Monday, October 30, 2017

Book Tour!

I'm making some appearances to talk about (what else) fermentation and real food, and to sign books!

Nov 5 in Pasadena (LA area):

Nov 30 in Oakland (SF area):

Dec 10 in Oakland (SF area):

Stand by for more appearances on the West Coast and the East Coast in coming months!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

New Book: Kombucha Kefir and Beyond! Focused buy: Sept 2

Dear Reader,

I am thrilled to announce the publication and availability of our new book, Kombucha, Kefir, and Beyond! Co-author Raquel Guajardo and I put our heads, hands, and spirits together to create it.

If you are inclined to do so, PLEASE buy it on September 2, either on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore. I'll come and sign it for you later. :-D

For Amazon, use this link:

Here's why: If everyone buys it the same day, it will become a "best seller", and the momentum will snowball!

Here are the bullet points:

  • Easy, quick recipes for fermented drinks in your home kitchen, with no special equipment
  • Some FIVE MINUTE fermented drink recipes
  • Drinks from many traditions, including the US (eg., switchel) and Mexico (eg., tepache)
  • Tepache. That's wine made out of pineapple husks. WHAT?
  • Kimchi soda (!)
  • Some of our fermented cocktail recipes, including Louis C.K., Tepache Smash, and Sauerkraut Michelada
  • A sober discussion of the chemistry of fermentation, why ferments are good for you, and why drinks are a good starting point
  • Ever wonder what the difference is between a beer and a wine?
  • And, as they say, much much more…

Monday, July 31, 2017

Fermentation Festivals and Book Launches! Save the Date

Mark your calendars!

  • Boston Fermentation Festival, Sunday August 27
  • Farm to Fermentation Festival, Saturday September 2, in Petaluma, California
If you see me there, you will notice that I have written a new book, with coauthor Raquel Guajardo from Monterrey, Mexico!

More details to come.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Oakland Fermentation Demo Date Change: June 14, 2017

Our new date for the Oakland fermentation demo is June 14, 2017.

We will be sampling and demoing kvass, tepache, and switchel, and maybe some other surprises as time allows! Also lots of time for Q&A.

Sign up here to ensure your is limited!

At Pollinate Farm & Garden in Oakland.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Fermented Drinks Demos In Half Moon Bay And Oakland!

Fermented drink demos this weekend, and again in June!

We'll be showing how easy it is to make fermented drinks like Beet Kvass, Tepache, Switchel, and maybe some others.

Click through the links for details:

These demos are a sneak preview of the upcoming book that I coauthored, Ferment Your Drinks! It's available for pre-order on Amazon and should be out late this summer or this fall. I haven't properly announced it yet…I'm waiting until closer to the date…but fermented drinks are great, and even easier to prep and consume than fermented foods!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Pickles (Jewish American Heritage Month)

photo courtesy of Betty Greenwald of "Love Brines"

This month is Jewish American Heritage Month.

The cucumber pickle, while not unique to Jewish American heritage, is somewhat iconic.

In honor of that, here is my recipe for fermented cucumber pickles. And when I say "my recipe", I realize that there are many recipes like it, but this one is mine. And I mean "mine" not in the possessive sense, like a 3-year-old who won't share their toys, nor in the creative sense, since I make no claims about its originality, because like many fermentation recipes and many folk recipes in general, it is a synthesis of all that has come before.

By "mine" I mean simply that it's the one that I use, and the one that I am offering here today.

Cucumber Pickles (Fermented)


- two 32-oz wide-mouth mason jars with one tight-fitting lid
- a tablespoon measure
- (optional) a digital kitchen scale


- 6 or 8 or more pickling cucumbers, 4 to 5 inches long each, an inch or less in diameter
- 3 tablespoons of additive-free kosher salt or sea salt (not iodized table salt)
- 3 or 4 cloves of garlic
- 10 peppercorns
- 2 or 3 bay leaves
- (optional) a tablespoon of preservative-free, mixed pickling spices
- boiling water (for cleaning jars)
- 24 oz or so of room temp water, filtered or previously boiled and cooled


Sterilize jars and lid by pouring boiling water over all surfaces.

