Craft and Science

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img_3209 img_3212img_3233 img_3303 img_3302 img_3272Last Sunday, we gathered with friends in our late summer garden for some fermentation fun.  My husband (and his trusty brewmaster side kick) concocted a nice autumnal nut brown ale, while I worked with some of the other littles on cabbage sauerkraut.

I just love the craft and science behind fermentation.  I love the look of amazement that crosses their faces when I tell kids they are working with millions of living organisms when they ferment.  I also adore the slow and deliberate pace of fermenting.  The fact that the process cannot be rushed is what pulls me in the most to this craft.  We are all so rushed in our daily lives, that at times it is just so therapeutic to slow down, gather with friends, and enjoy that slow gait together.

Fermentation Frenzy

Ever since my husband received The Art of Fermentation for his birthday, it has been a fermentation frenzy in our house.  Today I present to you a bit of a photo journey through our fermentation experimentation…

…a little beer…

…and mead (a.k.a honey wine)…

…and sauerkraut.

 

Our Weekend

This past weekend we opted to stay close to home because many of us in our little household of four were getting over the lovely beginning-of-the-school-year sniffles. It always seems so odd to me to have a cold in the middle of a ninety degree heat wave, yet that was our particular situation this weekend.  So with lemon tea and honey in hand, we set to having a fun-filled weekend none the less.

The first pumpkins of the season made an appearance at Friday’s market, so we had to buy just a couple.  The girls worked hard all of Saturday morning, digging out the seeds and preparing for some roasted goodness.

While the girls worked hard on the pumpkins, I got busy making my homemade granola. We were able to purchase some delicious home-grown oats from Hazard Free Farms, which helped to make the granola extra yummy.

I also tried another treasure from Grandpa Dit’s recipe box: piccalilli.  I must say, standing in the kitchen over a giant pot of boiling veggies on a ninety-seven degree day was not one of my brightest ideas, but the final result was quite tasty.

And I chopped the day away, getting food ready to put by in the freezer for the winter months.  Andrea Hazzard, from Hazzard Free Farm, gave us a great suggestion for preserving watermelon.  Pour boiling water over a bit of honey, making honey water.  After cooling down the honey water, pour it over diced watermelon until all watermelon is covered.  Then freeze it for enjoyment in the winter months.

Rajah enjoyed finding a new hiding spot.  Oh my.

And Tyler enjoyed some brewing time.  He concocted a batch of caramel creme ale.  Yummy.

I have also been hard at work in the backyard, continuing with our garden expansion.  I am so excited to bring you the finished product in tomorrow’s post.  Hooray!  See you then.

Simple Solution

In keeping with the theme I seem to have started this week, I wanted to pass along an extremely easy recipe that my family uses at least once a week.  I try to make my family’s bread from scratch, but as we all know, making yeast breads can sometimes be very time consuming. On those nights when time is scarce, I always reach for this recipe.

Mix together 2 cups self-rising flour and 1 cup local stone ground wheat flour.  (I also add in 1 scoop of Garden of Life’s Super Seed.  This, of course, could be left out.)

Then add 12 ounces of your favorite beer.  (Maybe you were so inspired by Monday’s post on home brewing that you have some homemade brew on hand to add!) Mix in the beer and then pour the batter into a loaf pan.

I like to sprinkle a bit of brown sugar on the top at this point.  But you could definitely leave that part out.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Enjoy!