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  • Blog Post: Planning the Garden with an Eye Towards Lacto-Fermentation (Recipe: Winter Kale Chips)

    Winter is a wonderful time to sit in a warm, comfy chair and plan for a garden with wonderful vegetables to ferment! A garden can also hold a few surprises as ours did this week. We’ve had our share of winter weather in the last several weeks – snow storms, ice and way below freezing temperatures but there are plants that don’t seem to mind the more chilly weather. We found two kale plants standing proud, covered in snow and decided a batch of kale chips would be a wonderful treat! Read More
  • Blog Post: Chill Pill

    When I try something new, I really, truly, seriously try. Case in point: yogurt. I’d never made yogurt before, but I wasn’t nervous at all. I had my Greek yogurt starter, the most expensive local dairy milk I could find, and read the instructions until they were memorized. Failure was not an option. I thought I knew it all. Then my yogurt turned into something resembling snot. Interesting, I thought. But I didn’t give up. Read More
  • Blog Post: Bone Broth Tallow Soap

    In this house we make a lot of beef bone broth. The byproduct is beef bones and all the other left-overs from making broth as well as the tallow that rises to the top of the broth and solidifies in the fridge. In trying to have as little waste as possible, we use the bones and left-overs as food for our Black Soldier Fly maggot farm. What do we do with all the tallow? Freeze it. We have frozen tallow for years and when we build up a huge enough supply (or run out of soap), we render it all together and make a big batch of soap. Read More
  • Blog Post: A Taste of Fall

    We got a burst of cool weather recently and it inspired me to take my Desem Sourdough Starter; out of cold storage. Since my house is so tiny, my oven easily raises the ambient temperature in my house by at least 3-5°F each time I turn it on. Therefore my oven sits unused and lonely all summer. Read More
  • Blog Post: Working With Gluten-Free Sourdough Again

    I go in and out of sourdough baking and within that little cycle is me cycling through various types of grains. We do wheat sourdough and rye sourdough and gluten-free sourdough, depending on what is needed in our home. While it’s still hot here – and maybe where you are too – it’s getting close to fall which means cozy ovens popping out loaves of warm sourdough bread. Recently I started up the Brown Rice Sourdough Starter and within days it was bubbly and active and being stirred into various loaves and flat breads. Having worked predominantly with wheat as of late, I’m always amazed at how different – and similar – sourdough baking can be, depending on the type of grain. Not to mention how learning of a few basic concepts has made all the difference. Read More
  • Blog Post: A Cultured Food Book for Every Fermenter

    I began my fermentation journey around seven years ago with a new baby and the book Nourishing Traditions. That is when I slowly accepted that I could, in fact, put food on a counter top – not a refrigerator – and let it go through a natural process that would benefit my health. Since then, I’ve read many of the books in this genre and have shared them with others who take an interest in this little hobby turned every day practice. Today, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you. Included in this list are books for complete newbies, those interested in sustainability, and folks like me who find the historic and cultural role of cultured foods fascinating. Read More
  • Blog Post: 100% Rye Sourdough Baking

    Rye is such a cool grain with a deep and rich history of nourishing cultures throughout the world. So is the practice of sourdough baking. Marrying the two, as I have over the past couple of years, produces some really good loaves, flatbreads, and interesting sweet treats. Read More
  • Blog Post: Cheesy, Sprouted Sourdough Rolls: Monkey Bread Style

    Continuing in my experiments with sourdough, I created this cheesy, flavorful sourdough bread utilizing sprouted wheat flour. It’s akin to a savory monkey bread and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Read More
  • Blog Post: Cultured Cream Puffs: Gluten-Free

    I was diagnosed with celiac four years ago and pretty much stopped baking. I was nervous about all the different flours and gums, and intimidated by just about everything except almond flour pancakes and coconut flour muffins. Recently, however, I’ve been dipping a toe into desserts, because sometimes I REALLY miss pastries. I decided to make these gluten free cream puffs the other day after catching a few minutes of a cooking show on TV. The woman was making pate a choux, which is a pastry dough containing only flour, eggs, butter, and water. It’s super simple, and after watching it I wondered how hard it could possibly be to make with rice flour. As it turns out, it’s not hard at all, because choux (which means cabbage, if I recall high school French correctly) relies only on steam to make it poufy and light, NOT gluten. I made a large batch of these for my brood, using the following ingredients… Read More
  • Blog Post: A Couple of Sourdough Tips I Picked Up Along the Way

    I am by no means an expert at sourdough baking. I’ve been doing it on and off for about six years and have found it fascinating – and sometimes frustrating – right from the start. Having a small bit of bread making knowledge helped me to not be too intimidated by the bread making process itself, but still sourdough was in a league of its own. Over the years I’ve grown accustomed to the process and the feel of it but if I’ve learned one thing it’s that there is always something new to learn about the process of bread fermentation. As I’ve been baking lately a couple of the tips I picked up over the years that finally made the process “click” came to mind. So I thought I’m share them with you here. Read More
  • Blog Post: Making Amazake

    When the winter cold sets in, I start to crave something warm, creamy and sweet. Amazake makes me feel cozy and festive, and it’s cultured! It also couldn’t be easier to make. You will need Koji rice, some uncooked rice, and a warm incubation spot. I used my dehydrator, but many of the methods for incubating tempeh will also work if you turn up the heat a bit more. Read More
  • Blog Post: Flavored Sourdough Loaves

    I have been playing with my super awesome sourdough starter a lot lately! It is so fun to have a starter that is working and active, bubbly and healthy. Doesn’t it look happy? Read More
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