The First of the Summer Veggies Have Been Picked

I love the summer garden – stone fruit, tomatoes, capsicum, coriander (cilantro), cucumber… and the obligatory tonne of zucchini – to eat, freeze, giveaway and pickle.

 

garden 24/11/017

 

Recently I have come across the most useful book: Cornersmith  Salads and Pickles – Alex Elliott-Howery and Sabine Spindler.

CrnrSmthSaladsPickles

This book is amazing, just what I need. I am not a naturally inspired salad maker – but I want to make inviting salads  and vegetable dishes that say eat me. It has recipes for yummy meals and guides for pickling and fermenting (good for the gut) which are great ways to store and use up our abundant seasonal fresh produce.

The Cornersmith way of eating sounds like a perfect match for me (and you): “The Cornersmith way to eat is about bringing together a variety of deliciously simple elements. Make one or two vegetable dishes, open a jar of pickles or ferments, add a good loaf of bread and perhaps an easy protein – a great piece of cheese, some eggs, a slice of grilled meat or fish. No diets, no superfoods, no guilt… Just good food with more taste and the added benefit of cutting down food waste. From the award-winning Cornersmith cafes and Picklery comes the follow-up to their bestselling self-titled cookbook, with a focus on seasonal salads, pickles and preserving. Including dozens of simple ideas for fresh ingredients that might otherwise be thrown away, Cornersmith: Salads & Pickles is your handbook to putting vegetables at the centre of the way you  eat.” 

 

https://www.murdochbooks.com.au/browse/books/cooking-food-drink/general-cookery-recipes/Cornersmith-Salads-and-Pickles-Alex-Elliott-Howery-and-Sabine-Spindler-9781743369234

 

 

 

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Apricot and Peach Fruit Wine: Ferment – Holly Davis

Ferment cover

Ferment

Holly Davis

Murdoch Books 

ISBN: 9781743368671

 

Images and recipes from Ferment by Holly Davis (Murdoch Books, RRP $45) Photography by Ben Dearnley.

 

apricot and peach fruit wine
first fermentation

Apricot and Peach Fruit Wine

“Here is a sweet, slightly alcoholic fruit wine ideal for those hot summer days. Choose seasonal, ripe and semi-ripe fruits with some acidity, which will improve the mix. ” p. 84

Makes 3 litres (105 fl oz/12 cups) Ready in 4–6 days

 

660 g (1 lb 7 oz/3 cups) raw sugar

1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) lightly brewed black tea

2 kg (4 lb 8 oz) ripe unblemished peaches, stones removed and quartered

2 kg (4 lb 8 oz) ripe unblemished apricots, stones removed and quartered

2 litres (70 fl oz/8 cups) filtered water

 

Combine the sugar and strained tea in a non-reactive bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar completely. Take a wide, deep crock or bowl, which will hold the fruit leaving stirring space, and add the fresh peaches and apricots. Pour the sweet tea over the fruit and stir in the water.

capture Cover with a clean tea towel (dish towel) and leave in a cool spot for 4–5 days. As frequently as possible, during each day (5–6 times or more), stir the liquid using a wooden spoon to create a swirling vortex, then change direction and repeat. (Stirring this way helps to draw air into the liquid and encourages yeast activity.)

At day 3 or 4 the mix should be bubbling, and around day 6 or so it should seriously bubble and froth. Keep stirring and smelling for another couple of days, watching to see when the froth subsides, indicating that fermentation has slowed right down. Trust your nose; if it smells fruity and delectable don’t wait for it to improve, move to the next stage. Strain the mix through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl, pressing as much of the liquid from the fruit as possible. Decant the strained fruit wine into swing-top bottles and chill in the fridge.

This is best consumed within 1–2 weeks. Open daily to avoid overly boisterous effervescence.

 

Om….and the Art of Bread Making

Ommmmmm….there is nothing like bread making to ground you, to relax you, to develop your sense of patience. I am rediscovering the art of relaxation, deep breathing, yoga and…sour dough bread making.

Bread making and in particular using wild fermented yeast (sour dough) is an art that develops your patience and attunes you to the local environment – favourable weather conditions are a must – a too cold a house equals bread bricks 🙂   I am guilty of rushing…and sour dough will not be rushed!

Mother Nature has fooled me into thinking that it is a good time to start making bread – the skies have been blue, the roses are budding, the veggie patch is looking good.

spring garden

But I have been fooled- the sun may shine but it is not that warm (16 degrees maximums this week) and each time I have started the bread making process I have reached a particular stage and then the temperature has dropped and …the yeast has returned to dormancy.

