True Brews, How to Craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Soda, Mead, Kefir, and Kombucha at Home, by Emma Christensen
was a book we just couldn't resist. Fermentation is one of our passions
and a book that focuses on beverages was a no-brainer. We've played
around on own with kefir, kombucha, ginger beer, and various other
beverages with good results. That said, even with our library of
fermentation books, we tend to fly by the seat of our pants. This book
looked like it would be fun and informative, an easy read that would
also give us some solid information to work with.
Brews did not disappoint. The writing has a straightforward tone. It is
easy going and approachable while communicating all of the pertinent
information. Emma Christensen covers a wide range of recipes from gluten
free pale ale to cloudy cherry sake. The recipes span the globe and I
was especially intrigued by the wide range of flavors. There is a
Mexican Pineapple cider known as tepache and a blueberry-lavender mead.
Every chapter begins with a master recipe for the brewing technique
followed by variations. There are interviews with brewers and precise
recipes to extrapolate from. It's a great book and we are so happy to
have found it. We encourage anyone with an interest in home brewing to
check it out. It's the perfect summer read for those of us obsessed with
food and drink.
...in photos. The nice thing about dining with a four year old when her Dad is in the kitchen is that you can get the fastest tasting menu in the house. Most pictures were taken with my iPhone, many before Amaya stuck her fork into things.
We needed a special cream with texture and balance. We took buttermilk and blended it with cream cheese, sugar and salt. We froze it with liquid nitrogen and folded in chopped baby celery leaves. This may sound strange, celery leaves in a dessert, but we've discovered that seemingly savory herbs can add that special something to sweet courses. They bring a certain balance to the the dish in addition to their delicate flavor. Try it and you will be pleasantly surprised.
We griddled the cake and dressed the strawberries with olive oil and thinly sliced lovage leaves. We topped them with the frozen buttermilk-cream cheese. And soon there was nothing left but a happy memory and a few sticky fingers.
been a while since we did a round-up. There's been some interesting
stuff around the internet lately and we thought we'd share a few good
For those who don't know, umeboshi
is a classic Japanese pickle. It's an acquired taste but once you feel
the passion it's impossible to ignore. If you've ever wondered how
umeboshi is made there's a recipe in the previoous link and here's
another beautifully illustrated description of the process by the Cultured Pickle Shop.
In case you'll be in the St. Louis area this summer we wanted to let you know that we will be at the Food Media Forum
this August 9-11. In fact we will be honored to be gving the keynote
speech and we hope to meet some new friends for the occasion.
Humans of New York
is great website. Recently in San Francisco, it gives you a little
insight into the minds of all those people walking past you every day.
You never know what you'll find there.
Here are some thoughts on being picked by Seth Godin. Winning the Saveur Best Culinary Food Science Blog Award
felt great and just a little bit ironic. It's taken years to get here
and frankly food science isn't what we planned to do. Our greatest
discoveries happen because we're not scientists. We have just enough
knowledge to be willing to make the leaps and just enough naivete to be
sure that somehow it will all work out. This has been our path through
the culinary world thus far and it works for us. And that's the key to
everything. Figure out what works for you and then take it as far as you
can. You never know what will happen.
It is exciting to watch ingredients collide with ideas. We have started putting together this years weed patch. We are planting in pots and barrels this year. I hope to limit the unwanted weeds. And protect the weeds we want. Lovage, garlic chives and traditional chives returned on their own. Anise hyssop, rosemary and chocolate mint weathered the winter. And rose thyme proved much heartier than the roses we tried to grow a few years ago. This year we added lemon verbena, summer savory, globe and opal basil, parsley and lavender. We have planted Black Krim and Brandywine tomatoes along with jalapeno peppers. All that is left is keeping everything alive.
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