Welcome to another edition of the Real Food Kitchen Tour. This week we're featuring Megh, author of Yolks, Kefir, & Gristle.
What's a Real Foodie?
A “real foodie” is someone who cooks “traditional” food. We cook stuff from scratch using real ingredients, like raw milk, grass-fed beef, eggs from chickens that run around outdoors, whole grains, sourdough and yogurt starters, mineral-rich sea salt, and natural sweeteners like honey and real maple syrup.
We don't use modern foods that are either fake, super-refined, or denatured. This includes modern vegetable oils like Crisco and margarine, soy milk, meat from factory farms, pasteurized milk from cows eating corn and soybeans, refined white flour, factory-made sweeteners like HFCS or even refined white sugar, or commercial yeast.
We believe in eating wholesome, nutrient-dense foods that come from nature. So we shop at farmer's markets or buy direct from the farmer, or we grow food in our own backyards.
This Week's Real Food Kitchen Tour: Megh, Yolks, Kefir, & Gristle
This week we're touring Megh's kitchen in Pennsylvania.
Blog Name: Yolks, Kefir, & Gristle
Blog Author: Megh
How Long Blogging: 4 months
Location: Upper Darby, PA
House or Apartment: House
Size of Kitchen: 10′ x 11′
Things You Love About Your Kitchen: We remodeled and designed our kitchen ourselves (with a lot of help from our amazing octogenarian(?) next-door neighbor, so all we had to contract out was the tiling and plumbing), so everything has its perfectly-custom-fit place in the cabinets. It's not a huge kitchen, but we made use of every square inch (literally – we removed 3 layers of flooring to get that extra inch in height!), so a ton more of our gadgets and dishes fit in than had before we remodeled, and they're a lot easier to access as well. I also LOVE my “outdoor” kitchen on our 3-seasons sunporch; I use it all summer long while the A/C is running inside — which is quite a bit in humid Philly! This morning when I got up it was 81 degrees and 86 percent humidity on the porch! Last summer while I was in Russia doing research for my dissertation, my husband did a beautiful job remodeling it with built-in benches and a countertop for cooking – it was such a wonderful welcome-home present! (Along with the golden butter, raw sour cream, and grass-fed ground beef in the fridge – I had had a VERY hard time eating in Russia and REALLY missed my real food!)
Things You Would Change: I would love to get a Breville toaster oven for my sunporch kitchen, so that I could do a little more baking in the summer, altho I'm not sure realistically how much I might actually use it. Also, if we could get some sort of gadget that would put clean dishes away in the cabinets, and the dirty dishes into the dishwasher, that would be totally swell J
Favorite Tools & Gadgets: My 3 cast iron pans; I use them so often that honestly, I sometimes don't even clean them if all they've got is grease left in them, and they pretty much always live on or next to the stove, even tho they have places to be put away in the cabinet! The biggest and littlest ones we found at a Le Creuset outlet on a trip (sort of a “pre-honeymoon”) we took to Florida before we were married; the middle-sized one I inherited from my grandma when I moved into my first apartment. I outfitted my first kitchen almost entirely with her things (she passed away a few months before I moved into my first place that had its own kitchen), and I love cooking with her pots and cookie sheets and rolling pins – it makes me feel a little like she's cooking with me!
Biggest Challenges Cooking Real Food: Finding time to write my dissertation. Yeah, I know, this might sound ridiculous! But I can just get so caught up in making things from scratch and trying new techniques and learning about nutrition that I don't always budget appropriate amounts of time to do my “real” work. I really enjoy cooking, and it's so easy to use healthy food prep to procrastinate on the more difficult and mind-consuming tasks. Blogging has helped some with this, though; I found that by getting my cooking/food-related thoughts out in blog form, I am able to focus better on the academic writing and (sometimes) move more effectively through writer's block.
Current Family Favorite Meal: Breakfast — Sausages braised in bone broth, with grain-free Swedish pancakes or a Super Scramble (I like to put the milk solids from ghee-making into this—they make it so delicious). Dinner — Salmon ceviche and Guacamole, with crispy fried pork skin for “chips”, if I think to prep far enough ahead to make them!
