Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Haha, get your mind out of the gutter!  Yes, that is my/our new nutsack all the way from Lexington Ky.  In an effort to become more self-sufficient, healthy, thrifty, and aware of where our food comes from, Sarah and I are diving into homesteading.  You know, MacGyver shit for your home like growing and producing your own food and living as independently as possible with a few tricks of the trade.  

We started by trying to reduce the things we buy at the store which we could, with a little effort, make at home.  Two things we go through a lot of are almond milk and peanut butter.  First off, as Lewis Black has so poignantly stated (in reference to soy milk, but the message is the same), “there is no such thing as soy milk!  You know why? Because there’s no soy tit is there?!”.  Ah yes, Lewis, your point is well taken and I do put a fair share of almond juice on my oatmeal every morning instead of regular milk.  Instead of buying the list-of-bullshit-ingredients almond milk from Whole Foods, why not just make it at home?  

So, Sarah ordered some organic almonds and peanuts online along with a nutsack.  Now, for you sick-minded people out there, in cooking nomenclature a nutsack does not hold the male members of our species’ crown jewels, but rather is a devise that strains liquid through a very tin mesh screen.  However, being easily amused by bodily jokes, I have been saying nutsack as often as possible in the past week in anticipation of actually making our own almond juice.  The likes of which Im sure has driven Sarah crazy.  Anyway, the nutsack arrived in the mail along with the nuts and we went to town making our own almond juice. It’s pretty easy really:

Soak 1 cup of raw almonds in water overnight

In your food processor, add almonds and about 3 cups of water.  If your food processor leaks like ours, best to do it in batches.  

Run the processor until you get a milky looking liquid and gritty almond pieces. 

Pour everything into the nutsack and squeeze your nutsack until all of the liquid comes out!
I've been working on my farmers tan

Once finished, transfer the contents to a container fit for the fridge and you are good to go. 

Only ingredients are, umm, almonds and water…no processed synthetic chemicals.   Overall, 1 cup of almonds and 3 cups of water will yield, are you ready for this?  About 4 cups of almond milk!  

After cleaning the food processor, we also made peanut butter.  I could live off of peanut butter and bananas, and we routinely go though about a jar of peanut butter a week.  Again, instead of buying peanut butter, why not make our own?  Although a little longer (15 min) than making almond milk, homemade peanut butter is very simple:

1 pound of organic peanuts.

Put peanuts into food processor and run until the peanuts start crumpling up and collecting on the sides. 
Stop, clean off the sides, and repeat about 8-10 times while shaking the processor.  

If you wish, you can add honey for sweetness (or Stevia or some shit for you vegans) and a little oil (any type will work) if the mixture is too dry/crumbly. 

Eventually, you will get something that is very similar to peanut butter.  Put into an old empty and washed peanut butter jar and you are all set!  This will yield one jar of peanut butter, but be sure to store in the fridge as the oil will separate at room temperature.  

BOB photo bomb

We did a few other things today, but it felt good to make two products that we typically buy at the store.  To homestead, you do not need acres of land, a rustic cabin, and a complete abandonment of society.  All you need is a little knowledge and the drive to be self-sufficient.  My grandparents prided themselves and their families on being self-reliant during the great depression.  I.E. being creative, producing their own goods/foods and not being dependent on others,or the government, for their survival.  There is something to be said for that, and it’s a quality of life I/we really admire and aspire to.  Now, stop reading my blog, get off your ass, squeeze your nutsack, and get to work!

