Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Very Small Disaster

I wanted to talk about my vacation last week, or maybe my new fencing, and how it is shaping up. And I will talk about those things, honest. Today, however… well, I have a disaster on my hands. Now, as disasters go, it could be a lot worse. This one is small. The house is still standing, and no one has died. I am reminding myself of these things frequently, sometimes aloud, albeit under my breath.

It all started last year, when I bought some cobweb weight cashmere yarn from my local yarn store. It was a closeout lot leftover from some designer’s workroom, and I got a really good deal on it. I intended to ply it together and make myself a nice heavy shawl on the loom. It was a lovely plan. And then I did something very very very stupid. Well, several somethings, actually. And this isn’t my usual boneheaded but slightly adorable kind of thing, either. You see, I didn’t bother to quarantine the cashmere, but instead just put it into my studio and forgot about it for a few months. Those of you who are serious fiber enthusiasts are almost certainly moaning right now, because you already know what happened next.

A few weeks ago, I decided it was time to spin up said cashmere, and get it tucked into a bin. The bag was rather large, as the yarn was on cones. I pulled it out, and to my absolute horror, it was infested with wool moths. Here is where we meet my second serious mistake. Though (almost) everything was packed neatly away in the studio, almost none of it was in airtight containers. This is why I quarantine most things in the freezer for a few days before putting it into the studio. However, it leaves the entire stash, easily something in the neighborhood of fifty or sixty pounds of wool and silk (including fabric yardage) at risk for infestation. So I baked the cashmere in the oven to kill the bugs, and spent the next two days combing through everything I owned. I got lucky. Only six cones of cashmere were damaged. Nothing else had been touched. I said a prayer of thanks, packed everything away, and moved on with my life.

Which is where I really screwed up.

You see, I did not take the opportunity to move my stash into better storage. Nor did I give my studio a spritz with diatomaceous earth, or take the opportunity to make moth repellant sachets. I meant to. It was on my list. And yes, you guessed it, I missed something. And I now know exactly what it was. The cashmere had been stacked on top of a storage tote, inside which was a plastic garbage bag which contained an as-yet unwashed Karakul fleece (it’s a kind of sheep’s wool, good for making rugs). The thing is, wool moths LOVE unwashed wool. The nastier the better. This particular fleece was pretty darned ripe, and I was waiting for spring and good weather to take it out into the yard and wash it. Trust me, that is NOT a smell you want to be cooped up with for any length of time. Well, I guess that is unless you are a female wool moth looking for a place to lay your eggs.

I discovered all of this yesterday afternoon about two hours before the kids got home. Ironically, literally moments before discovering the infestation, I was having a semi-serious melt down about the size of my stash. I really do have too much stuff. The cleaning of the basement during screen free week left me with even more to put in my studio. There just isn’t any room. So I decided then and there to do yet another serious purge. I have more stash than I can possibly get through in the next decade. Enough is enough. So I pulled out the first bin (which happened to be said Karakul fleece) and decided to set-to. At that very moment, I realized that there were wriggling things all over it… and the floor… and the wall… and the shelves. I have a real problem with slimy white things that wriggle. It is just possible that I may have emitted some rather girly and possibly even completely undignified noises. Look, they were in my hair at that point.

I cannot even express to you how many wool moths are in my studio. Thousands. Nearly everything is infested. There is a lot of damage. I may, in fact, have to nearly start over. A few things were in sealed plastic, and of course none of the tools were damaged. I am baking the yarn in the oven, two trays at a time. Clean fleeces that are waiting to be carded and spun are going through the drier in pillow cases. The two remaining unwashed alpaca blankets are going into the oven on trays. The Karakul went straight into the trash. OUTSIDE. I have been at this for over 16 hours, now, and I have barely made a dent. Oh, and then there are the clothes for the whole family (we wear a lot of wool), Shawn’s hand-woven French tapestry, and did I mention the fact that every rug in the house is wool? Oh, and I just found out that the little blighters can live on shed pet hair alone. With five cats, a dog, and two long-haired people around, that means that while jumping up like a demented jack in the box every thirty minutes to change out the wool in the oven, I have to vacuum every cranny of the entire house every single day… for the next three or four months. EVERYTHING made of wool or silk (and all the baskets they were stored in) will have to be washed, baked, or frozen, without exception. Then it will have to be covered in a dusting of diatomaceous earth, strewn with herbs, and sealed in plastic. Good great gravy.

