In A Pickle

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It’s that time of year again when the cuc’s are piling up. We love making brined pickles following the recipe in Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz. It’s a very easy and simple process and so much more healthy for you than vinegar pickles. They keep in the frig for….well let’s just say, our 3 gallons lasted a year! Don’t throw out the brine either. It’s full of goodness and is so yummy to drink! The garlic after being brined and sitting for a long time looses it’s bite and is very good to eat.

For 1 Gallon it’s basically: 6 Tbsp Sea Salt dissolved in water, 3-4 heads of garlic peeled, a couple flowering heads of dill, a bunch of grape, oak or cherry leaves, washed cuc’s and I use red pepper flakes instead of Sandor’s suggested black peppercorns. Pack them in a clean jar with the cuc’s on top of everything and then pour the salt brine water over them. If they need to be weighed down then place something on them to hold the cuc’s below the water line. Place a cloth over the top and leave in a cool place for as many days as you like to achieve the desired tartness. We like ours at 3 days.

These pickles are a hit. Ben always serves them up and tells his friends that these are the best pickles they will ever taste. Sure enough they can’t stop talking about them. They are so good!

You Are What You Eat!

Did you ever watch “Super Size Me”? Wow, talk about wanting to barf. I found this good little You Tube and thought it was quite thought provoking……please ask your self “why on earth do the fries not decompose?” Maybe, just maybe, it’s because they aren’t real food! Chew on that one a while. No wonder kids climb into mini van’s all over America and pull out old fries from God knows where, eat them and never get sick. At least not yet, wait 10-15 years and their little bodies will be manifesting sickness as a result of the foods they are eating as children. Heart disease, diabetes and Diabesity TM, a word trademarked by Nancy Lee Bentley to so clearly describe the situation we are in today in America. CFS, MS, Lupus, Parkinson’s, FMS, RA; the list goes on and on. Is that what we want?
How many times do I have to say it??? I think we just don’t know what is good to eat any more. We have been lied to so many times by those we were told we could trust….ie the government and doctors! This is what real food looks like to me: a plate of pastured pork chops, home grown potatoes with lots of raw butter, home grown green beans with lots of raw butter, fermented ginger carrots with cream and home made applesauce with honey and spices. Then I topped it all off with home grown watermelon for dessert!!! Mmmmmm I’m getting hungry just remembering last nights dinner!
Sorry, no pictures. I told you I’m way too hungry and anxious to dig in to remember a picture at a time like that!
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“Listen, listen, eat what is good and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.”
Isaiah 55:2

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Books I recommed:

Real Food by Nina Plank

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Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

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Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz

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Truly Cultured by Nancy Lee Bentley

This is my newest read. It’s very good. There’s just so much to learn. The last words Weston A Price said before he died, June 23, 1948 were;

“”YOU TEACH, YOU TEACH, YOU TEACH!”

I’m Back with Elderberries

Praise God, that was a short lived attack. Another wonderful testimony to my healing. I did try to take it easy for a couple days. But that’s hard for me to do now that I’ve been given this precious gift of life. A glorious gift! Thank you Lord. “Those who wait on the Lord, shall renew their strength. They shall soar on wings like eagles, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Sambucus canadensis

When I was on my mowathon last week I had a tremendous surprise! No, I haven’ t seen a snake yet. I found an Elderberry Tree!!!! Wahoo!!! I ran in off the mower and looked it up on the internet. Yep, that was an Elderberry Tree! More specifically Sambucus canadensis, that which grows in the northeast US. The clusters of berries are absolutely beautiful. I picked a couple gallons of them today. It’s really so easy. I used scissors to cut the clusters. Then I rolled them between my fingers and the berries popped off the stems. I picked only the ones with black clusters.

