Tuesday, January 15, 2008

These Are a Few of My Favourite Things

In case my mild OCD tendencies have not been obvious to date, allow me to detail my latest fascination. You see, I have large loves for many tiny things, and most of these things would certainly fail to thrill ordinary people in the slightest bit. To reason: Mason jars? Check! I collect them and put anything and everything I can into them.

Clothes pins? Ditto! Even though we have not had the luxury of a clothes line for a good 3 years now, I still harbour the pins and long for the day when our clothes will once again air dry outside, fastened to the line with the most stunning of jewel-toned clothes pins.

Rolls of coins, or the act of rolling loose change? Yes! I was over the moon when I discovered that part of my job would be to sort and count thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of spare change. 'I love counting coins!', I proclaimed when I saw the brimming bucketfuls that awaited me in the office upstairs. 'Don't say that too loudly', my coworker hushed, fearful of the ocean of coins that would soon threaten to drown me if others knew they could pawn the dreaded coin-counting job off on me. I didn't care. I was in absolute heaven counting all of that change and sorting it all into neat little stacks of 10, 20, or 50 coins. Plus, I was getting paid to do it! Imagine that!

My most recent squeals of delight are related to making sprouts. Now, the mere act of making things grow is tremendously rewarding in itself; however, sprouting becomes doubly exciting when you factor in the added bonus that I get to use some of my Mason jars to do it! (If I were James Brown, (and if James Brown were still alive), this is when I'd be melting down onto the stage and getting my sidekicks to rush over and cover me with a glittery cape. Headfake-- YOW!-- I'd get back up and keep shakin' that thang. It feels that good to make sprouts in my Mason jars.)

For reasons unbeknownst to me, I was under the impression that sprouting was a difficult and time-consuming process. From my past life working at a natural foods grocery store, I had seen sprouting kits that you could buy, and I simply assumed that those kits were necessary components of the sprouting process. I had never bought a kit; ergo, I had never made sprouts before.

This past weekend, based on the extremely simple instructions in the Thrive Diet book, I decided to grow some mung bean sprouts. The directions:

1. Rinse seeds, nuts, or beans, and place in a clean jar. The beans (or whatever) should only fill a maximum of 1/4 jar (my experience suggests less than that, even, because these suckers GROW!). Then add purified or filtered water to the 3/4 jar mark and let the jar sit at room temperature overnight. No need to add a lid or anything to the jar at this stage.

2. Wake up in the morning and discover to your immense delight that the beans (or whatever) look puffy and swollen. The germinating process has begun! Drain water and rinse sprouts-to-be very well. Put back in the jar.

3. Put cheesecloth over the mouth of the jar and hold in place with an elastic band. (If only I could have worked clothes pins in there somewhere, this truly would have been an angelic process!) Turn jar upside down to drain any more water out and just let those suckers sit.

4. Whenever sprouts-to-be are looking a little dry, fill the jar with water, swish around, and then tip the jar and let the water drain through the cheesecloth again. I did this once or twice a day. If you're like me, you will have to transfer your sprouts into a larger jar because they just grow so huge!

Sorry for the crappy quality of the photo, but this is what you get when you're taking photos in the bathroom (!!) in the wee hours of the morning before you leave for work, or in my case, an acupuncture appt. The light just sucks.

5. Within 1-2 days, prepare to be amazed and astonished: In place of your dry beans, nuts, or seeds will be wholesome and delicious sprouts! Just like that! Eat with salads, on sandwiches, in wraps, or as a garnish for pretty much anything. Repeat steps 1-5 indefinitely, and mix things up in the seed department. YUM!


ink said...

Mason jars are some of -my- favorite things too! Except I haven't kept anything in them but loose change. But I like your idea of growing little plants in them!

Rose Fluxes said...

No lie: that James Brown inspiration because of sprouts and mason jars may be just about the best thing I've ever read! Insanity.

Mary said...

You are too funny (James Brown and all!)!!!

And where the heck did you find the seeds?!!?!?!?!!? I've had instructions to grow those suckers for the longest time and never did anything about it. Inspiration!!!! Ding! Ding! Ding!

dana said...

Hey Mary-- you can get uncooked beans from pretty much any bulk section in any grocery store. Good ones to use for sprouting are mung, adzuki, or black beans, any type of lentil, chickpeas, black eyed peas, or buckwheat (not the roasted kashi kind). You can get them organic (and cheap!) at the Market on Yates or at Lifestyles Market (on Cook Street or Douglas). We got our beans and seeds from Lifestyles, and they also have sprouting seed packets there for things like alfalfa, broccoli, or any of those 'smaller' sprouts. Let's start a sprouting REVOLUTION!

Wednesday L said...

Sprouted chickpea hummus, anyone?
It took me about 4 seconds to get used to the flavour, and now I've been hooked for a year!
I don't have any mason jars, though. Shame on me...

Elin said...

Great work.