Category Archives: Food

I’m going to be spiralizing soon!

Amazon just emailed that my vegetable spiralizer is in the mail. I’ve got zucchini, yellow squash, and sweet potatoes in the hydrator ready to go. The manufacturer sent me some tips. Here are two I need to memorize:

To prevent watery zucchini, yellow squash and cucumber noodles, place your vegetable spirals in a wire sieve or colander and salt generously, tossing strands to lightly coat. “Sweat” the noodles by letting them stand for 20-30 minutes. This removes excess water. Rinse with running water, drain well and pat dry with paper towels.

Since sweet potatoes are tougher, prepare them by poking some holes in your potato, wrapping it in a paper towel, popping into the microwave for 30 seconds, then letting cool before spiralizing. Do not overcook or it will turn to mush!

I picked this model because I have very limited storage space in my kitchen and am only cooking for 2. There are much better ones for cooks with more storage and bigger families.


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From the Hyphenated Kitchen

tumeric and black pepper

A couple years ago, I read a brief blog by someone who sounded like she knew what she was about. It just said that the goodies in turmeric were much more bio-available if you warmed it in oil with black pepper before cooking. This article is far more informative, but ends up at the same place. 🙂

I immediately stopped stuffing turmeric into gel caps and started cooking with it routinely. I’ve come to rely on this blend as my starting point for many dishes, particularly ones with rice and vegetables. I also like to sauté chopped onions in it to add to crock pot soups and stews; this really adds a BLAST of flavor to dishes that can otherwise turn into “crock pot blah.”

On low heat (3 on my electric stove), melt a glob of refined coconut oil. Add 1/4 tsp each of turmeric and black pepper, plus 1/2 tsp salt. Stir until warm and well blended. (I often add a pinch of ginger and cinnamon as well, maybe Italian seasoning or, if I’m doing fish or poultry, some poultry seasoning.) Proceed with recipe.

While the oil and spices are warming, I chop up onions and toss them in, cuz I like them well done. Then I chop and add fermented garlic and whatever’s in the hydrator that appeals to me at the moment. (I’m a seat of the pants kinda cook! LOL) Stir in some pre-cooked meat or fish, if I’m in the mood, then pile on enough pre-cooked rice to make up two servings. Stir, cover, and let it fester on low heat while I set the table, pour the kombucha, and rustle up my spousal unit.

I think doing it this way retains a lot of the goodness in the veg, since it doesn’t cook very long. And it turns rice such a pretty color. Plus, lookie here, what it says in the article … black pepper helps cure vitiligo! I haven’t noticed particularly that my pinto hubby has lost any of his spots, but I haven’t been paying attention either. I sure will now! 🙂

3 Ways to Boost Turmeric’s Bioavailability for Ultimate Health Benefits

Turmeric is pronounced TOO mer ick.

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Funny! “Don’t eat that food!”

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Heal your gut! Heal your auto-immune disorder!

I’ve been recording my fermenting stuff in my “I ❤ Ferments” Facebook photo album.  Today, I updated the intro:

“November 2014: I started adding fermented foods to my diet in hopes of improving my very serious food and environmental allergies.  UPDATE: December 2014: I am already feeling so much better!!  UPDATE: January 2016: I ate an egg today with no problem!  UPDATE: March 2017 – For the past ten years, I have been too weak to walk from my house to the mailbox (about 40 feet). Today, I can walk a half a mile at a time.”

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Remember when “fusion cuisine” was fashionable?

Wikipedia: “Fusion cuisine combines elements of different culinary traditions. Cuisines of this type are not categorized according to any one particular cuisine style and have played a part in innovations of many contemporary restaurant cuisines since the 1970s.”

Now, apparently, the white-hating culture police have decided it is yet another example of unacceptable white privilege for us to even attempt to cook an ethnic dish.  And, my oh my, if we don’t do it exactly right or, worse, do something fusion-y, then we deserve to be pilloried for boorishly disrespecting other people’s ethnic heritages.

Did you know that “white chefs have more freedom to play with other people’s food than chefs of color do, which creates inherent inequality in the field”?  The NERVE of us People of Pallor!  Even worse, English-speakers have an “outsized ability to read recipes and experiment”, so yeah, totally flaunting our privilege to try out new recipes.


