-9 oil – I have been using Udo’s brand, a mixture of organic flax seed, coconut, evening primrose, sunflower, sesame, oat germ, unrefined DHA algae, and bran oil. This oil I use to maintain a balance in my health in case I am not getting enough Omega 6s and 9s in my diet (I get plenty of Omega 3s).

Sea salt - I buy our sea salt from the health food store in bulk – Redmond Real Salt, and it’s a really nice mixture of red, white, and dark colored salt minerals, which I believe offers a good variety of trace minerals for health.

Beef tallow – this is something I am still learning how to use, and I bought two 14 ounce tubs of it from U.S. Wellness Meats before the holidays so I could make pie crust with it. I have frozen it, and use it as needed. I am still needing to learn how to render it so I can use it for other things. We do also occasionally buy meat from U.S. Wellness Meats, and I have been very satisfied with their products.

Lard – we use lard for so many things we eat. I used it to braise meats, casseroles, cook vegetables, in soups, stews, desserts, and many other meals. It is one of our most used staples in the kitchen.

Natural sweeteners – although I typically don’t do a lot of baking, this past winter season I did bake much more than usual. I have Wholesome Sweetener’s Organic Sucanat and Body Ecology’s Lakanto. Sucanat is a great natural sweetener that I have heard recommended by various traditional foodists, and Lakanto is a zero glycemic index, naturally fermented sweetener made from the luo han fruit grown in China. It does NOT feed candida! This is especially important to me because I have had a candida problem for some years – and I know most people have a candida overgrowth, but I’ve really been trying to be conscientious about keeping mine under control because it can keep me awake at night if I am not careful.

Maple syrup – I buy the real, Grade B variety (because it is less refined and contains trace minerals) of whatever is on sale. Currently, we are using Spring Tree and sometimes we buy Coombs Family Farms as well.

Butter – we use Kerrygold. Kerrygold is from grass-fed cows, but they are pasteurized. Kerrygold is not organic, but their farming practices are very clean. I was buying raw, organic butter from grass-fed cows from a fantastic farm in Canaan, Vermont – Baum Farm. The owner, Rob, is really friendly and accommodating. I highly recommend their butter if you can get it. I had to stop buying it for the time being as we are having to watch every penny right now as we get our family business going, Treasure Valley Solar and TGT (green IT planning and implementation). Read here about the amazing difference between real butter and fake fats such as margarine.

Mayonnaise - I have finally had success in making my own mayo! This year I got a stick blender and used Chaffin Family Orchard’s olive oil, and it turned out great. I have splurged in the past and bought a big bottle of Wilderness Family Naturals to avoid the nasty GMOs and other toxic ingredients in most commercial mayonnaise. Last year, I bought a small bottle to try and liked it a lot. My husband is not crazy about it, but my son likes it. To save money, however, I’m making it a priority to make mayonnaise again as well as other lacto-fermented foods.

The following are some of our other basic foods we usually have around:

Sourdogh or sprouted grain breads – I am on GAPS, so I’m off grains, but my husband and son still eat them. We normally try not to eat grains except once a week or so. When we do, we use Silver Hills breads and BigWood long-fermented sourdough bread. I haven’t yet started baking my own breads, but my goal is to do this during the new year. Silver Hills breads are mostly organic and are all sprouted. Most of their breads do not contain soy, and their ingredients are very basic and varied – as in, they do offer a nice variety of breads with different grains. Sometimes we use Ezekiel sprouted flour tortillas, but we don’t use them more than a few times a year due to their soy content. I’ve also heard that Ezekiel is now using wheat gluten in their products, and that it is not labeled. Read here about the health benefits of eating sprouted and soaked grains.

Sprouted flour – we use To Your Health sprouted flour. I keep it in my freezer and use it as I need for baking, pancakes, and various other recipes.

