With the 2016 growing season coming to an end, I'm making the most of what's left in the garden and seeing how I can best preserve it for later use. Peppers, tomatoes, and carrots have long since been brined and they are now ready to blend together into delicious hot sauces. Several batches of kimchi and kraut were produced from the ingredients harvested here on and will store down in the basement until being incorporated into our winter and spring meals. Wild fruits, what didn't get consumed as picked, ended up in carboys with a mixture of chaga tea, honey, and yeast, and will ferment until transformed into honey wine (mead). This alcoholic brew will serve as a tasty beverage, but also delivering the medicines of the wild ingredients that make up each batch.
It has taken several years to create efficient kitchen systems, but I feel I am in a place where my lifestyle and my culinary habits work together throughout the year. With a better understanding of what grows around my home and throughout the state, I now know when extra efforts are needed to maximize the seasons. Come May, I know to be on the lookout for fiddleheads and wild leeks, while September and October are for acorn gathering. Late summer here in Maine brings an abundance of amazing local fare including everything from heirloom tomatoes to copious amounts of root vegetables.
While I can purchase just about any ingredient I want at any major grocery store any day of the year, I choose to consume the foods that grow closest to my home and are picked at their maximum ripeness. Choosing to eat local all year long means having to know and utilize techniques that will allow you to have quality foods on hand for months on end. That's where fermentation comes in. Salt and Time have allowed me to preserve the seasons, expand my pantry, and improve the availability of nutrients in each ingredient. Fermentation has become a way of life, a way I keep myself and my family healthy throughout the year.
On November 14th, join me and students from around the globe on a 4 week journey through the vast world of fermentation. Each week, we will focus on a different category of fermentation, with tips, videos, lessons, and live calls to help you fully understand the ins and outs of each technique shared. With the group discussions in the classroom and out Facebook group, you will be able to connect with other students, share your successes, and get daily feedback from on your questions.