Removing the ‘stuff’ from food stuffs

I got a little side-tracked in my quest to organicanize my kitchen. The distraction came with this ongoing, evolving ah-ha moment of old-school kitchen reflection. It hit me the other day looking at my cucumber seeds as I planned our garden. I had just bought a massive jar of pickles for The Bride (no, she’s not pregnant, she just likes pickles). I am admittedly a city guy, born and bred. That’s why sometimes some real basic stuff about food eludes me. Like this: I didn’t realize cucumbers were pickles. Just plain didn’t know that.

Then, it dawned on me for the first time that we could actually make pickles this summer when our cucumbers mature. We could can them and not have to buy pickles where the last four ingredients on the list is weird “stuff” we don’t know. We’d prefer our pickles just be cucumbers and ingredients we know. Maybe there’s not a thing wrong with those odd sounding ingredients, but thanks, I’d prefer to skip ’em if we can.

That simple desire to remove as much “stuff” form our food in the hope of also removing any hope that cancer finds fertile soil in our cells is why the quest to organicanize our kitchen began in the first place. The more I pay attention, the more I realize I can remove so much stuff — like eating my yoga mat — from our food just by making it. So the list of things I’ll make from now on has grown:

Most of these are so ridiculously simple that you really don’t save that much time buying them with all the stuff in them than you do making them with ingredients you choose.

My shifting from buying to making these evolved slowly over time. Now part of my week is just replacing the items rather than running to the store, by making them from scratch. Part of it is scheduling a fun few hours of making and canning stuff that will last me months.

Today was meant to be one of those days. I set aside plenty of time to make jars and jars of homemade strawberry jam, using the first fruit of spring to bring some loveliness into my kitchen.

Turns out I forgot how easy it was.

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I filled up several jars, had plenty leftover for strawberry shortcake (so I whipped up the buns and ice-cream from scratch… oops add that to the list above… I never buy ice-cream anymore or whipped cream for that matter) and still didn’t use all the time I set aside, so I went ahead and made some tortillas for fish tacos tomorrow night.

It’s not that hard. The food tastes much better when its food, not food stuff. And there’s this thing called “pride of place” I think about a lot during times when I’m making my food rather than buying it.

My kitchen feels far more organicanized when I take all the bad stuff out of the basic foods I eat every day.

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