1. We now use 1/2 gallon mason jars. In this case it is a gallon of sour pickles on the left side and a gallon of kimchi on the right.
2. The kimchi is now hotter, stronger and has seasoning that is more evenly distributed. We blend all the additives red pepper flakes, lime juice, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil before pouring over the shredded cabbage and carrot.
3. We use airlocks on all whey based ferments so that we can avoid refrigeration, mold issues and blowing up mason jars from CO2 build up.
I'm not sure what the ideal time for leaving kimchi out at room temperature with this setup. On the pickles I'm digging a 2 week room temperature ferment which makes them nice and sour.
Tomato, garlic, mozzarella, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper are all easy to come by this time of year. We grow most of them and make mozzarella cheese twice a month so this is a staple in our household. I love to drizzle a great balsamic vinegar over this dish and serve as a appetizer or half ass lunch. We have been eating it on our super sourdough sun oven bread.
A busy weekend for Albuquerque, NM. We attended three events in three days: ISEA, The Maker Faire (a mini), and Globaquerque. Mikey presented and gave a talk at the mini Maker Faire. Two good friends of ours presented at ISEA: Alyce Santoro and Scott Kildall. In three days we managed to send messages to outer space through Tweets in Space; enjoy a tour of the universe through Alyce's universal raisin cake theory and hear live throat singing. Crazy!
In need of the crazy whirling lab like energy of the kitchen I started three condiments from scratch today. The tomatoes are coming in faster than I can keep up with so it seemed a good time to make catsup, bbq sauce and Worcestershire. They all came out pretty good. I used our red wine kombucha in place of vinegar. The BBQ sauce is a mustard base, and though I prefer sweeter BBQ sauces it's lovely.
I spent $70 this morning at the grocery store. The first $60 went to buying 15 lbs of local, raw, New Mexico honey. The remaining $10 went to buying 9V batteries for Da Pimp kit we sell. I'm sure the checkout clerk was scratching her head at who buys a bunch of honey and batteries. The honey went right into the primary fermenter bucket and I added 5 gallons of city water. I'll let it sit unsealed overnight and stir it regularly before adding adding mead yeast tomorrow.
Our peach tree dropped it's first half dozen peaches of the summer yesterday. Their size is significantly better than previous years. I attribute the improvement to the thinning we did in the spring. One fruit every 6".
I suppose the timing of autumn is kinda perfect. I'd been whining and moaning over the guilt of having ignored my gardens most of the summer because I was finishing my book. With autumn arriving this week and more than a 10 degree drop in temp it feels right to strip the beds down to soil and begin anew. These before and after pics reveal the severity of my neglect. Shame shame!
This week we made a nice size romano cheese wheel using eight quarts of raw milk. I cut the wheel before vacuum sealing it and saw lots of air bubbles which I assume are from our lively raw whey thermophilic culture I used to inoculate the cheese.
I've was recently swapping stimulants with another programmer. I gave him some of our local mormon tea in trade for his pill of choice "bitter orange". Today was my first day on bitter orange which seemed like a pretty clear and smooth experience compared to the jerky nature of caffeine. Anyone else using bitter orange?
I can't believe we went through this entire summer without making tzatziki. It's such a simple dish and we always have such enormous amounts of raw yogurt in our fridge. This was made in a few minutes using strained raw yogurt, 1 peeled and de-seeded cucumber, crushed garlic, salt, olive oil and pepper. Our yogurt is super thick, not the thin goopy stuff so it lends itself to being the perfect tzatziki.
I love pulling a vacuum on my ferments. Simply using a mason jar adapter on any food saver vacuum sealer makes this easy to do. The vacuum allows the brine to immediately be absorbed into the vegetables and removes any oxygen which could cause molds to form. Some people are worried about botulism, but the acidic environment of the ferment makes that extremely unlikely. This batch of pickles was made with garlic, dill, cucumbers, salt and raw cheese whey. I'll give them a few days before refrigerating them.
We have been working towards some more difficult ferments like Sake, Miso, Amazaki and Tamari. The first step for all of these ferments is to make koji with involves the use of a mold called Aspergillus oryzae. Koji takes 36-48 hours at roughly 88F to produce ideal mold growth. I let this batch go too far so that I could collect, dry and grind the spores for future koji innoculations.
We met up with some friends in Las Cruces for the long Labor Day weekend. The event we spent our day at was the Las Cruces Wine Festival. There were 17 commercial vineyards with all sorts of unusual wines to taste. We bought several bottles. My favorite was probably a pistachio wine and Wendy was all about the port wines.
It's a little ridiculous, but this $5 yard sale score is our first lawn mower. We don't really have a lawn just patches of bermuda grass and weeds. This device seems to overheat quickly, but it's a start.
We had a few botched batches of tempeh. After taking Sandor's fermentation class I realized that I had been running the temperature a bit high 93F instead of 88F. Also I had not been drying the soy beans enough before inoculation. The last batch turned out great bringing back the amazing smell of fresh tempeh fermenting.