Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Kitchen Therapy and Proposed Fermenting and Canning Projects

I have been sad and lonely lately, so I've been cooking a lot. Here are some things I've cooked.

Rhubarb-Pear Crisp, for a potluck, with the assistance of M. and N.

Potato Pancakes, with some turnip in them, along with
Tofu Sour Cream.

Peanut Noodles with Sugar Snaps and Grape Tomatoes.

Fermenting Plans

Today I had some shopping therapy time and bought two nice dresses, and, since I was in St Paul, I went to the brewing store and got some things for my proposed rhubarb wine. We have rhubarb running rampant in the garden, and I've found several different recipes for making an easy country wine out of quantities of anywhere from 3 to 15 pounds of rhubarb. I've got a primary fermenter (a food-grade plastic bucket), a secondary fermenter (a gallon glass juice jug) and a fermentation lock, so all I needed were the following:

wine yeast
yeast nutrient (which consists of urea and ammonium phosphate. yum)
Campden tablets (potassium metabisulphite--to limit oxidation and kill bad bacteria)
calcium carbonate

I'd never been to the brewing store before, but it wasn't intimidating at all, and there weren't any dudes asking me patronizing questions, which I had expected for some reason, though I know a nice person who used to work there.

I'm trying to fill up my time with elaborate cooking projects. This week I'm planning to use up my extra koji and make some yellow miso. Summer is miso fermenting time! I'll keep you posted.

Also today I checked out the Minnesota State Fair's guidelines for their Creative Activities competition, which includes canning and baking projects. I'm going to plan my pickling accordingly. Each entry must be canned in pint jars, and each entry must include 2 jars, one to judge and one to display. I went to the cupboard to see how my pickled beets looked, and I don't think they're suitable for the fair, since the tops of some pieces of beet are not covered by the liquid. However, 40% of the points awarded go for taste, so I would have a leg up there. I'll keep a few jars sealed just in case. I'm also going to enter some pickled okra under 'unspecified other vegetable.'

Garlic love to you all.


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