If I have my office work under control, I use the evening hours after Martin goes to bed to do the “support” work necessary to maintain his special diet. I don’t mind this time. I switch on the little 9″ television in my kitchen (more or less the only time television plays at home; the huge flat-screen in our living room sits unused except during major sporting events) and find some comfort in the steady predictability of the chores. What I do on a given night might involve any of the following:
· Washing and juicing organic lemons, then cleaning their rinds and placing them in the dehydrator, or removing rinds from the dehydrator and grinding them into lemon peel for spice.
· Juicing butternut squash for any recipes in the week that require juice, then setting the leftover pulp to dry in the dehydrator, or grinding that dried pulp into fiber-rich powder to thicken stews.
· Setting to soak ingredients (such as beans) that are necessary for the next day’s cooking, or in the case of ingredients (such as nuts or seeds) that must be soaked and then dehydrated, beginning the process two days before cooking.
· Using the Vitamix to make “milk” from pre-soaked nuts and filtered water, straining the end-product through a nut milk bag, then dehydrating the pulp left in the bag, or grinding dehydrated pulp into nut flour to use for baked goods.
· Trimming, cleaning, and packing any bunched fresh herbs that I did not get to when I brought them home over the weekend.
· Double-filtering tap water (through our under-counter AquaSana system, followed by our countertop Berkey system) to ensure the removal of any contaminants to which Martin might be sensitive.
· Prepping ingredients for the next morning’s breakfast, such as steaming and pureeing vegetables for pancakes (yes, it’s an unusual recipe) or slicing squash into “French fry” shapes to be sprayed with seasoned oil and baked.
· Oiling my wooden cooking utensils (I’ve thrown out almost everything plastic) and setting them to condition overnight.
· Seasoning and conditioning cast iron cookware.
A lot of these tasks get kicked from night to night. I work until it seems late enough, then give the kitchen a final cleaning.