Sunday, November 10, 2013

Many things are fermenting

I have been learning the traditional art of fermented foods. My first experience with fermented foods was in college. My roommate was Korean. She made kim chee. It was really spicy. I liked it a lot. Over time and a visit planned by the military to Korea deepened that craving. Although when pregnant I could not stand it. I have tried over the years to make kim chee. I always ended up with a molded mess for the compost heap. I just gave up up and paid $6 a jar (read as a single sit down snack). Finally a great break though came as I learned about the GAPS diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome). I was going to try this for a 2 year stint and they suggest you play with the recipes until you have making these foods down before beginning. In the process I have had to locate raw milk, organic veggies, sources for dairy kefir grains, water kefir grains, sourdough starts,  kombucha SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts) plus start and a yogurt start. That is done. I started slowly-and in this order.

Well I have source for raw milk-Johnny's Dairy in Riverdale $5 a gallon may be thought to be a bit steep. But it is worth in my opinion, I have not been able tot drink milk in years since the birth of Hyrum our second. It cause major intestinal distress. I can tolerate cheese and cottage cheese, a small amount of ice cream. But as of this past year, I have been able to work on drinking a 1/2 c. (4 oz. or 125 ml) once a week to a full 1 c (8 oz. or 250 ml) to 1 1/2 c (12 oz or 375 ml) of raw milk. I actually about 2-3 times week have homemade egg nog 8 oz raw milk, 2 pastured chicken eggs (our hens), and then fresh grated nutmeg from the nut itself. This is a natural high protein snack and settle my tummy for the night.

I started a square foot garden. We ate out of that all the first summer we had one. Other than that we frequent farmers markets or roadside stands or the organic section of the stores. In our new home we have tried to have garden but the soil needs to be replenished. We are going to experiment with the Mittlieder method. We just want good fresh veggies. I want them year round so I am still studying this now.

I have obtained sourdough, Kefirs and kombucha starts, but sadly I have not taken good care of these pets in the past and lost them.

I have started many sourdough starts with yeast, gluten-free flour and water. thought he yeast did not like me and I have done the get from the air method, but would end up with mold if I did not catch it fast enough.

I have now been able to successfully keep a kombucha start alive for  almost a full year now. My kombucha smells and tastes like apple cider vinegar. It is a heavy detoxifier so start with only  a little at a time.

The dairy kefir I have had to save form the brink of the compost or chicken feed. We give a lot of this to the dogs and it keeps their system on track.

I am still working on the water kefir, which interestingly looks like gummy bears. Which scared me at first because it smelled like beer. I admittedly dumped the first one because of it. now I know have to make very good lemonade from it and a cream soda.    

Yogurt is so simple now. All  do is take room temperature milk stir in room temperature yogurt(no added starches or anything-I got organic yogurt from Smith's and froze them in ice cube trays 1 tablespoom portions. I take 3-4 cubes thaw then add to the quart of raw milk stir and keep warm as instructed. Incubate and viola, we have fresh yogurt. I save a little bit for the next batch. It is runnier that store bought, but I can always strain off liquid to get it thicker or make a greek yogurt out of it.

Kim chee is simple. I usually am eating within five days. Napa cabbage, Daikon Radish garlic, Green onion, Ginger root and red pepper to taste.

I have learned to cook out of necessity, with multiple food allergies, but they are slowly being taken care of thanks to a healing diet and supporting essential oils. I have incorporated the GAPS diet Priciples and practices into my lifestyle versus doing a radical diet for two years, and it is working.