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, […]

August Is the Reddest Month

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere and have planted a garden, you may have begun to experience what-am-I-going-to-do-with-this-glut-of-tomatoes syndrome. Mild symptoms often begin in early August and quickly intensify to the critical stage. The following ideas will help alleviate and, in some instances, depending on the harvest and the number of plants you have, cure […]

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 […]

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 […]

16 Simple Tips to Clean Your Kitchen, Plastic-Free

When we first went plastic-free, cleaning presented a big challenge. How would we wash our dishes without plastic bottles filled with dish soap (not to mention filled with microbeads)? Sponges, made of plastic, come wrapped in yet more plastic. And how would we dispose of wet, stinky garbage? We found pretty simple solutions for all of […]