14 January 2011

Snow and Fermentation

It´s been crazy snowy here lately. Snowy enough, in fact, that we almost got stuck in Tennessee (out near Gatlinburg) in a beautiful cabin in the woods. For the first time in my life I used snow chains, however, and my loyal steed, Mrs. Breeze, was able to get us home.

Things are slowly beginning to calm down from the holidays. A lovely and lively pre-Holiday season slowly morphed into a Holiday season, which led to New Year´s Eve, which led to fun-filled family visits and more reveling and carousing. I am happy, full, content, tired, and I need to visit the gym more, and eat and drink less.

I have been very busy with a host of new projects, mostly related to the new and exciting world of fermentation. New to me that is.

Just the other day, I spent the day in the kitchen, mixing up mysterious concoctions with old and deeply planted cultural roots. I rebottled a batch of beer (I had somehow totally spaced on adding priming sugar when bottling, thus resulting in a most delicious and totally flat "Death by Hops IPA" that I had brewed using a recipe from Hops and Vines, my local brew store). I brewed a batch of Honey-Ginger Hard Cider, as well as a fresh batch of Ginger Mead (I have had one five-gallon batch going for a six or seven weeks now). I also made a new batch of sauerkraut (with the addition of green apples and carrots) as well as a large batch of kimchi (my third batch of that).

It has been exciting, delving into this ancient art. I´ve been so inspired by friends in the area, as well as the book, Wild Fermentation, by Sandor Katz. He´s got a website that might turn you on a little bit to the whole thing.

Funny, the things that become normal in your life. A couple of years ago, I had never heard of kombucha, and now as a matter of course I have two to three batches brewing away atop my refrigerator. I´m not sure that I had ever considered mead beyond reading about it in some novel about medieval people or something of the sort. And now this all seems rather normal. A place and a time, I suppose, exists for everything, and when one is surrounded by people doing interesting things, it´s easy to catch the bug.

One thing that I am considering doing with this here blog is beginning to place greater emphasis on these pursuits, including videos of my processes, descriptions on how to do some of the things I´m doing, etc. I´d even like to offer free (with shipping and handling) kombucha cultures to anyone interested in starting their own batch. (Email me if you are interested).

So....that´s the plan -- more soon.

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