The last month has been a busy one for me. A new job two weeks before Christmas, plus two additional days a week at my original job equaled over 130 hours working in those weeks! Not much time for cooking (or writing). At least all is going well, and calming down a bit, for now.
Christmas was fabulous! Three great cookbooks from my boyfriend, delectable, fancy flavored salts from my sister, a new stock pot and ceramic bread pan (to and from myself) and a few other little goodies here and there made for smiles for days. I hope they were all as happy as I was with their gifts. I know my sister was with her book, Kate Payne's Hip Girls Guide to Homemaking.
On the food front, I was subsisting on canned lentil and black bean soups (my own) and the lucky fact that I'm virtually surrounded by Southeast Asian restaurants and Gluten free bakeries at the new location!
This past week, though, I finally found the time to really dig into one of my new books, Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions. The first chapter of recipes was all cultured dairy. I'm In Love! The next was fermented vegetables. Catch me, I'm swooning. Then stocks, sprouts, condiments, sauces, salads, soups and main courses. And all this was after the pages and pages of nutrition redefined, as your grandmother would have told it, but backed up with facts and studies, "challenging politically correct nutrition." My kind of book!
And on to the recipes...
So, yogurt has been done by me, over and over, but I'm always learning more. One little tidbit was that some extra straining yields amazingly delicious cultured cream cheese! My next challenge...source local, raw milk for all of my dairy projects! Difficult, since I live in one of those fun states where raw is outlawed, but not impossible to aquire.
Kefir cultures need to be sought out, and pima as well. Yay. I'm dairy crazy right now! As well as dairy-wary after all I've learned, or been reminded of, about standard milk. I've replaced all of my butter with pastured & organic, my milk is now entirely organic, until I can find raw, and raw cheeses (those that I've not made) are in regular rotation.
|Only Half of the Cabbage!|
On from dairy to Lacto-Fermenting. I've known the advantages of whey for a while (that amazing byproduct of making yogurt and cheese), kimchi and breads and soaking and so on, and I've found even more. I made fermented ketchup, mayonnaise (with farm fresh eggs) and sauerkraut in one day. Success and pride followed, as well as a sore arm from pounding three quarts worth of cabbage.
|Organic, Local Chicken Stock|
|Granola in Homemade Yogurt|
So here I am, back in the swing of things, mixing up my flours and starches for my bread for the week and wouldn't you know it, I'm completely out of yeast. No more little packets anywhere to be found. The first place I run is the first place I always run, because I trust them and they are so close, the local health food store/vegetarian restaurant. It's a cute little place run by an older asian couple with delicious food and a willingness to accommodate unheard of nowadays. A quick stop in and Farbia was going to simply give me a bit of yeast, for the one item he assumed I was cooking. Little did he know I was trying to perfect my recipe for Teff bread that I have been working on and making two loafs at a time now for a bit. I even bought a new, ceramic bread pan to see if my results would improve (which they did, dramatically, I may even get another). After eyeing up his five pound bag, I requested more as I do a lot of gluten free baking.
|Actually not the perfect loaf here, I forgot to snap a photo, silly me.|
This is different loaf of the same delicious bread
All in all, it's been a great couple of weeks. Life is good. I'm happy with where I'm at and hopeful of the future. What a great way to start the year!