Sunday, May 28, 2017


Sauerkraut - also from the fermentation class -

Chop up a head of cabbage in consistent-ish pieces.  Put into a bowl and salt it (somewhat less than 1 tsp to 1/2 cabbage).  Mix it up. 

Let it sit on counter 30-60 minutes to draw out the water.  Mix it and massage it.

Make a brine of 1 c. unchlorinated water and 1 tsp. salt.

Fill the jar with cabbage and brine.  Put an outside cabbage leaf on top, held down by rock or avocado pits to keep cabbage under brine.  Cover with lid or cloth with rubberband.  Leave on counter.  If use a lid, open to "burp it" every couple of days. 

Keep out of direct sunlight.  Leave it a minimum of 7 days per taste. 

Take out leaf, put in fridge.  It will stay good for a long time (many months).

water kefir

I took a fermentation class a few weeks ago and she gave us water kefir grains.  They're not the same as milk kefir and they're supposed to make a carbonated beverage that can be mixed with juice.  Or, as one site said, can be like a light lemonade.  That appeals to me, as we're pulling into a hot summer.

First ferment:

Warm up 1 quart water with 1/4 c. sugar to dissolve sugar.

Drain grains and put into quart jar.  When the sugar water is room temperature, add it to the jar.  Cover with cheesecloth, thin cloth towel, or coffee filter and rubber band it.

Leave it on the counter 24-48 hours.  The grains want to be refed every 48 hours.

Second ferment:  
Strain.  (Save kefir grains for another first ferment.)

Put the strained kefir water into a bottle, like the old Grolsch bottles with the flip top lids.  She suggested 2/3 water kefir and 1/3 flavoring such as fresh juice, whole fruit, crystallized ginger, mint).  I think I want to try it with cucumber pieces and watermelon juice.

Close it and keep it on the counter for 24-48 hours.  Then put in fridge if storing for longer.  Be very careful opening it as the pressure can build.

Longer-term storage:
for the first ferment, just put into the fridge for up to two months or so.  Some molasses will help revive the grains.     

I have now made it with strawberries, cherries, lime-cucumber, watermelon, and calamondin.  All good.

In the heat here I've been warned to do a second ferment in flip-top bottles for no longer than 12 hours.  So ... I'm putting the in the shower for a 24 hour ferment and no explosions yet (knock on wood).  The 12 hour secondary ferment made it slightly effervescent (drinking lime-cucumber now); when fermented longer (with strawberries) it was so bubbly it exploded a third of it all over my kitchen when I opened it and it tasted like a carbonated soda.  But better. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

incredibly good pancakes

I was looking for a recipe to use up sour cream, and found this one for blueberry pancakes.  SO GOOD.

Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes
  • 2 cups (283g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp (42g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (295 ml) milk (anything but skim)
  • 1 cup (8oz) sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 Tbsp (2.5 oz) unsalted butter, melted, plus more cold butter for griddle
  • 1 1/2 cups (8 oz) fresh blueberries
  • Preheat an electric griddle to 400 degrees (a non-stick skillet set over medium heat will also work).
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt 20 seconds, then create a well in center of mixture. In a separate medium mixing bowl whisk together milk, sour cream and eggs until well blended (melt butter at this point, if you haven't already).
  • Pour sour cream mixture into flour mixture and whisk just until about 3/4 of the way combined (there should still be large lumps and some flour streaks). Immediately pour in blueberries and melted butter and fold just to evenly distribute, about 5 times. Butter griddle (only butter spot you'll be adding batter because the butter will burn quickly if you don't immediately drop batter after buttering) then pour a heaping 1/3 cup batter onto griddle. Allow to cook until bottom is golden brown then flip and cook opposite side until golden brown. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately with maple syrup.
  • Recipe source: adapted slightly from Taste of Home

Saturday, May 6, 2017

dog treats

Posted by a woman in a Facebook group I'm in (in the UK), these all look very promising at making my Catahooligan attentive.  I'll gradually try to convert to US measurements.

