our story continues...

Refined foods had never touched our two-year-old daughter’s lips. Nor would they for another five years. Ever cheerful, Rebecca would munch on tiny bows her dad would patiently tie for her out of strands of boiled kombu. At parties, she’d sit contentedly, eating an orange oblivious to the maelstrom of plates teeming with fluffy birthday cake and drippy ice cream offered to grabbing hands.


At home, a real nifty treat, for our family, was mochi which came in flat blocks, vacuum–sealed in sturdy pouches, found in the back-refrigerators of every hip health-food store on the West Coast. We’d cut the mochi squares into smaller squares, fry them up on a griddle and watch them puff out into crazy shapes, then, we'd dip them into a garlicky tamari sauce or into maple syrup, to whichever our hankerings would lead us.. With its marvelous texture, hard and crunchy outside and soft and gooey inside, and its odd shape blooming before our very eyes, they were like the popcorn of my childhood – as much fun to watch, as they were to eat.


We were all intrigued by this odd snack.  We really like it, but because it wasn’t shelf stable and didn’t come in every possible flavor we desired, we wanted to see if we could make our own. An afternoon’s curiosity led to one experiment after another and another. We figured out how to granulate our mochi and started blending the granules with a little rice milk, mashed banana and cinnamon and what came out were these nice, little pancakes that were also toasty on the outside and chewy on the inside. Not the large, light and fluffy pancakes floating in maple-inspired syrup, found at your neighborhood pancake house, but blini-sized and more intense in flavor and texture; with a kind of cheesy, eggy consistency. Kinda reminiscent of my mother’s macaroni and cheese, something to warm and set you in a good mood. Here was this pure indulgence, but made from only rice, so there was no guilt involved, but if you’re one to feel guilty about pleasurable experiences, go ahead and enjoy the guilt, too.

more to follow...


This week, we are officially launching our gluten-free flour company. This has been twenty years in the making, a slow process at best. Sometimes our plans slowed to a crawl, but now that we are about to launch at the Expo-West Natural Products show, we have, in six-weeks time, pulled everything together for our debut. There was a logo to make, a website to put up, social-media to join, loads of samples to produce, a booth to design, songs to load on the iPod for the long car trip, and on and on. So, what has enticed us to keep at it for twenty years?
It all started on top of the six-burner Wedgewood gas stove in my grandmother’s 1950’s farmhouse kitchen where, for decades, aromas of roasting meats and stewing sauces hung heavy in the kitchen air, warmed by our loyal oven’s proficiency, in an all-electric age. 
As a child, I would stand at my Grandmother’s side studying her skillful technique as she rolled out delicate strudel dough. The flow of years settled into the 1990’s; her kitchen, now ours, reflected the passage of eras and the evolution of our family’s food consciousness. Iron skillets replaced club aluminum pots, and the once-sparkling copper bottoms of stainless steel pans were now dulled by neglect. Worn wooden spoons whose patina had grown sweet with use, stood, stem-side down, in a milk pitcher like an arrangement of petrified flowers. Crocks bubbled with raw sauerkraut and simmering soups pungent with miso and ginger, now flavored the air. Savory had replaced sweet. Cupboards were burdened with tubs of millet, brown rice, dried beans and seaweeds; this was a working kitchen. Cast-away from our shelves were shortening, white flour, sugar, par-boiled white rice, dairy and eggs, residing only in gusts of nostalgia, held up as the quintessence of comfort and comparisons – will this mushed millet and cauliflower taste like my mother’s mashed potatoes?
The irony of our nostalgia was that our whole grains and unrefined foods pre-dated the bleached and bromated flours and super-processed foods that lined the shelves of our parents’ refrigerators. Little did we know, embracing of traditions past would set a course for our future.
More to follow…