There are, however, a few bright points. The house is still standing, and no one has died (telling myself… over and over). So far, I have not found any evidence that the moths are anywhere but the studio. There does not appear to be any damage to any of the clothes or furnishings. That is not keeping me from taking steps as though there were. I have learned my lesson. Also, I am taking the opportunity to do a major purge. Some of this is painful, mostly because I cannot even find it a good home. It’s just going in the trash. That kills me. I have to remind myself that this is making room in my life. I wanted this. Maybe not quite in this WAY, but then I suppose we don’t always get a choice.

I am finally upgrading and reorganizing the storage in the studio. All of the animal fibers will be stored in airtight plastic. As soon as my herbs get here on Friday, I will be making really wonderful smelling sachets to scatter in boxes, baskets, bags, and closets around the whole house. Already my house smells pretty good, as I took the opportunity to mix up a spray bottle of moth repelling essential oils and water to spray on some of the things I can’t get to yet. Like, you know, the rugs, the tapestry, and some wool-stuffed antique furniture (whimper). I used a blend of clove, rosemary, lavender, and cedar oils. I may make a habit of it, it smells so nice.

Last, but not least, I do believe that I am going to take this opportunity to paint my studio shelves and furniture. After all, I am going to have a lot less stuff when all of this is over, and I have to wash everything anyway. It’s where I want to be in the end, I just didn’t expect it to be this dramatic… or fast. But I will get it done. It is also probable that at the end of this horrible process that I will actually be better off. So, that is what I am telling myself, over and over. And over.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Screen Free Week, and Why I’m Giving up Facebook

Last week was Screen Free Week, and for the first time ever, I actually participated. A friend of mine had been trying to get me on board for years. So, three days before it officially started, I decided to take the plunge.

Man, talk about culture shock. My eyes opened up on Monday morning, and I immediately began to twitch. I really didn’t know what to do with myself. I am so accustomed to reaching for my phone first thing in the morning, really before my eyes are even open. It started with needing to know what the weather was going to be, then over time it progressed to Pinterest and Facebook. I spent hours lying in bed, reading. I would spend all day, some days, engaging in debate and argument with people who are near-strangers. I would scour the internet for new ideas, and then carefully file them away, and go off in search for more. It was informational bliss. The ideas, news, and stimulation went on and on and on, until I collapsed at the end of each day. Then I would wake up the next morning, clutch my phone in my hand, focus my eyes, and start all over again. All of a sudden, Monday morning, all of that stimulation was gone, and the only thing left was… me.

I immediately started to panic. Then, slowly, softly, came the realization that I was uncomfortable with my own thoughts. The whirlwind in my head came to a screeching halt, and I thought, “Hmmm, that’s interesting.” And so I made myself lie there for a while, on that first morning, and just watched my thoughts go by.

When I finally got up and came downstairs, the first thing I realized was that I was up hours before my usual time. I was up so much earlier, in fact, that I received funny looks from everyone, right from my husband, down on through the dog. So, I made myself a cup of tea, and sat down in my chair. And I did NOT turn the television on. My winter habit had been to sit down, have a cup of tea, and watch a documentary or a TED talk while knitting. Well, it had been such a long cold winter and spring, I realized that now I don’t know what else to do with myself. I left my tablet and phone upstairs, so even my usual forms of entertainment without the TV were not available. I wasn’t awake enough to read my book, or knit something complicated enough to hold my attention. And there I sat, without a clue what to do with myself. Pretty embarrassing, eh? Screen Free Week. Right. I can do this.

As I sat there, I realized a few things. The first was that my house was a disaster area. There’s always a certain amount of fur on the floor, what with five cats, a dog, and it being spring. They start in as I am still vacuuming, no joke. But this was a bit intense. And there was… stuff, for lack of a better word, everywhere; socks, napkins, books, papers, half-finished projects, and things waiting to be mended. We won’t even talk about the dust. I mean, wait a minute, didn’t I just get through with spring cleaning? How could this possibly have escaped my notice? How is it that I didn’t see… it… oh, that’s right, because I had been too busy looking at my phone. The other thing I noticed right away? My favorite chair faces the wall. It’s not like I didn’t know that, mind you. I’m not completely dense. But, the impact of such a simple thing had never occurred to me. There is nothing to look at from my favorite spot, except electronics. So that’s what I been doing.

