Monday, July 26, 2010

Lactofermentation Update...

So, my pickles are crunchy and tasty, very salty, though... trying again with whey and jalapenos...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My new experiment: Lactofermentation

Ok, so anyone who eats yogurt enjoys the benefits of lactofermentation, it's basically growing good bacteria, the kind that your tummy likes, in a milk medium.  I've found out that it can be used for preserving foods, too, and still with all the benefits to your tummy!  Not to mention, there's no cooking involved, so the food remains nutritionally dense during preservation, unlike canning or to a lesser extent, freezing.  So, because so many of us like to eat pickles on a regular basis, I've begun with those.  Here is a recipe from Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions, which I highly recommend (and it costs a lot less now than it did when I first bought it).

Pickled Cucumbers

Makes 1 Quart

4-5 pickling cucumbers or 15-20 gherkins
1 T mustard seeds
2 T Fresh dill, snipped
1 T sea salt
4 T whey (or substitute another T of sea salt)
1 cup filtered water
Also, I added 1 clove of garlic

Wash well and place in a quart sized, wide mouth mason jar.  Combine remaining ingredients and pour over cucumbers, adding more water if necessary to cover the cucumbers.  The top of the liquid should be at least 1 in below the top of the jar.  Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to cold storage (read refrigerator).

Dude, that's like so many times easier than normal pickles I can't even describe it... I mean, liming, sanitizing, heating vinegar and spices, salt, processing, and all in a hot kitchen is the normal modus operandus.  So, here are mine!


I used the extra salt because we've been using yogurt for soaking grains for eating and I'm running short of whey...  also, mine seem to be slightly foamy, which I fear may be detergent residue from washing them out?!  I'm trying sliced jalapenos next!

Anyway, with all this yogurt consumption, I'm thinking I need the big yogurt maker, so I can make like  a quart at a time, without having to wrap my jar in a towel and put it in a warm oven and hope for the best!  One like this:

Or, I could make kefir, which incubates at room temperature and can be used for soaking grains, too.

Or, I could make both, some yogurt for yogurt cheese, whey, and sauces, and the kefir for when I need the bacteria to predigest and counteract enzyme inhibitors in grains.... hmmmmmm....  so many little microbes to farm, so little time!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Garden Progress

I planted the herbs in April, like a week after we moved in.  This is what they looked like immediately after planting.  Kind of bare and scraggly... I know.  There's rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano, and parsley, plus marigolds.

In June I took pics of the gardens as we planted and prepared them, it was late for planting, but we took awhile to get the gardens ready.  Between unpacking and Jeremy's crazy work schedule, it took till early June to get things started.

Here's the herb garden again, just getting established... it took awhile!

The green beans, and some empty, but seeded dirt...

The tomatoes, some mesclun seedlings, and pink petunias...

And here's the planted garden and unplanted bed along the fence.

These were all taken today, in very hot, bright sunshine!

Herb Garden


Beans, Okra, lettuce, radishes, broccoli, zucchini under the dwarf apple tree...

And the crunchy, dry grass and sfg's growing in the heat.... along the fence, there are yellow squash, more okra, and more green beans, planted later even than the ones in the sfg... I'm gonna put cabbages and carrots in this bed, too, for fall, and then plant some spinach and kale and chard for fall... we also planted melons and pumpkins on a slope beside the driveway, too, though I forget to water those...  I'm praying for rain!!!  Also, the buckets and rack for our killing cones for butchering chickens are in the background... we put 24 in the freezer last Wednesday!  Yay!