Kate’s July Sourdough Workshop

Baking on a pizza stone is one option

Sourdough bread is the simplest bread to make. To learn how, come to my next workshop. The photo below is exactly what you will make in my kitchen with me.

$45 / person.

Believed to have first been made in ancient Egypt, before the invention of any modern equipment or ingredients, sourdough bread remains today one of the world’s favourite breads.

Fermented foods, including sourdough breads, allow the human body to absorb all their nutrients and cause less health problems than faster methods.

My next sourdough workshop is planned for the end of July.

For dates and bookings go to the booking sheet.

Find out more about my Sourdough Workshops by clicking here.

Sourdough Loaf

Sourdough Loaf

For those who do not reside locally, I have a room for rent in my house.  Find out more here.  When you book the room in conjunction with the workshop, your partner or a friend may stay for free.

If you would like to meet me please visit my stall on the stage at the next Cygnet Market, 1st and 3rd Sundays all year round.

For Gardeners and Cooks at the June 15th Cygnet Market

New Season’s Organic, Tasmanian Quinoa

It has been an anxious time for me, being out of quinoa and having to wait for the farmer to harvest, sort, pack and send it from Kindred, in northern Tasmania.

Also from Henriette and Lauran, the Kindred Organics farmers, I now have buckwheat flour, whole linseed and rolled oats, all organic and low in food miles.

Other Tasmanian goods: From Callington Mill at Oatlands I have organic, sifted spelt flour, delivered by Smithy straight from the mill. I use this half and half with the Four Leaf rye flour to make excellent sourdough bread. Spelt is wonderful for pastry too. And then there’s the Tasmanian honeys, of course!

1-DSC_0004
Solid brass. Last a lifetime.
Made in Turkey.
I am lucky to have made contact with a Turkish woman who sells these direct from the manufacturer. Her English is a lot better than my Turkish but our email exchanges are difficult and I am often bemused by her answers to my questions.However, she sends me these gorgeous hand tools for the kitchen and I absolutely love them. They all grind beautifully and should last a life time.Two of them have receptacles at the base into which the ingredient is ground. A twist of the wrist removes the base and allows you to sprinkle it into your cooking pot.One is for finely grinding spices, the other is slightly coarser and is perfect for grinding oily grains and seeds, such as linseed.The pepper grinder for the table does not have a base and allows you to grind pepper directly onto your meal.

The coffee grinder has an adjustable coarseness (and is not pictured) and a base. Doing this by hand allows you to grind the beans rather than cutting them (which an electric grinder does). This is similar to stone grinding wheat to make flour, rather than cutting the wheat to make flour (as in a Vitamix or Thermamix).

Books for the Fireside Cook and Gardener

Winter is a wonderful time to dream. I stop work at 4.30pm, bring in the evening’s firewood, get the fire raging then relax for a while. I like to either read something deep and mind bending or gentle and beautiful.

I am always on the look out for new books to sell and right now I have some great winter reads.

Lunch in Paris: A love Story with Recipes is a fun memoir by Elizabeth Bard about the unlikely liaison between an American food novice stationed in London and a gorgeous Frenchman who lives in Paris.

On a more serious note is Chemical Free Kids: Raising Healthy Children in a Toxic World which begins by telling us about the chemicals routinely found in and on unborn children today. It is a vivid and important book for anyone with young children.

Gut Feelings, by Dr. Peter Baratosy delves into the foibles of the conventional medical profession, the unrelenting pressure on our bodies of food processing and leads us to some very common sense but not commonly explained conclusions about gut problems in this modern world. If you are feeling not quite right inside, then this could be the book for you.

Dr. Baratosy has recently moved from South Australia to Kingston in Tasmania and practices as a GP at the Kingborough Medical Centre. He and his wife are also regular customers of the Cygnet Market.

Free Range Chicken Gardens leads you through some wonderful ideas for coops and yards, for growing plants that chooks will and won’t eat and gets you inside a chicken’s head!

drying fruits

 

My Home Made Mueslis

 with apple-soaked, sun-dried apricots, peaches and / or pears

I make and sell two organic, raw mueslis. One is gluten free. Both are packed with all the organic, Australian freshly milled grains, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried fruits and nuts that I sell separately. I assemble them every Saturday before the market so they are totally fresh, unlike anything you will buy anywhere else!

If you have special requirements I can also make up supplies for you and your family.

My winter preferred serving method is to soak the muesli overnight in some apple juice and in the morning add some of my special, organic, sun-dried peaches / apricots / pears + currants + Johnston almonds which have been soaked in water or apple juice and stored in the fridge.

It all goes into the microwave to just warm through then I mix in a good dollop of kefir or home made yoghurt.

YUM and I feel great all morning!

Preserves and Ferments Workshop in my Kitchen

 

Visit my kitchen and learn how to fill your life with healthy, delicious, preserved vegetables and fruits all year round using various simple, natural methods.

