Preserving


Foodwithlegs has been moved to its new home at foodwithlegs.com this post can be found on the new site here.

Green fading to a golden brown is a positive sign that fermentation is at work

Green fading to a golden brown is a positive sign that fermentation is at work

Apparently there are eastern European recipes for making sauerkraut with whole heads of cabbage immersed in large barrels of brine.  I don’t think our small cellar-like cupboard could handle a barrel of fermenting heads of cabbage–to say nothing of Kat’s olfactory sensibilities–but I still want to experiment with this type of sauerkraut recipe, just on a smaller scale.

What better method than by using nature’s scaled-down version of the cabbage, the brussels sprout, I wondered.  They have many of the same sweet-mustardy flavours that cabbages do just in a smaller, more concentrated format.  So that the finished product will stay where it belongs when served on top of sausage on a toasted bun I have included some of the traditional shredded cabbage in this recipe.  This was also done to hedge against the possibility that because brussels sprouts are stronger-flavoured than cabbage they might be less palatable after a month of fermentation.

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Foodwithlegs has been moved to its new home at foodwithlegs.com this post can be found on the new site here.

Kat has a great sense of style and we both love entertaining.  When we had her family over for dinner recently she had the idea of decorating the table with whole limes.  It looked great but what are we to do with ten limes?  (At 1/4 of a lime and 2 – 3 oz of gin per G & T that’s a lot of Bombay Saphire.)  As usual my motto is “when life hands you limes make some sort of preserve”.

Preserved Limes 1

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Ginger 1When ethnic cuisines are exported, mass-marketed, and made available for home delivery here in North America (“pizza-fication” perhaps?) their quality usually suffers in two ways: Shortcuts are taken in technique and inferior ingredients are used.   Thankfully, it is tough to get a master sushi chef if you’re only willing to pay minimum wage (I imagine) but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be nearly as difficult to get discount wasabi and pickled ginger.

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Second only to mead, sauerkraut was our most successful experiment with fermentation last summer.  Because we were lucky enough to find an apartment that has a cupboard off the kitchen that stays cooler than the rest of the house (between 8 and 12 degrees celsius) I have been able to tinker with another round of fermenting cabbage.

Two-toned fermented cabbage

Two-toned fermented cabbage

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Seville oranges are best for marmalade-making

Seville oranges are best for marmalade-making

Those who have committed to eating seasonally in places where there is snow on the ground for, now going on three months of the year tend to find their conviction wavers in January and February.  Thankfully this is just when citrus comes into season.  And there is more to the winter citrus seasonality than just those ubiquitous crates of clementine oranges.  One perfect example of this is marmalade.  (more…)

Jalapenos 1

In order to capture more dollars from the discount-savvy shopper the Loblaws grocery stores that we shop at have started making “not so fresh” produce available at 50% of the original price.  This has become less of a great deal than when it first strated because they have begun packaging in larger quantities that usually include at least a couple specimens that I wouldn’t buy individually.  Also, certain items just aren’t practical in large quantities because we don’t use them often enough to keep a big bagful in the fridge.

Jalapenos are a great example.  Half-off is great but what is one to do with a bag of twenty jalapenos when most recipes call for one or maybe two?  Simple: Make pickles.

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Winter cooking (and to a more limited extent winter gardening) is enjoyable in its own right but realistically I spend more time thinking about the summer during the wintertime than the other way around. Therefore, this post is devoted to one of my favourite food experiments of last summer: Ethiopian Honey Wine (a.k.a. T’ej, or Mead).

Four Flavours of Mead: plain, blueberry, honey ginger, and peach

Four Flavours of Mead: plain, blueberry, lemon ginger, and peach

Sandor Katz’s book Wild Fermentation was the inspiration for a lot of what I prepared (“cooked” is the wrong word because almost all fermented food is raw) last July and August.  I’ll probably deal with each of the fermentation experiments and likely the book itself in separate posts but when scrolling through photos from last summer I came across this one and remembered just how good the mead was to drink as well as to look at.

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