LAURIE’S HIGH COUNTRY KITCHEN
One of the things I love to do is cook! Over the years I’ve created many of my own recipes or modified others which have become favorites at our house. I enjoy baking, too, and have a particular fondness for sourdough breads.
I’ve lived in high-altitude locations for roughly 30 years, and although I still experience a few flops, I think I’m getting it down. I lived at about 6300 feet at Lake Tahoe for 24 years, then moved down to 5200 feet, near Fort Collins, CO. Now at nearly 9000 feet I’ve added a few more modifications to my cooking and baking.
There are many variables to everyone’s cooking experiences, in addition to elevation. How experienced are you? How many trials and errors have led to final success? Do you keep at it until you get it right? What kind of appliances are you cooking with: gas, electric, induction, convection? What is your elevation? What is your water like: hard well water, filtered water, community water? What is your local humidity like? These variables, in addition to your choice of ingredients all make a difference to the outcome. All you can really do is keep at it; try and try again until you get the result you want.
In addition to my personal cooking experiences, I’ve been doing a lot of research regarding how food & nutrition affect our health. I’ve chosen to follow the Weston A. Price Foundation principles of Wise Traditions, eating real food and preparing it with traditional methods–meaning naturally raised meats, dairy & poultry, lots organic vegetables and fruits, grains & legumes prepared properly, and basically no processed foods. Basically, I’m following the principles listed in the book, “Nourishing Traditions,” by Sally Fallon Morell and Mary G. Enig. I haven’t made a complete switchover, as my pantry was full and I hate to throw away food, but little by little my cooking style and food choices are changing. For the most part I’m staying away from gluten (as a personal choice) and the foods I do eat which contain gluten are carefully chosen. I’m choosing ancient wheats over modern wheat, and milling my own grain to keep it fresh and full of nutrients. I previously baked most of my breads with sourdough methods, which fit perfectly into this traditional approach. My new eating habits have allowed me to lose some weight, lower my total cholesterol and raise my HDL (good) cholesterol.
That said, I’ll be including many of my favorite recipes here; some are old favorites and others will be new finds as well as new creations of my own. All of the recipes included here will work well at 9,000 feet. I know because I’ve done them, and have made adjustments as needed for this altitude.
One of my pet peeves is finding internet recipes with lengthy descriptions and seemingly unending photos showing every detail of the process. The actual recipe is finally found minutes later, at the end of the page. In some cases photos are helpful to show what a consistency or product should look like. I will not include photos of each step in the process! You’ll find streamlined recipes that assume you have some cooking knowledge, such as how to measure, what saute or deglaze means, etc. When I feel an instruction is strange or problematic, I may then provide more detailed instructions or even a photo if I think it will be helpful.