Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Fementation




After a long hiatus from blogging, I decided to come back to document a new found hobby of mine.  Fermenting and Lacto-Fermentation.  The benefits of fermenting were what drew me to want to learn more about it.  Some of the benefits include making food for digestible and therefore we can absorb the nutrients easier because they have been broken down by the bacteria and yeast into a form that is easier to be absorbed by our bodies.  The fermented foods are chocked full of good bacteria that are very beneficial to our gut and body as a whole and help our immune system to be healthier. 

Most fermented "raw" unpasteurized foods contain trillions of beneficial bacteria.  The key is that the food is unpasteurized and therefore all the good bacteria and yeast have not been killed off by the pasteurization process. 

I was initially introduced to this during a very informative sourdough class back in January of this year.  I have been baking bread for years and have dabbled in making my own sourdough starter with varied success.  The class helped me understand a lot of things that were causing my failures with my sourdough starters.  After the first class was completed we were all given a small amount of our presenters 4-5 year old sourdough starter and tasked with going home and feeding it and keeping it alive until our next class. I ended up having great success with not only keeping it alive but letting it grow to the point of needing two vessels to hold all the starter in. Here is my lovely handiwork that I have been using and passing along to all my friends who would like to dabble in the sourdough making art.

 

I have also been introduced to three more fermentation foods:  Kombucha, Kefir, and lacto-fermented veggies.  Although these are new and I have only been dabbling for a couple weeks, I have had great success.  Below you can see my first batch of Kombucha brewing away and about to be bottled for its second ferment with juice.  The process might not look the most appetizing to the newbie kombucha drinker because it ferments with the assistance of a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) along with some starter tea.  Luckily for me, I met great people in the sourdough class who so kindly passed along a SCOBY and starter tea for me to get started. 
Kombucha SCOBY forming on the top


Kombucha Brewing ready to be bottled
Kefir is another fermenting food I have been working on and having great success.  I don't have pictures right now, but it is similar to a drinkable yogurt which ferments with the assistance of another SCOBY which is in the form of small cauliflower like creatures that eat the lactose and "sour" milk to make a probiotic filled drink.. 

Lastly I have been dabbling with lacto-fermented vegetables and specifically cabbage to make sauerkraut.
 
 


In 2 - 3 weeks we have delicious sauerkraut

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Meatless Thursday

Trying to reduce red meat, so opting for one or two days of just veggie's. So far so good.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

No Knead Bread

Found this wonderful bread recipe and had to share: it's the easiest and most delicious bread I've ever made.


Recipe: No-Knead Bread

Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Lazy Year Posting!

Sunset in Varadero, Cuba

Fishing Shacks in Rose Blanche




Rose Blanche Lighthouse



The now "closed down" town of Grand Bruit
Note the waterfall right in the center of town!

Wow, its been a full year that I have not posted to my blog! I am surprised "blogger" hasn't deleted me...

Been a very busy year, mostly socializing with all my friends; spending time in Codroy this summer and fall; a trip to the now abandoned town of Grand Bruit in early summer; a great trip to Cuba! and much much more.
I haven't been spinning a whole lot since March. I kind of had a lot of wool spun and vowed to use it before starting any new spinning projects. Been knitting on and off when I need something for myself.

My mother has picked up the old habit of knitting these past months and I have been "coaching" her on a few projects outside her comfort zone.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

New Directions... sort of!

Over the past few months I have been experimenting with different patterns for hats. And after reading and knitting many different patterns I finally decided I needed something unique to me. But after knitting a few trial hats, I have finally decided that variety is the spice of life!
These are two of my attempts, both are comfortable and stylish. And thanks to Niki, I now know how to fleece line them; although my sewing skills are not the greatest... but that will come with practice.

Fall always brings out the knitter in me and I have also used up all my homespun wool I had spun, so out comes the spinning wheel today.


First Attempt!!!



Second Attempt! From my homespun; and a cozy fleece lining!






Thursday, July 16, 2009

Recession: why not barter...

Well I have been very lazy with my blog these past two months. With the warmer weather, work and spinning and knitting, it has gone to the way-side.


But an update...


A friend and co-worker of mine makes pottery as a hobbie. I casually mentioned to her that I would love a set of bowls and after chatting we ended up bartering a couple of my knit-wears (hat and vamps) for a set of 4 of the most beautiful bowls I have ever seen.