Friday, March 13, 2015

Wood Pulp in Your Sugar Cookies?

The day outside is chilly, rainy damp and overcast:  much more like fall today than spring.

So, I have put on my Susie homemaker apron to make it more cozy and warm in here.  The result, some apple butter cooking on the stove and giving the boat a smell of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger.  It smells as good as it tastes so you get to enjoy it twice.  Some of it will be a gift for a friend and the rest we will enjoy on our morning toast.  Yum!

I am also cutting Madagascar vanilla beans down the middle and putting them into a recently purchased bottle of vodka.  In a couple of months I will have some wonderful homemade, pure vanilla extract.  But even just the smell of the beans as I cut them makes me smile.

I have been making vanilla ever since I discovered that the major ingredient of imitation vanilla is lignin.  And, lignin is a wood pulp byproduct.  Please, no wood pulp in my baked goods.  Yuck. 

Real vanilla may be more expensive but it is not full of fake stuff that really cannot be good for you.  And, I can make 70cl of pure vanilla extract for $22 and to buy the same quantity of Walmart's Great Value brand (which is NOT as flavorful) would cost me about $82.  I may be a math midget but I can see the advantage here of spending a couple of minutes cutting the beans to save that kind of cash. 

The most difficult part is waiting for it to be ready.  That is why I always have some in the cupboard and some "brewing".  It is less taxing on my patience, something I am not known to have an abundance of in the best of times :-).

As an added factoid:  did you know that vanilla beans are produced by orchids?  Yep.

Also on the stove with the apple butter is a pressure cooker doing its magic on some wheat berries, garbanzo beans and soy beans.  When they are done and tender they will be mixed with onion, tomato, mushrooms, sage, thyme, olive oil and lemon juice and served up on lettuce leaves.  A great salad with lots of wonderful vitamins and minerals that you don't mind eating.

Well, that's my day.  Hope yours is wonderful.

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