A home for all things crafty, health-conscious, cake-related, or in need of a wagon!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Planting Potatoes

A month or so ago, I went to the farmer's market specifically to get some potatoes to seed.  What does that mean? I picked the coolest varieties I could find (note the purple ones) and chose ones with lots of "eyes" on them.  Then, I stuck them in the cupboard in a large bowl until they started to look like aliens from another planet... or at least kind of like succulents.

Now I've cut out the sprouting bits, and am letting them sit like this for a couple of days to "cure".  Usually, I cut them and throw them straight into my giant potato pot and cover them with dirt... but the last time I tried that, it didn't work.  So, now I'm trying this method.

After they've cured for a couple of days, (I'm assuming this means that they're not wet any more) you can space them out in a giant giant pot, make a potato tower like Mavis does in 100 dollars a month, or put them in the ground (although I think that only works if you have really workable soil.)  Put them way at the bottom of your pot, and only cover them with an inch or so of soil.  Don't fill the whole thing at once!  Once they sprout through the soil, cover them again. Apparently, you can get more potatoes if you alternate covering them with soil and then adding some straw or hay.  Since I still have piles of hay from last fall, this is not a problem for me!  If you're making a potato tower and you want it to look extra fancy (and keep in some more water, esp. in hotter weather) you can wrap it with some oilcloth like Stacy from Seattle Seedling does.  (I'm totally doing that next year when I'm more mobile and have some chicken wire on hand.)  So far this year, I've managed one potato harvest of about a pound and a half of potatoes, so here's hoping that this one does better... even if it is growing over the winter!

Monday, September 10, 2012

DIY Almond Milk

I'm seeing a hand specialist on Tuesday, with the hope that they will be able to offer me some sort of relief from the constant falling-asleep hand syndrome that has been plaguing me for the last month or more.  Then, perhaps I can write more than a sentence without tingling fingers!

This is my new dream.

However for you, faithful readers, your dream might be this almond milk.  I know that people make their own soy milk (nutters) or ketchup or other premade things that I usually deem too time consuming or difficult to make at home.  Almond milk is not one of those things!

I first discovered someone who makes this on a regular basis on my new favorite blog, Seattle Seedling.  (I'm seriously obsessed with this blog; It's open in my browser right now, so I can go back and read every post she's written.  I've never said that about anyone else!)  But, she used a recipe from a book, and didn't want to reprint it without permission... so google led me to this easy recipe.  And that's what I did... to the tee! (although next time, I would add a bit more sweetener)

The only possibly time consuming step is soaking the almonds overnight; everything else was done in about 15 minutes tops.

Vanilla Almond Milk
slightly adapted from manmadediy.com

1 c. raw almonds (I used Trader Joe's)
2 Tbsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3 c. water

Cover the almonds with water, and let soak in your fridge overnight.  Strain and rinse the almonds, then add to your blender with 3 c. water.  Blend.

Blend some more.

Add the vanilla, agave nectar, and salt.

Blend a little more, then strain through a fine mesh strainer.  It may take a few batches to get it all done.

You are now left with some almond bits, which you can add to your morning oatmeal, cereal, cottage cheese with a little jam (yum!).. I even baked a little into my granola this week, and it turned out great.  I've kept it for up to a week in my fridge, with no ill effects.

If the almond bits still seem like there is more milk in there that wants to get out, you can leave it straining like this in your fridge overnight too.
All the rest of it? Is now your cheap-o almond milk!  It makes about 3 cups, ferments with vinegar just like soymilk does, and this is the perfect amount for making a batch of waffles, with a little leftover for oatmeal the next day.  It will keep for about 3-4 days in your fridge- which, I admit, is less time than commercial brands- but there are no preservatives and you know exactly what's in there.  Win-win, as far as I'm concerned!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Seattle Tilth's Harvest Fair

The harvest fair is tomorrow!!!  If you can make it out, it will be a great time. :)  More details can be found here.