food · lifestyle

Mardi Gras Monday


You know when you go outside and you can’t feel your face and then you walk out further and the wind hits you and you can’t feel your brain?  Yeah – that is what it feels like outside today.  And yesterday.  And the day before that.  Needless to say the pups and I are getting a bit stir crazy.  Oh sure we put on our hundred layers of gear to walk to the end of the yard daily in order to feed and water the chickens, occasionally throwing the ball and following a rabbit trail.  But we scuttle back to the warmth of the house pretty quickly as of late.

Poor Oliver – throws himself around the house in a huff, with his beloved yellow tennis ball perpetually in his mouth begging any poor unsuspecting soul that dares look at him to please, please, please play with him.

While Oliver throws his own tennis ball against the wall when no one will play fetch with him, I require a little more stimulation to stave off the boredom.

This week my interests were in preserving some cucumbers I bought with good intention of using and then later decided they weren’t getting used up fast enough.  So, into mason jars they went with aromatics and a bath of water and salt.  Currently they are percolating in the corner along with a batch of Kombucha, rhubarb soda, saurkraut and fermented garlic.

Do you ferment?  Do you know how easy it is to ferment?

To ferment vegetables all you need is veg, salt, water and time.  Fruits, add sugar, water and again time.  The yeastie beasties in the air in your home will do the rest of the work.

If you are ready to explore the world of fermentation I highly recommend checking out  Sandor Katz and his books.  The man is an authority on fermentation and his website is a treasure trove of information.  Wild Fermentation – Sandor Katz

Fermented fruits are a wonderful way to populate your body with the good stuff, pro-biotics.  I would hazard to say that we eat something fermented at least once a day whether it be yogurt, kraut, fermented soda or tea or even the leftover brine from fermented pickles in sauces and condiments.  I love to ferment because it prolongs the shelf life of over run from the garden (or the grocery as I mentioned above.)  When I find myself in a sea of peppers I often stuff a jar full, cover with water and salt and wait.  Eventually we eat the peppers pickled or grind them up in the food processor to add to sauces or make enchilada sauce.

I have a huge stash of mason jars and I love the plastic wide mouth lids as they don’t rust from the over flow of salt water when a particular batch of ferments gets a little rowdy.

Amazon carries both as well as your local home goods store. Buy extras.  When you send a jar home with your mother you will never get the lid back.  Trust me.

I recently enjoyed an article in the New York Times in regards to Edward Lee and his take on making fruit vinegars.  As I read the article it was all I could do to just nod and say to myself “I do that!”.  You might enjoy the article too? Exploring the Sweet Subtleties of Vinegar

Along with stuffing every jar I own with plant matter I took the time to crank out a couple of King Cakes before Shrove Tuesday.  I sent one with my mother to share at her office and I’ll take one to work also. The bright colors brighten up the winter landscape. I guarantee everyone at my office will just think I’ve gone mad with the sprinkles on cinnamon rolls and won’t even consider the cultural reference.  For some reason my co workers aren’t very adventurous.  Every item I bring to work they deem rather exotic and it sometimes confuses them.  I privately shake my head in wonder and consider it my public service to expand their horizons.

Do you do anything to celebrate Mardi Gras?

Oliver has requested my assistance in fetching his ball from under the bath tub.



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