Friday, November 23, 2012

food fermentation

The Powell River Food security project hosted a beginners course on food fermentation last week. I was interested because sauerkraut was on the list and I love sauerkraut.

If you asked me two weeks ago I would have said sauerkraut is cooked and vinegar is used as a preservative, not true .... sauerkraut is fermented using salt and whey.

It's really quite simple, all you need is a little bit of time. This is what we did:

Very thinly slice one head of cabbage
Shred  1 - 2 carrots
add 1/4 cup of whey
add 1tbsp unrefined sea salt or 2 tbsp if you are not using whey

Mix everything together into a large bowl, mix it/beat it well for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the veggies release their juices and are very wet.

Pack the veggies very tightly into a 1litre jar with a tight fitting jar, before closing the lid, add a cabbage leaf and tuck it around the shredded cabbage. The cabbage must be underwater at all times or it will spoil. Leave about 1 inch of head space. Place the jar at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks and then store in the fridge or in a cool cellar. The sauerkraut will be good to eat as early as a week after you make it but it will become more flavourful as it matures. Store leftover sauerkraut in smaller jars to ensure you maintain the 1 inch head space in the jar.

Beat it and massage your veggies!

The class busy chopping, dicing and mixing

From left to right, sauerkraut, kim chi and ketchup

Friday, November 16, 2012

Under the grape vines ...

We had so much under these now bare grape vines. Late night drinks with friends, a magical night with all the candles lit. Family barbecues, shucking peas and beans and  lovely cool shade from the burning sun. 
Til next year!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sista party

I got to 50 first but my sisters are following ... this time it's Liz's turn. Hard to believe she is now 50 and it was time to celebrate. Julie flew in from Kelowna. Iolanda and I took the bus and ferry to Victoria and Alessia skyped from Australia.

Celebrating birthdays together is now a tradition. Some way or another we try our hardest to get together for sure, once every year, but if the stars, the moons and planets are aligned just right, twice.

Every year we have a great time together with a continuing theme, food and drink. Usually my sister Liz does most of the cooking, afterall, she is the most fabulous cook. Nothing scares her, she will tackle almost any ingredient and cooking method, and she will also come up with some super drinks, again she finds all sorts of  unique spirits and liquers. Did you know there is such a thing as grapefruit liquer and did you know it makes a special glass of sparkling wine extra special? Well Liz knows! She also makes sure that a bottle of champagne is chilling at all times. This gal is full of life and joie de vivre and always ready to pop the cork to celebrate ...

So what to do for this very special sis on her very big birthday? Well we couldn't very well make her cook could we? We decided to all go out for dinner to a French bistro, the Bon Rouge, believe it or not this was the first time in history that we have gone out to eat for dinner. Dinner was fabulous, the restaurant is beautiful and we had a grand time. Could this be a new tradition? Only time will tell.

From left to right, Liz, Julie and Iolanda
Next up will be Julie, she still has a few years before she reaches 50, wonder what we will do? Whatever we decide to do we will have many sista parties between now and then to discuss in great detail what we will eat and drink ... hope you are ready Liz! You have lots of cooking ahead of you. Love you all sisters.