Archives for posts with tag: lactofermenting

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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 »

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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 »

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I requested a review copy of April Bloomfield’s A Girl and Her Greens: Hearty Meals from the Garden as I’ve been so curious about the foodie buzz surrounding her.  Now I get why she’s such a star.

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April Bloomfield, in her writing and recipes, straddles something exciting between home cooking and cheffy imagination and technique, and it all feels accessible and inspiring.  Her approach is relaxed and easy as she looks around the world for culinary ideas and somehow simultaneously simplifies and elevates the foods.  It’s a kind of magic! Yet she never presents herself as the final word. Read the rest of this entry »

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These are Kimchi Latkes, a pan-fried potato cake made and served with that ever-moreish Korean fermented cabbage condiment. Here the latkes are served in traditional style with sour cream and apple sauce as well.

And these are Pumpkin Pakora, a delicious treat with Scottish peasemeal and scrummy vegetables, perhaps slightly-more deep fried than other “pan” cakes but not necessarily so.

I’m sure as many of you do, I make stuff like this fairly often.  At some point I conceptualised these kind of cakes/ fritters/ patties as a genre, as something I could fiddle around with not using recipes, using what was on hand so as to use-up and not waste and please everyone around.  There can be a tender-morsel/ hor d’oeuvres quality, or a sense of burger to them as well.

I’ve talked about how I believe a cultural and media focus on fancy food and recipes may be part of the problem in people not cooking, feeling they don’t know how or can’t.  We all learn in different ways.  I think for many of us, there might be empowerment in knowing that perfection doesn’t matter, that you can throw things together with certain principles rather than instructions and specifics.  Certainly a looser approach means less kitchen waste in that you don’t necessarily have to go out and buy ingredients, and you are afforded a creativity in using up what you do have on hand.  I’ve tried to demonstrate this with frittatas and minestrone and some other posts I never quite finish.

Lately I’ve read two great approaches to making veggie pan “cakes”, and I wanted to share them with readers.

The first was this excellent Anna Stockwell article about Maria Speck’s approach to “Veggie Patties.”  It’s truly worth bookmarking for every home cook and food educator, because it’s schematic but leaves loose for the pleasures of experimentation.

And just today the lovely Zero-Waste Chef posted something similar on her thoughts on Vegetable Fritters.  I find Anne-Marie’s use of Sourdough Starter in this way very interesting.

Needless to say, for fermenting enthusiasts, there’s loads of opportunity to throw in our sundry creations.

Whatever ingredients you choose to play with, I find thinking this way liberating and fun– including the salsas and hot sauces you could serve as enticing condiments.


A 24 May 2016 postscript: see this fantastic Guardian piece: Anna Jones’ Versatile Veggie Fritter Recipe.  I love her work.

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I’m a Black Eyed Peas-at-New Years gal, and this year I searched around and could only find a tin. So a tin of peas it is, and a most wonderful salad that that feels lemony and green and bright.  I know that these peas can take a LOT of flavour, and years of preparing them THIS way pushed me towards the fermented flavours and the bitter of the lemon zest.  This is the salad I just made– I’m sure your variations will be delicious too.

Make sure to read this great piece by Michael Twitty musing historically on black eyed peas and greens…

Read the rest of this entry »

I have started an occasional project to film peoples’ hands when they talk about food and cooking.  I’ve only posted one so far, but there are more to come.

Today I was chatting with a friend and suddenly noticed her hands– three fingers on each one and knobs of bones and some tales of failures by surgeons. She is 75, beautiful, a free spirit, a collector of wool who crochets mad Log Cabin patterns, a guitar player, a cook, a fermenter.

Her mother had had one finger on each hand. Her grandmother had had a job in the 1920’s in a watch factory, hand-painting numbers on watch faces with night-luminous Radium paint; to get a sharp nib, she’d form the paintbrush into a point in her mouth between dabs. Read the rest of this entry »

http://agirlcalledjack.com

A Girl Called Jack, A Cabbage Called Kraut

Just in case any of you haven’t read Jack Monroe, she’s a real food hero, mixing her righteous politics with ultra low-budget cooking. She speaks truth to power to hypocritical Tories about their wrong and moralistic assumptions about poverty and the poor in Austerity Britain. She writes tasty, nutritious, immaculately costed-out recipes. She washes the sauce off budget baked beans to get nice haricots. She understands a jar of fish paste as a delicious ingredient. Even as she’s coming into her own as a respected food journalist, and political commentator, she speaks from her experience raising a child with the anxieties of being cold and hungry, and she is amazing. I can’t wait for her book. That’s the link to her blog, above.

She is intelligent, articulate, canny and wise, and I only have one thing to give her: a friendly but strong nudge in the direction of sauerkraut, as in my last piece, or as in a million great methods searchable on the internet. Cabbage is cheap, salt is cheap, sauerkraut is a powerful and delicious and very usable ingredient, raw or cooked. And, for so many people who “can’t afford gluten intolerance,” as a recent parody joked – sorry, can’t recall who said that– dietary probiotics as in fermented foods arehealing and healthful in the face of diets that can be too heavy in wheat, sugar, and other inflammatory foods.  Lots of people are truly suffering from contemporary diets– putting a little kraut in there can only help.

Jack– I wish I could give you some sauerkraut– I know you’d be convinced!  Best wishes to you. Love, A Fan

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