I made up my first batch of “Ethopian Wine” as per Sandor Katz recipe in “Wild Fermentations”, 3 Cups of Raw Honey to 1 Gallon of filtered water. I put 1 Qt of berries in the jar and will let it sit for a couple 3-5 days until it starts to get bubbly. Then I’ll strain out the berries and put it in a Cider jug. I found some balloons and I’ll put one on the spout. That will brew for another week or so.

I’ve never attempted to make “wine”. I’m finding that all fermented foods are beneficial and I wanted to give this one a try. Of course just like any of my ferments, the longer it sits the more fermentation. I’ll post pics of the finished product and tell you how delish it is!

I found this great site for lots of Elderberry info.

Fewee!

My garden is busting at the seams! Today I made a batch of fermented salsa. Now, I’m truly not a salsa gal, but when I tasted this stuff….well, I ate a bowlful before I put the lid on to ferment! It is absolutely great! See the recipe at the end of this post. I ate it with these marvelous chips that Mother Linda brought to my attention. My family loves these chips now and refuses to eat anything else. They are prepared using the ancient Aztec method of stone ground corn soaked in lime made into a dough called Nixtamal. Then they are baked thin and crispy and using no hydrogentated oils! See everything that’s good for us is worth the wait.

Tomatillos, tomatoes and Jalepeno for salsa

They carry them in our local health food store! Lucky us.

I also made my first batch of brine sour pickles from Sandor Katz book, Wild Fermentation. The jar was pretty packed and I didn’t have anything to weight the cucs down….Sandor suggests using a rock….I asked my Honey if he had any ideas and he said, “how about a rock”! So, I got the rock that I brought home from VA that Ben used to sharpen his knife before he went out on his adventure hiking the Appalachian Trail for 4 days. I washed it well and then boiled it for 10 min’s…then I popped it in the freezer to cool it down. I pushed it on the top of the cucs and covered it with a paper towel held in place by a rubber band. Now to check them daily and let them sit for a couple 2-4 weeks! Can’t wait!

I also made up the last fresh batch of blackberry cobbler! I froze several quarts of berries for cobbler later this winter….oh won’t that be good in Dec or Jan! It will taste like summer and hopefully give us something to look forward to during the long winter.

Now a batch of blueberry muffins as per the request of my daughter Becca! Since she’s leaving for Germany in 1.5 months I am trying to meet all her little requests. After all she’s going to miss Thanksgiving and Christmas with us, and her 24th birthday. Besides that, I really do love serving my family and bringing them simple joys even if it is food. I never rewarded my kids with food when they were young and they’ve never had weight problems. Becca has been a part time athlete this summer and dropped to a size 2!!!!!!!! Make me sick. I think I was a 2 when I was 2! Period. Never again in my life!!!!

I just came in from pulling my onions….2 bushel!!! My first onions ever and I am so tickled! Thank you Melinda over at The Growing Challenge!!! By this little challenge she presented I was motivated to try new things and to push myself to the limits. I think I did. With this came motivation that I needed to come out of this “coma” I’ve been in with the Chronic Lyme Disease. I found a great quote embroidered on a sampler and could kick myself for not buying it…

“When I awoke, life was dusty.”

That so describes my life during this battle. But I am living proof that there is life after Lyme! Never, never, never give up!

The onions are drying this afternoon and then will cure for a few weeks. I’ll keep them in the basement when it rains, then I’ll put them back out under a shade tree. Here’s a good reference on curing onions.

I also blanched a batch of green beans to freeze.

I love the emerald green color when they are blanched. They are so pretty.

Sandy’s Fermented Salsa

(don’t ask me who Sandy is I have NO earthly idea, but it’s her recipe!)

2# Tomatillos or Tomatoes

1/2# onion

8-10 cloves of garlic

4 Jalepeno (2 seeded)

1/2 C cilantro

1/4 tsp cumin

2 Tbsp lime juice

2 Tbsp Celtic Sea Salt

1/4 C whey

Process in food processor and pack in canning jar. Leave on counter for 2 days. Then refrigerate and enjoy!

Makes approx. 1.5 Qts