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  • Blog Post: The Versatility of Sourdough Rolls

    In the past I have shared this recipe for sourdough cinnamon rolls and they are still a BIG hit in this house, one of our favorite special occasion breakfasts! Then I thought, wait a second, I could really put ANYTHING in these rolls! Sweet savory, anything! Naturally I started out with sweet: peanut butter, honey and raisin rolls! For these I creamed a bit of cream cheese, peanut butter and butter together (about equal parts of each) and spread it onto the dough. I then drizzled it with honey and raisins and a bit of cinnamon! Rolled it up, cut it with floss and put it in the fridge until I was ready to bake it in the morning. Delicious!! Read More
  • Blog Post: Traditional Mozzarella With Jerrilynn and Stacie!

    A couple weeks ago, I posted about the fabulous, fun day when CFH’s own Jerrilynn and I got together to make cheese. Along with the delicious cottage cheese (it was gone in two days,) we made traditional mozzarella. Thirty minute mozzarella is awesome, and, once you know what you’re doing, super easy. But traditional mozzarella is in a class of its own. It does take a LOT longer than the 30 minute, but the difficulty level is basically the same and the flavor is significantly better. Intensely milky, sweet, and rich, traditional mozzarella is well worth the time and effort to make at home. Read More
  • Blog Post: Adventures in Simple Goat Cheese Making

    Sometimes our culturing experiments fail, no matter how many successes we’ve tucked under our belt. When I started the viili yogurt culture it looked fine at first, but it was not churning out good yogurt. I think it had to do with the over 90 degree day we had the day I cultured that milk for the yogurt starter. So I fed it to the chickens and am waiting for cooler days to try again. I wanted to share that because fermentation in general is so individual that you simply cannot expect 100% in-the-box results all of the time. I suppose if you wanted results such as those, you’d be working with more pasteurization and less wild fermentation. Read More
  • Blog Post: The Search for Skyr

    When I visited Iceland many years ago, I was thrilled by the amazing scenery–spouting geysers, raging waterfalls, black sand beaches. But of course, one of my fondest memories is of the food. Read More
  • Blog Post: The Quickest Pickle? Lacto-Fermented Watermelon Rinds

    A couple of weeks ago our boys went down for their nightly milk pick-up and came back with a giant half watermelon. This thing was as big as my sweet, chunky baby! So, at the end of the day, we feasted on juicy slices of it as we sat down for supper. Afterward we were left with a ton of watermelon rind. Normally these things go to the chickens or compost and I have no feeling that we wasted something. This time, however, there was so much flesh between the thin outer rind and the sweet flesh that I knew we could get more food substance from it. So I made what may possibly the easiest, quickest pickles I’ve ever made. Here’s how. Read More
  • Blog Post: Salad Kraut & Other Tips for Streamlining Ferment Routines

    I could easily spend hours a day dabbling in the kitchen with cultures. Trying new combinations of vegetable ferments, spinning a batch of kefir into something new and exciting, or baking up something sweeter than usual with my sourdough starter all sound like a great way to spend the day to me. It’s part of my job, and I love it! But let’s face it, I can’t afford to spend that kind of time in the kitchen unless it’s for work. And I’m guessing I’m not alone in saying that. So, instead of spending free time I don’t have experimenting in the kitchen, I generally keep it very simple. Here are a few ways I streamline my making of kraut, kefir, and sourdough. Read More
  • Blog Post: Lacto-Fermented Verde Sauce

    So far in my culturing experience I have only lacto-fermented a few things: cabbage (of course), carrots, and garlic. I’ve been a little nervous to attempt more daring ferments with my summer harvest now finishing up from my garden. Then a few weeks ago I found myself pulling a pile of hot peppers from the plants, which my husband added to our normal selection with no idea they would take off so well! Not thinking about what to do with all of them, I decided a nice hot sauce for him would be better than trying to add them into our family’s daily meals. I don’t think my two year old would be too happy about that. So, a makeshift verde hot sauce was born from all my serranos, habaneros, anaheims, jalapenos, and a few bell peppers. Read More
  • Blog Post: Stocking the DIY Personal Care Pantry

    The other day we ran out of toothpaste. It was refreshing (no pun intended) to tell my family “Don’t worry, I’ll whip something up.” My husband took the children to town to run errands and I busied myself in the kitchen. I worked on a few gluten-free sourdough recipes. I tidied up a bit. And I whipped up toothpaste without a recipe because I had the basic ingredients on hand – baking soda, bentonite clay, glycerin, coconut oil, and peppermint essential oil. Much like stocking a kitchen pantry, having just a handful of staple ingredients on hand allows me to make everything from no fuss toothpaste to deodorants to shampoos to lotion and more. Here are my favorite personal care pantry ingredients which can be used to make an array of personal care products. Read More
  • Blog Post: Soap With Pippa

    I’m a nervous Nellie when it comes to lye, having read all the horror stories newbies can read. I’ve seen awful pictures of what lye can do. Even though veteran soap makers say that if you’re careful, there’s nothing to worry about, I WORRY. So I enlisted the help of my good friend, Pippa. She’s crazy about this addicting and self-satisfying hobby, and she does house calls. NOTE: You can’t really learn how to make soap using lye from this blog post… it’s much more involved than what I can highlight here. So before you get started I recommend doing some of your own research. It was fun to be led step-by-step. She gave me some history as well as a chemistry lesson before we got started. The protective gloves were donned and we prepared the work area with the supplies, including the dedicated SOAP spoon labeled with a Sharpie. Read More
  • Blog Post: Getting Started with Viili Yogurt: Making a Starter from Raw Milk

    The very first cultured food I ever made was yogurt and I would guess a lot of us start there. It is familiar and comforting and versatile and delicious. Plus, it’s a fairly simple ferment to make. I had been making it by heating milk and waiting for it to cool before placing it in a cooler of warm water or blanketed in an oven with the pilot light switched on. So when I found out I could throw it together on the counter top without heating or keeping a steady 110 degrees, I was more than intrigued. It is called mesophilic yogurt and, besides keeping a separate culture from pasteurized milk, it can be made on the counter top using our beloved raw goat milk. I haven’t made it in a while, as milk kefir sort of stole my heart a few years back, but recently I started up the Viili Yogurt Culture. Read More
  • Blog Post: Adventures in Milk Kefir Ice Cream

    The other day my sister asked me, “Eve, what is going on in this refrigerator?!” I couldn’t help but hang my head when I figured out that she was likely referring to the 7 quart jars of milk kefir taking up almost half of our tiny refrigerator. It’s a little out of control. My house does not have air conditioning and is only 450 sq ft. During the summer it is often the same temperature inside as it is outside. While I do my best to keep my cultures cool during the warm months, my Milk Kefir Grains churn out a quart of kefir in about 18 hours or better. Read More
  • Blog Post: The Quickest Path to Kefir Cheese

    I make kefir cheese regularly as a cultured alternative to cream cheese. It’s savory with dill and garlic, sweet with fruit and honey, and creamy and tangy any way you slice it. I’m also a bit of a space cadet so I often leave the kefir to culture a bit too long. I recently did a whole write up with photos on straining milk kefir, especially if you’ve over-cultured. But this, my friends, is beyond over-cultured (as you’ll see in the photo). It’s entirely curds and whey and I know it’s going to be a bit of a hassle to fish out those kefir grains. So, instead of fighting it, I work with it. This curds and whey thing actually works really well for making kefir cheese. Dare I say my spaciness made it easier? Read More
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