Updated: Jun 9, 2020
A few months ago on the ‘Sunday night all things natural net’ I mentioned something about some of us not knowing where products in the supermarket come from, including milk. Someone commented that they had been on a farm and another person with them said ‘what is that?’ they responded ‘its a cow, where do you think milk comes from?’ the reply ‘the supermarket’. Another person on the net then commented that they knew a person who once thought that chocolate milk came from brown cows!
Anyway, as I have previously mentioned on the Sunday night net I have developed an obsession for cooking food from scratch, ideally, every ingredient would be something that someone had grown. I’m not quite there yet with all my meals, but I’m on a journey. If you know anyone who grows any of the ingredients below then let me know and I will really cook a meal from scratch.
As I related on the ‘835 on the 805’ yesterday, I recently spent over five hours cooking two large lasagnas for a meal that could have served ten. I will provide details below.
Ricotta cheese (plant based version)
First, soak four cups of soy beans overnight, blend in a food processor in four batches, squeeze through a nut bag in four batches then add half to an ‘Instant Pot’ and cook for 15 mins with a ‘natural release’, this creates two litres of soy milk. Repeat for second batch. Place the total of four litres of soy milk in one large pot and when it is around 165 F stir in four teaspoons of calcium sulfate. This will coagulate into tofu. Pour into a cheese cloth, wrap it up and squeeze out the water and press between two large plates with a weight for a few hours. The tofu is then crumbled into a food processor with lemon, cooked onions, garlic and basil and becomes a very tasty pant based version of ricotta cheese!
I usually make this from fresh tomatoes but on this occasion only had tinned available. The marinara sauce was made from tomatoes, garlic, carrot, onions, celery, maple syrup, milk etc.
I milled drum around eight cups of durum wheat into semolina flour, added water and salt and kneaded it into pasta dough. I then hand rolled and hand cut this into lasagna, I cooked the lasagna pasta one or two mins in boiling water. This actually made twice as much pasta dough as I required so there is more for some spaghetti another day!
Finally assembled the above with layers of fresh spinach into two large trays of lasagna! And share with friends.
My favorite part was when all seven of us were in the kitchen each doing something, ranging from making cocktails to rolling dough! I think meals with friends should involve some time in the kitchen, at least as much time as spent sitting at the table!
We live in a world where we are loosing touch with how things around are either created or work. centuries ago everyone would know someone who had the skills to created what was needed from scratch. The butcher, baker and candlestick maker. For me cooking is a way of keeping in touch with something so simple and natural. For us HAMs we keep in touch with the basics of communications, sometimes building our own radios. It is so important that enough people retain these basic skills and furthermore a larger number of people at least have an appreciation of these where something comes from. Living our daily lives in a more 'back to basics' approach is the source of true resilience, not just for ourselves but for the whole of humanity; COVID-19 has made this more apparent than ever before.
Next I'll be wondering how I can do all this on a campfire with only hand processed food! Maybe not.
Blending soaked soy beans
Squeezing milk through cloth nut bag
Adding calcium sulfate (gypsum) to coagulate milk into tofu
Milling Durum wheat into semolina flour
adding salt to flour
this is the scary bit!
this is the difficult bit! I kneaded the dough for around thirty minutes by hand!
Come and get it!
Going back for seconds....