By Popular Demand: Online LIVE Sourdough Bread Workshop

sourdough bread and crackers

So many people have asked for it and here it is: an online, interactive, sourdough bread workshop Years ago I taught myself to make delicious sourdough bread—and didn’t bake a really good loaf for months. Drastically shorten your learning curve! The first person who took my sourdough bread class baked a wonderful loaf—on his first […]

Overcome Your Fear of Commitment—to Sourdough and Other Starters

I can’t look after more than four starters. My ginger bug Mary Ann, my kombucha SCOBY Etheldreda, my sourdough starter Eleanor and my buttermilk Betty all need regular feedings or they’ll die. I take care of this little family in addition to fermenting all sorts of other foods that don’t require starters—kimchi, dill pickles, chutney, […]

Drop that Bleach! The Wasteful Side Effects of the War on Bacteria

War cannot be won. I’m not advocating anything dangerous here, just old-fashioned common sense—and practices. We are too clean and so are our homes. And that germaphobia has created a market—or the market has created germaphobia—for all sorts of wasteful products. I’m not advocating you never bathe. However, this MIT chemical engineer hasn’t showered since 2003 […]

Simple Kimchi

How important is kimchi to Korean cuisine? Well, Koreans eat 1.5 million pounds of it every year, the Korean stock market’s “kimchi index” tracks the prices of kimchi ingredients and when Korea sent its first astronaut to the International Space Station, it sent kimchi along with him too—after spending millions researching and developing a recipe suitable […]

Olive and Preserved Lemon Spread

I’m not sure what to call this appetizer… I have been eating my preserved lemons with Indian food—lentil dal and channa masala—and decided I should branch out and perhaps make something more Mediterranean. How delicious would preserved lemons taste in a tapenade-like spread? Very, it turns out. Although tapenade recipes vary—some call for anchovies, others […]

Why and How to Make Sauerkraut and Krautchi

Click here to jump to the recipe Why ferment? People have fermented foods for thousands of years. At first, ferments must have happened by sheer accident—a handful of vegetables forgotten in salty water or a misplaced bowl of porridge, discovered days later and showing signs of life and gentle bubbling. When those first curious cooks tasted these supposed mistakes, they would […]

Garlic-Dill Pickles

For pickles, fermentation was the primary means of preservation until the 1940s, when direct acidification and pasteurization of cucumber pickles was introduced. — The Art of Fermentation Store bought pickles may taste good but to render them shelf-stable, food manufacturers pasteurize the cucumbers in vinegar. On the plus side, they last forever. On the down […]