Germinated brown rice – we use DHC germinated brown rice. According to Elements4Health, “Pre-germinated rice (PR) is an emerging health food whereby brown rice is soaked in warm water prior to cooking; the warm bath induces germination, or sprouting, which stimulates rice enzymes to produce more nutrients. One such nutrient is the important brain chemical GABA (PR is thus often referred to as “GABA rice”), and animal studies have shown that a PR-rich diet can improve cognitive function. Other studies have found that PR can also act as an anti-diabetic.”

Raw cheeseUPDATE! we used to buy Organic Valley cheeses, but since I wrote this post, I discovered that Organic Valley uses practices I don’t like such as ultra-high temperature pasteurization on their products, have made a requirement that none of their farmers can sell raw milk to their customers, and apparently the cheeses they sell with the “raw” label are not actually raw. I have read that they are heated up to at least 161 degrees fahrenheit. That’s not RAW! Unfortunately, there isn’t really any raw cheese locally here in Boise where I live. I have considered making it, but I don’t usually have enough raw milk leftover to make cheese as it usually all gets drank around here. Last year I bought some raw cheeses from U.S. Wellness Meats to try them. But I have heard great things about their cheese.

I would often also point out that if you bought two of these packages, equaling one pound of cheese, it was comparable in price and sometimes lower than most 1 pound packages of Tillamook cheese, which is good quality and supposedly from grass-fed cows, but is not raw. We also occasionally buy cheese from Ballard Farms in Gooding, Idaho. It’s a local cheese from cows that are on pasture at least some of the time, and they don’t use any hormones in their milk. However, their cheese is more expensive so I try to buy it less often.

Grass-fed beef and steak – We buy all locally-raised, 100 percent grass-fed beef. There are various farmers from which I buy – Wilsey Ranch in Marsing, ID, Malheur River Meats in Vale, OR, and Matthew’s All Natural Meats in Weiser, ID. For more information about the difference between humanely raised, grass-fed meats, read Whole and healthy meat…does it really exist?

Raw milk – also from a small, local family farm in Nampa, ID. I make weekly batches of yogurt and kefir with our milk. The results were very satisfactory! Read more about why pasteurized milk is not healthy to consume.

Chickens and eggs from pasture-raised environments – we have been buying chickens from Matthew’s All Natural Meats in Weiser, ID and eggs from Turkey Ridge Farms from Payette, Idaho. These chickens and eggs are really fantastic. The chickens are a bit expensive, but as I reported in my post about real food not necessarily being more expensive, I can get 3 to 4 meals out of one chicken. Most of the name-brand eggs in our health food store are from factory “organic” and factory “free-range” sources, which I won’t buy. And they cost anywhere from $4 – 5 per dozen. I’ll take my local, bright yellow-yolked pasture-raised ones, for $4.50 a dozen, thank you very much!

Wild-caught tuna and salmon – I have bought Vital Choice canned sustainable tuna once to try it. It’s the best canned tuna I’ve ever eaten! As our financial situation has still remained tight, I won’t be buying more tuna for the time being. But I do purchase wild Alaskan salmon from various butcher counters in stores locally.

My son loves tuna fish, so I really want to give him the best quality available. We also love salmon, but this time of year there isn’t much available that is fresh or wild caught in our area…but we recently scored some at a great price from the health food store and had it for dinner last week. Then we made fantastic salmon omelets for breakfast the following day. Right now for us, Vital Choice salmon is just too expensive to buy.

The following are kitchen appliances and tools I’d never be without:

Food dehydrator – this is one of my first purchases that has enabled me to graduate to the next step of preparing traditional foods. We bought ours in December last year from Cultures for Health. It’s an Excalibur and I am very pleased with it. So far we have made granola and dried fruit. I am planning to make jerky soon, and some other foods I’ve been learning about in the great recipe book I received with my appliance.

Stainless pots and pans – we have a really nice set of All-Clad stainless pans and pots we bought well over 12 years ago, and they are in great shape.

Cast iron – we have a cast iron pan, but unfortunately we let it sit out with food on it one too many times, and now the enamel has been eaten away. We still use it, but will have to wait to purchase a better one.

