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30 December 2010 @ 07:55 pm
Hi all!

My hubby just got me Nourishing Traditions for Christmas, and I'm very excited to start making some real food! First, I plan on starting with sourdough and making buttermilk, whey, and cream cheese.

Some questions for you...

Do any of you have experience making buttermilk, and eventually whey, with commercial milk? We simply cannot afford to buy fresh milk, especially sense it's not technically legal to sell for human consumption in my state. So I'd like to try mixing a culture with commercial whole milk. Do you think I could make whey with commercial cultured buttermilk?

Also, what were the first recipes you tackled when you started on the Nourishing Traditions journey?

02 November 2010 @ 11:06 am
My mother liked to buy in bulk. When she died a month ago, five unopened bottles of Green Pastures fermented cod liver oil were left in her estate. They're the Arctic Mint flavor, which I don't like. (I prefer the pills or the salty cod.) I've been trying to sell them on Washington, DC, Craigslist, but I've gotten no response. I went on http://www.westonaprice.org/ to see if they had a member-to-member contact feature. It turns out they're trying to get one implemented. Does anybody else have any suggestions for getting these bottles into the hands of someone who will appreciate them?
15 September 2010 @ 04:04 pm
"Part science, part art, lactofermentation is an ancient method of food preservation using live bacterial cultures. Anathema though it may seem to a generation of antibacterial hand-gel obsessives, the technique is increasingly being embraced by DIY aficionados and whole-food advocates who like the idea of low-tech preservation and also believe that unpasteurized foods aid digestion and boost immunity."

05 April 2010 @ 10:03 am
Are you finding kefir just too sour?  Is yogurt just too much bother (and the fact that you have to heat the milk...)?
I recommend trying viili (pronounced vee-lee).  Viili is a Finnish culture which is as easy to make as kefir, but without any straining.  The biggest benefit?  The result is very yogurt-like and much more mild than kefir.

I bought a culture from eBay - it came on a cotton ball! 
You soak the cotton ball in 1/4 c milk for 12 hours (might have been 24...) Then, you take out the cotton ball (dehydrate for future use if desired) and add another 3/4 c milk for another 12-24 hours.  Follow with another 12-24 hours in the fridge.  At this point, you should have a yogurty culture with a mild taste. For each further culture, you only need a tablespoon or two viili per cup of milk left out about 12 hours and refrigerated a further 12 hours.  (You only need 12 hour increments for the active culture.)

When I was making sauerkraut the other day, I simply warmed up about a cup of kefir (per half cup of whey needed) on the radiator, lol, and about an hour later, I just had to scoop off the thickened viili and use the whey - dead easy!  (I intend to try this thickened stuff on crackers like cream cheese - will let you know how that one works out - or not.  I'm sure it would be good in lasagne though.)

Viili is super durable too.  I have chronic fatigue syndrome and sometimes it's just too much to tend to - I ended up leaving the viili (in the fridge) for a couple of MONTHS!!!  I would have given up except that I didn't want to have to order another culture (and my cotton ball hadn't survived either!)  I mixed the viili up again and took just a little (1-2 Tablespoons) and added it to about 1/4 c of milk - just like at the beginning.  Lo and behold, it worked!  I had resurrected my viili! 

I now have two jars of viili on the go as one of my children loves to drink it with a little prune juice or a bit of jam.  I also use it in my egg smoothies (subject for another topic, lol).  I even use it to calm tummy upset.
Current Mood: creative
Current Music: B-I-N-G-O in daughter's iTunes (next to me!)
05 April 2010 @ 09:48 am
I'll bet I'm not the only one here who would like to be able to provide NT-friendly treats for the kids - who tend to reject most healthy things before event trying them.  What have you had success with?  Do you have your own recipe which is NT-friendly, but didn't make the book?  Please share!

I have one child (out of five!) who likes sauerkraut, one who likes viili (like kefir, but nicer IMO), some who will eat their offal... you get the picture!
02 February 2010 @ 10:30 pm

Does anyone know a sauerkraut recipe that avoids both the use of whey (I can't do dairy) or extra salt (I don't like the taste if I add the extra tablespoon as it says in Nourishing Traditions)?  I experimented by using some water kefir in place of the whey and the results were terrible. 

25 January 2010 @ 01:25 pm
I've just started making sourdough bread, and I'm finding that it's not as easy as I thought it would be. My loaves that were made with added yeast were beautiful and tasted great. The ones that rely on only the starter... they are weird and inconsistent. I eat them, they taste good, but they don't rise enough and take practically two days to rise nearly enough to bake, and they come out really dense... Does anyone do this regularly and have any tips on making good REAL sourdough bread?

p.s. I would love for this community to wake up and post more often! I'll work on contributing more. :)  
15 November 2009 @ 03:53 pm
I've been experimenting with lacto-fermenting vegetables this fall. So far I've done kim chee and cucumber pickles, which came out fine, and summer squash and daikon, which taste fine but the texture of the liquid they're in can only be described as slimy. Also, even after I put them in the fridge they continue to form a "bloom" on top. Any suggestions for better pickle juice texture?
23 July 2009 @ 01:47 pm
I was looking at the recipe for bulghar given in NT and thinking about making it for myself. Unfortunately though, it turns out the lowest setting for my oven is 170F, well above 150F. Is there something else I can do/use to accomplish the same effect?
17 July 2009 @ 10:58 am
I made up a batch of lacto-fermented sauerkraut on Tuesday and it's been sitting in jars since then. I didn't have canning jars though, so I just used clean pint jars with conventional screw on lids. The cabbage itself is starting to look good, but of course with the bacteria in the ferment, the lid is raising. Is there a chance of getting any bad bacteria in them? The jars will be going into the fridge tonight.

Incidentally the jars are out of direct sunlight and in a house with central a/c. The hottest it gets in there is about 80F.