After a year of hemming and hawing, Fleur-de-Blog moved from Blogger to WordPress with the hope that it will be more reader-friendly. Kathleen, who is the brains, organizational skills, and computer behind Spring Creek Homesteading, did it for me in ONE hour. A full year ago, I came home from the San Francisco Writers Conference with the move in mind. It took me 11 months to act, and Kathleen, a single hour to do the computer magic.
I installed a recipe index, but there’s still a lot of “polishing” to be done. If you call up some of the archived newsletters, you get an intro of computer gobbledygook, which I will eventually eliminate. Please bear with me. And, the little bank of smiling faces on the right is gone. I’m not sure if people have to join or I have to do something to invite them. It’s a work in progress.
In the meantime, please use the comment section. That’s for you! And, I’d like to get a dialogue going. There is a dialogue going—people send me emails directly, but those interesting comments aren’t shared with the rest of you unless they are written in the comment block.
So, this time, I hijacked an email from Val with comments on lacto-fermentation, so that all of you can learn from her experience:
“I love fermenting vegetables. I do cabbage the traditional way—using only Celtic sea salt. For all other vegetables, I use 1-cup water, ¼-c. whey, and about 2 Tbsp Celtic sea salt. With the whey, it takes only three days until it is ready. I don’t ever use anything to keep the vegetables submerged. A few might float and might get white mold. Just remove them. That white mold is harmless. Also, I cover the jars tightly. I’ve found that if I leave them a bit loose, then everything spoils. I then store the jars in one bedroom that is rarely heated.
“One important point to make about the water used for this method—if it’s city water, filter it to rid it of fluoride and chlorine. Fluoride is bad and chlorine will kill all the good bacteria.
“Who taught the class?
“My only problem is that sometimes, after it’s all gotten nice and sour, it will go back to being salty—very salty. I don’t know what makes this.”
In answer to Val, my instructors were two PSU plant science graduate students named Scott and Matt. They mentioned NOT to use iodized salt and to use distilled or filtered water if any water is necessary. (I just forgot to write those details.) One of the instructors, I think it was Scott, said he actually has eaten the white mold that Val mentioned just to make sure it was harmless—but then he’s a crazy grad student, what do you expect? He is still alive, though. I hope this helps any of you potential sauerkraut makers.
My colorful confetti kraut is now all purple (the red cabbage is a powerful ingredient) and bubbling away in my bedroom closet. No sightings of mold, but I each time I open the lid to check on it, the fragrance of fermentation wafts through the room and down the hallway.
Fasta Ravioli Update: We had another Master Gardener meeting on Valentine’s night, so our three-course dinner was postponed to Friday. I made a butter, garlic and sage sauce for the red heart-shaped cheese ravioli. My mom and I had the appetizers with a glass of Prosecco.
For the squid-ink striped ravioli stuffed with lobster and crabmeat, I heated some lemon-infused olive oil with lemon zest, poured it on the dinner plates, and then served the ravioli on top, dressed with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. (We only used a half-pound of the ravioli, saving the rest for another night.) I served that with No-Shrink-Needed Broccoli Salad. Dessert (chocolate gnocchi) was postponed indefinitely; as my mother frequently says, we were “stuffed to the gills.”
Quick note about cooking ravioli: Fasta Bob boils his ravioli and then removes them with a slotted spatula when they float to the top. Then, he adds more frozen ravioli with out having to boil more water. I tried this and noticed the water from the “heart” ravioli turned pink, but slid the squid ink striped ravioli in anyway. No harm done, the “pink” didn’t transfer.
And now, let’s see if we can get this WordPress comment section cooking! Richard sent an email this week. He’s been invited to dinner at an Italian student’s apartment. Each guest was asked to bring a dish representative of his home country that many of the other international students probably haven’t tasted. What would you bring and why? Laurie Lynch