Crockpot – our crockpot just stopped working, but we had a Rival, and I recently found out it contains lead in it, so I’m either going to buy something else next time or keep looking until I find a lead-free brand. For broth and slow-cooked meals, I’ll continue using my stainless stock pot.

Pyrex, glass, and ceramic baking dishes – I have some of the original Pyrex baking dishes and mixing bowls from my mother (pre-1960) that I treasure and use often, plus a few ceramic baking dishes as well. I know the newer Pyrex aren’t supposed to be as good quality, so I’m grateful to have the ones I do. The glass probably isn’t as safe, but they will have to wait to be replaced until sometime in the future when funds allow.

Mixer - I own a Kitchen Aid hand mixer which I normally only use for desserts which I make infrequently.

Cusinart Food Processor – we’ve had ours for years and it’s great for so many uses, including chopping up nuts and vegetables for culturing, slicing potatoes for breakfast and casseroles, stews, etc.

Cuisnart Stick Blender – I won this stick blender on a giveaway this past spring. I was so excited! It’s been super handy for making mayonnaise. Home-made recipe coming soon!

Omega Big Mouth Juicer I was excited to bring this addition to our kitchen, and we use it for juicing. It’s very powerful, and is easy to assemble and clean up.

Goals for the future:

I will continue to look for bacon, hot dogs, and sausage without nitrates and other chemicals. Those have been hard to find – as well as local cheeses that are raw and without chemicals/hormones/antibiotics. Although raw is not an absolute necessity, the other requirements are and I’m going to continue to search for them.

My wish list would include foods like organ meats and kitchen tools such as a grain grinder, a juicer (I really want a Vitamix), a nice mixer (I like Bosch and Kitchen Aid). Those last few items are incredibly expensive, so they’ll definitely have to wait. I’m also really anxious to acquire some Le Crueset cast iron and ceramic cookware. Those will also have to wait, but they are so beautiful and I have heard they are fabulous for cooking.

What types of staples do you have in your kitchen – the ones you’d never be without? What is your wish list for items you currently don’t have but wish you did?

This post is part of Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesdays carnival and We Are That Family’s Works for Me Wednesdays carnival.

42 Comments

  • January 26, 2010 - 10:48 AM | Permalink

    Hey Raine! *LOVE* all your posts and especially the studies you share. . . but confused about one thing: trouble making mayonnaise??? I uses Sally’s NT recipe, followed it to the letter with the exception of adding a little garlic. Made 16oz in my food processor– took about one minute and my husband *loves* it. And unfiltered olive oil instead of nasty soybean or cottonseed oil! I say give it another go, girl! Thanks for all your sharing!

    • Phyllis
      May 10, 2010 - 3:39 PM | Permalink

      The key (if I remember correctly) to making mayonaise is to add the oil verryyy slooowlly. That allows the oils to emulsify (I think that’s the word).

      Good luck !

  • January 26, 2010 - 10:51 AM | Permalink

    Yes, I used Sally’s recipe too and my mayonnaise turned out really runny and gross. Maybe I’m just used to commercial mayonnaise, but it wasn’t good. Perhaps the olive oil taste wasn’t my thing either – or maybe it’s just the brand I used. The Wilderness Family type I’ve bought has olive oil but it doesn’t taste like olive oil (to me, anyway). I am definitely going to try. We have a food processor that I didn’t use – I just used my blender because I was being lazy. :( I guess that proves that the lazy man (or woman) works the hardest.

    I will definitely try it again, especially with the price of healthy mayonnaise being what it is. Thanks for stopping by and for the encouragement, Kate. :)

    • Amy Love, Real Food Whole Health
      November 17, 2010 - 3:53 PM | Permalink

      Hey Raine!

      Looks almost exactly like my staples- with exception of the grapeseed oil. And I use Quantum Labs EFA blend instead of Udo’s but I’m going to check that out next.

