Updates from the Homestead
I can’t believe it has been more than a week since I last blogged. Life has been very busy around here. I spent a lot of time making products for my store. I have some previously sold out items back in stock. I have had a few emails asking when I was going to get out of stock items back.. well some of them are in now! You can check out my store and take a peek.
Aside from keeping up on my products and other web chores (update site, get Feb. newsletter out, etc).. I have been very busy in my kitchen and just loving all the results. You may remember from a past blog post my goals for this New Year? (if not you can read them here).. well so far I am still keeping up with it! In fact I just made a batch of salsa that I put in the fridge last night.
The first time I made it I chopped everything by hand.. and what a job it was! In the meantime I received an early birthday present from my hubby via the FedEx man .. a food processor attachment for my Bosch! (My birthday is not until next month but my sweet hubby wanted me to have it now.. especially if it meant I could save time in the kitchen and he could still be enjoying all the benefits of my good cooking! LOL)..
….. well anyway I am sure it took me nearly an hour and a half to chop up all those veggies for that first batch of salsa.. but on Tuesday.. I was so excited to see the FedEx man.. cause I knew what was coming! I opened the box, read through a few directions, washed my new little machine and started working on my salsa. I had it done in about a half hour (and that was with learning the nuisances of my new processor).. very worth it to me!
I am kind of using Sally Fallon’s recipe for the salsa.. Except I really don’t measure out anything and I don’t do things like peel and remove the seeds from my tomatoes.. gee.. I would be at it even longer if I did that and it has not made any difference to our tastes..
The recipe I have been making is just about like my recipe for my homemade fresh salsa except for the addition of whey, salt and lemon juice. For anyone interested in the recipe I will share what I have been doing:
Lacto Fermented Salsa
Enough for approx. 1 gallon
About 18 to 20 roma tomatoes, chopped finely
3 large onions, peeled and chopped
6 to 8 large jalapeno peppers, seeds removed and chopped
1 whole head of garlic, peeled and chopped – just a little trick on peeling cloves of garlic: Set the head of garlic in a 300 degree oven for a few minutes. The peels will soften up and slip off much more easily…
3 bunches cilantro, stems removed (I just grab hold of the stems and twist them off), then chopped up the herb
The above ingredients will fill a gallon jar up. If you are chopping by hand you may end up with more than a gallon’s worth.. this happen to me the first time.
Now after chopping all those ingredients I combine them in a large mixing bowl that is big enough to hold everything. Then I add:
9 Tablespoons lemon juice
¾ cup whey
3 Tablespoons sea salt
I mix this up and let it sit to draw out juices. Then I scoop into a glass jar (I use a measuring cup to scoop with). As I add the salsa to the jar I use a large spoon to push the veggies down. When the jar is full I make sure all the veggies are under liquid. If there is not enough liquid I add water. Then for a weight, I do my little ziplock baggie trick.. I put a gallon size ziplock type baggie into the jar and fill the bag with water. I make sure the bag is firmly around all the edges of the glass jar and that the weight from the water is helping to push the veggies under their liquid and make a nice seal around the inside of the jar.
Then I put the lid on and set it in a warm spot for 2 days. Then transfer to fridge.
This stuff, according to my family is.. well, Yummo!
I have had a couple people ask me about soaking grains (mainly I mentioned soaking flour).. why and how. Well the “why” is because grains and beans all have a substance called phytic acid in them that binds up many of the minerals in those foods and makes it so we can not absorb those minerals like we should. Soaking also makes the whole grains easier to digest and ups the vitamin content greatly.
Now the “how”…. I have to say I have done a whole lot better at soaking beans, rice and oatmeal. For beans I cover in water and add a couple tablespoons of whey for each cup of beans I have. For the rice I soak that with a tablespoon of whey or kefir or yogurt per cup of rice, add the water and let it sit until time to cook. For oatmeal I add 2 T whey for each cup of oats. Before I go to bed I put the oats, whey and half the needed water into my pot. In the morning I add the other half of the water and a pinch of salt and cook as I normally would.
Grains like wheat can be ground into flour and then soaked in buttermilk or kefir before using. Or for bread making you make a sourdough starter and make your bread using this. I admit that this has been the biggest challenge for me to deal with. I have used a few of Sally Fallon’s recipes and really do love them! I have made her pancakes, waffles and muffins. The waffles I made last week were the best I have ever had. I ground up the flour the evening before, added the amount of kefir called for and let it sit on the counter overnight. In the morning I added all the other ingredients and made waffles. But other than these experiences I find it hard to incorporate this step. Which right now I am not stressing over because I am doing so much more than I was, making my own broth, fermenting veggies regularly, making kefir and yogurt (I like to look at all that I am positively doing and not look at what I am not doing.. perfection at this is not my goal.. improving my family’s health a step at a time is).
My next goal will be to learn how convert many of my own family favorite recipes into this style of cooking. So I will keep you posted on my progress.
Hope you all have a great day on your homestead..