Saturday, August 28, 2010

House to House

Women's Grappling Camp is over. Another amazing group of women...old friends, new friends...so much learning for everyone...on the mat, in the head, in the heart and mind, in the world. Always getting challenged in some way and somehow intensified and condensed into one week. What a deal! Starting out with the cup of stress overflowing with tears to the trust and acceptance of surrender and floating and feeling the rolling of the waves letting the course of the world play out. And now from the House of Laundry (no clothes dryer in Canada so everything got hung out to dry) back to the House of Ferment.

Can't wait to get back to the House of Ferment and see what has happened. I should have a whole lot of Kombucha tea (or vinegar) waiting for me and some cold and sleepy Kefir bacteriods. Hopefully they haven't died of hypothermia in the refrigerator.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Eggplant...

takes FOREVER to cook. Forever = well past midnight. ARGGHH! Kelly was right.
In other news...
Earlier today I bottled some of the kombucha tea I've been making in the big pickle jar.
Lately, I've been accumulating kefir in the refrigerator. So I'm making it into cheese. The whey is strained off and what remains is cheese. Sort of a ricotta-like cheese. I'm going to put it as a topping on the "Past Midnight Eggplant".
I also put some in a container and mixed in some bits of the "bleu" from the blue cheese I had in the fridge. Let's see if it rots...er...cultures. LOL.
I'm drinking the whey. Tonight I mixed it with ice, water and some orange stevia. Not bad.
When I get back from camp, I'm going to make sauerkraut and attempt Kim Chee with it.
My house is fermenting.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Muffin Challenge Experiments

Apparently I've taken on this challenge where I try and make everything into a muffin. It's fairly quick and easy and they are portable...easy to take wherever you go to snack on. I love baked things, especially breads like banana, zucchini, carrot, etc. So I just bake them in muffin tins (usually with cupcake liners). So far, I've tired the usual zucchini and banana varieties (with my own little twists, of course)...but also various types of beans, various types of squashes, kefir I make, and anything I stumble upon in the street...
And then there's the additional occasional challenge of taking things OUT of the muffins...flour, sugar, and dairy.
I've only had one batch that was over baked and burned because I got lazy with the timing. Aside from that, it's been pretty interesting and relatively yummy. Relatively...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fit Prizes and Dry Fruit

Every Saturday morning, I get a box of organic vegetables from www.abundantharvestorganics.com. It's a really cool thing if you are trying to get more organic in as fresh and cost effective way as possible. You don't get to choose what you get, but that's part of the fun. Each week, you get the freshest harvest of what's in season. There's usually stuff that you have no idea what to do with, in which case I "Google" and learn what it is and how to cook/use whatever it is. Sometimes, you keep getting something you don't really like. They do have a trade box so sometimes that comes in handy. This last week, I got more potatoes and I don't really eat a lot of potatoes. I decided to use them for the Ultimate Fit prize. Whoever "won" the workout got the surprise. Congrats, Cory!!! And you win....Organic POTATOES!!!! Enjoy!!!
You can also add on different things that they offer...all organic....meat, nuts, cheese, eggs, beans, oats, even fish. This last week they were offering 15lbs of cosmetically challenged stone fruit for 9.00. That could be things like peaches, nectarines, or plums that are a bit scuffed or have a spot or something like that. So, I took the chance. Why not? I like all those fruit and I still have Drew's dehydrator from the overload of persimmons back in December from Joe. Drew only uses his dehydrator for deer jerky and he hasn't gone hunting and now that he just had ACL reconstructive surgery, I doubt he's going hunting anytime soon. Coincidentally, he came by the gym in a big brace and crutches :( Get on that rehab!!!
So the other project in my fermenting lab is nectarine dehydrating.

Moonshiner

The last few weeks, I've been making and experimenting with Kombucha and Kefir...courtesy of my friend from the farmer's market, Dale. I made Kombucha once before, back in the 90's and then have occasionally purchased it at the store....for a LOT of not-so-pretty pennies!!! Well, since getting the "starter stuff" from her, I've been doing my obsessive researching on the internet and found out that Lindsay Lohan is blaming Kombucha for her elevated alcohol readings. As a result, in June, Kombucha teas have been temporarily taken off the market pending investigation. So, now I'm feeling a bit like a crazy old moonshiner!!! But i still have all my teeth ;)
There are two ways of making Kombucha. The first way is a one time thing and you just keep repeating the process every week. When I did it "back in the day", I had bought two large glass (can't use metal and not so desirable to use plastic) bowls. At some point between then and now and multiple moves, I broke one. The other, however, was ready to return to it's initial life calling. Then I found out about the second way called "continuous brewing". This calls for a very large jug or vat where you have a LOT of tea and then whenever you take some out, you add more in. It's supposed to have all sorts of other health benefits as a result of the prolonged fermentation process. Some sites have these vats and containers for sale and the cheapest one was over 20 bucks, not including shipping. I went to Smart and Final to get some Mason jars to store the Kombucha tea in. I was also looking for a big glass vat type thing if I happened to find one. All the storage containers they sold were plastic!!! Damn plastic!!! There was one big glass one that looked like the one on the internet but it was 21.00. Too much for me. So I kept looking around and remember that my mom had once told me about getting glass pickle jars from restaurants to do pickling and preserving at home. They throw them away anyways. I eventually find the pickle aisle and lo and behold, there are very large clear jars. But...they seem...wait...I knock on the container...and they are...PLASTIC!!! Not just regular plastic, but plastic molded to LOOK like glass jars!!! WTF? Okay, so now I find myself picking up each container and knocking on it to see what it's made of. I'm sure if anyone saw me...well, whatever. Eureka!!! I finally find a glass one!!! It's dill pickles. Everything is packed in plastic except DILL PICKLES. I keep looking around to see if there are any I haven't knocked on and then I start to scan the prices. A big container (probably plastic) of olives is 23 bucks! 16.99...11.99....back to the dill pickles and they are (drumroll, please) 3.99...on sale!!! They are usually 4.99. I get two of these big beautiful glass jars and the bonus of free pickles!!!! How cool!!!! These jars alone sell for at least 5 bucks plus shipping each. What do you do with a ton of big dill pickles? Text people and ask them "Do you like big dill pickles?", of course. Lots of people got free pickles and pickle juice that afternoon and by the next morning, I only had 4 left. I didn't even taste them. Took the jar home, cleaned it out and set up my continuous brew Kombucha tea project.