Fermenting

What’s cooking good looking?

This time of year sees me in the kitchen slightly more than the garden.  My intention is always to produce food that is good for us, tastes amazing, and makes us feel good from the inside out.  Here are a few things I’ve created during this last month…

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I’m feeling these are my best fermented eggs ever. I added in some nice pickling spices this time including coriander & mustard seeds, ginger, chilies, cloves, bay leaves, allspice, juniper berries, peppercorns, and cassia (which has an amazingly cinnamon-like flavour). They’re both sweet & sour at the same time and super nutritious & delicious. The carrots and onions give some needed natural sugars but add so much more than that to the finished product. 😍 Wish I could let you all have a taste!   Continue reading

Garden to Table: Homegrown Pickles

Someone on my Facebook page asked me to show a picture of my pickles when they were jarred– this after I’d posted the picture below with the caption ‘Time to make dillicious fermented pickles.’

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Here are a few pictures of the process I undertake to create my beautifully delicious, incredibly healthy, and quickly devoured fermented pickles.  While not a recipe per se, it’s obvious just how easy it is to ferment your own pickles with three ingredients, cucumbers, salt, and water, and I do give the ratio if you want to give this simplest combination a try.   Continue reading

Fermenting Magic

Anyone who has ever cultured vegetables knows that moment of uncontainable excitement when the first bubbles appear. After three months, one week, and five days of experimenting, at last, I think I’ve done it! It may be premature boasting but I’m confident in those seemingly magical bubbles.

I’ve tossed umpteen grams of veg to the compost and chickens as well as eaten a few less than appealing pounds just to avoid “waste guilt.” Although these earlier attempts used all organic produce, could it be that this last batch was made exclusively with veg from my very own garden?

I would like to believe veg cared for with doting hands from sow to harvest is more conducive to such biological enrichment, and that would be true.  But my failures were more likely due to practice not product as I’d done minimal research and therefore not adhered to proper room temperature and sterilization techniques.  Only time will tell if my confidence in these magical bubbles will be rewarded, but it’s looking good so far…”

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Garden to Table: How To Make Traditional Korean Kimchi

While fermented foods are becoming ever more popular, they’re nothing new, having been around for thousands of years. Kimchi is a traditional food of Korea touted for its health benefits.  Like most fermented foods, it’s simple to make and well worth the wait for it to fully develop because the matured flavour is just outstanding.

There are nearly 200 versions of kimchi, but the most common use this method: salt cabbage then add a paste of red pepper powder, fish sauce, garlic, onions, and ginger to scallions and radishes (I also add in carrots)– that’s practically it in a single sentence. These nutritious foods are mixed and allowed to ferment until, voila, kimchi is created.

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Garden To Table: How to Make Courgette (Zucchini) Bake with Risotto & Cheese

“Can I have the recipe for your…?”  has got to be the best circuitous compliment that can be dished out as regards to a meal prepared for someone.

I love when people enjoy my cooking.  Who wouldn’t?  There is something so gratifying about connecting on such a basic yet significant level.

If you would like to experience this jubilation, and you know a cheese and rice lover, then prepare this exalted dish and listen to the silence of everyone eating–silence followed by ‘oohs’, ‘ahhhs’, and ‘wows’. And eventually a request for the recipe.20150621_151427 Continue reading

Rainy Day Ramblings

The wind and rain doesn’t seem to stop the many visitors who gear up and brace themselves for the 4+ mile journey from Kilronan to the islands main attraction, Dun Aenghus Fort.  However, I did wonder this day how many of them would’ve boarded the ferry in Galway had it already been lashing.  But the rain started late morning and they had already arrived.  So while cyclists buzzed by our garden during yesterday’s wonderfully wicked weather, I was welcoming a day off from the hotel and garden to stay inside the house.

i live here in aran blue star

Blue star is where we live.  Map source.

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Remember To Burp Your Kombucha

Some people showed interest in the fizzy, soda-like quality of kombucha tea so I decided to post a video of a bottle being opened after being at room temp (around 60°F), having intentionally not been burped for about 18 hours.  The flavor is green tea second fermented with ginger and apple–that’s what the dancing bits are in the bottle.  Not all flavours get this fizzy.  I didn’t expect it to be quite so active…

Seasonal Transition Kombucha Tea

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13 litres of kombucha tea just bottled, ready to start their second ferment.  I always consider the time of year and weather when choosing flavors.  Warm spring days and cool wintry eves is what I had in mind when choosing Mango Cinammon, Apple Ginger, Strawberry Vanilla, and Raspberry Pear.  They’re ready for drinking now.  Some are already sold, some will be used for bartering, and of course, many will be consumed right in our own home.

Garden To Table: How To Make Fermented Dilly Eggs With Kale, Onion, Chilies, Wild Garlic & Aran Islands Seaweed

If you’re lucky, the Easter Bunny might deliver some delicious fermented eggs to you this Sunday.  But no worries if you don’t discover any in your daffodil patch–they’re pretty darn easy to make yourself. Fermented eggs are similar to pickled eggs, but much healthier because, well, they’re fermented. Instead of relying on vinegar to impart the wickedly wonderful flavor they’re known for, lactic acid works it’s magic–check out this link to read my very unscientific explanation of how it casts its spell on food. Continue reading

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