Rapidly, I realized that I didn’t want to sit and stare at a blank wall all day, so I got up and set to work on the laundry, which is my usual Monday chore. Hours ahead of schedule. I didn’t forget about it part-way through either, for a change. I worked steadily through the day, had time to read my book in between folding loads, and the end result was that ALL of the laundry was done, folded, and put away before I went to bed. By Monday evening, I was an entire day ahead of schedule, and I had even talked to my mother and a few friends on the phone. I was even able to go to bed early. Whoah.

Tuesday dawned, and I got right up out of bed. Now what? Well, the house is still a mess, I’m nice and rested, and have nothing planned. So I spent the day cleaning the upstairs. I even cleaned out and reorganized my closet, and put a whole bunch of clothes that had gotten too big in a box to be put away (at least until I’m sure this weight loss is permanent). I deep cleaned the bathroom, and reorganized the library, finding homes for all the books that had been piling up on the desk. Wednesday, I did the ground floor, and deep cleaned the kitchen. I found time to talk to my mother at least once a day, and several other friends as well. I went to bed early every night, and bounced out of bed fully rested at dawn.

By Wednesday, I realized that I had not had to raise my voice once all week. I hadn’t lost my temper, felt grumpy, had an anxiety attack, or even felt overwhelmed. Not once. Nor had I asked the kids to be quiet at any time. In fact, I had encouraged their noise, games, and music. I had even started singing to myself again, something I haven’t done in years because I haven’t been able to stand the noise. Thursday morning, I looked around and realized that my house was spotless, and all the laundry was done. The weather was kind of cold and wet, so I sat and read my book all morning, and went to my knitting group in the afternoon. It felt completely decadent.

Friday, I decided that I was going to tackle a big project that I had been sure I would never have time for. A bit of puttering Thursday night had left the house immaculate once more. So, I headed down to the basement. Much like everyone else, our basement is our catch-all. And, um… I don’t really go down there if I can help it, so, it was stacked taller than me, with only a goat-path from the bottom of the stairs to the sliding glass doors on the side of the house. We are talking scary messy, here. And, it was getting kind of critical, because I really didn’t have any room for the stuff I need to can and dehydrate over the coming summer.

There were boxes down there that I packed when I moved out of my parents’ house, which have never been unpacked since. I have known for years that I should just throw them out unopened, but there are family heirlooms in there, you know, stuff that I actually want to use in my house and give to my children. And I’m not just quite sure where my wedding photos are. You get the idea. It took me three whole days, but I went through every single box. I had stuff down there that I had forgotten entirely, like the sweater my parents brought me back from Ireland, and the antique linens given to me by my grandmother. I had stuff down there that I was sure had been lost along the way, like my very favorite bag (sweet grass and leather, from the 1970’s), and all of my husband’s good silk ties (which were in the bag, incidentally). I had boxes and boxes of fabric, and yes, one with knitting stuff that somehow wound up on the wrong side of the basement. I also had twenty-three boxes of children and baby clothes. Yeah, that’s what I said. Twenty-three. What? Don’t look at me like that. I meant to get around to going through them. It was on my list. Honest. But you know, last week I had time and space to do the really hard emotional work of cutting those twenty-three boxes down to one. And it is done. Ladies and gentlemen, for the first time in my entire adult life, I am unpacked and completely moved in to my house.

The upshot of all of this? My entire house, from rafters to basement doors was clean (except the studio, you know, because of all those extra boxes), I have a lot less stuff, and I hadn’t yelled at anyone all week. I was not lonely, and I managed to talk to nearly everyone I knew I was going to miss. The most astonishing thing was this; I was NOT bored. Not once, in fact. I felt at peace, and at ease with my world and everything in it. All. Week. I gotten up at dawn every day, rested, and with a song in my heart. Somewhere in there, I had also worked in the garden with my daughter, and nursed my son through the first stages of what turned out to be quite a nasty tummy bug. I am astonished at what I accomplished. I am even more astonished that I did not have to become a hermit in order to do it. Seriously, I even took a day off in the middle there.

