From live fermentation to burgers.

We did have the opportunity to spend an hour and a half at a talk given by Sandor Katz last Thursday. What a well-informed, dynamic, passionate teacher.

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He articulated in that short time, key points, such as the definition of fermentation, it’s necessity in the past before the invention of “ferment preventing devices” (the fridge), how the benefits to our gut health extend far beyond just the gut and topped it off with a broad smile and a good dose of humor. He took a little of the mystery out of this vast re-burgeoning subject and made it very approachable.  I look very forward to the next time he is in reach to further gain from his knowledge in a hands -on class.  I’m sure the Friday evening session at the Book Larder was awesome.

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Firefly Kitchens (great place, owners and product), the setting for the talk, also encouraged the feeling of wanting to run straight home, cut up some cabbage and veggies, possibly get creative with a few herbs and spices, massage in a little salt and mash it all into a jar with the further desire to watch the magic happen as it sits on the counter all innocent. Was that sentence long enough for you? Really though. I wanted to do that.  Not to mention find myself a Kombucha mother. These things were other- worldly.

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But because we were in the city, that wasn’t on the evening agenda. What was on our agenda was popping over to the much spoken about Walrus and the Carpenter with our friend (and beautiful jazz vocalist), Gail Pettis. After one of the best lunches I’d had in some time outside of the home, at the Whale Wins, we were ready to hop on the Renee Erickson boat… no pun intended. Her eating establishments are all nautical themed. To give you an idea, here’s the heirloom tomatoes with apricots, pine nuts, olive oil and herbs all seasoned perfectly we ate on Wednesday.

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We imagined a wait at the no reservations taken restaurant but honestly not an hour plus. We strolled Ballard for about thirty minutes, then back at the Walrus, the kind hostess broke the news that really it would probably be another forty five at least. Hell, if I spent an hour or more waiting to get in, I’d want to take my time too.

Really none of our options in the trendy hood of Ballard at that time of the evening looked promising. I begrudgingly agreed to the Red Mill Burger joint. Ok- I did try to hide my disappointment and stay positive. We were all hungry and the decision had to be made. Fortunately, O is very good at that. Sometimes I silently pout in the moment (truth is out) about a decision made.. that I don’t care for… but at least 98% of the time he is spot on.

Driving in (at least not up to), I realized it was likely not to be local grass finished beef.  I pouted internally till I was deciding between the double deluxe bacon cheeseburger  (voted one of twenty burgers you must have before you die by GQ mag) and the red onion jam burger with special sauce that I WAS sure had to be better than the other “special sauce” at McD’s or wherever. Little did I know the kind of press and prestige they carried.Ferment and burgers-6

Onion rings and fries. Yes please. Was I eating the bun O asked? Fck yes.

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And I’ll have a side of tarter please too. These burgers rocked. And the rings had a crunchy salt and pepper coating. Also won best onion ring in GQ!

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Twelve ripped Heinz packets, and about twenty- five dispensed napkins later, we worked through the process of what was trash and what was recyclable paper and food waste- only in a Seattle burger joint right? There was a little chicken action too that got out of hand!

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We walked out with very fully bellies pleading to be replenished in the near future with live bio cultured product.

I’ve left little to your imagination and you are brutally aware of all our  sides here at Chez Chloe.

Here’s to fermentation, to awesome local sustainable creative fare and to that good ole burger that does have its place if you go with the flow.

Tschüß xx

11 responses

  1. Wendy, how funny I have been working on a hamburger today too – but our Swedish answer to the big boys – excellent products they do.
    This looks so good … and I wouldn’t mind taking a big bit out that burger you’re offering … and I love the messy photos – that is how the tray should look like when the meal has been good. Like the Chinese say – the dirtier the table cloth are … the better was the meal.
    Wonderful with post from you.

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  2. Have enjoyed a delicious meal at the Boat House (downtown) but have not tried Walrus & Carpenter… and nothing beats a good burger when the mood strikes! See you next Saturday night.

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  3. You bring back memories of my beloved baba. She had a 2 giant crockery things that were always filled with sour krauts. Sometimes she would make sour kraut perogies. Thanks for the memory, Wendy.
    I find food is often connected to memory. _Resa

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  4. Your burger and onion ring looked ridiculously good. I could feel my arteries clogging just staring at the photos but it’s all good in moderation, right (if only I actually ate these things in moderation instead of regularly!). I’m always so inspired after reading your posts. I already try to recycle and compost as much as possible, as well as buy local and ethically grown/raised produce & meat. You inspire me to try and do even more though! Love the shot of your various garbage piles.

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  5. I can’t believe how huge that slice of heirloom tomato was! Looks so delicious. I love the shot of the burger and onion ring also… yum. Thanks for telling us about Firefly Kitchens. Hm, I’ll have to see if I can ferment some of my own sauerkraut (argh, I hope it won’t take as long as the olives!) xx

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  6. Ohmygoodness. That heirloom tomato concoction looks divine!! And although I am not a burger eater, I can see that you had good one–along with all the fixings. Once in awhile it is fun to forget all the healthy eating rules. : )

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  7. LOL! Sometimes we just need a burger… with everything including the bun. I love Firefly Kitchens and their carrots are my favorite. Great post Wendy! I will email you about getting together. 🙂

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  8. I didn’t know Mr. Katz was in Seattle–I am reading and loving Wild Fermentation and up to my elbows in delicious sauerkraut! That must have been fun to attend. 🙂

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  9. Pingback: I’m fermenting « Chez Chloe

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