mary, mary, quite contrary, how does your kitchen grow...or cook stuff or whatever.

a while ago, karlee nodded to the oprah show by posting about her favorite things.  while oprah gives a bunch of stuff away, karlee (and subsequently i also have) decided to just list them.  so here's a list of my favorite things: kitchen edition.  these are the my-life-would-look-a-lot-different-without-these-things things.

my awesome cuisinart blender/food processor - this little baby is a work horse.  cui-nee (as i have just now decided to name her) is found running at least twice a day most days, mixing up formula for penelope and green smoothies for the rest of us.  sometimes i mix smoothies twice (once in the morning for me and atticus, and once when todd gets home), and that's not even counting the times i use the food processor attachment to make baby food, cut or grate carrots and onions, puree applesauce, etc.  apparently, though, i worked cui-nee a little too hard the other day trying to grind up whole frozen strawberries and she kind of blew a gasket.  so while she still spins, it's a sad, gimpy little spin and we may be needing to replace one of her parts.

aldi - uh, seriously, milk for $1.99 per gallon? yes please.  i try to buy a good majority of our locally-purchased groceries here - they have wild-caught seafood, raw nuts, dairy, juice and frozen veggies and berries for about the cost of dirt.  and has anyone been to the new trader joe's in dsm yet? i'm DYING to go - and guess what? OWNED BY THE SAME PEOPLE THAT OWN ALDI.  i like to think that if i were a grocery store, i would be an aldi.

azure standard - in the same vein as aldi, this company has CHEAP-O prices on bulk and natural food items.  the best part? it doesn't cost ANYTHING to be a part of their buying club!  they deliver once a month at various drop points all over the country. check it out - there might even be a drop near you.  (download the pdf copy of their schedule of deliveries.  there's a drop in the next town over, for those of you in the area.) this is a great place to get cheap baking supplies, grains, beans, etc. - and a lot of it is organic and comparable in price to fareway.  AND it's owned by christians who run it as a type of ministry! whuuuut.  (for more details about exactly how it works, go here.)

fat - so, not to get all sir-mixalot on you, but i love fat.  and while i mostly mean as an alternative to vegetable oils, i'm not going to lie to you - my favorite part of a steak (and pot roast and pork chop and bacon) is the gross fatty part.  while i draw the line at chicken fat (which, hypocritically, i find disgusting), animal fat definitely has a place in my kitchen.  80% of the oil i cook with is either butter or lard, 15% is unrefined coconut oil, and 5% is olive oil.  i don't use vegetable oils at all.  (OH - here's  tip: instead of PAM, do it up old school and keep the wrappers from your sticks of butter in the fridge.  when you need to grease a pan, just rub that baby all over the inside surface.  works like a charm.)

busy body book - i am a listlistlist person.  i have a monthly schedule and a weekly schedule and a daily schedule and to-do lists and shopping lists...and it all goes right inside this bad boy.  handy.  so...not really a kitchen item, but i keep it in my kitchen, so i say it counts.

pampered chef stoneware - i am trying to slowly but surely transition to a plastic- and aluminum-free kitchen.  and it's important to keep in mind that all stoneware is not created equal - many cheap-o versions contain lead, which i'm sorry, doesn't really sound much safer than using plastic or aluminum.  pampered chef is really reasonably priced, safe and high quality.  and GORGEOUS.  looking forward to pass this stuff on to my kids someday...if i can part with it then.  (interested in checking some out? allison potratz can hook you up.)

potatoes - since i've been eating grain free, potatoes are kind of the only thing i eat.  not really, but they play a BIG part in our menu.  since i went grain-free four weeks ago, we've gone through between 20 and 30 pounds.  (um...that's kind of gross to see written out.  moving on...) they are awesome baked or fried or mashed (why do i feel like bubba from forest gump?), they make AWESOME pancakes, they thicken sauces.  now, if anyone has a good chocolate chip-potato cookie recipe, i think i'm set.

ball canning jars - i LOVE these things! i got a ton of the pretty antique blue ones from my mother in law and use them for EVERYTHING - storing, mixing, even attaching to the blender. (did you know the collar on most blenders perfectly fits a canning jar? so you can mix stuff right in the jar. fun fact.)  i also use them to decorate the kitchen and living room, and have even seen hand soap dispensers and an AWESOME chandelier made from them! (maybe someday?)

crock pot - i have been using this thing a TON lately - a lot of crock pot recipes are grain-free, plus everything comes out tasting so stinking good.  and to top it off? crock pot leftovers frequently taste BETTER the next day.  i also make yogurt in here a couple times a week.  easy peasy.

cod liver oil - while i get that this isn't really a 'thing' for the kitchen, i love having this stuff around.  and while the taste is kind of reminiscent of what i think the ocean will smell like during armageddon, it's easily and completely hidden in green smoothies.  it gives you a ton of vitamin A (skin and vision support) and vitamin D (EVERYTHING support). a good majority of cells need vitamin D to even function, so a deficiency can lead to illness, cancer, skin issues, and depression and anxiety. super important, especially during winter when you're not getting much vitamin D from the sun.  so this stuff is like pure health in a small, greasy, smelly package.

toys for atticus - i have a cupboard above the microwave where i keep puzzles, crayons and bubbles to help with that horrible hour while i'm making dinner and we're tired and hungry and todd hasn't come home yet.  REALLY helps.

nourishing traditions cookbook - oh my word, between this cookbook, the book 'nutrition and physical degeneration' by weston a. price, and the weston a. price foundation, my knowledge about and passion for properly prepared, real, GOOD food has grown by leaps and bounds.  this is both a cookbook and a text book, with both recipes and TONS of nutrition and food research.  i HIGHLY recommend this.

jeez, i really could go on and on.  i spend a LARGE LARGE LARGE majority of my time in the kitchen, so most of my must-haves are in here.  i think if i were to list must-haves that reside somewhere in my house other than the kitchen, the list would be two things long: undies and toothbrush.  oh, and all 10 seasons of friends.  so three things outside my kitchen (or twelve, depending on how you want to mathematize it.  just made a word.)

any kitchen must-haves make your list that aren't on here?


apotratz said...

If you want any stoneware in the next few months then it would be a great time to order because I probably won't be doing Pampered Chef anymore once summer rolls around. I'm getting ready to put an order in next week if you need anything!

paige said...

whoa - did you really post this at 4:30 this morning?!?! you are an ambitious lady!

it's good to know that if i'll be needing anything soon to order it within the next few months so i can get it through you. and - thanks so much for helping my mom out at christmas time - i'm LOVING my new stoneware!

Saved by grace said...

Your list sounds great!!!! You should post a smoothie recipe because I would love to try one out!

jared said...

Be careful using the phrase "cost of dirt." Dirt is at an all time high. :-)