November 13, 2013
Exciting News, I have a really fun give away offer to kick off today for all my fermenting fans.. fear not failed fermenters, this give away will keep your spirits up and offer you successful future kraut crocks! My friends at the Urban Homesteading Store in Stony Plain Alberta are teaming up with me and eating with SOLE to offer my loyal readers a killer give away…
Lets talk sauerkraut for a minute… I love the stuff, my family is hooked and I have managed to make a few really great batches of kraut over the years… truth be told though, I have had a number of total failures too! That is what is so exciting about this give away; The Urban Homesteading Store is offering 5 packages of Caldwell’s Starter Culture for Fermenting Vegetables. This starter is added during the sauerkraut making process and essentially contains a really strong culture that over produces rapidly and blocks out other bacterias that can cause your ferment to go off, essentially providing you with the best chance at making great tasting beneficial ferments for you and your family!
I know just how good fermented foods are, so I try to incorporate some in to as many meals as possible, and recently I came up with a pretty awesome savory snack to make with sauerkraut: savory gluten free sauerkraut pancakes! They are fabulous, and dunk-able and lovely when slathered in good homemade sauces. I used chickpea and rice flour to makes these silky fluffy kraut cakes along with farm fresh milk and coop fresh eggs. I used some of my “blue ribbon” cabbage sauerkraut which I fermented with shredded carrots… so lovely.
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November 5, 2013
Korea meets Mexico, and falls happily ever after in love on this organic yellow corn tortilla wrapped up in homemade chipotle salsa, fresh feta and red cabbage. Kimchi and deep fried avocado who knew?
Well the other day me and by back-road girlfriend ditched our muckers, baled on our canning and went to town for lunch, we hit this new Mexican place and on the menu they had a panko and kimchi taco, yum right. Well I have been thinking of how it could have been improved and gave it a shot tonight. I decided to forgo the white bread panko crust and do a gluten free chickpea and corn meal crust on the avocodo quarters, and I used some lovely locally made kimchi, and garnished the tacos with a little more … get up and go. Perfect if I do say so myself. These avocado wedges golden fried would be pretty killer just served up for a party with a stellar salsa to dunk in!
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November 4, 2013
This fermenting thing is pretty addictive, I have to warn you all!
Not only is it a easy, low energy way to put up food, it’s a brilliant way to add way more nutrients and health benefits to that food. You may have noticed I am kind of condiment crazy; I love the honey ale mustard that has become a staple in my family, we rely on my making endless batches of ketchup, HP sauce, hot sauce, chutney, even nutella and lemon curd. All of these things are better when they are homemade!
I recently attended a fabulous fermenting workshop and now knowing I can ferment many of the condiments I love, makes me even more happy to experiment. I know I said before how easy making mustard was… well now fermenting mustard makes it even easier to have nourishing condiments on the table. Check out how simple this is…
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October 18, 2013
Oh this might be even better than the lactose fermented pickles my family LOVES. I have been longing & trying to make this hot sauce for two years. Making this both a long time coming, and so worth the wait. This stuff is fabulous.
I am getting sucked into the world of fermenting, it’s slippery slope I have to warn you!
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October 5, 2013
Our valleys 2nd annual Canning & Preserving Festival is finally here! Tomorrow Sunday October 6th 10-2 @ Vallican Whole, Slocan BC. There will be canning contests for best preserves in 4 categories, a lively jar swap, experts demoing a number of preserving techniques, local farmers and producers selling their bounty. There will be food for the whole family and canning crafts for the kids! If your in the Kootenays and your keen to learn, stock up, or compete come on down and join us for this Canning Jamming Extravaganza! For more info go here.
October 4, 2013
This is a very exciting harvest time for us, we just picked a truckload (literally) of apples from a number of different friends properties over the past week, and yesterday I loaded them all up and set off for the “Apple Jack” in Brilliant. William has been pressing apples with his home made hydraulic apple press sine the 60’s. He tossed and chopped and hauled and mashed and pressed and screened 25 Gallons of fresh raw unpasteurized valley apple juice for me and my friends. What an event! I didn’t bring my camera and sooo wished I had! The juice is divine, but I had other plans for this nectar…
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September 9, 2013
Look at these babies! Not one but two blue ribbon cabbages were grown right here at tricycle acres! Over 32 lbs of cabbage in fact and after taking home these first place prizes from the fall fair we spent much of the day using up every crisp sweet leaf of these high achievers! I favored the hearty and “biggest” cabbage, a green leaf variety that I have been calling Audry and singing little shop of horror ballots to for months now, Isis was taken with the stunning “best savoy” cabbage, who surprised us all with it’s beauty as it was hidden away behind a mountain of kale. Beauty and the Beast!
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August 29, 2013
Covet my canning? It might be time to learn how to ‘put up for yourself!
I am teaching a canning and preserving intensive workshop on September 15 at the Vallican Whole in the Slocan Valley of BC.
