January 8, 2014

Cranberry-Orange-Apple Relish Ferment

"Pickled" brined sardines, Cranberry Relish Ferment

In my last post I said I had cranberries to make a ferment with. I'll give you the recipe. It's my favorite winter ferment, and while fresh cranberries are in the store ... tis the season to keep making it. I jar it up in pint-size canning jars and store it in my cool (wine) cellar. Then can keep eating it till gone. Like I just ate, finishing one up from last year. I like to mix in my soaked and dried crispy walnuts and sometimes mix it with yogurt.

I've mentioned it before, but my favorite ferment book is - The Complete Idiots Guide to Fermenting Foods. This recipe comes from it. The book has a lot of similar recipes as Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions - but a lot more, and more taste friendly to us (Sally Fallon's book has WAY MORE in another way - an encyclopedia of info, like my soaked, crispy nuts ... and why). Like I need to start another Ginger Bug for the Ginger Soda which we've been missing. The Pickled Herring (I did Sardines) is in one of the jars I'm showing you a pic of, is in the book too. I often make larger batches than she does. She, Wardeh Harmon, probably does too, but is making the book user friendly with quart canning jar sizes. So here goes with my 3 Liter size amount -

Pulse in Food Processor

Cranberry-Orange-Apple Relish Ferment

About 36oz of cranberries, rinse well
10 tangelos (usually no seeds), wash skins
4-6 apples depending on size (more is fine), washed
3/4 cup organic raisins
3/4 cup shy of sucanat
2 heaping tsp of cinnamon (I suppose I could just say 1 Tb)
1 Tb Real Salt
1/3 C Kefir or yogurt whey
1 lemon's juice to cover top of ingredients in jar

Combine first 5 ingredients, in batches, pulsing in food processor. You want to chop somewhat fine, not puree. Combine all in large bowl to mix well. I like to do all my ferments starting in a large bowl - both sugar or salt start breaking down the juices in the veggies or fruits for your "brine". Some people, like with sauerkraut will stomp and stomp with a maul, taking a lot of muscle, to break things down. As I said, I prefer the large bowl method. Plus, I'm getting older and don't like to do that, or can't do that, much muscle/ hand use! Mine turn out just fine. They do create more juices in the ferment container, so leave some head space. Also submerge whatever you're doing beneath the brine. Online shows lots of people's methods. I bought glass weights on EBay, and my Pickl-It jars came with glass weights.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl

A lot of my ferments I leave out 2-3 weeks. This cranberry ferment I leave out several days to a week and then jar up and refrig or cool storage. The sardine "pickle" (it's not in vinegar, but a salt brine) was out 24 hrs and then refrigerated.

I said in the last post that I'm smoking the rest of the sardines. I did. Yum. We froze what's left for pulling out to flavor stuff, kinda like canned sardines. I like mixing with avacado and spreading on toast, having with salad . . .

Masterbuilt Electric Smoker

January 6, 2014


Photo of our back deck by visiting Zsuzsanna Luciano

I'm afraid to title this 2013 cuz by now it gets tiring reading/ hearing of summing up the last year. And too New Year's Resolutions. I don't usually go there. But last year was quite a ride - mainly health wise - amongst some other things cooking wise. I want to start posting again . . . We'll see. Seems I'm too busy to write, tho writing is one of the many things I love to do.

Like today. It's January 6, Eucharist Day, Magi visited the Christ child on the Church calendar. It's my day (usually) for putting away Christmas decor. Our tree IS brown, so last night was the last lighting of the tree. BUT I also had Sardines mailed to me from I Love Blue Sea - 3 pounds. I'm going to "pickle" them, as you can with all small fish and white fish - typically herring. But I'm planning on doing more of the ferment version, without the vinegar. I still have some cranberries for my favorite wintertime ferment (I posted about it before). I'm not going to ferment all the sardines.

Garden produce ferments - sauerkraut, dilly beans, zucchini relish, and kimchi

I got an electric smoker in November, so going to smoke a lot of sardines too. We're loving the smoker. My reasoning, finally, for getting the smoker, is all the grass-fed beef we have in the freezer - 1/2 a cow! Unless slow cooked in the oven, and the ground beef is out of this world! all the steak style cooking, including grilling, has not been a good experience - it's tough - not enough marbled fat like modern beef (the last century?). So I figured a smoker is slow cooking as well as giving that luscious grilled flavor. I don't use a lot of smoke - usually just 2 feedings of pellets and soaked wood chips in the first hour. Everything has been great! Turkey at Thanksgiving (going to do 2 smaller turkeys from now on - one stuffed and in oven for good stuffing and gravy). The steaks have been awesome. Did some bacon as a trial run before getting a whole pig to add to the freezer later this month - bacon was awesome. Pulled pork, pork chops, and loved the roaster chicken. We even smoked our Swedish potato sausage we make every Christmas, instead of the typical boiling, and it was great.

Thanksgiving smoked Turkey - everyone's preferred meat!

So today - some ferments and smoking (I have a "smoking jacket" and hat which I think is so funny!). Oh, I also have some sourdough started yesterday to form into loaves and bake either today or tomorrow morning. That's the other food thing I'm in love with - making sourdough bread! And the book that transformed the whole process is the Tartine. Chad Robertson just came out with Tartine 3, hot off the press I got it, and am in love!

Sourdough bread

I did mention my health. Quite the year! Things I complained to a nutritionist friend of mine had me tested. I was diagnosed in February, big time, as Adrenal Fatigued. I researched a lot, and still occasionally read along that line and in conjunction with Candidiasis. They can have a connection. Then further testing, is not absorbing nutrients. Hard to take when living and eating so well. Primarily B12 deficient - which is another weird thing when we have chickens and eat tons of eggs, as well as all the meats in the freezers. And oh . . . also diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia, which is not fun - when it's kicking up, it's very painful - checking that out more this year. My mantra last year was "You Gotta Keep Dancing"!!

My kitchen garden

Moving on . . . I gardened big time. I'm thinking I'm done with buying plants, unless a great deal on some fruiting tree or bush that's different from anything I have. Froze a lot of beans and broccoli and kale. Dried a lot of zucchini and tomatoes. And all this living at an altitude of 8,000 feet. Like growing corn and having enough to freeze. That's quite a feat! (Ah, another homophone to tell my grandson: feet and feat - he's collecting them!)(Oh, our 5th Grandchild was born.)

Tail end of broccoli, green beans and kale to freeze

I joined Denver's Botanical Gardens and walked around there a lot with my Master Gardener friend. We also took lots of classes together. Like greenhouse gardening and propagation and seed saving. So that's the new venture - tho that's how I've gotten tomatoes at this altitude in the first place. And I've scattered seeds forever, which is how my wildflower and perennial beds look lush. But on to improving it all and more propagating.

Photo of our sunroom/ greenhouse by visiting Zsuzsanna Luciano

So what will this next year look like? Garden planning and ordering some seeds right now, hoping to do more seed saving. We moved my studio space to a brighter and warmer room, so more sewing and weaving (which ends up involving spinning and dyeing)? Always food prep gourmet with real foods!

A large loom I'm selling - if anyone's interested!

Have a good year!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...