I'm participating in an on-line workshop about setting up a whole foods kitchen and cooking with whole foods. This is the end of the second week, and this week and next are devoted to pantry and kitchen set up. So today I inventoried and tidied the pantry a little. It was actually in okay shape; the surprising thing was that for a person who thinks of herself as already cooking with (mostly) whole foods I seem to have no fewer than five kinds of refined sugar (white bakers, dark brown, confectioneries, raw, and a bottle of light corn syrup) and at least three "natural" sugars (honey, sucant, maple syrup). Plus a very sticky jar of Lyle's Golden Syrup (how I love that stuff), which I tossed because I think it had been open for at least five years and it was sort of nasty looking. And that doesn't count the variety of sanding, dusting, and sprinkling sugars for cake and cookie decorating. Or the candy sprinkles (for same).
Why do I have all this sugar on hand!? It's crazy. What's crazier is that I really can't see eliminating any of them. I bake a number of birthday cakes each year, they generally take white sugar. I make frosting and it takes confectioneries sugar. I make chocolate ganache filling for thumb print cookies at Christmas and just a teaspoon of light corn syrup makes all the difference in how it sets up and works. Still. That is A LOT of sugar. Something to think about.
Speaking of sugar, sugar and more sugar: tomorrow I hope to post an update on tapping maple trees. We are convinced that we can make our own west coast maple syrup from the big leaf maples. We're going to tap some practice trees out at the vegan's house in the woods tomorrow, and if those work we'll tap the tree at Liam's little school. Fingers crossed.