      I make Sally’s mayo, BUT use half EVOO and half EVCO (melted then cooled slightly). Then, once you refrigerate the mayo it will firm up- I like mine pretty firm too! I’ve used a food processor and my VitaMix (saw you want one- check for them on Craigslist- where I finally got mine for $200). I’ve had to play around with seasoning- salt, pepper and sometimes garlic to taste, curry powder is surprisingly awesome, and usually it needs more lemon (and salt) than called for. Just some ideas! I never really liked commercial mayo, but I LOVE this stuff. Wild Planet tuna is also a good choice if you can find that at the store. (Whole Foods has it)

      • November 17, 2010 - 11:10 PM | Permalink

        Hi Amy – good to know there are more people with kitchen supplies like mine (of course, I know you and it wouldn’t be any other way!) I am going to try making the mayo again soon. I know I keep saying that, but I really am going to do it. Thanks for the suggestion to buy the Vitamix on Craiglist – splendid idea. It may have to wait until next year, but that is the place I will go when the time comes. Thanks for your comments and for visiting! :)

  • January 26, 2010 - 11:00 AM | Permalink

    I’m a widower who hates to cook, so my kitchen is stocked very sparsely. About the only food categories that I share with you are eggs, butter, and salmon.

    Your list is very interesting, though. I was surprised by your variety of oils.

    The 50 Best Health Blogs

  • January 26, 2010 - 11:54 AM | Permalink

    Mayo- use room temp eggs and half barely-melted coconut oil, half olive oil I use one egg to one cup oil. We don’t mind all olive, but some people do. Grape seed oil makes good mayo, but it’s bright green and the omega 6s that you already mentioned…

    I see a lot of similarities in our pantry items!

    Cara

  • January 26, 2010 - 12:31 PM | Permalink

    I think it’s fun to compare pantry and kitchen items with others, and I hoped that this article would invite everyone to share their favorite and necessary items. I’m definitely going to make mayonnaise again, I just have to be in the right mood. You know how it is sometimes when you try something and it doesn’t come out right. Sometimes you just have to step away and come back to it much later – like 6 months later or so…!

  • January 26, 2010 - 12:39 PM | Permalink

    Our pantries look very similar :D Along with tallow I also have pork lard, makes amazing pie crusts!!

  • Amber
    January 26, 2010 - 7:07 PM | Permalink

    Thank you so much for this encouraging resource!
    I have (or have on my list) most if these things listed.

    Any thoughts on baking stones?

    I have to try that mayonnaise!
    I have a lot of things I want to try, but I’ve misplaced my NT book! LOL

    I try to stay away from grains, period. I don’t think my nutritional type even allows me to have sprouted grains, from the way I feel after eating. Maybe I will try again after I get fix my candida levels.

  • January 26, 2010 - 8:57 PM | Permalink

    Amber – I have never used a baking stone, but I have heard good things about them. Are they primarily used for baking like pizza and pastries? Forgive me if I’m being ignorant, but I know very little about them.

    I totally know what you are saying about grains. I do best when I stay away from them. There are many different books and philosophies about nutrition that categorize people in varying types of ways. What is your nutritional type? As far as the blood type diet goes, I fit right in with my blood type which is O. I need a lot of meat, moderate poultry, and lots of vegetables. No grains, limited fruits.

    I don’t know if you have ever read this book, but I’ve found so much of what is in it fits for my body. I discounted it for years, and then ended up coming right back to it.

    The candida has always been a problem for me too, as it is for many people. What kind of candida program are you going to do?

  • Jen
    January 26, 2010 - 9:14 PM | Permalink

    Hi Raine. I’m still here reading; I just don’t always comment. Thanks for wondering though. :)

    Like everyone else, our pantry items are pretty similar. I also have beef tallow from U.S. Wellness, and I’m positive it’s already rendered. I use it as is, and have been happy. I think rendering is getting the fat out of solid chunks of fat. If your tallow is like mine, it’s not chunks… it’s like a shortening, which is already rendered. They have great customer service, so you could always email and ask.

