Food fascinates me. Every aspect of it: it’s primal origins when people in history hunted and gathered for it to the health benefits it gives you for increased longevity. Does this sound weird? Think again. My thoughts are this: you only have one “machine” that is to last you a lifetime. The more knowledge you have about how to take care of it, the better.
Reading about food is another fascination. I have read a wide variety of food related books and one I recently completed Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz. Wow; just wow, what a gem. Let me tell you why.
The book encompasses an organized combination of science background, tried and true recipes with just a hint of personal experiences. In totality, Katz brings the seemingly lost art of fermentation into a new light, all the while encouraging the reader to take a journey into the unfamiliar by creating habits and food rhythms that your grandmother likely used to perform.
Katz talks about the science of fermentation, the health benefits, as well as giving a slew of recipes that anyone can try in their own kitchen. From the simple staples such as cheese, bread and yogurt to the eclectic art of making wine out of flowers, he brings the topic down to a level that any reader can digest. He says, “Microscopic bacteria and fungi are in every breath we take and every bite we eat…they are essential to life’s processes.” Katz makes a case for taking some of these “good” microbes into our body to benefit from within and why.
Why not take some of this time-tested information into your family nest, share it with your kids, and create a connection to each other and our earth? Here are a few ideas I have implemented but feel free to use these as roots to create your own wings.
1. Plant a garden with your family. You need not you attend to it like a helicopter Mom; but rather a stellar eagle that swoops in to reap the harvest. Your garden will likely produce something with minimal effort. Take what is harvested and try your hand a preserving some vegetables via fermentation instead of canning. For example, turn cabbage into sauerkraut or apples into cider: it is science at it’s best. Click here for Sandor’s book and many more ideas.
2. In addition to composting, separate out some food scraps of your choice, be it fruit or vegetables, and choose a fermentation experiment. How about apple vinegar with the leftover apples that fell off of your tree? Set it up, and leave it for a week or two. Voila–vinegar!
3. Play around with making a few staples that you use everyday with wild yeasts: Cheese, yogurt, or even sourdough bread. Or go out on a limb and try making Kombucha or Milk Kefir. Check out the myriad of options at Cultures For Health and chat with one of the customer service representatives who are always so willing to help.