Kefir, Kombucha, Jun, Rejuvelac, Kvass, Sauer Kraut, mesophilic, rennet, Annatto, Kosikowski. I bet you did not know that I can talk ‘foreign’ or as my son calls it, slang!
Being a fairly health conscious person and in the wellness industry, I understand the benefits of fermented and cultured foods which are pre and probiotic rich. Hence my decision to delve a bit deeper into this frothy, ummm, culture.
So started my journey and total submersion into everything that naturally grows, bubbles and changes form.
I have become a probiotic witch. As I stand over my various jars and pots, William Shakespeare’s words always come to mind – “Double, double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”
I started out with Kefir, progressed to fermented veg, yoghurt, cream cheese, Ginger bug, kvass and rejuvelac. My scoby (only a fellow fermenter will understand this) is languishing in a hotel busy growing. Jun awaits.
I spend weekends fermenting. My kitchen could well be renamed ‘The Test Kitchen’ and at the best of times it looks like a science lab. I need extra cupboard space for my swing top bottles, mason jars, strainers, cheese cloth, moulds and extra-large pots. Not to mention freezer and fridge space for not only my cultures but also for all of my fermented goodies. I even keep a diary in the top drawer with maturation dates, recipes and logs.
I am overwhelmed as to how much there is to learn and still experiment with. Who would have thought that I would be spending so much time wondering about, honey fermented garlic, kefir ice cream and probiotic rich potato salad.
But there you have it, I have become a junkie, a cultured one no less.
Just as my ferments robustly bubble up and multiply so does my enthusiasm for this incredibly diverse range of health foods.
Join me as I gingerly venture along in my Cultured Kitchen as I learn not to cry over spilt milk as it is a daily occurrence. On the subject of milk: Are there any dairy farmers who would like to marry me? (I am willing to relocate)It would save me a huge amount on my milk bill.
I am by no means an aficionado on this subject and will direct any questions to the relevant bespoke cheese makers such as Leon The Milkman and the queen of fermenting Jill Mackay of Counter Cultures.
First story up will be my rather ‘MacGyver’ or if you are South African, ‘Boer maak a plan,’ attempt to make a cheddar. Be sure to join me as I sit and stir and stir and stir and stir some more. I chose not to go out and buy all the fancy kitchen tools that one needs but decided to make do with what I already have. That alone was quite a challenge.
I apologise in advance for my cheesy comments that at this stage only fellow ‘Cultured’ artisans will get. If you too want to learn the lingo, be sure to subscribe to my blog via email and soon enough, you will also be talking foreign. I welcome your feedback and advice. Please feel free to comment and share your experiences and recipes. I am after all only a fermenting virgin but am delighted that I am at the very least a cultured one! Okay, I know that comment smells worse than a Brie de Meaux.
See you in the kitchen!