Fermenting

100_2713

Fermenting is another wonderful why of preserving food. It has been around for thousands of years. Fermented foods are good for your digestive system, they contain live probiotics. Lets look at Sauerkraut, it has two ingredients, cabbage and sea salt. No chemicals, no additives, not even vinegar…so simple. When it comes to fermenting food and being successful it is about the quality of water, quality of salt and, quality of produce. The water needs to be clean no chloride, chloramine or fluoride. If you have city water you probably have all three chemicals. The chemicals will interrupt the process, making the produce soft and slimy. You can use filtered water or bring your water to a boil and keep it at a rolling boil for one minute to purify. At altitudes above one mile ( 1.6 kilometers), you should increase the rolling boil time to three minutes and allow it to completely cool before using. Use high quality sea salt. DO NOT use processed table salt. They have anti-cake agents and iodine in them and they will discolor and make the produce slimy. They have been stripped of minerals too. Quality of produce should be the freshest and organic if possible. Ferment time can vary. It can be 3 to 5 days or even weeks. Check your sauerkraut every day or two. Open the jar and smell it, use a clean fork taste it. Make sure the produce is still under liquid. After a few days , it should get bubbly, after a few more days , it should start to smell and taste sour. You can eat it at any time , this depends on you and how you like our fermented foods. If you like it crunchier put it in the refrigerator to slow the process. Some people like to eat their Sauerkraut after about 8 days.
Many fermentation recipes rely only on vegetables, sea salt, a knife and jars. No special tools needed. But, I have found this great tool to make fermenting food a lot easier. I know the produce is under liquid with this device. It is called ” Kraut Source” Fermentation Made Simple. I bought three of them. Easy to use. They gave me a little “How To Use Book” and it has some recipes too. If you want to ferment food I highly recommend this tool. Go to http://www.krautsource.com.

See you in class

Happy New Year

100_2712

Happy New Years!

Well as you can imagine I’ve been very busy this Holiday Season
We had a house full of family, good food and much love.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season too.

Up coming class here in (Ione) Jan. 30, we will be making Vidalia Onion Conserve. This is an amazing appetizer waiting in a jar.
Also Sliced Apples with Black Pepper & Rosemary, which is wonderful with pork. We will be preparing our lunch around what we have canned.

The next class Feb. 6th  I will be back at Ace Hardware store “The Kitchen at Alamo Hardware” 3211 Danville Blvd Alamo phone 925.837.2420 ext.313
We will be making Raspberry Milk Chocolate Jam, Pickled Beets with Orange slices and Fermented Sauerkraut getting you ready for St Patrick Day in March. Call The Kitchen and make your reservation.

The next class will be Feb. 27 here in (Ione) we will be making Penny’s Cheesecake. This is an amazing cheesecake with no cream cheese. If you are a cheese lover, you need to come to this class! We will be making Ginger Pears to place on top of the cheesecake. We will have lunch and of course dessert.

The next class will be March 26 here in (Ione) we will be making Rosemary-Mint Jelly; very yummy on a rosemary biscuit or when served with lamb. Then a Vanilla Bean Caramel Apple Syrup. This is great on ice cream, in yogurt and on pancakes too.

The next class  April 23, I will be back in Alamo @The Kitchen at Alamo Hardware 3211 Danville Blvd Alamo phone 925.837.2420 ext.313
Getting you ready for Cinco De Mayo, we will be making Fermented Pico De Gallo, Watermelon Hot Sauce and Papaya-Mango Salsa. Call The Kitchen and make your reservation.

To make a reservation for classes in Ione please use pay pal and email me. Thank you.

See you in class

Freeze it … for those cold winter nights !

100_2654You don’t have to know how to can to be a good preserver.

I love winter and the food that comes with the cold wet weather. My husband and I enjoy hardy soups, stews and chili. I like to make a big pot , but it usually is to much for just the two of us. So, did you know that  you can preserve that great meal for another cold wet day? Yes, pop it in the freezer for later.
Soups, stews and chili are always better a few days after making them, so let them sit in the refrigerator for a day or two.
Always use wide mouth jars for freezing, and never feel to the top leave 1 inch head space, because food expanse when frozen. I like to put a small piece of clear plastic wrap on top to keep the ice from build up on top of the food.
If you use small mouth jars you run the risk of the jar cracking from expanding.

What do you do after making soup. I like putting it into jars for the refrigerator. It is a great way to store it, instead of trying to fit a big pot or big bowl in the refrigerator.

The jar on the left is Tortilla Soup, Butternut Squash Soup, Venison Stew, Venison Chili, and Vegetable with venison meat balls. Chicken soup in the pot in the background.

Go warm up your home and make some soup.

Happy Preserving.