But even more than what I accomplished was the emotional impact. Leaving all of Facebook and the internet behind made an enormous amount of room in my life. Room for my children, husband, and most importantly, myself. We played together, not just board games (though we certainly did a lot of that), but everything became a game. I gave them my full attention every time they needed it, and I never felt interrupted. At the bus stop in the morning, and upstairs one afternoon, I started teaching the kids how to sing rounds. Chores were done swiftly and largely without complaint, because I did not have to pry them from the television first. Now, they don’t watch much under normal circumstances, less than an hour a day, usually, unless I’m watching a documentary they want to see. But it turns out that even that little bit makes a huge difference in their disposition. There was a lot less fighting in my house than usual. The television makes a big difference to my disposition, too, it turns out. I turned the silly thing back on yesterday, because Jason was home from school, sick (still, poor baby). It wasn’t long until I found myself losing my patience again. By the end of the day, my temper had gone where the dead crabs go. And I still had it on. I went to bed late, and was cranky that I had to turn it off. Realizing this shocked the heck out of me.

So here’s where we get to the hardest part of all of this. I really don’t believe that this is something I can do in moderation. My best intentions simply aren’t enough. The whole experience of electronic media is overwhelmingly addictive for me. I know I’m not alone, here. It’s a huge phenomenon right across our culture. We all know it. We even joke about it. But after the last week… I don’t think it’s funny anymore. Social media and television completely thwart my ability to be present in my own life. That is what they are designed to do. My addiction to it completely sabotages what is most important in my life, and my propensity to dream instead of just doing is no less destructive to myself and my family than an addiction to drugs or alcohol. I just don’t see any argument that stands in the face of that. I know that in the past I have used the word ‘deserve’ in conjunction with my use of electronics. I work hard, right? I deserve a break. I deserve to watch television. I want to keep up with my friends, and the most efficient way to do that is Facebook. After all, no one should begrudge me that time, right? Well, no, in fact.

Here’s what I learned last week. Without TV or Facebook, when I am tired at the end of the day, I go to bed. If that is at 8 PM, so be it. And it usually is. I get more sleep without electronics, and in fact, better sleep. I am more rested, and can get way more done during the day. I also get more done during the day because I am not spending my time arguing with acquaintances over things that, ultimately, I really don’t care about. And let me tell you, over the last few months, not a day had gone by without an argument on Facebook, and usually more like three or four. I had begun to joke that the main purpose of Facebook is to violate the basic rules of polite conversation, to wit; do not discuss religion or politics. Also in there, is not airing your dirty laundry in public. You know what I realized about that? Like in so much else in my life, my grandmother and her peers knew what they were talking about. That stuff is like rat poison in any relationship. What winds up happening is that we all lose respect for one another, and we spend more time thinking and talking about our differences than our similarities. Furthermore, I think that Facebook, makes me worry more about the opinions of people I know way more than is ever healthy. I found myself putting everything up there, and then waiting to see who would respond. I found myself living my life through the lens of carefully composed snippets, instead of as an organic and dynamic whole. I started seeing other people that way, too. More than one friendship has turned to ash over the years.

So you know what I have decided that I deserve? I deserve to have a relationship with my children where I do not feel interrupted by them. I deserve a clean and organized house. I deserve time to pursue my passions and interests, instead of just reading about them. I deserve time in my garden. I deserve to expect civility from everyone in my life. I deserve to be a civil human being, myself. I deserve to have actual, whole, dynamic relationships with the people I love. I deserve a social life where I communicate differently with my nearest and dearest than I do with my acquaintances. I deserve to go to bed when I am tired, and to wake up rested. I deserve peace and quiet. I deserve room to experience my own thoughts. I deserve to sing. I deserve to write.

None of those turned out to be television or Facebook. Imagine my surprise.

Friday, May 9, 2014

What's on the Needles?

These are Jason's DIS-matching socks. They were specifically ordered, and named by him. One red, one orange, and the toes and heels made out of leftover rainbow yarn from my last pair. Have I mentioned that my son is NOT afraid of color?

These are made out of old stash yarn; Knitpicks Stroll, I believe, in Firecracker Heather, and Harvest. The  heels and toes yarn is Schoppel-Wolle's Crazy Zauberball in rainbow.