Peanut Butter Treats
50ml oil (60ml is 1/4 cup)
2 eggs
3 tbsp peanut butter
8oz flour rice, rye or potato or any mix you like
2oz cornmeal - 3/8 c.
2oz oats - 3/8 c.
120ml water - 1/2 c.
Herbs, garlic (optional),

Mix well you need a soft but not sticky dough, roll out to approx. ½” thick, put the whole piece onto a baking tray, cut into biscuits or small treats 1/4” square for training treats, before baking, turn over ½ way through baking. A pizza cutter works well
Bake at 160/170c until dry and slightly golden.

Tuna Treats

110g plain flour, white/ wholemeal/rice/ rye
1 medium sized egg
1 x 140g can of tuna flakes in sunflower oil (drained)
Half a teaspoon of garlic powder or granules

Puree the tuna, mix in the egg add the flour to the egg and tuna, sprinkle on the garlic as you stir it all into a mixture, when it's fully blended to a thick paste, make it into a ball then spread very thinly on the baking sheet using your hands.

line your baking sheet with non- stick silicone paper
Bake in the oven 180c for 30-40 minutes, flip over after 20 minutes and continue baking , it should be golden and fairly hard, let it cool the cut up into desired sized pieces, use a pizza cutter.
I turn the oven off and when I have cut it up I put it back into the oven to dry a bit more
Refrigerate in a plastic dish, or your fridge will smell of garlic for weeks!

Liver treats

I lb of liver (beef/lamb)
1 cup of whole wheat flour or rice/potato
1 cup of cornmeal
1/2 cloves crushed garlic, if desired!
2 eggs

Puree the liver in a food processor, add all the other ingredients and mix well.

Spread onto a greased lined (use non- stick silicone paper) baking sheet, bake in at 180c for 20 minutes flip over half way through cooking, cut into pieces ( I use a pizza cutter)I keep ½ of this recipe in a plastic box and keep in the fridge. The other half I freeze in small lined pieces ( I use a pizza cutter)

This makes 1lb 8oz of treats. For a small dog I would only make ½ quantity

Fishy treats
1 tin of sardines in tomato sauce or oil. Or a small tin of pink salmon, which I prefer
1 lge egg
1 Tbsp rolled oats
several heaped tbsp rice flour.

Regular plain flour can be used if you prefer, however rice flour ensures that the treats are suitable for dogs with a wheat or gluten intolerance.

First you need to preheat the oven to 150c - 300 F

Put the sardines in a large bowl a and mash with a fork
Beat the egg and stir into the sardines
Add the flour 1 tbsp at a time and mix until you reach a soft dough like consistency that you can roll out use less or more flour as required.

Roll the dough out thinly and cut out using a small cutter, or I simply roll on a piece of nonstick paper then transfer to the baking sheet and cut into small tiny treat size squares on the baking tray with a pizza cutter,
Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until the biscuits turn golden – about 30 -40 minutes. They might have some give to them at this stage, so if you prefer them to be really crunchy leave in a little longer.................................................................................................

Beef biscuits for dogs

200g of Beef mince (ground beef)
200g of flour I use either Rye flour or Brown Rice flour but wholemeal is fine (approximately 2 cups)
1 tbsp of mixed dried herbs/parsley
1 Egg
1 tsp of sunflower oil
150ml of water how much water you need depends on what flour you use - 2/3 c.
you can also add a clove of crushed garlic if you wish

Mix the flour, herbs and Beef Mince together thoroughly. Best in a mixer
Then add the egg and sunflower oil to the mix,
Add the water a little at a time till you get a pastry like dough (not too sticky)
The easiest is way is to put the rolled out pastry on to a baking tray and lightly cut into the size you require with a pizza cutter
Roll out mixture on a floured surface to about a centimetre thick and cut up into about 1 inch size pieces ( bigger or smaller if you want) I use a pizza cutter, for training treats make them very small ¼”.

Place on a greased/ lined baking tray in the oven about 160 turn down if they get too brown, for about 30 minutes, then turn over, break up and cook for a bit longer

If you want them really hard when they are cooked turn the oven off and leave them in the oven for a while longer to harden.

Keep in an airtight tub so far the ones I have made have kept well