    I love the pepperoni from Organic Prairie! It took me forever to find a good source for our homemade pizzas. I haven’t tried their hot dogs yet. I have the ones from U.S. Wellness. How do you prepare them for your son? I can only think of grilling, but it’s too cold and snowy for that right now.

    I also love WFN mayo, and haven’t had luck making one that we like myself (I’ve tried). It is pricey, but so good. We just use less. I too plan to try to make my own again, so if you come upon a recipe or method that works for you, please share. :)

    Vital Choice tuna is the best I’ve ever had too! Wow, was it a shock when I opened that first can to see a truly solid fillet, unlike the watery, shredded, nasty store bought stuff! It is so good as is, that I like to serve it on top of a salad. I am out, and haven’t ordered in a while. It’s definitely spendy! If you have a Trader Joe’s around anywhere, I’ve been buying wild Alaskan salmon fillets there. The price is reasonable.

    We have a quarter grass fed beef, and several pastured chickens in the freezer. I too have struggled with a source of pork. I finally found a semi-local source of pastured pork not fed anything GM (that has been the biggest struggle), but it won’t be available until next fall. So I’ve been ordering bacon, and Polish and Italian sausage from U.S. Wellness too. It’s awesome! Occasionally I can get it from my local organic delivery service as well.

    I ordered myself a grain mill for Christmas, but it’s on backorder. It should be here next month, and I can’t wait! I got a Komo Fidibus Classic (known as Wolfgang here in the US), which has grinding stones instead of blades. I’m going to have so much fun experimenting with new grains!

    I desperately want a dehydrator, and will probably buy one soon. There are so many things I could use it for, and compared to the grain mill, the price isn’t bad. I also need a mixer, and am thinking about a Bosch in the future. I can hand knead for now, so that’s at the bottom of the list. I also would love to have some Le Crueset items!

    Oh yeah, you can restore your cast iron skillet! Those things are good forever!! Here is a link I found about how to do it:

    http://cyberbilly.com/meathenge/archives/001138.html

    Or just google “how to restore a cast iron skillet”. From everything I’ve read, I think you just have to sand it down and re-season it. Good luck!

  • January 26, 2010 - 11:44 PM | Permalink

    Hi Jen – I think I probably do have the same tallow as yours, since I also bought mine from U.S. Wellness Meats. Yes, their products are spendy, but they are so incredibly delicious! We have made two orders from their company during 2009 and one this year. I think it will be awhile before we do any others as we are in money saving mode right now. But I’m hoping to get some lard from a good source sometime this year. If I remember correctly, I don’t think U.S. Wellness has lard. But I’m going to do some hunting around in the next few weeks.

    I have heard that you can reseason a cast iron pan, and I did attempt to do that with ours. But I didn’t sand it down yet, I had only just put the oil in (coconut oil) and put it on low heat in my oven for overnight. I’m not sure if that did the trick, but I’ll check out the link you provided. Thanks much!

    You’re right, there are many great, expensive kitchen tools and devices, and some of them are more urgent than others. Some you probably wouldn’t need at all, but they would just be nice to have, like the big Kitchen Aid mixer. I could probably get by forever on my little hand mixer as it fits any bowl size and I have used it on dozens and dozens of home-made items. But it would just be so fun to have one, though!

    Let me know how you like your grinder. I am hoping to buy one this year and would love some feedback on good brands.

    I am going to attempt the mayonnaise again soon, after my next bottle of WFN is all gone. If I hit on a good batch, I’ll be sure to post it!

    We don’t have a Trader Joe’s here, weirdly enough, but I wish we did. I’m not sure why there isn’t one here. Many people talk about wanting to have one opened here. I think our population could support it. In our valley we probably have over 700,000 people now. But Boise is a strange place like that.

