The high tech yurt kitchen

Last weekend Josh and I had a chance to indulge in one of our favorite indulgences – really good real food.  This time at a farm-to-table dinner at Saltgrass Farm.  As we walked down the path I was remembering the enchanting dinner here last summer.  I could still easily conjure the mysterious flavors of the tomato water with pickled vegetables from a year ago.  This night I found myself hopefully anticipating basil lemonade before I even reached the garden.

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Yes!  Basil lemonade was among the delights greeting us at the beginnings table.  Followed by a leisurely tour through six unique courses.  What an experience to sit in the garden where the food we are eating was grown…

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To be able to wander into the entrancing greenhouse yurt and consider a similar potential for ours someday…

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To watch a hummingbird gather its own dinner from the flowers over Josh’s shoulder while eating one of my favorite courses – a tasty lobster and fava bean dish (note empty basil lemonade glass)…

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And to find ourselves under another spectacular rainbow to top off the night…

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With us as token crazy yurt people, yurt-living became a dinner conversation theme at our end of the table.  There was inquisitive questioning on how we started out on this path and how it works for us.  It is good sometimes to remember where we started, and why.  To find that although there are so many reasons for the why, it can basically be summed up into:

Because we were living a life that we thought we should be living, and finally realized it didn’t fit us at all.

While it seems so strange now, it is oh so interesting to remember things like the $5,000 television…

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To think of this former version of ourselves who had a whole finished basement (bigger than our current yurt space) built around one 60″ television, in a house that already had 3 other flat screen TVs scattered about…  It’s funny to think of that TV and this yurt, of what it would be like to have that TV IN this yurt…

For all of our previous television viewing, we don’t miss the television(s).  It’s kind of strange to think of how much they were on, from when we woke up, to when we ended our day, we were always searching for something on them.  Something we were not finding.

Bill Coperthwaite’s thoughts on this sum it up for both the young and old children in our yurt:

Watching the TV screen–which at its best is vicarious learning–is keeping the young from activities that use their minds and bodies more actively and creatively.  I fear that we have created for our children a very unreal, dull, and boring world.

BUT, that’s not to say we don’t still have some interesting carry-overs from that previous life that might not seem like typical simple-living yurt requirements.  Items we’d previously gathered that DO still very much fit us.  They’re just all hiding in and around the kitchen now.  After all, we do love to eat really good real food, farm-to-table-dinners are a rare treat, and these tools, while not necessarily simple themselves, sure do make food preparation a lot simpler in their own ways.

Two of them hang out in an old barn box beneath the kitchen table…

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One is the Vitamix blender that is used almost every single day to make smoothies, dressings, pureed soups…  Most mornings I throw some combination of lettuces/kale/swiss chard/beet greens in along with various mixes of fruit and nuts and it is all magically pureed into uber smooth deliciousness without a hint of chunky bits.  Sometimes I make it thicker with more frozen fruit and less water so the children can have “ice cream” for breakfast and eat theirs with spoons…

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It also makes summer “cooking” easier in a yurt that can be too hot to turn on a stove in July, with raw pureed soups that are heated up just enough by the blending, like this Harvest Soup that is my new favorite:

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So maybe it doesn’t look super appetizing… but thankfully it makes up for it in taste, freshness, ease and cleanup!

The Vitamix shares the old barn box with the Omega juicer.  We’ve lately been making what we dub “Green Goddess Juice” – an easy current season blend of cucumbers, celery, lettuce, kale, fennel, pears, ginger.

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Then there are the bigger gadgets stashed up high:

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On top of the refrigerator is the Cuisinart food processor, used at least weekly to make hummus, grate vegetables for raw slaws (my favorite is still a beet slaw recipe from a cleanse with Wild Open Heart), process cabbage for the lacto-fermented sauerkraut Josh whipped up this week, make pesto, process nuts to make gluten-free, dairy-free raw “cheese”cakes for birthdays…

Another is the bulky black box Excaliber deyhdrator on the freezer, worth its space in kale chips (here’s our version), soaked and dehydrated crispy nuts (removes their natural enzyme inhibitors to make them more digestible and far yummier), our favorite raw Cranberry Maple Granola, dried herbs and so many other possibilities for food preservation…

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I first learned about dehydrators from reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life – an inspiring book by one of my favorite authors, Barbara Kingsolver, on how her family lived for a year from only what they could grow/raise on their farm and food sourced within 100 miles.  They had their dehydrator running the whole month of August preserving tomatoes and such to make use of their harvest through the colder months.

I’m starting to get hungry…  Surely you have the idea!  Food is a priority in this little space, and tools that enable us to eat as much good food as possible get the few reserved spots.  I wholeheartedly hope to never have another television, but we will most definitely not be unplugging in the kitchen anytime soon!

4 thoughts on “The high tech yurt kitchen

  1. Pingback: 6 Cheap DIY Greenhouse Designs Inspired By Traditional Shelters - Walden Labs

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