Basics 101

I had a great day yesterday! Actually, I’ve had 5 great days in a row (I’m wondering if it’s the Kombucha Tea and the Chinese Herbs). That hasn’t happened since September. I’ve learned to celebrate the small milestones in life. This disease can either defeat me or I will defeat it….I choose the later. I woke up with a small list of things I wanted to accomplish other than showering and having my time with God. I wanted to make sauerkraut and ice cream. No I didn’t want to eat them together… remember I’m 50 and NOT pregnant!

These are my veggies cleaned and ready to use.

VeggiesDon’t you just love color!!!!!

My first attempt at making “Cultured” veggies or more plainly put, Sauerkraut, turned out badly. I didn’t put enough liquid to cover the veggies and well….stinky! This time I’m sure I got enough liquid and salt, plus I put whey in as another precautionary. I wasn’t sure whether to put a lid on so I did. This morning the liquid was seeping out around the jar lid….that’s a very good sign. It means that the lacto-fermentation process is building up inside the jar causing it to escape.

CompostingWhich blade to use?This oneblog-2-043.jpg

These are a few of my tools; composting bin, blades and finished product.

PackingPacking with cabbage leavesPacked and waiting

The packing process.

I tried to show you the steps I took. First I had to figure out which processing blade to use on my Bosch Kitchen Machine. The one photographed won. Don’t forget to compost all those wonderful kitchen scraps. I then pounded the mix with an old potato masher after adding about 3-4 Tbsp of salt and 1/2 cup whey. Since I started with two medium heads of cabbage, and due to my inexperience, I thought I’d use a bucket….well, to my surprise I did not even have half a bucket full. So I had to scoop it out into (1) 1/2 gallon jar and (1) quart jar. I packed it tightly in the jars and placed cabbage leaves on the tops of each jar to keep any air from reaching the mix. I made sure there was at least 1/2-1″ of liquid (salt brine) covering the cabbage leaves. Then I filled small ziplock bags with brine and placed it on top of the cabbage leaves and screwed the lids on. It all took about an hour to do which isn’t bad for a first timer. The processing was easy work and because of that the next time I will do maybe 6 heads to get that 1/2 bucket.

Since the day was going to well, I decided to make Ice Cream also. That turned out to be more than I bargained for. It took some time. I used Mother Linda’s “Jeffersonian Ice Cream” recipe. (See Mother Linda on my blogroll) I had two qts of raw cream and didn’t want them to go sour so I doubled the recipe. I used maple syrup instead of maple sugar because that’s what I had on hand. This recipe was well worth the effort!!!! It is absolutely delicious and creamy. I hated throwing the vanilla beans away, so I scraped one and added the brown flecks (whatever it’s called). Other than that you can follow her recipe on her website. Here’s the breakdown of this ice cream: 2 qt raw cream $17, 1 dozen free range eggs $3.00; we’ll stop there! I think I came out with about 1 gallon after it was finished freezing. That’s about the same as what we pay for it from our farmer. I think we like this better and it’s always good to know exactly what your eating. I figured that I was already investing enough and didn’t want to go out and buy a bag of ice for $5.00, so I used every drop of ice in the frig freezer. I needed a little more and found a small pile of snow that hadn’t melted in the yard. It worked great!

Making ice cream in FebruarysnowDelicious Ice Cream

I was pretty fortunate that we had a warm 54 degree day to make this treat.

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