Fermentation 101 at the West Hurley Library

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On March 5th I taught a  workshop on Lacto Fermentation at the West Hurley Library. Thanks to everyone who came and got their hands messy, and left with a quart jar of homemade Kraut / Kim Chi / Salt brined veggies ~~

I have been pondering lately just how important it is to reconnect with our food, and our bodies, in this way. We are a culture that has largely lost the most basic kitchen arts. I sometimes encounter college students who have never chopped a cabbage, or don’t recognize a beet. Nourishing our families in this way, while also starting, even in small increments, to remove ourselves from the modern system of wasteful / low quality / long distance food production, shipping, and marketing, is a huge step in the right direction…

But ’nuff preaching. Heres some of my favorite photos from the March 5th workshop, which was filled to capacity with about 14 participants. All photos taken by the lovely Dawn Iler.

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and my personal favorite photo from the workshop…

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Thanks

I ran into a student of a few years back at the health food co-op where I have been working recently. We recognized each other, and she brightened my day by thanking me for the class, the first multi-session class I ever offered. It was offered through Ulster Community College Continuing Education program, at the herb farm collective where I was living and working at the time. It was a 2 hour long evening class, one day a week, for seven weeks.

Hi Chrisso,

It was good to see you last Sunday at the Co-Op! I wanted to write and tell you how impressed I was with your Homesteader’s Kitchen class. Your class really challenged me to try things I never thought I could do! I now have an understanding of fermentation and a foundation to build on as I try new projects. It’s still a journey, but one that is worthwhile and connects us to our ancestors.

Thanks again. Marianne Gilday

That felt so good to hear.

In that same spirit of thanksgiving, heres a photo of friendsgiving this past year at Clove Valley Farm and CSA. A Big Big Thank you to my community for feeding me in so many ways.

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Spring Cookery 2 — Some Next Level Cheeses

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Sitting on a tuffet…. separating my curds and whey

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Beautiful curds, some of which go into this maddd profeshhhh cheeze mold (a mini yogurt container with holes poked in the bottom)

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To become a slightly harder cheese

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The next morning…

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And then get enchanted! The one on the left — covered in bacon grease and wrapped in cheese cloth in an ancient process of preserving cheese with saturated fats. The one on the right, likewise infused but with strawberry infused Gin — the alcohol in this case offering preservation as well as flavor profiles.

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Whereas some of the curds, still loose, where set aside to be…

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Wrapped in lightly smoked wild grape leaves and soaked in wine for days or weeks! Except I couldn’t wait that long…

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The texture and color a few days out.

Techniques such as these covered in the newly offered Advanced Cheese Making techniques.  Love!