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 […]

August Is the Reddest Month

Updated 07/07/22 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 […]

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

Top view of a jar of small cucumbers prepped for 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 […]

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 […]

The Secondary Fermentation: Hippie Jargon for “Put Kombucha in a Bottle”

Updated 09/19/17 During my fermentation workshops, I give students samples of my various kombucha flavors before I put them to work. They always ask for the recipes so I thought I better get to it and post a bunch. Before you can flavor kombucha, you must first brew a batch and wait for it to ferment. You can […]