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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
Ask Aunt Nettie

We're delighted to share our Aunt Nettie with you. She's agreed to answer any questions you might ask about food, its preparation, and even clean-up tips. But we have to prepare you. She just might want to come right over to your house and help you fix dinner.

To send any questions to Ask Aunt Nettie, .

Dear Aunt Nettie,

I keep running across recipes that tell me to grind raw nuts, or seeds like pumpkin seeds. I tried mashing them in a mortar and pestle and it's just an awful mess and way too much work. There must be an easier way. Help!


Howdy Krissy,

There sure as shootin' is an easier way ta grind up them nuts 'n seeds. Usually I'm not one ta pile up my kitchen with new fangled gadgets, but ever once 'n a while I discover a Jim Dandy little gadget that jes' does the trick quick as a wink .

The perfect gadget fer grindin' up nuts, seeds, 'n even spices is a little electric coffee grinder. Ya kin find it at the kitchen store 'r even stores like Target 'r WalMart. It won't use up yer whole week's paycheck either. Mine cost me less than twenty dollars, 'n that's purty thrifty.

Now, if ya already have one fer grindin' coffee beans, it's best ta keep that one jes' fer coffee and buy another one fer yer nuts, seeds, 'n spices 'r yer walnuts'll take on a coffee flavor 'n yer coffee'll taste a little funny if you've jes' ground up some sesame seeds 'r pecans.

Now fer the nitty gritty of usin' yer grinder. Grind up them nuts 'n seeds in small batches. It don't take long so jes' take yer time with doin' it in little bits. Because some nuts 'n seeds are a little on the softer side, like as walnuts and pine nuts, grind them a shorter time. One little batch an' you'll know long ta hold that button down.

Fer grindin' up spices like cinnamon sticks, jes' break 'em up in smaller pieces 'n feed 'em inta the grinder a little bit at a time. Purty soon yer kitchen'll have the bestest cinnamon aroma y'ever smelled in yer life. You'll jes' love grindin' up whole cloves 'n whole allspice, too. Smaller spices like whole peppercorns, whole coriander, whole cumin seeds, 'n whole cardamom (removed from them pods) grind up quicker 'n a bat's wing flaps.

Well, young'un, enjoy shoppin' fer yer coffee grinder. I know you'll go on a nut grindin' binge once ya git yerself started with that handy gadget.

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

If You Haven't Met Aunt Nettie. . .

Our Aunt Nettie has a head like a hard disk. It's filled with gigabytes of information about food and cooking. And she's just itchin' to share her learnin' with city folk who live in mortal fear of the stovetop.

Aunt Nettie grew up on the farm. She did not eat out of a can or reach into the freezer. There was no microwave to pop her food into. Everything she made was from scratch. All the food she ate was natural, without pesticides. It was grown right there on the family farm, and she had to cook to survive. At eighty-three years young she still leaps and bounds around the kitchen and can shake, rattle, and roll those pots and pans with the best of them.

Nowadays, Aunt Nettie just shakes her head and complains, "Nobody cooks anymore. They have no idea about puttin' a meal together." She's on a mission. She wants to help those younguns eat better so they can grow up healthy like her own eight kids.

Click here for past Ask Aunt Nettie Columns

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