The pattern is my own, based largely off of my very favorite basic sock pattern, Classic Socks for the Family, by Melinda Goodfellow

For more of my spinning, knitting, and weaving projects, you can find me here.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


It was thirty six degrees and raining when I came downstairs this morning. I yearn to be out in the garden, digging and planting. And instead, I am faced with another day of research and knitting. Winter activities. And although they are necessary, and help me move forward, I still want what I want. Surrendering your ego to the necessities of reality is so very hard, sometimes. But there is no better teacher than Mother Nature on that one. The irony is that by the time September comes, I will be yearning for the quiet of my needles and a roaring fire just as fiercely. So here I am, practicing patience.

Spring progresses, no matter how I feel about the weather. The ducks and geese have been out grazing every day for weeks, now. They are still molting, but it looks to be coming to an end soon. It took forever this year. I actually broke down and fed them a bunch of split peas and ground beef, which seems to have sped up the process a bit. It was a rough winter, so I’m sure that they just needed a little extra fat and protein. They are certainly enjoying the rain, playing like a bunch of little kids in the puddles, and running up and down the garden nipping each other in the bum, before wheeling around and running the other way, for all the world like they are playing tag.

The yard is greening slowly in patches, and the trees are budding. So are my blackberry canes, which is causing me to rub my hands together in anticipatory glee. You would think I would be too excited to be frustrated, wouldn’t you? I think most of my frustration so far is still about my herb garden. I’m having a much harder time with it than I thought I would. We always see ourselves as such rational creatures, when it is often quite far from the truth. My emotional dilemma is added to by the fact that I recently found a local farm who is giving away composted cow manure just to get it off the farm. AND he delivers. Oh, yeah, this is totally my glee face. So now the cost of the herb garden is considerably less, as I only have to come up with the money for the fencing. As much as I love the idea that I may be able to do this after all, I really do hate it when things are up in the air. I prefer to have things nice and settled, plans in place. My father says, “No plan survives first contact with the enemy.” and it has certainly proven so over the years. However, they are nice to have, and I don’t function well without them. There we go with the surrendering thing again.

At the very least, this wealth of compost (it really is the deal of the century) will allow me to double the size of the vegetable garden this year after all, which is excellent news. As always, it seems like my needs are being met much better than I could have planned. Can’t afford top soil this year? No problem, here’s someone who is giving away a better product, and as much of it as you can take.

This planning thing may be overrated after all. I mean, just coming out here was a huge leap of faith for us. We knew nobody, and even though we may have been armed slightly better than the average city dweller for this kind of life, we knew (and really continue to know) almost nothing about doing this. Still, leap we did. I do tend to do that, you know.

But really, I think that may be what this is about for us. We bumble and flounder through concepts and research invented and conducted by intellectual giants. Every week that goes by finds me looking at the world completely differently than I did before. When I moved here, I knew it was impossible to meet all of our nutritional needs on 6 acres. Then after a while, I knew that it wasn’t possible without clear cutting it. Now, I know that I can, with very little cutting at all. Imagine what I will know next year, or in a decade.

There is just so much to know, and even more to do. But today’s lesson, it would seem, is about surrender. So many of them are. The vastness of what I cannot fix or control is almost unimaginable, sometimes, that I wonder why we even try. Maybe we shouldn’t.

It seems to me that we have been trying to turn the whole world into one great big mechanical machine for the last hundred and fifty years or so. We try so hard to make cogs and wheels out of things that are simply too complex for us to understand, let alone regulate. Really, right from God to ecology. It’s like somehow we keep expecting the world to come down to simple equations, and simple concepts, but it really doesn’t. Physics tells us that the world is always falling apart, that things are always breaking down into more and more simple things. Entropy, right? And while that is true, it doesn’t account for so much that happens along the way. So much of nature is like a bicycle ride. It is tiny little adjustments, all the time, because it is constantly falling down, until the next adjustment is made, then it is falling down again, but differently, over and over. But what you see from the outside is a smooth ride. Riding a bicycle takes trillions of calculations per second, and once mastered, looks effortless. For an ecosystem to run in balance, an incalculable number of things need to go right. Maybe is it a bit egotistical to think that we can keep the world running in balance while doing away with the vast majority of those things. No matter how effortless nature makes it look, it really isn’t.

