Thursday, August 29, 2013

Set up!

Awhile back I finally got to test out my new 1 gallon ceramic fermenting crock. I received it back in April but its size, and the weight of commitment to whatever I fermented inside it, held me back. But THE DAY finally came because...


...pickling cucumbers were 5 for a dollar!!! at the farmer's market.

The very nice man selling them convinced me how easy it was to do the real ferment and one thing led to another. I loosely followed the recipes in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and on the blog Nourished Kitchen. The grape leaf seemed to do its job in keeping them crunchy but next time I will add no clove.

The BF still prefers vinegar refrigerator pickles to the final fermentation product I produced, so the recipe needs a bit of tweaking to pass that final test. I thought they were GREAT. But, as a whole foods loving crunchy lady, I'd eat about anything if you tell me its lacto-fermented.

What?! It's got billions of bugs in it that will benefit my gut microbiome?! Its been sitting on the counter unrefridgerated for a week?! Pass it over, mama. woot <3

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cooking these days often falls into the category of creative outlet. 

This is something I adore, since so much of my daily life ( job) revolves around such mundane, repetative, sterile tasks.

Not only do I get to imagine, create, and feel my way through the recipe process, but in the end...we get to EAT IT! Yes, if I may say so myself, this is pretty flippin' fantastic. Pure GENIUS.

Yesterday the 20 lbs of peaches I had picked up at the local fruitstand were finally ripe. $0.50/lb so I just could not resist buying a truckload. I had rinsed them in vinegar solution a few days ago and carefully and lovingly patted each dry and placed in single layers in paper bags  to ripen. Can you tell I've had problems with rotting stone fruit before? What? me? never!!

Thank goodness none of them rotted before they ripened and a chose about 30 of the ripest ones and started (sort of) following a recipe from one of my current favorite blogs, Nourished Kitchen's Peach Butter recipe

This peach butter looked easier than jam and had no extra sugar or pectin (more on my disappointing learning curve with pectin later...).

I started by peeling the peaches using a boiling water bath. It was seriously SO EASY. I don't know why everybody complains so much. Just plop them in boiling water. Take a drink of tea. Pull them out and plop them in ice water. 
Roll them around in your hand and...viola!

I ended up using about 32 medium peaches total. Next I just started pulling the pits out and plopping the halves in my pot. I had to use two pots since I don't own a big enough one (ahem...boy I live with who wants to buy me presents).

This is possibly the most beautiful cooking project I've been on lately. Look at those colors

Then I mashed a bit to get the juices flowing and just let it cook away

I added some spices. Cinnamon, clove, ginger, cardamom, allspice. All together about 1/4 cup of spices split between the two pots

Eventually I blended with my emersion blender and then employed the boy to stir stir stir because the thick boiling mush was quite explosive as it got thicker and I had to run off and doctor a large burn on my arm.

Next up will be canning the whole mess. The partially reduced slop is sitting in my fridge because after we hosted the weekly community potluck there was no time....

and did I mention it made the whole house smell like peach pie? I think I might have to make a peach pie with the remaining couple of peaches. Yummy.

until next time <3