The Willamette Valley here in Oregon experienced an unusually warm July. (This part of the valley generally gets some warm weeks scattered through the summer, but not a month straight!) The heat has discouraged me from knitting much – nothing worse than having a partially knit adult sized mohair sweater resting on your legs as you knit in hot weather!
The heat, however, has meant a proliferation of wonderful fruits and vegetables. So I have been putting up fruits and vegetables. I have run out of shelf space for jams and preserves; the refrigerator can hold no more jars of pickles (we prefer the taste and crunch refrigerator pickles over the canned version), and the freezer is stuffed with berries.
The newest addition to our culinary lineup, however, has been homemade almond milk. Neither Thor nor I drink milk so have been buying soymilk and almond milk – until, that is, I bought a Vitamix (mine’s a bright red model 6300).
With the Vitamix, making almond milk has been nearly effortless. Here’s what I did: (1) Soak for 8 hours 1 c. of raw almonds. (2) Pop the almonds out of their skins. (3) Puree together (for about 20 seconds on high speed) the almonds, 4 cups of water and a dash of any sweetener or flavor you may (or may not) want. (One batch I sweetened with a single date and a dash of vanilla.) Result: 4 cups of almond milk.
After pureeing, I sieved out the almond meat using a fine mesh bag (called, aptly, a nut bag) over a large glass measuring cup. (Squeeze gently, or you could have what I ended up my first time: almond milk sprayed all over the counter.) While a standard canning jar would have worked well as a container for the almond milk, I wanted one that would pour better – one that was more bottle-like.
I visited one of my favorite stores – Down to Earth (it’s a home & garden store) – to find a glass container in which to store the almond milk. They had many from which to choose!
I bought two of these beautiful bottles by Quattro Stagioni (trans: Four Seasons), one to hold unsweetened almond milk and the other for sweetened almond milk.
By the way, each bottle came with a pamphlet with instructions (in several languages) on how to pasteurize milk. Thor started to look concerned when I started reading the instructions aloud. He looked even more concerned when I exclaimed, “I could do this!”
His response: “We’re not getting a cow or goat!”
(If we had a cow or a goat I could try my hand at cheese making!)