Meatless Meatballs Recipe: Deliscious and a complete pain in the ass.

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A few days ago, I posted this photo to my instagram feed. It is a picture of meatless meatballs for which I found the recipe in the New York Times Cooking section. I said I would try them and report back as I wasn’t sure how they could be tasty or even pretend to be meatballs given what was in them.

Here is a simple Q and A to help you decide if these meatless meatballs are for you:

Q: How did they taste?
A:  Just like meatballs, so great.

Q:  Are they easy to make?
A:  Absolutely not.

Q:  Did the kids eat them?
A:  No way.

Q:  Would you make them again?
A:  Yes, but I would chop the mushrooms smaller or run the whole business through the food processor. I would double the batch while I was at it since they are time consuming and a little bit messy. I would freeze the extra batch for a future date when I needed meatless meatballs but didn’t want to go through the production of making them.

Q:  How did you serve them?
A: On homemade fettuccine noodles with red sauce and salad. Also, because the kids wouldn’t eat them and the batch was huge, my husband and I ate them on salads all week.

Q:  Where can I find the recipe?
A:  Right here,  Veggie Balls Recipe – NYT Cooking

 

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Grind your own flour, or don’t, whatever.

A few weeks ago, I posted a video of my son and I grinding our own flour with our Kitchenaid stand mixer. I got a lot of questions about how and why I do this rather than just buying flour.

For us it all started last May when my husband gave me this article from the Wall Street Journal.  The article addressed the need for healthier wheat processing and bread production in the US as a way to change the conversation about gluten in the American diet. In summary: commercially processed white flour is bad, small batch, fresh whole wheat flour is good.

And because we are who we are, we decided that we would become people who grind their own flour. Here is how we did it.

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First, you’ll need to choose a grain mill. One of the reasons we purchased a massive Kitchenaid stand mixer is because it comes with a lot of food processing attachments, including a grain mill. We also have a meat grinder and a juicer. 
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Once you have your grain mill attachment, just secure it to the attachment hub (read your user’s manual, people). Counter surfing toddlers will love to “help”.
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Hit up the bulk bins at your local health food store. We usually buy wheat berries, but I think that is barley pictured above. I buy and grind 4 pounds of grain in a batch because that is what fits in my storage container. Because whole grain flour is not really shelf-stable, you’ll want to use it immediately, or store it in the freezer. 
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Fill the grain hopper (ignore the adorable toddler) set the dial to a medium grind and grind at a medium-high speed. Don’t worry about John’s fingers, there is a safety grate on the hopper, and I’m a good mom;-)
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I have found with the Kithenaid mill that you need to send your grains through twice in order to get a fine enough flour for general baking. That is kind of a bummer, but not the end of the world as it only takes about 5 minutes. The picture above is the grain after one pass through the mill on a very course grind setting.
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Fill the hopper for a second round and set it to the finest grind. Run it through again. 
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Viola! 
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Store your freshly ground flour in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a month. 

This originally published on grounding.com.

Wednesday Night is Trash Night

Nine years ago, my friend Mary and her husband, James, were fine dining in Buckhead, GA when James had “the most disappointing salad of his life.”

According to Mary, “James has been bitching about this shitty $16 salad for nine years; every time salad is mentioned, actually.”

According to James, he “hasn’t complained about that salad since the incident occurred nine years ago, but it really was a terrible salad, by the way.”

And there it is, folks–marriage.

I mention this because, from time to time, I consult one of those new-age psycho-therapists. His name is “Dr. Neil, PhD”, he lives in LA (of course), and was referred to me by a close friend (also from LA).

Our meetings are conducted by telephone and I tend to call Dr. Neil PhD when I need a non-biased opinion regarding some critical aspect of my life. Since I’ve never met him in person, it’s entirely possible that he also moonlights as a fortune teller or a stripper. But that’s neither here nor there, I guess, as he provides excellent insights and has a soothing Kiwi-accented voice that can talk me off of whatever ledge I’m teetering on.

It was during one of these consultations that Dr. Neil PhD informed me that, as a spouse, it was my job to field my husband’s complaints. He called it “taking out the trash,” and said that I needed to provide a safe and open channel of communication through which my husband could express his frustrations about whatever happens to be frustrating him.

My role was to do intake on that information and promptly dispose of it—not solve it, not internalize it, not analyze it, just toss it. And in turn, my husband would take out my trash. I could have suggested to Dr. Neil PhD that I was paying him, a THERAPIST, to take out the trash, but that didn’t seem to occur to him and it didn’t feel like the best time to bring it up.

However, I can’t help but wonder what sage advice Dr. Neil PhD would give to James and Mary should he overhear the “salad exchange”. And this all leaves me wondering what qualifies as trash versus say, toxic waste. If a salad complaint is “trash” then I must be a Super Fund Site.

Wednesday night is trash night in our neighborhood. Every Wednesday, my husband carefully moves through the house collecting garbage cans and methodically sorting their contents into recyclables and actual trash; a handsome banker in slacks and a button down, dutifully dragging the cans to the curb.

He does this in much the same way that he disposes of my “trash”–dutifully, with care, and without complaint.

This originally published on groundingup.com.