Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sour What?

What a great time we had at the Old Town Farmers Market this morning!  It was hot and muggy, but what better way can a group of like-minded spend our time than chatting, drinking cherry limeade, eating kettle corn, watching the kids be thrilled with balloon creations, and eating fresh, homemade bread?  We had fun.

At the Chef's Table we demonstrated what fermented food is, how to make it, and then, the best part, how to eat it.  We also made real butter....my gosh, if I had known that it was this easy I would have done it much sooner.  Seven minutes in the food processor, and presto: cream transforms into golden globs of buttery goodness.  I had made a batch in my Kitchenaid the night before but using the food processor was faster. 

Fermented foods have so many beneficial qualities, and our society has lost the art of creating these foods.  But what if the medical studies continue to prove that those qualities could make us healthier....really healthy?  Now, the medical community is slow but our great grandparents where not.  I strongly believe that food is the best medicine we have.  Today's food can either be the worst poison or the very best medicine.  We choose with our wallets which of the two we believe it is.
So, one of the best things we can eat is fermented foods; coffee, chocolate, tea, sauerkraut, yogurt, and cultured butter, milk and so much more.

All the recipes or techniques come from the book "Real Food Fermentation" by Alex Lewin

Cultured Butter

1 qt. of raw heavy cream (find a local farmer, or message me on Facebook)
a bit of real sea salt

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, add about half the cream.  Secure the lid and turn on...walk away or watch.  In about 7-10 minutes, you will have large globs of butter and the milky whey.  Strain the mixture, separating the whey from the butter.  Knead the butter with your hands, squeezing the whey out.  Rinse the butter and knead  a bit more.  Store in the fridge and enjoy on bread purchased from "Crumb and Crust", some of the best bread I have had in years.  Thank you for this treat.

Sauerkraut

Most any crisp veggie can be used.
2 lbs of shredded green cabbage (you can add purple if you like, but the color does fade)
1 onion sliced very thin
2 adult carrots- shredded
2 cucumbers

Once everything is sliced, add 2-3 t. of sea salt.  Mash the mixture with your hands, turning and crushing.  Do this for about 15 minutes, on and off.  Once everything is mashed and moisture starts to build up, stuff sterilized qt. mason jars - and I do mean stuff - with the sauerkraut. The liquid should come to the top.  Put lids and rings on the jars and set on a baking sheet in a cool dark area.
On each of the first four days, let the gases that build up out by taking the lid off . It will be messy, so do it over the sink.


Get the book and read up on how you can provide some medicine via food for your family.  They may balk at first, but keep at it.

I would like to thank Pat Randles and all of those at the the Help Table who make my time at the Chef's Table so much fun.  Also a huge shout out to Eric who helped at the table today.  Eric, you were fun and so helpful...Thank you!

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