Thursday, January 17, 2013

Some Finished Food Projects

I'll be going to my mom's house for the weekend to bird and relax a bit before school and get my mind off of losing my job (while simultaneously trying to find one that's actually in my field).  I might still blog from there if there's something pressing to talk about, but for now I'm going to write a little about some future food projects (more important now than ever with my reduced income) and some projects that have been more or less finished.

For the future... I'll be making some lacto-fermented condiments.  I am trying to avoid food waste as much as possible, and a couple of the food projects I've been engaging in wind up with large amounts of some sort of waste product.  Making even a few ounces of cheese at home tends to result in not a small amount of extra whey to deal with.  This is a major ingredient in things like fermented mayonnaise and ketchup.  I've made mayo several times before, but never ketchup, so we'll see how that goes.  In addition, although I eat dairy I decided to experiment with making almond milk, which of course leaves me with a lot of almond pulp, which will be made into crackers for the cheese.

Those are my future projects, but what about those that I have already finished or at least gotten the ball rolling fast on?  Here they are:

Kombucha

Not finished quite yet, although it's getting there.  I used green tea, which wasn't my preference but I didn't have any black tea (I have since gotten a big box of black tea for this purpose).  You can see the mother at the bottom of the jar and the faint beginnings of a daughter forming at the top.
Sauerkraut

I pulled this from the cupboard and put it in the fridge earlier than most instructions told me to, because it really tasted good the way it was.  It's really good, and now I have no idea why I stuck with the canned vinegar-made stuff for so long.
 Kefir

For some reason I forgot to take a picture of this, and I don't feel like taking another picture right now.  I got my grains in the mail about a week and a half ago, and it took about five days for the grains to really get moving.  Now it only takes around twelve hours for it to turn into a nice, thick kefir.

Crème Fraîche

I've been eating this for breakfast... it's delicious.  A handful of blackberries, a couple almonds, a dab of honey, and it's a nice high-fat, fermented meal.

Lacto-Fermented Pickles

I made a lot of these.  I made the mistake of adding too many spices, which made the brine and the finished pickles very messy.  I actually strained the junk out and now it's just pickles and brine.  I cut them into different shapes to fit all the cucumbers into all my jars... this is one with sliced cucumbers as I only had one jar left.

Fridge Pickles

I decided I didn't need to commit to just one kind of pickle, so I am carrying on a family tradition and also making fridge pickles.  These are not fermented, they are simply marinated in a mix of dill, lemon juice, salt, and water with a garlic clove, some lemons, and a jalapeño pepper.  The only problem is I consistently want to eat them before they're done, hence why I bought some larger jars.


Almond Milk

I'm a dairy drinker, but I do love almond milk so I decided to try it out.  It tastes very different from the commercial stuff.  Not in a bad way, of course... it's much waterier, there's more almond flavor.  It's one of those interesting cases in which something really tastes good, but you don't know if you like it yet because it's not what you're used to.

So that's my pantry/fridge/cupboard for now.  I'll write more about this stuff when I get to it.