Saturday, March 18, 2017

Went wildcraft plant foraging along the Sweet Creek Falls trail, just outside of Mapleton, Oregon, with Jen Nelson, from Homegrown, a local vegetarian and vegan restaurant and deli in Florence, Oregon. Found, tasted and collected wood sorrel, Siberian miner's lettuce, lady fern, salmonberry, stinging nettle, sitka spruce, and others.  Here are some photos of the trail that paralleled the creek.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Although this does not qualify as a fermented food, it's the waste products from previous ferments I've posted here earlier. Essentially, it's bits and pieces of asparagus, carrots, leeks, cabbage, sweet potatoes, radishes, beets, onions, shallots and garlic slow simmered for 4-6 hours to create a rich, flavorable vegetable broth. Some cracked pepper, a few ounces of sea salt brine, and fresh sage and thyme from my garden are added. I'll strain the broth twice, and refrigerate. The vegetable pulp either goes into the compost pile or I blend it into a medium paste for use in soups and sauces. I'll post follow on photos of the final products later today. And, BTW, my home smells so good right now as the soon to be broth gently simmers.

Freshly made kimchi: before and after photos

Latest holiday ferments (left to right): one quart pickled green, purple and white asparagus spears with crushed garlic, diced chipotle peppers, and red, green and black peppercorns in a sea salt brine; one half gallon shredded Brussels sprouts, carrots, celery, kale, arugula, minced garlic and onion in sea salt brine; one quart of West African sweet potato ferment with minced garlic and onions, diced habanero peppers, cracked black pepper, black and yellow mustard seeds and coriander seeds in dry sea salt; and, last, one quart of shredded carrots, red and green cabbage and broccoli stems in a sea salt brine. All should be ready for New Years Eve!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Been busy the past twenty four hours ofn a variety of fermented pastes, fruits and vegetables. From left to right: sea salted chive paste, key limes and cranberries with raw honey, brined cranberries with chipotle peppers, sea salted minced garlic paste, pickled asparagus spears with habanero and chipotle peppers and garlic, garlic and raw honey ferment, and,last, Roma, Fuji and gala apple juice freshly pressed and chilled. Everything organic and locally sourced, except for the key limes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Returned from a wonderful, educational workshop hosted by the FermentWorks team, Kirsten and Christopher Shockey, at their picturesque farm near Applegate, Oregon. Lots of hands-on crafting and creating ferments, pastes, and old fashioned apple cider that can be fermented into hard apple cider. 

Here's what I created:  spicy kimchee ferment; basil and cayenne pepper ferment that will be blended and strained to create a basil-pepper paste; eight different pepper ferment that will be blended and strained to create a multi-dimensional pepper paste; green and red tomatoes ferment flavored with coriander seeds and black peppercorns; celery, shallots, fresh sage leaves and rosemary ferment; and, fresh apple cider made from crabapples, Roma and Kop apples. The ferments will take anywhere from two to eight weeks to complete.

Last, my own Napa cabbage, watermelon radish, sunflower choke and grated turmeric sauerkraut after two weeks of fermentation.  Another week or so, and it should be ready.

Also, a photo of the kitchen wall in the Shockey home displaying old, new and mostly forgotten tools used in cooking, canning, preserving and fermenting food.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Recent travels have taken me to Port Angeles, Washington, and, in particular, Olympic National Forest. Here are recent photos:

Hurricane Ridge, elevation 6000 ft with views of the Olympic Mountains. So called since winter winds can reach speeds of 75 mph+ causing havoc across the valleys and forest. During winter, this location is covered in several feet of snow.

Trail to Marymere Falls
A ninety foot falls that cascades to a small pool deep in the forest. From there it gently tumbles down a meandering stream which feeds into the river which leads to the Straits of Juan de Fuca.  Salmon are migrating even now.

Lake Crescent
Formed several millions of years ago, this lake is almost 700 feet deep, and maintains an icy blue color due to the ice crystals suspended in the lake's water. On a clear day, the water can take on an aquamarine to blue malachite color. Beautiful lake for kayaking, paddle boarding or sailing When we there, it was completely empty.