    I really should try the pepperoni from Organic Prairie, not sure why I haven’t bought it yet. I think I’ve only seen it at the Whole Foods store in Las Vegas (where my in-laws live). There are only a limited amount of Organic Prairie products in stores here – not a very wide selection. Just tonight I was talking about making home-made pizza with my dear friend (who is also named Jennifer), and it has sort of got me in the mood.

    When we make hotdogs, we usually either grill them (when the weather is decent, which is not now), or heat filtered water on the stove until boiling, then put the hotdogs in the pan and turn the heat down to medium low and just let them warm up for about 2 or 3 minutes. That way they are not dried out and crackly. Tristan really loves them with organic ketchup and mustard. Yeah, there’s another recipe I need to try. :) I need to pull out my NT again!

    We also don’t have a Whole Foods, but in some ways, I’m not too sorry about that because Whole Foods is so incredibly expensive. I’m not sure I want another health food store here that I can barely afford to shop at. Our local health food co-op has really high prices as it is.

  • January 27, 2010 - 7:39 AM | Permalink

    Wonderful Post!!! Great resources for the NW! I think I may add a couple of your staples to my pantry.

  • January 27, 2010 - 4:36 PM | Permalink

    Hi, Raine! This post is such a great resource! Thanks for the follow on Google Friend Connect. I just added it so I’m not too sure how it works yet. When I clicked through your profile, it took me to your old site. Fortunately, I knew you participated in Real Food Wednesdays so I was able to find you on the link there. Its funny that your last post on the other site ended with a mention of Food, Inc. How fitting since today is Pollan’s appearance on Oprah!

    Keep up the great blogging!

  • January 27, 2010 - 5:37 PM | Permalink

    Hi Melissa – thanks for your visit! I just referred one of my friends to your site today, I’m not sure if that’s what you mean by the follow on Google friend connect…but hopefully that’s what you are talking about. Glad you saw my link on Real Food Wednesdays, and yes my new old site is still up so that people who follow those existing links will have somewhere to go besides into the ether. Yes, Food Inc. and Michael Pollan are always in the news, and I’m glad because I hope it’s increasing people’s awareness of real food, diet, and health. I love your site too, thanks much! :)

  • Lonna in Claremont, CA
    February 2, 2010 - 2:27 PM | Permalink

    Hi Raine, I just stumbled across your website today and am very excited to see that someone else with very similar passions as myself. Most of your staples are mine as well, but I am embarrassed to say that the reason I came across your website was because I was making myself a tuna sandwich with Best Foods mayonnaise, knowing in my heart that I shouldn’t even have it in my refrigerator, but bought it again recently because all of the other mayo that I’ve tried, just don’t taste as good to me – poor excuse, I know. Anyway, I googled “organic best foods mayonnaise” with hope that maybe they had come out with one and found your website.

    Anyway, I am looking forward to reading more…

    God’s blessings to you and your family.

    Lonna

  • February 2, 2010 - 3:15 PM | Permalink

    Hi Lonna -

    I understand what you are saying about store-bought mayonnaise. It doesn’t taste the same, that’s for certain. I think it’s just a matter of getting used to something else. We’re all so used to eating industrial mayonnaise we simply don’t have a taste for the real thing. I have bought two bottles of Wilderness Family Natural’s olive oil mayonnaise and I like it quite a bit – my husband is another story. But my son likes it a lot too.

    My plan is to make more mayonnaise this year after my bottles from WFN are used up. Buying it is pretty expensive, and although I haven’t priced it out, I bet making it at home is cheaper…although depending on what recipe you use, there are some ingredients to use that could be considered rather expensive – olive oil, coconut oil, and pasture-raised eggs. However, as with anything else, if it is better quality and better for your health, it’s worth it.

    Thanks for visiting, it’s great to see you here! Blessings to you and your family as well. :)

  • Lonna in Claremont, CA
    February 2, 2010 - 11:20 PM | Permalink

    Thank you!

    You know Julia Child has what I have heard is an amazing recipe for mayonaise in her book, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”.

