The color is staying pretty consistent. The texture is crunchy and still a little rubbery which indicates that it is not done yet. The flavor right now is very similar to store bought, which in some ways is a good thing and indicates it is working properly. I’m starting to think that by making it in a fermentation jar like this as opposed to a crock you lose out on the dynamics you can achieve in the flavor. This is definitely a good method if you live in a small warm apartment like I do, but I don’t think I will be giving up on the crock method.
I will let it work for another few weeks and see if the flavor deepens.
I have been hearing this term “the dirty dozen” referring to the 12 foods you should always buy organic because conventional types have greater concentrations of pesticides/chemicals and absorb more of them (which means you can’t just wash it off). I wanted to post the list for you fine folks.
Apples Bell peppers Blueberries Celery Cherries Grapes Kale Nectarines Peaches Potatoes Spinach Strawberries
I read that some items change each year because food is tested annually and the list is adjusted accordingly. I have to admit I was surprised by some of these. It isn’t an intuitive list which is why it’s good to have it. For example, I would have thought thick skinned peppers and hearty kale were more resistant (I should note that in the past kale did not make the list, which is a sign of how main-stream agriculture is continually changing to embrace pesticides and chemicals). The other reason I like having this list is because it’s not always affordable to buy organic (coming from a graduate student), and this enables you to know which food you shouldn’t compromise on.
"LePage also wants to reverse a vote taken by the state Board of Environmental Protection to phase out the use of bisphenol A in children’s products, and rely instead on federal standards. The chemical is a plastic hardener, used in food containers, baby bottles and cups, that has been linked to cancer, obesity and learning disabilities. The BEP vote awaits authorization by the Legislature."
"Sean Mahoney, executive director of the Maine Conservation Law Foundation, said some of LePage’s proposals may not be legal."
As I work towards my Masters in Community Planning and Development so that I can begin a career in environmental policy to help protect Maine’s natural resources, the recent events are literally heart breaking to me. How does a person who receives much less than a majority vote suddenly get to undo generations of hard work to protect our environment? Here is a man who outright refused for days to meet with the NAACP on MLK Jr day, now also lightening regulations on a chemical that has been shown to produce learning disabilities in young children and linked to cancer. What can we even do?
The last winter I spent in Maine was 2002. I was 17.
Monday’s forecast says “Dangerous wind chills may approach -25F”. Hello. I don’t even know what -25 feels like. I mean, I probably did when i was six and those kind of temperatures were normal for January in Maine, but we’ve been experiencing this climate change thing for a while now, and I can’t really fathom -25F.
From the Portland Press Herald: “We have an arctic air mass coming down,” said Mike Kistner, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray. “It’s probably the coldest air we’ve seen here in a couple years … You have to be careful in that weather.”
Awesome. Welcome back to friggin’ Maine. And to make it even better the almanac (which predicted a cold winter) predicts a rainy summer. So excited to have one of those again.
This time of year I start to get pretty lazy. Here in the Northeast we are officially getting some bitter winter cold. I’m recovering from plantar fasciitis, a foot injury from running too hard, so I haven’t been going to the gym. Instead I have been doing yoga, putting together routines from free videos on www.yogatic.com. Yoga classes get more expensive every year, and these are a nice alternative if you can’t get motivated to leave the house on a cold day or need to give your wallet a break.
The best part is choosing different videos depending on what kind of mood I’m in and creating my own unique practice.
I tried a taste of the week old kraut today. Flavor is really nice. I think it is maturing more quickly than when done in the crock. Could be due to the warm apartment. Fermentation jar seems to be working like a charm. I think tomorrow I will add a bit of extra brine just to keep it moist.
I first introduced you to homemade salad dressing here. But really, I’ve been holding out on you. I make a very simple balsamic dressing that will really surprise you.
Ingredients: Balsamic vinegar olive oil honey (don’t use raw honey, use the more fluid “regular” kind)
pour however much olive oil you want for your salad. Add about half a spoonful of honey, mix it around a little. Add balsamic vinegar (half the amount of the oil you used). Now this is important. *whisk* the dressing.
This blends the honey and thickens the olive oil. I twist the whisk back and forth between my hands. a slight froth will develop. Pour over salad immediately. If the dressing settles, wisk again before using. mix thoroughly with salad (it is particularly enjoyable with organic baby spinach), and enjoy!
Leaving a new batch of kraut home while you’re away for the weekend is kind of like leaving your baby alone for the first time with the babysitter. I was worried about it. I thought I’d come home and it would have seeped out of the container, be all brown and smell like a dead mouse. I walked into my apartment however to no weird smells. The level was rising a little, which I expected, as the air seeped out. I did pop open the lid to give it a whiff. It is hard to explain, but overall I thought it was krauty smelling, a little hint of vinegar. It also hissed as the pressure eased, which was encouraging; it’s working how it is supposed to. On the color front it looks exactly like it did when we made it, not brown or scummy.
I have a very tough time deciding who to trust, weather.com, or wunderground. Through the years I have come to consider them both reliable, however they are often contradicting each other. It is very confusing and I end up creating this sort of “worst case scenerio” weather report for myself so I am prepared for travel, dress, precipitation etc. So I think I should conduct an experiment. I will keep you abreast of the results.
I am a big believer in following your passions and I want to shed some light on friends who have turned what they love to do into a side-job. Check out the new small businesses two of my girlfriends have started.
My friend Rachel has been telling me about these fermentation jars for months. Fed up with moldy mushy homemade sauerkraut, she learned about this new method and has never looked back. Now, I’m partial to the old ceramic crock and my grandfather’s old scale and slicer, but in my new apartment it’s too small and too hot to make kraut the old fashioned way. Here’s more about making kraut with fermentation jars, and how ridiculously easy it is.
Today my friend and I went to soakology located in Monument Square (here in Portland). Two days ago, after a tough workout and not enough stretching I ended up with Plantar Fasciitis, which is really unpleasant and makes it hard to walk, so I was especially excited to pamper my feet.
I rarely do something as self-pampering as this, so it was kind of a big deal. They have a large menu of services, including foot/leg massages, neck/shoulder/head massages, and foot soaks. The first thing that I liked about the place is that their services range in prices so you can go there and spend as little (starting at $20) or as much as you want.