Ferment cover

However I have had some success and have learnt alot this week, about  bread making and fermenting in general thanks to the assistance of Holly Davis’s new book Ferment.   This book provides recipes and lots of information relating to the various methods of fermenting ( Activate, Capture, Steep, Infuse, Incubate and Cure). One of the most useful things I learnt this week was the  “float test” to check if your leaven mix is active and ready to go. Getting this right makes such a difference to the success (or not) of your sough dough bread making.

The Float Test

Successful float test and I was ready for action..then the weather changed…it cooled down, rapidly…my sough dough sunflower and rye loaf became a a delicious sunflower and rye brick 🙂  The crumb is great. The flavour is awesome but it needed a few more degrees of warmth to have risen that bit more …I will not give up, I will just have to wait a few weeks for the temperature to increase a few degrees and all will be fine. I’ll let you know how I get on.

sunflower and rye bread

Back to the deep breathing exercises….Ommmmmm…..

Fermented Raspberries: The Natural Cook – Matt Stone

The Natural Cook

 Images and recipes from the Natural Cook by Matt Stone (Murdoch Books) photography by Matt Roper available from 1st August $39.99

 

Fermented Raspberries

“Too often berries go off in the fridge before we get round to eating them. They cost far too much to waste or compost, so I made this recipe to avoid that situation.

This fermented purée makes a great summer drink with a big splash of sparkling wine or soda water or both. It’s also great to dress up a fruit salad or to finish a sauce for game meats.”  (p.64)

 

Use an old 300 ml (10½ fl oz) jam jar

 

Ingredients

250 g (9 oz/2 cups) raspberries

1 tablespoon raw (demerara) sugar

1 tablespoon water

 

Note: You can use any type of berry here, not just raspberries.

 

Method

Put all the ingredients into a bowl and smash together into a big, bright mess. Pour into a sterilised jam jar, cover with
muslin (cheesecloth) or a clean kitchen cloth held in place with a rubber band or string, and leave for 2–3 days out of direct sunlight until bubbly and fermented, giving it a mix each day.

 

Store the purée in the fridge in an airtight container where it will keep for 2 weeks.

Fermented Raspberries

Science InThe Kitchen

In previous posts I have reviewed a couple of books on Gut Health- Gut  and Heal You Gut and provided a few Gut Friendly recipes for you to try.  This is what you will find in our kitchen/fridge and pantry these days (might need a bigger or extra fridge soon).  I am loving Kombucha Tea – but must make bigger quantities in future – it a great probiotic drink (recipe can be found in Heal Your Gut by Lee Holmes), my sour dough is well worth the effort of making, the fermented vegetables (husband makes these for us – and currently we are using red and green cabbages from the garden) is great with roasts or sausages, the olives are fermented, the fruit from our trees and taste great and the milk kefir I add to smoothies, husband drinks it by the glassful.

Kombucha Tea

Kombucha Tea – final product – Green tea and  black tea ferments

 

004

L-R Fermented veg – green and red cabbage, sour dough starter, olives, milk kefir

 

Sour Dough

Sour Dough

 

Kombucha starter

Kombucha starter

Kefir Yoghurt: Heal Your Gut – Lee Holmes

Heal Your Gut - Lee Holmes www.murdochbooks.com.au

Heal Your Gut – Lee Holmes http://www.murdochbooks.com.au

Maintain and restore with food – phase three of the protocol for healing your gut according to Lee Holmes includes eating a fermented food every day. “Once your gut lining is healed…you can start to incorporate one cultured food such as Cultured Vegetables…Sauerkraut…Kimchi…Coconut Kefir or Home made Kombucha to colonise your gut with healthy flora. and boost your inner ecosystem.”  (p.83)

 

Kefir Yoghurt

       Kefir Yoghurt

Recipes and Images from Heal Your Gut by Lee Holmes (www.murdochbooks.com.au)

 

Kefir Yoghurt

serves 2

Boost your inner ecosystem with the beneficial bacteria in this delicious yoghurt to keep your immune system strong.

You’ll need a sterilised glass bowl or large jar, a blender, a strainer, a square of muslin (cheesecloth), an elastic band and a wooden spoon. (Avoid using metal, and store in a glass jar.)

 

3 young coconuts, at room temperature

2 dairy-free probiotic capsules or 1 tablespoon dairy-free probiotic powder

liquid stevia or stevia powder, to taste

fresh berries, to serve (optional)

 

Open the coconuts and strain the coconut water into a bowl. Set aside.

Scrape out the coconut flesh, trying not to include any husk, and place in a blender. Add the coconut water and blend until creamy – it should have the consistency of yoghurt.

Pour the mixture into a glass bowl and add the contents of the probiotic capsules or the probiotic powder.

Cover the bowl with muslin (cheesecloth), securing it with the elastic band, and put in a cool, dry, dark place for 1–2 days. When ready, it should taste fairly sharp without a hint of sweetness.

Add stevia to taste, then refrigerate and enjoy over the next 7 days. Serve with fresh berries, if using.