Monday, April 20, 2020

Covid Cabbage

…also known as sauerkraut.

One of the simplest and most universal ferments.

All of a sudden, buying vegetables is not a sure thing. So gather ye cabbages while ye may…and ferment them!

To topic of sauerkraut has been beaten to death, but I can add some advice on jar selection.

Here goes:

    Sunday, April 12, 2020

    The Iconic Pickle

    When you say "pickle" in the United States, people assume you mean "pickled cucumber".

    It is the iconic pickled food.

    Across the world, people enjoy pickled cucumbers in a variety of styles, from crisp and slightly tart to mouth-puckeringly sour; from the microcucumbers of South America and the diminutive cornichons of France to the fat deli cucumbers of New York City.

    They can be eaten as a side, sliced and put on a sandwich, or chopped up and added to sauces (relish, tartar, gribiche). They can be the foundation of soups (popular in Eastern Europe). They can be deep-fried.

    Their brine can be taken as a health tonic.

    Pickling cucumbers prolongs their useful life, potentially a lot, while increasing their deliciousness and nutritiousness.

    Here's how I make my pickles.

    This recipe yields a mild, not-too-sour pickle, crunchy and maybe even a bit effervescent.

    (If you're curious about the difference between "pickled" and "fermented", see the last part of this post!)

    Tuesday, April 7, 2020

    Backyard Foraging: Nasturtiums

    Special guest blogger Carol Emert talks about nasturtiums!

    April 2020

    Nasturtiums have been growing in wild abundance in my backyard for years, but I’ve never taken full advantage of them until Covid-19 started gobsmacking my usual notions about our food supply.

    As the Bay Area’s incidence curve climbs, my family’s Trader Joe’s habit has come to a screeching halt. Instead, we’re sequestered at home, thinking a lot about minimizing waste and doing more with what exists within the bounds of our house and gardens in Oakland, California.

    For this morning’s omelet, I found myself with none of the traditional cooking greens and had no choice but to put nasturtium greens to the test. I’ve long used nasturtium flowers as garnish, and occasionally added the greens as a flavorful supplement to salad. But I’d always considered nasturtiums an intense, peppery novelty -- not a vegetable.

    Saturday, April 4, 2020

    Brew Yer Own Part 2

    Here are some photos as a follow-up to my Brew Yer Own post from a few days ago!




    Wednesday, April 1, 2020

    Brew Yer Own

    UPDATE: I added some step-by-step photos here.

    Today is April 1, "April Fool's Day".

    My Facebook feed is full of jokes about governments banning sales of alcohol.

    It must be a joke, because it could never happen, right?


    It can happen, and it is happening in some places. And in other places, alcohol production and distribution are being deemed "non-essential". (Beer production and distribution will stop in Nuevo León)

    I think this is a poor choice. Alcohol is an excellent and safe anti-anxiety treatment for many of us.

    Which is why if you drink, now would be a good time to try your hand at brewing.

    Keep reading and I'll tell you how to turn a bottle of apple juice into hard apple cider!