Monday, September 29, 2014

Cape Breton

So we have been perusing Cape Breton. It was our first holiday in ten years, our first time renting a cottage like "normal" grown ups, and for the children, the first time at the sea! We swam every day—the Northwest coast is the warmest waters north of the Carolinas, and definitely the warmest water we've swum in all summer! 

Oh to be battered around by waves!

We also drove the dizzying heights of the Cabot Trail...
In short, we were smitten.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Wild Fermentation

New exciting pickles and a bowl of monstrous beets which are stumping me. Maybe I'll channel my Russian roots and make kvass.

By now you've probably heard of Sandor Ellix Katz's Wild Fermentation and his new encyclopedic The Art of Fermentation. It's been our bedside reading for a couple years now and I'm finally starting some kitchen science. Burdock, dandelion, garlic scapes, carrot, and some hot dried peppers, brine pickled.

Curious to see how the burdock comes out. It feels woody so far. No one, not even the internet, can tell me when is the best time to harvest burdock root. I was so dazzled by their huge size, but I suspect they're too old for eating as the plants had already gone to seed. If you know the answer, message me urgently.

I'm a little bit frustrated by the lack of exact measurements in any recipe book or website. It seems that fermenting, like bread making and so many other kitchen arts, are a bit secret and magical. You learn by doing and then you teach by word of mouth like a gnostic cult. It's a little bit exciting.