The other night around 8:45 after my dinner guest left I was staring at the remains of this cake, something from my blue period.
I knew I had to make the call and I was successful in foisting off it’s remains on my downstairs neighbor and her three adorable children. While she was climbing the 58 steps to my apartment, I was madly going through my books so I could make a simultaneous foist of book and cake, a double play if you will. I pulled out a couple she might like and I rediscovered this sweet little thing
If you’re reading this in email, you’re probably not seeing the pictures and that’s sad so I”ll tell you this is My Pantry by Alice Waters and Fanny Singer. I’ve had a lot of good times with this book, making cheese, preserves and sauces, soups and confits. I plomped down on the couch, put my feet up and read through a few pages. I’m impatient in most aspects of my life, but I love the idea of letting time take its course in cookery. The idea that something is working away while I sleep, whether fermenting, or chilling, aging, extracting or rising, delights me. At any given time, I can have extracts hidden away in the closet, kraut in a crock burbling away on the counter, cheese draining in the fridge or sourdough growing in a jar on top, but at nine o’clock at night, I wasn’t feeling all that ambitions until the almond milk recipe caught my eye. I’m on a muesli kick now, which is quite different from granola. I usually soak it overnight in coconut milk, but that can be a bit rich so I thought some homemade Almond Milk is just the ticket, and I just happened to have some Almonds and water and a jar handy. That’s all it takes.
From My Pantry by Alice Waters and Fanny Singer
1 cup raw organic almonds (mine were not organic, but it’s a nice idea) and a pinch of sea salt (optional, which is good, because I forgot it)
Soak the almonds overnight in the refrigerator. Drain the almonds in the morning and place in a blender with four cups of water. -Now, I’m going to say the blender part is important, for some reason I started this in my food processor and got an almond milk shower, which my dog was happy to lick up off the floor. Reserving the pulp, strain the almond milk into a pitcher (or mason jar or whatever) through a very fine-mesh sieve or a double layer of cheesecloth. Return the pulp to the blender, with one cup of water and blend and strain again. She suggests you can add a date for sweetness. I didn’t have any dates, but I did one of her other suggestions of one cardamom pod and a 1/4 to 1/8th tsp of rosewater. I also switched out 1/3 cup of almonds for raw cashews as she suggested for a creamier milk, but you don’t have to do any of that, or you can do all sorts of things like adding shredded coconut to the original overnight soaking. There’s tons of simple and tasty ideas in this book and it’s really nice to find out that many things you buy are just as easy and more delicious when made at home if you like that sort of thing, and I do.
Now a word on apparatuses.
I not really keen on cheese cloth for this kind of thing, I just feel like I lose a lot of the product in the cloth so I got a nifty little chinois a while ago and it worked perfectly for the almond milk.
This is called a Culina Conical Strainer, it’s a 5inch and cost me 7.99.
It sits very nicely in my little funnel which sits very nicely in a mason jar, like so
The milk comes out a beautiful white color and keeps for three or four days in the fridge and it feels so good and nutritious going down. Certainly worth a try.