I’m fermenting

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I love fermented foods. Their taste, their crunchy texture, the way they combine with a meal and how they are so damn good for our gut. Probiotics are big. Check out some related articles at the end of this post.

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I think fermented food is the kale of last year.

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And well, I love kale too. I can also sit and eat a half a pound of toffee, specifically the Hedgehog toffee that we started carrying, selling and sampling at the shop. I’m pretty well rounded that way:)

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I have not only made my second batch of sauerkraut without having to look up maggot in the back of the book, The Art of Fermentation, but we have also eaten it. And liked it. go me.

I recommend Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, also Sandor Katz,
for the basics of fermenting and recipes. And I’d love to hear if you have any recommendations or favorite combinations. Kimchi is next on my list.

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I thought it was a tad salty but I think I came up short on the 5# of cabbage for the 3 T of salt used. I ended up using the jar filled with water sitting on top of  mini ramekin method. Don’t laugh. It worked and kept the brine above the shredded material which is really one of the main objectives. The other is really packing it down firmly with your hand balled up in a fist. I’m interested to know if anyone has use a pickle press.

I kept it in the pantry covered with a dish towel and rubber band. Don’t worry I’m not selling it in the shop. It looked like this after four weeks. There was a very acceptable amount of scum and no mold.

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I loved chatting with a customer today talking about everything one can ferment. She spoke of her great uncle who was fermenting garden produce more importantly to survive the winter than be hip and replenish his gut with pre and probiotics.  She’s been enjoying fermented cauliflower which I hadn’t thought to do.

With the success of the first green kraut last month, I went on with the red. I tried the mandolin but that was not happening. I chopped this by hand.

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Fermenting really isn’t hard but a few failed attempts is rather discouraging… Come on over Hannah. We’ll see you get your ferment on track!

Fermenting 2-4 I had two heads of red cabbage that had been in the fridge for nearly two weeks.

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A little dried out, it required the addition of two cups of brine. (ratio is 1 cup to 1 T salt). I got suckered into trying this fancy set up, called the vegetable master  no less, from Cultures for Health. A little pricey for a mason jar and plastic air lock, oh and the three glass disc weights. It lets the gas escape while keeping air out. If it’s amazing, I’ll let you know.

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I also put my third head of red cabbage through the food processor as I didn’t feel like cutting it up and just having cut it from its base, it produced it’s own beautiful brine. That’s what it looked like in the garden.

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I was lazy on the hand cutting BeCAuSE…I was working on some sourdough pizza. Do you think it’s better for you if you eat fermented organic white flour? I’d like to think so. Here’s a peek at it. I cooked it on the grill on a pizza stone at about 550°F. Honestly, I don’t know if a post will follow unless you beg.  All toppings were from the garden except the mozzarella. Someday it will be too.

sourdough pizza

Back to veggies… Also inspired by  Sandor Katz in July at Firefly Kitchens in Seattle, I did have a go with my multi colored carrots. Lunar white, red dragon and several nantes types.

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They produced a sufficient amount of their own brine. Once again, I’m employing the jar in a jar method.

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With the dish towel and rubber band.

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I rounded out the project with a carrot beet mix with a little white onion and a dash of fresh ginger…no pic. It’s basically purple.

Here’s to a healthy gut…

Tschüß xx

 

Related Articles:

WSJ: Probiotics May Be More Than a Gut Feeling

Mother Jones: Should I take Probiotics

PickleMeToo… A blogger’s view

This time last year:

Chocolate and Zucchini

chocolate zucchini bread-6

Summer harvest begins!

Here we are already ending the first week of July. The garden is going gangbusters and we’re loving every minute and every morsel. We’ve been enjoying greens since March, peas over the last month and the broccoli has actually gone to seed now. But for me when the root veggies start showing their true selves, I feel summer harvest knocking at the door. These baby carrots and beets are only moments shy of fully maturing. We are devouring the first zucchinis, blissfully ignorant to the idea of the late August green giant overload. We have Green zucchini, Costata Romanescos with the racing stripes, and Scalloped green/yellow pattypans soon to arrive. Unfortunately, I mismarked the yellow crookneck and they seemed to have gotten lost in the shuffle.

Harvest dinner 7-7-2013-2

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Orange Carrot Muffins with Chai Glaze

Hi gang… here’s a little healthy yum to share.

Orange carrot muffins with a fresh brewed chai tea glaze.orange carrot muffins-6It’s been a busy month as you might have seen but there’s a little routine starting to rear it’s head. The garden grows and with plenty of grass clippings for mulch, we might actually stay ahead of the weeds this summer… (we’ll revisit that thought in August!) Kale on the left and broccoli on the right has tiny baby heads beginning to form.

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Glazed Carrots, Apples and Horseradish


One of my favorite magazines in Germany besides my monthly Food and Travel is Landlust. Beautiful photographs from the countryside, fresh recipes and for me a chance to read German. Like giving a boy girly mags to learn how to read… oh that’s bad isn’t. Sexist too? Sorry. I will say though, my German exels in reading and translating recipes.

This month’s issue displayed gorgeous young vegetables, cooked simply, with interesting combinations and ingredients. I’m pleased it was the carrots with horseradish that stood out above the others. Eaten last night with a simple grilled steak and steamed broccoli, these carrots gave our meal a little umph! Sweet and salty with a little bite.

Carrots, apples & horseradish {Print Recipe}

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Chicken Soup with Glass Noodles

Chicken Soup with Glass Noodles

We enjoyed another light meal this week of chicken soup with glass noodles. We’ve had a few more smoothies, which I must mention because I forgot to put a couple photos on the last post. The smoothie and a very moving one of a glass of water with a lemon slice- don’t fret, I’ll add it too.  After pushing ‘publish’ last time, I had that sneaky little feeling I’d rushed it. I’m sure others have lingered in that moment. I re-read the post and thought, no  it’s looks complete… until this morning during our weight class at the gym. The one I actually like but still can’t wait to finish… the one that I’ve NOT done in TOO long so I’m having to pause after every sentence I type to let my arms rest…the one I tend to day dream through. This was when two photos flashed before my eyes. I was like dammit janet, you forgot those two photos yesterday. How these thoughts, memories float to the surface of the conscious, is beyond me. I have recently read some very interesting articles concerning some of the intricacies of how the brain works. Here are a couple from the NYTimes-

The Brain On Love and The Brain On Fiction

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For the love of Kale…..

For the love of Kale…..

Ok… I’m at it again. I’m loving making these videos. I will probably continue unless I hear how boring they are to normal people. Well, honestly, then I may still continue doing them because they are self gratifying. So I’d love to get some feedback. Or not. No really I want it…. thx wt

I’m placing it here, up top, so you have the option to watch…. or you can scroll past to the recipes.

Kale is in. In season. In fashion. Just plain in. It’s a funny thing kale. It’s a great summer salad and really can be grown in the pacific Northwest at least, and I’m sure here in Germany, year round. Just at the peak of heat, it bolts, but usually there’s another patch just coming up and it’s only a short kale eating pause. (Baby  red russian kale in summer is great raw in green salads.) But we think of it being “in season” in winter. Certainly here in Hamburg, it’s out in kilo size bags.  I think because it is also often the garden Savior. The plant you can knock the snow off of and still harvest. It’s even sweeter after a frost. It has to be very very cold to kill the kale. And it only asks for a light cover such as remay (lite woven fabric) to give that bit of protection to hold out through the freezes.

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