    She has a table:

    # yolks Oil Vin/Lemon Juice Finshed product
    2 1-1 1/2c 2-3 T 1 1/4-1 3/4c
    3 1 1/2-2 1/4c 3-5 T 2-2 3/4c
    4 2-3c 4-6 T 2 1/2-3 2/3c
    6 3-4 1/2c 6-10 T 3 3/4-5 1/2c

    She also adds salt, mustard and boiling water, but this table is for proportions

    Tips: Room temp ingredients and warm the bowl prior to mixing with hot water, then dry. Beat the egg yolks for a min or two before adding anything to them, until they are thick and sticky. Add oil slowly at first (in droplets) until the emulsion begins.

    I am going to try this recipe next week and will let you know what happens, unless you decide to try it first. Please let us all know what you discover.

    Lonna

  • February 2, 2010 - 11:39 PM | Permalink

    Hi Lonna – thanks so much for that juicy little tidbit from Julia…my good friend Heidi owns that book, and so I’ll just have to be borrowing that from her (I have been meaning to get my hands on that book anyway). And someday, I’d like to own it!

    I will definitely check out that mayo recipe…I will post it here when I do it. It may be a little while since my bottles of Wilderness Family Naturals just arrived this week. Hey, let me know how yours turns out, though. I’d love to hear from you again!

  • Alison
    April 27, 2010 - 10:05 PM | Permalink

    Great post! Great pantry! (looks very similar to my own).

    I am glad to have stumbled upon your blog.

  • nancy
    September 2, 2010 - 8:45 AM | Permalink

    Organic Valley “raw” cheeses are not really raw! Call them and ask them the temp they use to make them…it’s about 154. NOT RAW! I call this false advertising.

  • September 2, 2010 - 9:24 AM | Permalink

    Nancy – since I wrote this post, I did learn about Organic Valley’s deceptive ways, and have stopped buying their products because they have refused to support farmers who produce raw milk. I am now buying Woodstock Farms raw cheese. I hope the same problem is not occurring there, but I need to research this because there is no place to buy raw cheese here at all.

  • October 6, 2010 - 11:44 AM | Permalink

    Raine, about vinegars…it is really easy to make your own. Take the scraps of whatever fruit you happen to be preparing (pits and peels from peaches, caps from strawberries, cores from apples) and toss into a gallon sized glass jar. Add warm water and organic sugar or sucanat…enough so that it’s TOO sweet to drink. Let it set in a warm place for several days, stirring regularly.

    After 3-4 days, remove the fruit and add a kombucha scoby (AKA a “mother of vinegar”). Let that set for at least a week, and watch for the vinegar mama to sink to the bottom. When it does, you will have a weak vinegar. Leave the mama in for several weeks, and you’ll have a very strong vinegar.

    Nothing goes to waste, and if you do this every time you have fruit to process, you will keep a pretty steady supply of fabulous raw vinegar for your family. You could probably even use vegetables…I’ll bet pumpkin vinegar would be delicious!

    • October 6, 2010 - 7:34 PM | Permalink

      Stacie – thanks for sharing the method for making raw vinegar, I am going to have to try that sometime. I do have a scoby mother, so I can use that. That sounds so delicious! :)

  • October 6, 2010 - 11:44 AM | Permalink

    Also, Azure Standard has very affordable raw cheese. :-) I’m pretty sure they deliver out by you guys!

    • October 6, 2010 - 7:33 PM | Permalink

      Hi Stacie – yes, someone alerted me to this fact today on Facebook. I just got my Azure Standard catalog last week from our local farmer (I know they have a web site), and didn’t realize they had raw cheese. Fabulous! Thanks for sharing! :)

  • Meg Logan
    October 6, 2010 - 5:35 PM | Permalink

    Hey, I have been looking for a source for GABA from natural products (as I am pregnant and the supplement I was taking is a bit strong!)

    Anyway, your clip on Germinated Brown Rice caught my eye, but you didn’t mention where to get it.

