Kitchening Old School

19 July 2012

I'm not a very good cook. I don't mean to disparage myself. It's just the truth. I can cook, and I do, and occasionally I make something that is truly delicious that I never successfully replicate. Thing is I'm not so interested in good food as I am in REAL food.

Recently I've become obsessed with the traditional foods movement. I can't get enough of it. Real Food. I want in from the ground up. I want to eat my own chicken eggs. I want to start with a cow, and I want to feed it the best grass in the world, and then I want to milk it and turn that milk into a matrix of dairy products. 

A big jug of milk is like a choose your own adventure. 

You could go Italian and make mozzarella and then turn the whey byproduct into ricotta. You could go Indian and end up with lassi and ghee. You could go pioneer and make butter and cultured butter and buttermilk. 

I read a book about the history of milk and how it came to be so processed. I became so entrenched in these milk diaries that I lost touch with the reality of normal milk consumption. A friend came over for coffee and when I asked if she wanted milk she innocently asked what kind of milk we had, I responded: "Pasteurized non-homogenized."

Enough about milk let's talk fermentation:
I've got a sourdough starter on my fridge - right next to my hugely neglected kombucha - and it's bubbling. It's BUBBLING I tell you! You know how exciting this is. I'm harvesting yeast. FROM THE AIR. Did you know that? Did you know that you can harvest yeast from the air?!?!

Enough about my Real Foodie-ness. I don't need to go on another rant about my simple living tendencies (simple = usually more complicated.) Outside of yogurt, my fermenting success has been mediocre at best. I will let you know if I ever actually manage to make a loaf of sourdough bread or lacto-ferment some cabbage or pickles that are tasty with just the right amount of crunch - until then if you ever visit my house and see something putrefying in a corner, just look away and don't judge. 

Sorry. No pictures.

No wait. Take it back:

Sourdough starter in real time. You make your momma so proud.

Now I must return to Pretty Little Liars...and embroidering.


  1. Traditional foods are awesome! When I first started out with sourdough, I used this recipe for pizza crust.

    super simple, nom-licious, and basically fail-proof.

  2. I think we might be right around the same place with the Real Foods thing. I've done a few things successfully, fermenting veggies isn't hard at all, you'll do it well right away. I've neglected bone broths but I had the swing of them a few months ago. And my kefir is doing great, but sourdough scares me it seems so temperamental. Really though I spend a lot more time reading about and thinking about real food than cooking or eating it.

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