Friday, February 18, 2011


As promised (or as suggested), I am going to post about some food. I did three ferments today, including two new ferments! Now, dear readers, do not expect this level of productivity in the future. My mother-in-law had Molly all day today, and Penny napped for two hours. The three ferments were yogurt (not new), turnip kimchi, and t'ej (Ethiopian honey wine. I am not exactly sure how this differs from mead). I also have some kombucha fermenting on the counter; I got this started yesterday.

I decided a week or so ago I needed to start making yogurt again because the packaging is wasteful, and it is much cheaper and the taste is pretty much exactly the same with homemade. So I made some yogurt today. In the past, I have made a full half gallon, but that can be a bit of a daunting task for the fermenting period. I have had to find room to leave all that warm milk out for a few hours. The last two times I've made it, I've only made a quart, a much more manageable amount. The basic process for making yogurt is to heat (whole, organic) milk to about 180F, then let it cool to about 110F. It isn't necessary to warm it to such a high temperature, but it makes the yogurt thicker. Then mix about a tablespoon of yogurt from a previous batch into the warm milk. Leave it to ferment in a warm (about 100F) place for about 8 - 12 hours. I usually put it in a cooler with another jar full of hot water. If, after this amount of time, the yogurt hasn't thickened or hasn't developed that yogurt-y smell, add another teaspoon of yogurt and warm the cooler up again.

My CSA has had SO MANY turnips lately. What can you do with turnips??? Really, if you have suggestions, please list in the comments. I decided to attempt turnip kimchi. In Wild Fermentation, my go-to fermenting book, Sanderkraut gives a recipe for root vegetable kimchi, which includes turnips, daikons, carrots, and a few other root vegetables. I only put in turnips and daikons that I had left. I will post the recipe for this in another post.

Finally, the one I am most excited about, is the wine (also from Wild Fermentation). I have also gotten quite a bit of honey from my CSA lately, and I needed to clear out some cabinet space. The recipe for this is to mix 3 cups of honey with 12 cups of water, cover with a towel, and let ferment for a few days until bubbly. Then transfer to a large glass container with an airlock and let ferment for 2 to 4 weeks. I only had room in my ceramic crock for a 3:1 ratio of water:honey so I hope I can just add the extra three cups of water when I transfer it.

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