Culturing Courage

culturingcourage

I hear all the time from people who are nervous about getting started culturing. We live in a very germ-phobic society where hand sanitizer is everywhere and the news regularly reports outbreaks of foodborne illness or tainted food recalls. For those who have worked in food service, the image of the thermometer proclaiming “Danger Zone” is permanently etched in memory.

So how can you make the leap from over caution about food to leaving a jar of cabbage on the counter for 3 weeks? Or perhaps even leaving milk out for 48 hours!… 

Read More »

Sarah

Sarah

I live in Oregon with my 4 kids. I hop between my kitchen and sewing room. As the daughter of a ranch-girl turned County Extension Agent, I really believe that with enough ingenuity and know-how, anything can be made. I try to keep some cultured vegetables and condiments on hand, as well as a robust supply of yogurt. What really excites me though is finding old ways of culturing foods from around the world and making it work in my life. “I wonder” is a phrase I utter a lot, and can make my kids nervous! I love to learn and share what I’ve discovered.

More Posts

A Closer Look: New England Sourdough

newenglandsourdoughlead

This is an easy sourdough to activate and work with. Someone else has used the word “robust” and that seems a perfect description. It might be a mild flavor but it still does have a sourdough flavor that is very popular at our house. I thoroughly enjoy making bread with this starter. -Bonnie

… 

Read More »

Shannon

Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, and picture-taker. She lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead where they make and eat kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and fermented vegetables.

More Posts - Website

SaladKraut and Other Tips for Streamlining Ferment Routines

IMG_2188

I could easily spend hours a day dabbling in the kitchen with cultures. Trying new combinations of vegetable ferments, spinning a batch of kefir into something new and exciting, or baking up something sweeter than usual with my sourdough starter all sound like a great way to spend the day to me. It’s part of my job, and I love it!

But let’s face it, I can’t afford to spend that kind of time in the kitchen unless it’s for work. And I’m guessing I’m not alone in saying that.

So, instead of spending free time I don’t have experimenting in the kitchen, I generally keep it very simple. Here are a few ways I streamline my making of kraut, kefir, and sourdough.

… 

Read More »

Shannon

Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, and picture-taker. She lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead where they make and eat kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and fermented vegetables.

More Posts - Website

Finding Real Sourdough: Am I a Purist?

dreamstime_s_42660265

We used to live in an area that had deep real food roots. The farmer’s market was huge and there were several in the area. Farmers came in from all around to sell their goods to grocers, restaurants, and home cooks. I took my baby and toddling sons – now 6 & 8 – to a farmer’s co-op every Friday to pick up fresh meat, milk, eggs, and any produce they had. I knew most of those farmers by name.

At those Friday co-op pickups we also used to be able to source sourdough bread from a local artisan baker. Rye or whole wheat, these were tangy and dense and nourishing loaves. He even taught a sourdough class I attended one evening when I first started baking with sourdough.

We now live in a more rural area, ironically, and I’ve found it very difficult to find real food. We’re producing more of our own, but those artisan producers and small farmers are sorely missed. I’ve looked everywhere in our area for real, true sourdough bread and I’ve yet to find it. Maybe I have too high of standards, but those loaves and bags claiming sourdough on the label just aren’t it.

Here’s what I’m looking for…

… 

Read More »

Shannon

Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, and picture-taker. She lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead where they make and eat kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and fermented vegetables.

More Posts - Website