Real Food Kitchen Tour: Pam Montazeri

Welcome to another edition of the Real Food Kitchen Tour. This week we’re featuring Pam Montazeri.

Real Food Kitchen Tour: Pam Montazeri

Welcome to another edition of the Real Food Kitchen Tour. This week we’re featuring  Pam Montazeri.

What’s a Real Foodie?

A “real foodie” is someone who cooks “traditional” food. We cook stuff from scratch using real ingredients, like raw milk, grass-fed beef, eggs from chickens that run around outdoors, whole grains, sourdough and yogurt starters, mineral-rich sea salt, and natural sweeteners like honey and real maple syrup.

We don’t use modern foods that are either fake, super-refined, or denatured. This includes modern vegetable oils like Crisco and margarine, soy milk, meat from factory farms, pasteurized milk from cows eating corn and soybeans, refined white flour, factory-made sweeteners like HFCS or even refined white sugar, or commercial yeast.

We believe in eating wholesome, nutrient-dense foods that come from nature. So we shop at farmer’s markets or buy direct from the farmer, or we grow food in our own backyards.

This Week’s Real Food Kitchen Tour:  Pam Montazeri

This week’s edition of the Real Food Kitchen Tour takes us to southern California to visit Pam Montazeri’s kitchen. I absolutely love Pam’s kitchen. It reminds me so much of my mother’s kitchen in Dallas. It’s elegant but cozy at the same time — and incredibly practical.

You can tell that Pam gets a lot done in this kitchen. And her backyard kitchen is just like the one in my fantasy!

I know you will be inspired by this kitchen just like I am!

Me with 2 of my 8 grandkids, Stella & Emma.
Me with 2 of my 8 grandkids, Stella & Emma

Blog Name: Don’t have a blog, but seriously considering it!
Name: Pam Montazeri
Location: Simi Valley, CA
House or Apartment: House
Size of Kitchen: 12 x 14

Things You Love About Your Kitchen: My favorite thing in my kitchen is the stove. It is an antique (1930’s) O’Keeffe & Merritt, which belonged to my grandmother; in fact, I still have its’ original receipt that she kept! It works like a charm, and I wouldn’t trade it for any new model today. It is promised to my Real Foodie daughter up in Idaho, Tara Kelly, someday! I also love the view from my windows; I have lots of trees and plants outside to look at. We have many fruit trees including pomegranate, blood orange, navel orange, tangerine, lemon, loquat, mulberries, avocado, and persimmon. Several years ago, we remodeled the kitchen, and installed Silestone granite counter tops over the new cupboards.  I can do anything on the counter, chop or set hot foods, and it never stains or cracks. I love it, and it is very easy to clean. Also, I am very fond of the cookware I have collected over the years, good quality stainless steel pots and pans, Le Crueset cookware, Pampered Chef stoneware, and a Green Pan.

Things You Would Change: No matter how I arrange things, I NEVER have enough room! I must confess, I have a passion for pretty dishes, and honestly I just can’t resist new gadgets and cookware!

Favorite Tools & Gadgets: I am really lucky to have so many kitchen tools now; I ran a VERY primitive kitchen when our kids were little because I just couldn’t afford any better, but now that they are grown, I have been collecting fun and useful tools and gadgets like my Fidibus flour mill, Excalibur Dehydrator, oat flaker, crock pots, food processor, Magic Bullet, and the Samovar, my Persian tea maker. We have 8 grandkids, so I’m always cooking something for them! I love to sprout Kamut and spelt wheat, dry it, and grind it into nutritious flour to bake yummy things for them! (Although I admit I should be seriously looking into the GAPS diet for myself, just not ready yet!)

Biggest Challenges Cooking Real Food: Cooking real food has come very naturally for me, for four reasons, I believe. First of all, I come from a “old vegetarian hippie” background, which I was involved with for many years; secondly, having a Persian husband and living in Iran for a few years really taught me how to prepare natural, and whole foods into delicious Persian dishes (including all types of meats), which I LOVE! Thirdly, my daughter, Tara, jumped on the Weston Price bandwagon before I did, and turned me on to things like fermenting, grass-fed meat, and locally grown produce. And last but not least, I live in Southern CA, where there is an abundance of raw milk, good meats, and organic farmers markets EVERYWHERE! So, because of my background, I think this journey is a natural transition for me (and my ol’ man!). If I were to mention one thing that has been difficult, it has to be SOME of the cultured flavors. I am not fond of all of them, so I pick out ones that taste good to me, and stick with those, like sauerkraut, and sourdough.