    Could you send me an email telling me where to get this stuff? I’m desperate, but I don’t check back here too regularly. Thanks!!

    Meg Logan

  • October 6, 2010 - 6:01 PM | Permalink

    Hi Meg – sorry about that, there are two places I get the germinated brown rice – one is DHC:

    http://www.dhccare.com/Dhc/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=2136

    and the other is called Solgrains, I get it from Azure Standard:

    http://www.azurestandard.com/shop/product/4725

    It used to be that you could purchase it directly from Solgrains, but now they are distributing it through Azure Standard, which is a fantastic company that carries a wide variety of whole and organic foods. I hope this is helpful to you! :)

  • October 7, 2010 - 6:41 AM | Permalink

    Wow, this post was packed with good tidbits, Raine! I love Kerrygold butter. I’ve been making my own butter from our raw milk, but my supplier has been short lately so I need to go pick up some Kerrygold today.

    I used a variation of Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s mayonnaise recipe–the trick is to use a whole lot of egg yolks! My mayonnaise turns out exceptionally thick and creamy.

  • October 7, 2010 - 8:36 AM | Permalink

    Elizabeth – I have always wanted to make butter from our raw milk, but we never have enough left to do anything like that with it – butter, cheese, etc. Hopefully someday if we are able to get our own cow, expense won’t be an issue. :)

    I also need to make mayonnaise one of these days too. I have been going to make it again ever since I tried sometime last fall and had a failure. Maybe I expected it to be too much like the store mayo and didn’t realize there would be a big difference. No matter, I know the store mayo is awful and I don’t buy it anymore. I bought several jars of the Wilderness Family Naturals from their web site and have been using that. Only problem is that my husband hates it, so he never wants any. It’s hard dealing with picky people in the house! :)

  • Cheryl
    October 9, 2010 - 4:39 PM | Permalink

    I have a wonderful homemade mayonnaise recipe from when I was a farm wife. It is delicious and nothing like store bought. I will share it with anyone who wants it. Just send me a private message at facebook to Cheryl Jacques in Venice, FL and I will send it back to you.

  • nancy
    October 11, 2010 - 7:14 AM | Permalink

    A gal I know showed me how to make mayo. I tried the NT recipe and could not get it right.
    Depending on the size of the eggs, use 2-4 EGG YOLKS only (no whites), beat them, then drizzle in olive oil or sunflower oil or maybe a little of them both and some grape seed oil. That is the key. Then squeeze 1/2 lemon into it add a pinch of white pepper.
    I finally mastered it this year!

  • January 6, 2011 - 3:39 PM | Permalink

    You are probably the only person in the U.S. who is deficient in Omega 6′s! ha ha

    We use organic virgin coconut oil from Mountain Rose Herbs. The smallest unit you can buy is a one-gallon bucket, but it keeps well and tastes amazing! It’s the most economical I have found. I plan to get a bucket of their palm fruit oil to use in place of shortening.

    You mentioned having to render the beef tallow from US Wellness Meats. We also use their beef tallow, but it comes to us already rendered. I get it in 5-gallon buckets and use it straight from the bucket for cooking and soap making. Are you sure it hasn’t been rendered?

    • January 6, 2011 - 9:11 PM | Permalink

      Hi Shelli – since I wrote this post, I discovered that the tallow was indeed rendered, so no worries there. I just had no experience with it at the time, and we’ve actually been rendering many batches of pig fat from the local farm where we get a great deal of our meat, so I now know what rendered lard and unrendered fat looks like. :) I’ve been wanting to order something from Mountain Rose Herbs, perhaps I’ll try their virgin coconut oil next time I need to buy some. Thanks for the tip!

      I think when you eat a healthy diet with lots of traditional foods, few grains, and healthy fats, the less Omega 6s you’ll be consuming, and you could become deficient…although that seems like an oxymoron. But I don’t really eat many grains and no processed foods. But you might be right – maybe I am the only one in the country who is! :)

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