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Traveling with trays

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Traveling with trays

Naturally Curious Children

The complete set of our in flight activity containers and two trays, ready for take off.

We are heading to California this week so I’ve been gathering items to surprise my boys with for our plane ride. I picked up some new coloring books and stickers, and finally invested in some Crayola Color Wonder markers and paper. I also liked the idea I found on Pinterest of decorating the plane window with gel clings, so I added those to my cart in the dollar section at Target.

Beyond that, I spent some thinking about how we work and play at home and what would make the boys feel comfortable on the long flights but also in the hotels during our ten day trip. The first thing that came to mind was how we pretty much always define workspaces with trays and immediately about a dozen lightbulbs went off at the…

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How to sprout anything (a sprouting hack)

Sprouts7

This ‘recipe’ is more of a tutorial, which relates as much to food growing as to cooking. It is also my first recipe featuring a hack (an unpolished yet efficient way to get something done). A friend passed on to me the brilliant idea of reusing a plastic mesh bag.

The pictures really explain it all, but here is how to sprout seeds in a jar:

(1) Fill the jar about 1/5 full of beans or seeds (lentils, chickpeas, radish seeds, wheat berries, any grain that is not broken or hulled).
(2) Soak in water several hours or overnight.
(3) Place a ‘filter’ cut into a square on top (a reused plastic mesh garlic bag is ideal, but a cheese cloth or doubled up coffee filter will work) and secure with a rubber band or mason jar ring. If you have a plastic ring you are the boss, the metal ones eventually get rusty. I used an orange onion bag because I was in a pinch. Not sure about its food safety, but it got the job done.
(4) Dump out the water through the top with the lid and filter secured and let the jar rest tilted in a bowl in a sunny spot.
(5) Rinse it at least a couple times a day like this, or whenever you walk by.
(6) Eat the sprouts as soon as they start growing (a great time to cook them into a soup) or as long as they are fresh and smell good. You can slow down the growing process by storing them in the fridge for a few days (this may be necessary in a warm climate), but eating them right away is best. Always rinse right before you want to eat them.
(7) How should you eat them? I mostly like them raw in salads or on sandwiches. But, you can also cook spouted beans into soups, curries etc. This may be necessary for chickpeas. I have yet to try making this, but the healthiest breads are made with sprouted grains.

Let me know how your sprouts sprout, or contact me with questions. My facebook page is just facebook.com/auberginepizza.

 

craigkijiji

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A Handmade Gift

In general, I prefer to use my teapot to brew loose leaf tea. When we make Persian black tea, we use a special pot to brew the leaves over heat. It tastes better than teabags, and wastes less.

But, when brewing spiced chai (Masala chai), it is best to steep the the tea in a pot of milk on the stove. These teabags make it simple to do this. I made these as a gift for a dear friend, and sent them by mail.

DSC00677The tea mix is loose leaf ceylon tea with ground spices (I always grind them myself). I used cardamom, cinnamon, clove, fennel seeds,  powdered ginger and a little nutmeg and black pepper. I used some coffee filters I had lying around, and red thread. You must double up the filters as they break apart easily. Do not overfill them! Tea leaves expand many times their dried size when steeped.

You can cook the tea in milk, (1 cup per person), strain and sweeten with honey.

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