The cost is $45 for a day of chutney making, jam processing and pickle perfection. We’ll cover safe canning techniques, tips on perfecting your preserves, the basics, as well as discuss other great preservation techniques; fabulous freezing, solar and electric drying & fermenting! This will be hands on and you’ll leave with jars of everything you make in class. To register email vpg (at) rbrand (dot ca) and for more information visit tricycle acres
August 16, 2013
I just came home after a few days canoeing the lake to yet another bushel of pickling cucs needing my attention! With some conventional dills under my belt as well as a batch of fridge pickles already this season, I opted to try my hand at a big ‘ol batch of fermented pickles… which are about the easiest thing ever! I added a few grape leaves from the vines to help keep them crunchy, and after finding the perfect big jar / weighted lid situation I was off to the races.
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August 10, 2010
Well I just finished kimchi part 2 and it was sooooo very easy! I did 5 jars of squash kimchi, 1 large jar of sauerkraut all the while I drank gin with elderflower syrup and soda water. The drink is divine; slightly sour crisp with a floral finish, I used my best organic green juniper berry gin and I can’t imagine a more refreshing summer night drink. Next year I will collect way more elderflowers and make more than 3L of syrup, which is what I yielded after two batches. 2L I have ready to drink and I froze 1L down to use for making plum jelly, just as soon as my plumbs are ripe.
I also broke down and made zucchini bread today; I know I know everyone hates the stuff, but inspired by “A home made Life by Molly Wizenberg” and her ginger chocolate banana bread so I tricked my daughter into making chocolate ginger bread with just a little bit of zucchini 🙂 instead of bananas. I used the Joy of Cooking’s zucchini bread recipe with lots of tweaks (as I usually do) I added cocoa powder, diced candy ginger, and lots of Callebaut chocolate chunks, and it passed the Mia test!
More on fermenting in my last post…
August 9, 2010
Another exciting week of food adventures to report! This week I am playing with lactic acid fermentation, I know it sounds scary but it is super exciting! Also I am flush with squash and zuc’s from the garden… thus the final inspiration to get me fermenting: spicy kimchi here I come! I have a huge jar of kombucha on the go right now, which Dylan’s mom started for me last weekend with one of her mother mushrooms. Talk about a daunting entrance to the world of fermenting. I have a massive Costco size pickle jar on my shelf full of pink fluid with what looks like a piece of pig skin floating in it; kinda like a science lab jar with a baby something in formaldehyde! Fortunately our family has experienced the benefits of kombucha already; both Dylan’s grandparents, his mom, and him have all reported an easing of stomach ailments upon using commercially purchased kombucha in a jar, and thanks to Helens efforts to buck the system we are now brewing our own! So let me take this all back a step and get you thinking about more commonly used fermented foods: yogurt, sauerkraut, kosher pickles, & Korean kimchi… not too scary right? Well all of these are made using a super simple, old world method of preserving foods which doesn’t require heat, which in turn doesn’t diminish the health benefits of the food being stored, and in fact in most cases the natural bacteria within the process are extremely beneficial, does PRO BIOTICS ring a bell? So not too long ago the universe seemed to be hitting me over the head with the idea of fermenting foods; A truly talented and inspiring chef from back home and fellow Permie Valerie Andrews, did a demo of sauerkraut making simply using salt and water for our PDC class in Nelson, this happened only weeks after meeting with yet another Permie who was racing home to Vancouver Island and his bucket of fermenting cabbage, I then read an earlier mentioned book “Independance Days”, where the author raved to no end about her adventures in kimchi making, right around this time Helen got her first starter kombucha mushroom, and now that I am diving deeply into any and all methods of putting up food that don’t require heat other than the sun for drying (namely because I still don’t have a stove top), my current drowning in squash situation was really the straw that broke the camels back, enough encouragement for me to get on the fermenting band wagon. I am thrilled to share my adventures thus far!
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July 21, 2010
Excerpt from rbrand building blog…
“I have also decided to amend my cooking with S.O.L.E blog: while living in the city, seeking out Sustainable, Organic, Local and Ethical Food could be quite a challenge, and cooking with found treasures, while meeting sustainable farmers was really enjoyable, but now that I am living as part of a food system that is so strongly founded in my ethics of eating I am going to shift my blog focus to my adventures in harvesting and preserving and preparing the bounty of my local Food Shed. The blog will be renamed FOOD SHED (in Kootenay time), and I can’t wait to get cooking, fermenting, drying, canning, cold cellaring and over wintering my bounty and sharing my trails and successes.
The garden is EXPLODING which is wonderful, I am still fearful I have not planted enough food, but I feel this way every year, and this garden is by FAR the largest under my belt. I am trying to follow a new mantra these days to do one thing daily which adds to our food shed. Inspired by the novel Independence Days by Sharon Astyk “ a guide to sustainable food storage and preservation” where I will attempt to do one of these things each day: Plant Something, Harest Something, Preserve Something, Minimize Waste , Waste Not, Cook Something New, Manage my Reserves, Work on my Local Food System. And I will add out of my own permaculture ethic BUILD SOIL to this list. Some of these things (especially the later half) I already strive for most days, or on any given opportunity… but planting and harvesting and preserving are my current challenges. Newly inspired by this great read Mia and I starting harvest huge bushels of Mint from our bog, which we have since dried and jarred. We will do more tomorrow along with picking thimble berries starting to splatter the hillside. I have a “Build Solar Dryer” on Dylan’s “TO BUILD” list but it is soooo long these days I am going to keep small batching things with what I can dry inside right now… which might mean frozen berries for a while.”
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