Measure approximately 24 oz (750ml) of water into one of the mason jars (most of them have markings), add 3 tablespoons (45g) of salt, close lid, and shake until dissolved. The goal is for the weight of the salt to be approximately 6% of the weight of the water.

To the other, empty mason jar, add the bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns, and any other spices.

Take one cucumber, cut approximately 1/4" off each end, and put it in this jar atop the spices. Repeat this step with subsequent cucumbers until the jar is full and you can add no more cucumbers. They should be snug. Don't be afraid to get a little rough with them.

Pour the brine over the cucumbers to within 3/4" or so of the top of the jar.

Close the lid finger-tight. 

Leave in a dark, cool corner for a few days to a week, depending on ambient temperature and desired sourness. They should get bubbly. Refrigerate.

Mazel tov! You have made fermented pickles!

Eat any time. They will keep in the refrigerator for a month or two or maybe more.

Save the brine for picklebacks, to use as a salad dressing base, as a digestive tonic, or as a sports drink. (So many electrolytes!)

photo courtesy of Betty Greenwald of "Love Brines"

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Today's Fermentation Demo: Program and Notes

I'm doing a fermentation demo and talk today at the Kitchen at Boston Public Market!

If the technology gods are willing, it will be live-streamed on the Real Food Fermentation Facebook page.

I'll be demoing the following recipes, and I'll have samples available:

- Sauerkraut
- Beet Kvass
- Tepache

And if there's time, I'll also demo:

- Preserved Lemons

I've blogged about Sauerkraut, Beet Kvass, and Preserved Lemons before, here.

Tepache is new to this blog, and is a sneak-preview of a recipe from Ferment Your Drinks, my upcoming new book with co-author Raquel Guajardo. When it's officially available, you'll hear lots more about it!

Tepache is a pineapple wine from Mexico. It has low alcohol--maybe a couple of percent--significantly less than beer. This is partly because of its short ferment time (typically less than a week), and partly because it's a wild ferment, so in addition to the yeasts that convert sugar to alcohol, it picks up some bacteria that convert sugar and alcohol to acids.

This means that it is sour. It's great on its own, or as an ingredient in a cocktail of whatever sort.

There are many other nice things about tepache, besides how delicious it is. One is that it allows you to use a portion of the pineapple (the skin) that you would normally just compost or toss. Another is that if you mess up the recipe and let it ferment for too long, you wind up with some nice pineapple vinegar. Hard to go wrong!



- the outer husk and core of one pineapple (the part you can't eat) (I highly recommend this tool!)
- one cup of sugar, ideally piloncillo/panela/jaggery/rapadura/raw sugar/brown sugar
- mixed spices: "pickling spices" will do nicely; make sure they contain no preservatives
- filtered water


- 2-quart mason jar, with metal ring
- unbleached basket-type coffee filter, or unbleached paper towel, or clean cloth towel


In a 2-quart mason jar, dissolve the sugar in a pint of warm water (body temperature or a little cooler).

Cut the pineapple husk and core into chunks roughly 1 inch on a side. Add it to the jar, along with the spices.

Fill with (room temperature) water to 2 inches below the top.

Place filter or towel over the top of the jar, and secure with ring.

Wait 3 or 5 days, or until foamy and aromatic.


Drink chilled, or over ice!


If you want more alcohol and fizz, try putting a tightly-sealing lid on once it starts foaming, then leave it for up to a week.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Fermentation Demo! Boston Public Market, March 4 1PM-3PM

Boston Folks:

I'm doing a demo from 1PM-3PM Saturday March 4 at The Kitchen at Boston Public Market!

Come learn how to ferment. Get a signed copy of my book.

And maybe there will be a sneak-preview of recipes from my new book with coauthor Raquel Guajardo!

Full info here:

Space is limited.

Hope to see you there!