If living out here, raising a small number of animals and growing a few vegetables has taught me nothing else, it has taught me that I cannot, and should never try to control the weather.  Even if I made the conditions perfect for one crop, others would fail, and what is ideal for tomatoes would make very sick ducks indeed. Nature provides a beautiful balance, however, as long as I am able to take advantage of it. The key, I think, is planting as many things as possible, in small amounts. I have found that when one crop fails, it produces a bumper harvest of another. Every year, every product of my farm is produced in different amounts, but the overall production remains generally similar. The more different things I plant, the more redundant my system of food production.

It is such a simple thing to understand, but the trouble is that it requires surrender to make it work. It requires that we humans understand that scarcity and abundance are two sides of the same coin. It requires that we eat what is available, and not lament for what is not. Most of all, what it requires is farmers and small homesteaders, not big machines. So maybe the answer to the agricultural crisis is not better fertilizers, genetically modified seeds, bigger machines, better pesticides, and more money. Maybe it is as simple as more diverse edibles, more farmers, less money… and more surrender.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Almond Butter Recipe

Homemade nut butter. I mean, that even sounds delicious, doesn’t it? This is specifically about how to make almond butter, but the directions are exactly the same for any nut butter.

Why make it yourself? Well, it’s cheaper, for one thing. A LOT cheaper. A quick check shows me that I can get organic almond butter for about $20 a pound. Organic almonds cost me about $8 a pound at the health food store, or about $5 a pound through my wholesale food co-op. That’s a heck of a price differential. Of course, if you are growing your own nuts, it’s even cheaper. Then it costs only the electricity to make.

Other reasons include; I know exactly what is in it, I waste absolutely no packaging (I re-use a mason jar, and we use refillable containers at the health food store), and the fresher the grind, the more nutrients rich it is. I make mine up a pint at a time, and leave it in the refrigerator. It lasts us anywhere from a week to a month, depending on what I’m making with it. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty, shall we?

What you need:
One pound of almonds
A glass pint jar with a lid
A good food processor
A food dehydrator (completely optional)

Helpful items:
A canning funnel
A flexible spatula for scraping down the food processor

I soak my nuts ahead of time. You do not have to, but it makes the finished product smoother, and more digestible. I soak them for about 12 hours in my largest bowl, and then rinse them repeatedly until the water runs clear. You cannot make nut butter from wet nuts. It simply will not happen. It grinds to flour, and stays there. Trust me.

After the nuts are soaked and rinsed, I spread them out on the dehydrator trays, and let them dehydrate at 135 degrees for about 16 hours. It sounds like a lot, I know, but they have to be really really dry. The extra drying time also serves as a low-temperature slow roast, and adds a lot of flavor to the finished butter. If this sounds like a lot of time to invest, it is. I do the soaking and dehydrating in large batches, about five pounds or so. This makes it worth the time, as I only have to do it every few months. I store the soaked and dehydrated nuts in the refrigerator, or in the freezer. Once they have been soaked, they are far more prone to spoilage.

Once you have your nuts all dry, you throw them into your food processor. If you do not want to soak your nuts, you would start with this step. Horse power counts here, if you have an underpowered machine (like those intended only for baby food), you may kill it. You have been warned. Close the lid, and turn it on. Then you make a pot of coffee.

I’m not kidding. This takes a while, usually about ten minutes. It will go through stages. First, it sounds like you are grinding rocks, and the almonds will break down into finer and finer powder. Then, it just looks like you aren’t making any progress, the powder (which is almond flour at this point) just kind goes round and round. Then after a couple of minutes, it starts to clump together. More and more of it sticks to itself, until it forms a giant ball of nut butter that goes round and round in the food processor. DO NOT STOP GRINDING. It actually isn’t ready yet. Eventually, the big ball starts to spread out, and becomes smoother and smoother. At this point, you can start checking it. I like mine really quite smooth, so I let it go until it stops making any difference in texture. You can add a little salt to it, but I don't.

Turn the food processor off, and scrape the nut butter into a clean pint jar. I like to use a canning funnel for this step, because I am a klutz. Do you know how hard it is to get almond butter off the rim of a glass jar without getting soap in it? Yeah.

Put the lid on the jar, screw it finger tight, and store the nut butter in the refrigerator. You will have to stir it before using it, as it separates. Depending on how well you scrape down your food processor, one pound of nuts should equal about one pint of nut butter. There may even be just a little left over for spreading on a piece of toast. Yum.