Homemade Almond Milk

Homemade Almond Milk

Before writing this post, I’d only made almond milk at home exactly once. It was tasty, but when I discarded the hefty amount of almond pulp the recipe produced, I knew that a lot of nutrients were discarded, too. I haven’t made any at home since, although we keep buying it at the grocery store, which is not ideal--store bought milks are expensive and almost always have additive to thicken the milk. But I recently picked up a trick that deals with the pulp-waste-problem (pwp) and was inspired to try it again. Time to break out the blender. (Actually, I use a food processor, but that doesn’t allow alliteration like “break out the blender”. You can use either apparatus.)   When I was visiting my mom recently, she had a carafe of homemade almond milk on the counter (she was making almond milk kefir). On the bottom of the container was a thick layer of almond pulp, which most recipes tell you...
Read More
Seasoning Cast Iron Pans: Cookware That Lasts a Lifetime

Seasoning Cast Iron Pans: Cookware That Lasts a Lifetime

One of the pans I cook with most often is my 12” cast iron skillet. It is a beautiful beast that can go from the oven to the stove or vice versa with no problem. It holds heat well and is versatile enough for stir fries or home fries. It is a slab of iron that, like a straight razor, can last and be used for generations with proper care.  It does need some special treatment to develop and maintain a non-stick coating, and to be honest, the non-stick part of the puzzle has always eluded me. Although I made sure to scour the pan with hot water and Kosher salt and then dry it over a flame and then coat it with some oil after each use, it never seemed like I never had a good non-stick base or that the seasoning was improving. I think I have discovered what I was missing. I recently read an article in...
Read More
Fasting: A Tool for Saving and Living Well

Fasting: A Tool for Saving and Living Well

When I was younger, the only knowledge I had about fasting was in a religious context--stories of the devout fasting for days on end, or the practice of not eating certain things on certain days. It was something that required a 40-day (and night!) commitment and a special setting (a desert is ideal). This was literary in scope and well-suited for those looking to fulfill prophecies, I supposed. As I had no such cosmic aspirations (and no convenient access to any deserts), I didn’t give the practice much thought. Actually, I didn't give nutrition in general much thought. I was eating fast food burgers and nuggets all the time and figured that since I wasn’t overweight, was able to run, wrestle, and play basketball, I was doing fine. Studying nutrition and the practice of fasting seemed remote, like they had very little to do with my life. A few years ago, though, a parent of one of my students started talking...
Read More
Shaving and Saving

Shaving and Saving

I haven’t bought razors since probably just after college, for a couple of reasons: 1. Despite (or maybe because of) their multiple blades, disposable cartridge razors have always irritated my skin.  2. They're a recurring (and unnecessary) expense, and, 3. They're wasteful (not good for the bank account or the environment). My first solution to this problem was inspired by the barber shop: I noticed that when the barber trimmed or outlined my beard with his small electric clippers, my skin wasn't very irritated at all. So I did some shopping around and bought a Wahl Peanut. I was happy with this little guy's performance (still am) irritation-wise, but it didn't give a terribly close shave. Nevertheless, it worked pretty darn well, and there wasn't a lot of waste involved.  In terms of cost, the Peanut has been very cheap. I bought one around 2003 or 2004, and it traveled from Chile to Mexico with me. It would have lasted much longer had I...
Read More