Favorite Cookbooks: I find most recipes on the internet; it's amazing my computer doesn't have more food spilled on it. If I know what I want to cook, I'll often look to see if there's an Alton Brown or Tyler Florence version of it at foodnetwork.com, and then I'll adapt as necessary to make it friendly to our diets (basically GAPS, but with more restrictions based on what we do and don't tolerate well). I'm also a big fan of Serious Eats (especially The Nasty Bits blog); they really dig deep into the heart of a recipe to figure out how and why it works. As for physical books, I frequently use Wild Fermentation and Home Cheese Making as resources, because they often have reliable information in them I can't find easily on the internet. I'm working on Ruhlman and Polcyn's Charcuterie right now, it might end up in that “resource” category too, we'll see.
Here are some photos of Megh's kitchen (with her comments in italics):
My “outdoor” kitchen, complete with a sausage braising in broth for my breakfast. We just bought this induction cooktop for the summer, and I can't believe how nice it is to use.
The cabinets are all from IKEA, and we took full advantage of all the customizable options to make good use of the space.
Gorgeous! I love IKEA cabinets!
Some of our fiestaware collection. We collected a lot of it on our own, and got quite a bit more for our wedding. It makes such a beautiful, brightly-colored tablescape when we have people over for dinner. Oh, and the dining room, which this hutch is in, we repainted ourselves as well. Painting that windowed door was NOT a great big ball of fun, let me tell you…
I am a huge fan of Fiestaware! I don't have a collection of my own (yet), but I do have a (very) small collection of Depression glass.
What is giardiniera?
I'm always trying to cram more into my freezer. My resolution is to only keep things in here that we'll be using in the next couple of weeks, so that there's regular rotation out of the chest freezer in the basement, into this one, into the fridge, and onto our plates.
I used to take our knives to my in laws' every time we visited because my father in law would sharpen them for me. A couple Christmases ago I got a knife sharpener for a present – and my husband was given a tutorial on how to use it!! Then the next Christmas, we got a couple of beautiful Japanese knives to keep the rest of ours company!
In the “real” kitchen: A ladder for getting up into the higher cabinets when I don't have my 6'4″ husband to reach things for me.
We love bright colors, so we chose a pretty dramatic color scheme for the kitchen – but we put the bold shades on easily-changeable areas (the floor and walls), so if, when we eventually move, someone hates it, they won't have to remodel the entire kitchen like we did!
I love the blue!
A poppyseed grinder that I inherited from my other grandma (not the one to whom the medium-sized cast iron pan, and 1/3 of my other kitchen tools, belonged). The tag on it, written by my grandmother, says, “Buddy bought” (Buddy was my grandfather; he passed away when I was just 6 months old).
Aww that is so sweet! My grandma and grandpa used to write notes like that on photos and in scrapbooks. My grandma just passed away last year (a few years after my grandpa). She had the same carpet since 1976, same kitchen cupboards, same wallpaper in the bathroom. It made me so happy to go back and visit — it was like being transported back to my childhood.
Our fridge died just about a week ago, so this is our brand new fridge – whose coils we will be regularly vacuuming!!! (Did you know you have to pull your fridge out and vacuum the coils from behind every 3-6 months? From the back, not the front. Ugh.)
We just had a repairman come and look at our fridge and he cleaned the coils for us. I remember him saying it's a good idea to have someone come regularly to do this. I had no idea!
Check Out the Previous Real Food Kitchen Tour Posts
Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Okparaeke Family
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Holistic Kid
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Artistta
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Nourished & Nurtured
Real Food Kitchen Tour: May All Seasons Be Sweet to Thee
Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Horting Family
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Hybrid Rasta Mama
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Granola Mom 4 God
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Real Food Devotee
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Real Food Forager
Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Leftover Queen
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Health Home & Happiness
Let Us Tour Your Kitchen
Are you a real foodie? Do you have a kitchen that you'd like to see featured on CHEESESLAVE?
Please email me at annmarie AT realfoodmedia dot com. Either send me a link to a Flickr set or email me your photos (minimum of 5, but more is better). Note: Please send me LARGE photos. Minimum 610 width. If they're too small, I can't use them.
Oh, and please send the answers to the above questions (at the very top of this post).
As much as I'd love to include all the photos I receive, I can't guarantee that I will use your photos in the series. I'm looking for creative, good quality photos.
Some ideas for photos:
- Show us what's in your fridge or what's fermenting on your counter
- Take some snaps of some of your favorite kitchen gadgets, or show us how you organize your spices
- Got backyard chickens? Send some pics!
- How about a lovely herb garden?
- Kids or pets are always cute!
- Try to include at least one photo of yourself, ideally in your kitchen
And no, you don't have to have a blog to be included in the tour.
Photo credit: A warm welcome Project365(3) Day 10 by Keith Williamson, on Flickr and photos by Memories by Michelle