Current Family Favorite Meal: Right now in the summer, it has to be giant grilled portabello mushrooms with melted raw cheddar cheese on toasted sourdough bread. Yum. And I’ll grill a grass-fed flank steak to go with it. Also, I cook lots of Persian foods, which are always full of vegetables, healthy fats, meats, yogurt, goat cheese, and flat bread. When the weather cools off, I do stews and stocks, and comfort foods. We get our eggs and chicken from a local farm in Santa Paula (Healthy Family Farms, mentioned in Farmageddon) and our grass-fed beef from Novy Ranch. And of course, our milk from Organic Pastures Dairy!
Favorite Cookbooks: I used to collect cookbooks, and I still do to a degree, but for sure I have Nourishing Traditions, as well as ideas and recipes from all the bloggers in the Real Food Media!

My Kitchen
A Place to Nourish
Kitchen sink

Is that Depression glass on the shelf above the sink? I collect that, too.

My favorite kitchen tool
My favorite kitchen tool

“This O’Keefe & Merrit belonged to my grandmother, and someday I will pass it on to my daughter. It works great!”

Beautiful! I had a friend with one of these in her home in the Hollywood Hills. And another friend who just moved to the Fairfax district in LA and she has one, too. They are fabulous!

Different kinds of sprouted wheat and grinder
Different kinds of sprouted wheat and grinder
Grain mill
Fibidus grain mill

This is the same grain mill I have. I love it!

I am a natural Salt Junkie!

“Here you see smoked sea salt, Murray River salt, Kala Namak salt (from India), Pink Himalayan salt, and Flaked Lava salt.  Also in the little jar is truffle salt, and in the back is a pink Himalayan salt slab for serving on, or grilling on.”

How wonderful!

Oat Flaker
Oat Flaker

I plan to buy an oat flaker next. I love granola and oatmeal — but I want freshly rolled oats!

Organic Zuchinni bread with Kamut flour, coconut oil, organic walnuts
Organic Zucchini bread with Kamut flour, coconut oil, organic walnuts
My Pampered Chef Stoneware collection.
My Pampered Chef Stoneware collection

Wow! How wonderful! I think this is going to be my next collection (I’ve been collecting Le Creuset for a while now.)

Cast iron collection
Cast iron collection

I need the cornbread skillet!

Casey, My Companion
Casey, My Companion
The kids sit here and help cook, or just eat!
The kids sit here and help cook, or just eat!

What lucky grandkids!

Love the pot rack!
Love the pot rack!

I am a huge fan of pot racks. I’ve had them in the past two homes I’ve lived in and I will have one in my next home, too. I love just reaching up and grabbing a pan instead of having to stoop over and dig around in a cupboard.

Tray Excalibur dehydrator
Tray Excalibur dehydrator
Le Crueset collection
Le Creuset collection

I adore my Le Creuset.

Kombucha Scoby Hotel
Kombucha Scoby Hotel
Kitchen staple
Kitchen staple
A whole of  Milky Goodness!
A whole lot of Milky Goodness!

Don’t you love being able to get raw milk at the supermarket? We are so spoiled in California!

In the fridge...whey, sauerkraut, bone broth, and kefir
In the fridge...whey, sauerkraut, bone broth, and kefir
One tough helper
One Tough Helper

“I’ve had this mixer for 20 years, it’s a workhorse!”

I love my KitchenAid stand mixer, too.

My special nook

“My little kitchen office next to the fridge”

Sourdough rising...
Sourdough rising...
Back side of my outdoor kitchen
Back side of my outdoor kitchen

How fabulous! And living in Southern California, you can use for this most of the year.

Front side of my outdoor kitchen
Front side of my outdoor kitchen

Check Out the Previous Real Food Kitchen Tour Posts

Real Food Kitchen Tour: Cracking an Egg with One Hand
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Yolks, Kefir & Gristle
Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Okparaeke Family
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Holistic Kid
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Artistta
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Nourished & Nurtured
Real Food Kitchen Tour: May All Seasons Be Sweet to Thee
Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Horting Family
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Hybrid Rasta Mama
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Granola Mom 4 God
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Real Food Devotee
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Real Food Forager
Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Leftover Queen
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Health Home & Happiness

Let Us Tour Your Kitchen

Are you a real foodie? Do you have a kitchen that you’d like to see featured on CHEESESLAVE?

Please email me at annmarie AT realfoodmedia dot com. Either send me a link to a Flickr set or email me your photos (minimum of 5, but more is better). Note: Please send me LARGE photos. Minimum 610 width. If they’re too small, I can’t use them.

Oh, and please send the answers to the above questions (at the very top of this post).

As much as I’d love to include all the photos I receive, I can’t guarantee that I will use your photos in the series. I’m looking for creative, good quality photos.

Some ideas for photos:

  • Show us what’s in your fridge or what’s fermenting on your counter
  • Take some snaps of some of your favorite kitchen gadgets, or show us how you organize your spices
  • Got backyard chickens? Send some pics!
  • How about a lovely herb garden?
  • Kids or pets are always cute!
  • Try to include at least one photo of yourself, ideally in your kitchen

And no, you don’t have to have a blog to be included in the tour.