Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My Bread Box is Full of What?

What's in this beautiful old bread box you ask?
It contains much of my hard work from this past weekend.
Once upon a time, I tried out a sauerkraut recipe I found in a Martha Stewart magazine.
It was easy and good, but the simple kraut with caraway seeds was boring to me.
Then I read The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz.  Absolutely fascinating.
I started making ginger beer.  Everyone loved it.
Yogurt, I didn't post about it, but I make it every week.
Sourdough bread did not work for me, I'm happy with regular yeast risen bread.
But I was so facinated by fermentation that I  wanted to do more,
so I started picking up books at the library.
The answer to the question should be obvious by now, my bread box
is full of my fermentation projects.  (This is what happens when it's freezing out
and I have no tomatoes to can....)

I took out a bunch of books at the library, but I liked the recipes in Fresh and Fermented by Julie O'Brien.  The recipes were simple, straightforward and seemed to be well-tested.  By the way...
Go to the library.  Books belong on real paper.
Go there immediately and walk around, bring your kids!  No one, you or them,
should be spending your whole day starting at a computer screen.
Left to Right: Ying Yang Carrots, Firefly Kimchi, Curtido, and Ruby Red Kraut.

I love me some Jeff Mauro.  He has such a sense of enthusiasm about food!  The way he goes on and on about Giardiniera, I had to try his version.  It's really good with a short brining time.
I also made a semi-traditional kimchi using the kitchn's recipe.  Real kimchi involves a glutinous rice paste, and I really wasn't into doing all of that.  A big difference between this version and the Firefly Kimchi is the use of fish sauce and amount of gochugaru (Korean red chili powder).
I also made Do Chau (pickled carrot and daikon) as I plan to make banh mi this week.
I had leftover serrano chilies from the Gardiniera, so I also made Pickled Chilis with Lime.
Both recipes came from Asian Pickles by Karen Solomon.

Some of these ingredients might seem super foreign to you, but I'm sure you have
an Asian market in your area, or an H-Mart which is where I usually go.
And of course, everything you could ever want is easily found on Amazon.
Stop just sticking lettuce on your sandwiches. 
That's incredibly lame.
There are so many other options.  Step out of your comfort zone and give fermentation a try.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Valentine's Day...Thinking Outside of the Box

I know this is a late post, but as you can see, I'm a lazy blogger.
Remember last year when the Hubby made me this heart wreath
using random branches from the bushes around our house?
So this year, we had a bush that turned into a tree. 
I won't get rid of it, because it's the home of many bunnies and birds every year.
We did lop off the top in an attempt to make it more of a bush shape.
Using that wood, he carved me these spoons.
He wasn't going to make a ladle, but he said the trunk curved in a way that
he thought it wanted to be one.  He sounds like the guy from that treehouse show.

 This spoon was all he originally planned on making.
This thing...I don't know what to call it. A spatchula?  He said it's something
similar to what his grandmother had.  I've been using it for random things.

My point of this post isn't to prove how crafy the Hubby is.
It's to say, stop with the flowers, chocolate and gift cards.  Those are lame gifts.
Stop with the obligatory gifts, and do something more original.
Don't be a sheep.