25 June 2012

pickles and pancakes

On this glorious summer morning, I'm back in the kitchen after weeks of steady music rehearsal and a weekend of performing.  My first batch of pickles is in the crock, with crispy cucumbers from Suzie's Farm (plus one from our garden) and under the tutelage of the master fermenter Sandor Katz.

Nov 2012 - recipe added for Tom:

Sour Pickles (adapted from Wild Fermentation

Brine ratio 2 T sea salt per quart water
3-4 pounds cucumbers
3-4 T dill seed
2-3 heads garlic, peeled
1-3 fresh grape leaves
1 pinch black peppercorns

1) Rinse cukes.  Scrape off any remains at the blossom end.  Soaking in cold water will freshen them.
2) Dissolve sea salt in water to make brine.
3) Clean crock or jar and place at the bottom >> dill, garlic, fresh grape leaves, peppercorns
4) Place cucumbers in crock/jar.
5) Pour brine over cucumbers, place a clean plate/weight over them, making sure that they're all under water.
6) Cover with cloth to keep out dust and flies, or lower crock lid into moat, if you have a fancy set-up.
7) Check every day.  Skim any mold from surface.  Taste pickles after a few days.
8) After one to four weeks, the pickles will be fully sour.  Move to fridge to slow fermentation.

Fresh out of buckwheat pancake mix, this gluten-free experiment worked!  The basic recipe is one cup of flour plus one tablespoon of baking powder.  I used one-third cup each of barley, rice and garbanzo flours and added a tablespoon of ground flax.  Mixed with a light coconut milk and into the cast iron skillet they went.  They come close to classic pancakes in taste and texture.  I might add some lemon or vinegar next time for a hint of sourdough.  Add my husband's tempeh bacon and breakfast is on!