P.S. Blog Nutsack count=10

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Earn Your Meals

Today, the majority of Americans are very accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle.  Our economic and social systems reinforce our chronic inactivity from daybreak to bedtime—we commute for some period of time (sitting on our asses) to a job where we sit (on our asses) for 8 hours or more, commute back (more ass sitting), zap some dinner and chill out in front of the tube, Twitter on the couch (not fun to clean up), then we go to bed.  Repeat.  The human body reacts to this inactivity and poor diet by storing fat and losing muscle mass and flexibility.  To combat this, many people turn to the latest crash-diet to fix the problem.  Ever go out to dinner with that friend who is always on a “diet” to lose weight and get “toned”?   Upon ordering dinner, your friend asks the chef to leave off the bun on their burger because it has too many bad carbohydrates and will conflict with their diet.  As if the half-pound corn-fed beef patty with processed cheese shit on top is somehow better for you.  "But it has lettuce on it..." your friend retorts. Whatever.  I am sure we have all been there, but let me pose a few questions: 

Did not eating that bun really help shave an inch off their ass?   Umm, no. 

If someone truly lived a fit lifestyle (nutritious eating + exercise) would that bun really matter in the long run?    Umm, no.  

That bun, or dessert, or drink, or whatever, does not really matter in the grand scheme of things because the second person earned their dinner through intense exercise.  They worked hard in the gym, ran the extra mile, or did an extra set of squats to rev up their metabolism so the calories in the bun were inconsequential.  I am not saying after running five miles you have the green light to scarf down an entire plate of cookies Cookie Monster style.  The quality of food is just as important as the quantity of food.  Eat plenty of veggies, fruits and moderate amounts of proteins, carbs, and fats and most people are good-to-go diet wise.  If you do that, a bun or glass of wine is not going to be detrimental to your overall health.  However, the exercise component is essential.  

Up until as recently as 60 years ago or so, the vast majority of humans on the planet had to earn their meals through some physical task: tending the land, planting seeds, harvesting veggies, taking care of livestock, slaughtering animals, milking whatever, and preparing/cooking that day’s meals.  Rewind to our earliest hominid ancestors and not only were we foraging for nuts, berries, and hunting antelope, we were also collecting water, making tools, and wrestling mega fauna for dinner.  Bottom line, we were very active from dawn to dusk.        

But today we don’t have to battle saber tooth tigers for dinner…maybe we should.  I bet the obesity epidemic would dramatically decrease in this country.  

Fact: Putin wrestles Tigers...and wins.   

That tough SOB earned his Borsch dinner at the expense of the proletariat

Chick: "Where's Bob?"
Dude: "Dude, Bob's slow-ass got eaten by a tiger on the 110 this morning."
Chick: "Sucks"  

Anyway, do not fret about the small things like buns and dessert.  As long as your basic diet is in order and you work your ass off in the gym you have earned your dinner.  Here is one of my favorite recipes.  It’s easy to prepare, tasty, and it takes 40-50 minutes to bake in the oven so you can get up, do your WOD, and then enjoy the tasty goodness of quiche!


For the Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt and sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) of butter, cold, cut into small pieces (don’t freak out, it’s okay.  You killed it in the gym)
¼ to ½ cup of ice water

For the Filling:
Approx 6 eggs
Splash of half & half or heavy cream
Whatever veggies you want!  I would suggest zucchini, spinach, potatoes, collards, onions, garlic, broccoli, peppers, anything really
Salt and pepper and other spices (I like hot pepper flakes)
*Shredded cheddar or feta, or any kind of cheese you want if you worked out extra hard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Combine the dry team (ever watch Good Eats?) in a bowl.  Add the butter and combine until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Slowly pour in the ice water and continue mixing until the dough just holds together.  Typically, it takes almost the entire ½ cup of water, but will be different depending on your climate.  

Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface.  Create a thin layer a little larger than the dish you will bake it in.  Slowly transfer the dough into the dish.  

Whisk together eggs, cream, spices, cheese, and veggies (wet team) in a large bowl.  Transfer into the awaiting dough.  Fold over the dough to form a crust and trim off the extra.  

Bake for approx. 35-50 minutes.  When you begin to smell the quiche goodness in the other room, go check on it, it’s almost done.  Slide a knife into the center, if the knife is coated in runny egg, bake a little longer.  If it comes out more or less clean, dinner time!  Let cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.  Enjoy!