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, […]

Fermentation Tools, Equipment and Ingredients

You can spend lots of money on tools and gadgets designed specifically for making fermented foods—airlocks to let gas escape from jars, lids with small “windows” you open in order to release gas, glorified glass jars rebranded as “small fermentation crocks,” expensive weights, mandolines to cut vegetables quickly and uniformly… These tools all sound nice […]

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 […]

How to Respond to Critics of Zero Waste

Updated 06/22/17 Perhaps you’ve taken the Plastic Free July challenge. You’ve banned plastic wrap in your home, started carrying your reusable water bottle everywhere and maybe you’ve started making your own granola. You feel very excited about your progress (as you should)! Then your friends and family criticize you and burst your bubble. Sound familiar? “You don’t […]

Garlic-Dill Sauerkraut

I have converted several self-professed haters of sauerkraut with this garlic-dill blend. It tastes just like dill pickles. And almost everyone likes dill pickles, including kids. People who tell me they hate sauerkraut often also say they want to like it because of the many health benefits that lacto-fermented foods such as sauerkraut offer. Fermented sauerkraut: Is […]

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 […]