Naporitan is a Japanese fusion dish made with boiled pasta noodles stir-fried with ketchup, meat, and vegetables.  “Naporitan” is how the Japanese pronounced “Neapolitan” which is their all-purpose word for Japanese variations on Italian-y recipes containing tomato products.  I guess they can get away with using ketchup, because they’re not People of Pallor.  I am quite sure ketchup would be counted as a mortal sin in my Italian mother-in-law’s kitchen!  I barely held on to my status as daughter-in-law when she found out I didn’t make tomato sauce from scratch using actual tomatoes from the gardens I don’t raise.  Thirty-seven years later, I still just open a jar,  so I’m probably never going to get to Heaven.

The reason I know fusion cuisine is no longer cool is that my cousin sent me a link to an article about comedian Rob Schneider tweeting a photo of his attempt at paella, which he — white male idiot that he is — was kind of proud of.  The international Twitter-verse went ballistic, bombarding him with accusations of “cultural appropriation” and, worse, “DOING IT WRONG.”

Fortunately, Rob Schneider thought the whole Twitter-verse brouhaha was “HILARIOUS! The best Christmas present!”  I dunno if I’d be so amused by multiple strangers screaming at me for being proud of the fact that I had cooked something nutritious and delicious for my family.  Fortunately, I don’t have a Twitter account or I might be tempted to post my personal favorite dish, which is a variation on Hawaiian Loco Moco (loh-koo moh-koo).

Food dot com (see below) says “loco moco” means “hearty breakfast” and can be found at just about any fast food joint, roadside diner, mom and pop restaurant or lunch wagon in the Islands. There are many different versions of Loco Moco but they have 4 basic ingredients.  I.e., rice, a beef patty, sunny-side up egg, and gravy.

Not only do I serve what I call loco moco for dinner, but also I disrespectfully scramble the eggs, leave the ground beef loose (instead of making it into a patty), and skip the gravy.  Plus, get your pillory ready, I add veggies and I’m not even authentic about sticking to whatever grows in Hawaii.  I just willy-nilly throw in whatever is in the hydrator and either needs to get used up before it spoils or, gosh golly, looks like it might taste good.  HORRORS!!

Never mind that the Hawaiians have many different versions of loco moco.  I’m not Hawaiian and I am WHITE, so clearly, in the minds of the culture police, I have NO RIGHT.   I did once have a brother who lived on Maui for almost a year, but he was a haole too, so that probably just makes me even more guilty.

Or something.



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COLD water

A friend told me to wash the egg pan in cold water and, dontchaknow, it works like a charm!  Instead of gluing itself semi-permanently to the pan, the cooked-on egg just LIFTS OFF.


I’ve been experimenting with cold water and discovered two other places it works a bazillion times better than hot.

One is the oatmeal pan.  Right after serving, I fill the pan with cold water.  When I’m ready to wash it, the oatmeal comes right off.

Two is the mesh basket in my juicer.  I just did it in cold for the second time and I’m AMAZED at how much faster and easier it is than when I was using hot!

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Just posted to my ferment board

First time in ages!  And it’s the second time in two days that I’ve felt well enough to sit at my desk and work online.  Yowza!

On Monday, at my checkup, my doctor suggested I try soaking my whole body in an Epsom salt bath before bed.  I have now done it twice … Monday night and Tuesday night.  I got much better sleep than usual and have been clear minded enough to post both mornings.

I need to keep it up and see if the benefit lasts, but for now, I’m just so thrilled to be here twice in a row cuz … dayum, poor Pete!  This is too big a job for one person.  He’s been such a trooper during my long, long illness.  {{{{{Pete}}}}}

Here’s my ferment post, if you’re interested. I’ve added a photo of my 90-gallon freshwater show tank at the bottom because pictures are fun.  Plus, it’s one of my rehab projects and I’m really proud of how well it’s turned out.  I love to lie on the couch and just go all zen with my fishes. 🙂

I started fermenting around Thanksgiving of 2014. I was so excited about the totally novel idea that I could heal my allergies by healing my gut.

I’ve been totally home bound for many years by all my food and environmental sensitivities. Back in the early 1980s, when I was tested extensively, my doctors found me to be a universal reactor.

