Thursday, October 11, 2012

Kitchen Grown Veggies!

And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. Mark 6:41 (ESV)

My oldest brother and his wife inspired me to attempt some kitchen sprouting.  It was amazing for me and the family to watch over the period of a few days how a handful of dried beans, grains or legumes can dramatically increase in mass to become a fresh salad or stir fry.  It reminded me of Scripture's account of how Jesus supernaturally multiplied bread and fish.  While we didn't have a miracle on the kitchen counter, we did enjoy a very cool experiment in cultivation, food multiplication and cuisine.

We are now on our fifth batch.  My brother advised sprouting takes a bit of practice and patience.  For our first batch, we used a sprouting mix from the Sprout House.  Worked beautifully!  For our second batch, I used bagged lentils I had in the pantry from the grocery store.  They sprouted nicely, but the texture was tough. The third batch using navy beans failed to sprout after three days and began to show signs of spoilage. The picture below shows our fourth batch using more of the Sprouthouse mix after two days, looking good!  Most recently, we tried alfalfa sprouts and they were awesome. 

So, this is what we did.

1.  Purchased Sprout Master triple trays from amazon.  I liked the idea that they were "family size," stackable, easy to drain, and multiple "crops" could be easily grown at the same time.  But, you can use mason jars with draining lids or even some kinds of colanders will work.

2.  Purchased Sprout House Organic Sprouting Seeds ( Holly's MIx) from amazon. There are more economical ways to go (i.e., the grocery store aisle), but this one worked for us the best and kept us in the game! 

3.  Rinsed seeds and soaked in water overnight.

4.  Put seeds in VERY CLEAN sprouting tray (this part's really important... growing conditions need to be clean from start to finish to avoid contamination.) 

5.  Rinsed seeds thoroughly.

6.   Drained well.

7.  Covered with sprouting lid and set aside.

8.  Rinsed 2 or 3 times a day VERY WELL for 2 or 3 days and drain. Picture below shows our fourth batch of sprouts after overnight soak and 1 1/2 days of rinsing/draining.

9.  Enjoy!

Afterwards, just make sure to hand wash your tray (not dishwasher safe).  I keep a little spray bottle of food grade hyrogen peroxied (again, amazon... and please note this is NOT the stuff you can buy in the medicine aisle at the drugstore) under the sink and give it a quick spray before putting away to make sure that it is germ-free and ready for the next round.  If you're especially germaphobic, you can also use the food grade HP in the overnight soak.  

The batch pictured was great as a stir fry with olive oil, soy sauce and a bit of garlic salt. Cook up some rice and you've got a healthy dinner with good vegetable protein and essential vitamins and minerals!

Friday, October 05, 2012

Quiet Power

I remember sitting in a Bible group years ago and taking a "personality inventory" to see if  I was an introvert or extrovert. I was surprised to learn, by the standards of the quiz, I was a full-blown, off-the-charts introvert.  Not knowing what this meant but figuring that most sociopaths, psychopaths and convicted felons scored the same as me, I felt the blood rush from my head and this full-body creep of personal disappointment, dare I say shame.  Surrounded by gift-of-gabbers, I ran through all sorts of scenarios in my head about how I might spin this so as not to appear so, well, unChristian.

One on one, I find people enchanting.  I really do.  But, give me the choice of breaking banana bread and exchanging one-pot recipes with 12 women without an agenda.... or plucking goose feathers... I'd go for the goose.  I really would.  I don't mind silence.  In fact, I need it.  Otherwise, I can't think.  I can't create. It's the way, I suspect, God has wired me.

In the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, Susan Cain exhaustively researches and reflects upon the way in which the economic drivers of the 20th century manufactured an extrovert "ideal" that Americans have been trying to model and emulate ever since.  Cain tugs at the mask to try and expose whether or not it's illusory. Do extroverts have better ideas? Are they better problem solvers? Are they better leaders? Or, do we tend to simply follow after the guy or gal who speaks most often and can be heard most loudly?
If you are an introvert... if you are married to an introvert... if you are raising an introvert... if you were raised by an introvert... if you have ever met an introvert... if you have ever heard about this word that's spelled i-n-t-r-o-v-e-r-t... you need to read this book.  If you are an extrovert, you need to read it, too.  It might radically change the way you view and value the contributions of others. 

Love & peace and quiet.

On my iPod... I'll Never Know by Goldenhorse