Not the prettiest pictures; actually they are so unappealing to look at, I take a certain contrarian pleasure posting them on a food blog where there’s the expectation that food needs to be beautiful. (The reality is ferments often lose a lot of their initial vivid colour.)
Even if visually not so lovely, fermented Snippled Beans are an easy and delicious side dish. Read the rest of this entry »
A fun perk of blogging is requesting books I know I’m going to love, like Kimchi: Essential Recipes of the Korean Kitchen. Authors Im Kee Sun, Im Boo Mee Ja, Lim Byung-Soon and Lim Byung-Hi are a family of Korean women living in Stockholm where they run a much loved restaurant called Arirang. Short of dining there -though looking at photos in their book, how you’ll wish to! – you can buy this fantastic guide and create your own tantalising Kimchi, to eat as umami accompaniments or integrated into seasonal dishes including soups, pancakes, dumplings, cocktails (!) and more.
Read the rest of this entry »
On the growing popularity of fermenting in Britain, seasonal eating, working with gluts and waste, and a new approach to Piccalilli using a technique learned from making kimchi… Read the rest of this entry »
Fortunate am I to receive occasional parcels of unsold bread from a friend who runs a really top quality bakery here in mid-Wales, Andy’s Bread. A few months back he gave me several loaves of pumpernickel, a dark, dense and sweet rye bread. His version includes whole rye grain, rye chops, rye, sourdough, molasses, and old pumpernickel. The loaf is coated in rye chops (and baked in a hot oven which is then turned off overnight); a “lid” is placed on top of the tins to “steam” the loaves and prevent their drying out. Andy’s pumpernickel is something special– and not so dissimilar from his Borodinski breads which contain coriander seeds and powder, malt extract and molasses. These are true artisan breads in that they come from long and varied traditions and are expertly crafted in particular, local conditions.
Andy’s pumpernickel makes great croutons for leek and potato, and split pea soup; I will be using some from another batch tomorrow for chocolate Christmas bark as per Claire Ptak’s wonderful recipe here.
Being gifted with food that is “surplus” or “waste” anyway is really freeing, and allowed me to feel I could experiment. I’d long been curious to try Bread Kvass, so in the absence of any planned trips to Russia or Russian communities elsewhere, I knew I’d have to try to make it. I also wanted to reproduce an effort from a while earlier in which I made a sourdough cake from recycled bread. And I sadly found out that the friend who taught me her resourceful and roughshod approach to bread had died– so I was of a rare mind to bake bread. Read the rest of this entry »
Beautiful in its knobby hairy tentacled-rootletted glory, the celeriac is an autumn root with the flavour of a spring leaf. Ish.
Perhaps you find yourself in its company (a veg box, a farmer’s market) and are unsure what direction to take the conversation? It’s wonderful roasted, in soups and gratins, and alone or mixed with potatoes or other roots in mash. Or, if you’ve read about the collapse of ocean eco-systems, you might want to bookmark the delicious vegetarian kedgeree Anna Jones calls Vegeree.
And of course there’s the famous French salad Celeri Remoulade, which has been inspiring me. Read the rest of this entry »
Well, maybe you feel a little longing when you look at photos of lots of your friends in a city where you used to live. You see their beautiful children, and the making an event of a day pressing apples, fruit that they’ve grown in orchards they’ve planted with love. Everybody’s pitching in and working toge ther and it’s a productive food-preparation idyll there in suburban Oxford.
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Here’s a beautiful short film in which Sandor Katz talks about processes of fermentation. He is funny and compelling– and I will always be grateful to him for Wild Fermentation which has been such an influential, important book in my life. Using Wild Fermentation I taught myself basic skills that now serve me constantly in the kitchen, but the book also presents a wonderful vision in which personal, political and microbial transformation serve as metaphors for each other. Wild Fermentation is a guide to practical alchemy (and for this reason, if you have to make a choice, buy it before the also wonderful The Art of Fermentation).
This film captures some of the magic. Read the rest of this entry »
LEFTOVERS; FERMENTS; RESISTANT STARCH; GREAT SALADS
Yesterday I made this delicious Moroccan tomato salad inspired by a recipe in Paula Wolfert’s The Food of Morocco. It’s a great late summer/ early autumn dish, with tomatoes and grilled peppers and onions in a lemony (in fact preserved-lemony) vinaigrette, spiced with paprika and cumin.
But we didn’t finish it in one meal. Read the rest of this entry »