I’ve previously posted about making the wonderful fermented tonic beet kvass, and continue to make it regularly. Some time ago, while researching different types of “kvass”, I discovered that the origin of the drink is an Eastern European ferment that uses bread – specifically, rye bread – as starter for the ferment. It just so happened that there was some “extra” sourdough rye sitting around, so I started some traditional bread-based kvas.
Autumn is the season of squash. Sure, squash is available at other times of the year (like the eponymous summer squash and overabundant zucchini), but for sheer variety, fall can’t be beat. All manner of gourds – decorative and edible – beckon from grocery store produce shelves and market tables. Time to get creative and preserve some of these gems!
It’s ‘booch harvest day, and three gorgeous bottles of the good stuff are sitting quietly on a shelf on the fermentation station, working their second ferment magic. Sometimes I have to take a step back and marvel at the various ferments in different stages – I am, after all, a microbe farmer (mad scientist?), too.
Refrigerator crisper drawers invite egregious procrastination. They allow unassuming veggies to hide until they’re past the point of no return – soft, soggy, sometimes slimy. Eww. In my efforts to avoid wasting food, I am occasionally horrified at what I find in there: lettuce that appears to be sporting a coating of pinkish ectoplasm, a severely shriveled and rubberized carrot, a desiccated and scraggly scallion…they haunt the crisper drawer and remind me that wasting food is a character flaw. Today, however, I managed to salvage some of the sorriest specimens and turn them into something tasty.
Summer is water kefir weather. Those hard-working, gelatinous “grains” (actually a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) turn sugar water into a sparkling probiotic beverage. While a water kefir first ferment (1F) doesn’t have much personality, the second ferment (2F) is where the fun happens!