My immune system was so screwed up that it just sensitized to everything, including my own unborn children.

50 foods tested; none were safe and some were devastating. 300 molds; 299 were positive and the testing tech said, “You’ve just never been exposed to this last one.” Dogs, cats, birds, rodents, dust, pollens of all kinds, fragrances, formaldehyde, chlorine, yada yada yada … even my own hormones!

I ended up forced to live a monastic life in a few climate-conditioned, air filtered rooms. I haven’t been to church in decades and I couldn’t attend my daughters’ graduations or weddings.

BUT …. after almost 2 years of fermenting, I can now go out sometimes! I’ve been able to garden, walk the dogs, go to the grocery store, run the vacuum cleaner … all for only relatively short periods of time and I’m still on the couch a lot, but still … WOW!

I still can’t even think about church … way too much perfume … but I was able to attend my daughter’s baby shower this month where everyone specifically did not wear perfume for my sake and we had my air filter running and a door propped open. I was there for FOUR HOURS before I crashed and had to go back to my home slash allergy oasis!

On the food front, my biggest success is that I can eat now one egg a week. Eggs were one of my worst foods ever. I had a special type of food allergy to eggs known as an addictive allergy. In short, I HAD to have eggs every morning or I wasn’t fit to live with, but a few hours after eating them, I’d suddenly be very angry about nothing.

I remember wondering why my kids were so annoying at 11 am every day LOL … but I didn’t connect it to the eggs until I got to a Clinical Ecologist (M.D.) who could explain the workings of a totally messed up immune system like mine. In fact, at my intake interview the week I turned 30, she asked, “Is there any food you have to eat every day?”

I’d been treated by a traditional Allergist (M.D.) since I was a teen.  He told me I had NO food allergies and he certainly had never asked me a question like that!

My fermenting regimen has been simple … Three K’s A Day.  Each day, I try to have at least a little bit of kefir, kombucha, and some kind of fermented produce – Bubbie’s pickles or my own kraut or salsa are the most common.

This year, I also started juicing and we made a bigger commitment to organic eating, both of which I think have also helped.


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Filed under Family & Friends, Food, Health & Nutrition

Unreasonable Facsimile Chrissy-Substitute Fermentation Post

0% genuine Chrissy added, but almost 10% as good as the original!


Here at the Grunt Ranch, we occasionally do some culinary research for the purposes of healthier eating and drinking.  So, with Chrissy out of commission for a while, we decided to experiment with some pro-biotic food!  We found out some pretty strange things.  For example, did you know that you can ferment cash?  It’s true.  The money in your piggy bank has so many microbes on it, that you can put it in salt water, set it on the shelf, and turn it into a potentially tasty broth.  Then, you can rinse it off and spend the money!  We’re still waiting for someone to taste it first so we can write a review.  Stand by for that.  It may be a while…


In the mean time, here are some other ideas and funnies.  I shamelessly ripped the first one off of Bob’s site!  Thanks, Bluebird!




'Have you been eating fermented birdseed again?'




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Bubbies: Live Culture and Audible Crunch


“Good pickles have an audible crunch at ten paces. This is measured using an Audible Crunch Meter. Pickles that can only be heard at one pace are known as denture dills.”

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Pizza Wars

One of the unpleasant side-effects of the ridiculous stink about Ted Cruz’ “New York values” comment has been the dredging up of the old fight about whose pizza is better, New York or Chicago or <fill in home town>.


But the best part about it was hearing Dana Perino shut everybody down on the Fox show, The Five, today, when she made it clear that the only good pizza in the whole country is the mountain pizza found in Colorado, originally just in Idaho Springs, where it is still enjoyed by grateful skiers and locals alike on the main route between Denver and the Summit County ski areas.  It’s called Beau Jo’s Pizza.  Ms. Perino would know, because she is from Parker, Colorado, that place where my butt is parked at this very moment.  And she’s absolutely right.

Besides, judging from how thin-skinned New Yorkers are about the deal, and how quick idiots like Geraldo are to call racism over it, and also how basically nothing good can possibly come from Rahm Emanual’s town, just about anybody’s home town can claim bragging rights on this one.  But here, Dana gets my vote.


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