  Next workshops: June            $45 / person

 I will also introduce you to pickled garlic, preserved lemons, lacto-fermented, seasonal vegetables, milk ferments, such as yoghurt and keffir as well as kombucha.

Price includes keffir culture to take home.

Click here for dates and booking.

lacto-fermented veg

 

Fermented food? What is this all about?

The peoples of the world have always used fermentation to store vegetables, grains, nuts and legumes since the dawn of time. It is a safe, extremely health giving, totally natural process which has fallen by the wayside with the modern obsession with sanitation and pasteurisation and the faster method of preserving in vinegar.

Pickles can be made by storing prepared vegetables in vinegar, a weak brine solution, by drying them or making them into condiments like chutney. The best way to gain the benefits of consuming the friendly bacteria caused by the fermentation process is to avoid pickles made in vinegar as this kills the bacteria outright.

Lacto-fermentation is an easy traditional and healthy method of making pickles without using vinegar. Pickles made in this manner are alive and rich in probiotics.  It is also a good way to store any excess vegetables and produce for several months.

In this age of antibiotics, consuming lacto fermented pickles will address the balance of the flora growing in the intestines which in turn aids absorption and production of nutrients.

Lacto-fermentation is also a very safe way to preserve food and comprises of just vegetables, herbs, spices, water and sea salt. This provides the right conditions for nature to take its course. The salt slows the decomposition of the vegetables briefly until the sugars in the vegetables are broken down by friendly lactobacilli and converted into lactic acid to preserve the vegetables for many months.

Many foods you know and have eaten are fermented too; sourdough bread, yoghurt, beer, soy sauce, sauerkraut, to name just a few.

My introduction to fermenting and preserving workshop will show you how to incorporate fermentation into your busy life, and bring you a step closer to taking charge of your inner health and vitality.

You will taste my preserves and my fermented preserves and take home kefir grains to start you off on the journey. It will be a fun and informative session in my kitchen. Just the thing for a winter’s day.

Bring a small, glass jar and a smile.

 

Milk Kefir Grains

Milk Kefir Grains

Kefir

All kefir comes from the original culture known only to exist in the Caucasian Mountains bordering Russia. Amongst the people of the northern slopes of the Caucasian Mountains The ‘Grains of the Prophet’ were guarded jealously since it was believed that they would lose their strength if the grains were given away and the secret of how to use them became common knowledge.
Kefir grains were regarded as part of the family’s and tribe’s wealth and they were passed on from generation to generation.
So, for centuries the people of the northern Caucasus enjoyed this food without sharing it with anyone else they came into contact with.
Other peoples occasionally heard strange tales of this unusual beverage which was said to have ‘magical’ properties. Marco Polo mentioned kefir in the chronicles of his travels in the East.
However, kefir was forgotten outside the Caucasus for centuries until news spread of its use for the treatment of tuberculosis in sanatoria and for intestinal and stomach diseases. Russian doctors believed that kefir was beneficial for health and the first scientific studies for kefir were published at the end of the nineteenth century.
However, kefir was extremely difficult to obtain and commercial production was not possible without first obtaining a source of grains.

The members of the All Russian Physician’s Society were determined to obtain kefir grains in order to make kefir readily available to their patients.
Early this century a representative of the society approached two brothers called Blandov and asked them to procure some kefir grains. The Blandov’s owned and ran the Moscow Dairy, but they also had holdings in the Caucasus Mountain area, including cheese manufacturing factories in the town of Kislovodsk.
The plan was to obtain a source of kefir grains and then produce kefir on an industrial scale in Moscow.

The Blandov’s were excited since they knew that they would be the only commercial producers of this much sought after product.
The true story of the Blandov’s quest for the elusive kefir grains is below.

Nikolai Blandov sent a beautiful young employee, Irina Sakharova, to the court of a local prince, Bek-Mirza Barchorov. She was instructed to charm the prince and persuade him to give her some kefir grains.
Unfortunately, everything did not go according to plan. The prince, fearing retribution for violating a religious law, had no intention of giving away any ‘Grains of the Prophet’.

However, he was very taken with the young Irina and didn’t want to lose her either. Realising that they were not going to complete their mission, Irina and her party departed for Kislovodsk. However, they were stopped on the way home by mountain tribesmen who kidnapped Irina and took her back to the prince. Since it was a local custom to steal a bride, Irina was told that she was to marry Bek-Mirza Barchorov. Only a daring rescue mission mounted by agents of her employers saved Irina from the forced marriage.
The unlucky prince was catted before the Tsar who ruled that the prince was to give Irina ten pounds of kefir grains, to recompense her for the insults she had endured.

The kefir grains were taken to the Moscow Dairy and in September, 1908, the first bottles of kefir drink were offered for sale in Moscow. Small quantities of kefir were produced in several small towns in the area where there was a ready market for it, people mostly consume it for its alleged medicinal value.
Commercial manufacture of kefir on a large scale began in Russia, in the 1930s. However, it is difficult to produce kefir by conventional methods on a commercial scale.

(Extract taken from website Kefir: Yoghurt for Life.)