I read my doctor’s lab reports online this morning; a mix of good news and keep trying. Cholesterol and BP are fine and under control. Another report from the urologist who yanked out my kidney stone last summer noted that I was dehydrated and had too much salt in my urine.

Drink. More. Water. That may go some distance to reduce the NaCl (sodium chloride), so I’m taking it pretty seriously to increase my water intake to the tune of 108 ounces a day, or since I should start thinking metrically, about 3 liters daily.

Sigh, I can do that…not overly joyous about the ‘bother’ but to avoid kidney stones as well as flush my system, more water? A good thing,

Meanwhile, I saw a can of three bean mix in the aisle today and grabbed a can on general instinct. Low sodium. Good. Organic. Can’t hurt. So I decided to use it as a base for a near-vegetarian meal for this evening.

Starting with the three bean can, I cut up some red onion, chopped some nicoise olives, and a stalk of celery and mixed them together. The vinaigrette was a simple olive oil (California arbequina type) and white balsamic vinegar with a driblet of grainy brown mustard, a twist of fresh pepper, and a vigorous stir. No salt. Not even needed, though my wife observed that I was a bit short on actual dressing in the mix, so I tossed together another tablespoon or so and finished the rest of the salad off with it.

Has potential, that dish.

For the balance of the meal, it was roasted tomatoes seared in olive oil and dressed with potassium chloride and thyme (dried) and finished in the oven. Very nice, though at this time of the year, despite being in California, ask your produce guy which tomatoes really taste the best–wintertime isn’t the best time for tomatoes, obviously, but here in California, it’s always possible to get some decent ones.


Potassium chloride? Gives the salty kick without raising your blood pressure or messing with your urine tests. Just sayin..

Rounded out the meal with some lightly toasted baguette, drizzled with olive oil and a couple of pieces of canned anchovy on top. Tasty, of course, but wifey noted that we would have been served just as well with a topping of canned sardines or mackerel…with much less salt. Fair observation.

And now for Part Two–Candid Kitchen!!

The stovetop

Here you can see my workhorses, an cast iron Dutch oven which I use for soups and stews and a recently purchased, oversized, some would say too big cast iron skillet that weighs a ton. I have been using that a good deal lately due to its great versatility. Made breakfast pancakes and that cast iron is slick.

Note also the large pot, mostly used for boiling pasta…but as I don’t often cook pasta, it’s getting less use.


Countertop Cutting Board

Behind my cutting board where I slice veggies, trim fat from duck breasts, and occasionally slice my own flesh, there is a selection of items that I keep. Here we see a plastic Baggie of pancake mix, some muesli, and coconut mango granola. Also, a porridge mix of varied grains like oat flakes, rye flakes, amaranth, millet, or whatever happens to be available.

Let’s not forget the curried nut mix of cashews, Pepitas, and sunflower seeds. Oh, that little dish? A cherry clafouti leftover which we’d better eat soon, I’m thinking, before it dries out.


Countertop Tools and Stuff

Tools in stainless steel containers in the back. Front has a variety of salts, some sriracha, some arbequina olive oil, a bag of cashews, and a container of lemon pepper hiding. Secret Fact! The cabinet above this countertop is stuffed to the gills with oils, vinegars, and condiments.



We recycle, and I haven’t gotten these bottles out for several days or two weeks. See what we drink here; reds, whites, sake, and a few cans of things.