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Monday, January 5, 2015

Becoming More Cultured Here In The Foothills

That's right, we've added more culture to our lives and couldn't be happier about it.

But first, I've been crocheting and knitting a few scarves and wanted to let y'all know where to find the free patterns.  This one is crocheted and called the Artfully Simple Infinity Scarf.  You can make it long or short;  I chose to made this one short and used the same yarn the designer used, Red Heart Boutique in Tidal.

I had two skeins of the blues/greens yarn and really like it so I used it for the To Infinity And Beyond Scarf, also, and crocheted until it was six feet long then sewed the ends together.  Beware there are a few mistakes in the pattern, but the corrections are in the comments of the same post with the pattern.. For a better look at the lacy pattern and to see it worked in several different yarns just click on the link.

This little Aquafire cowl was a quick knit,

but what I like about it most...

 is the way it drapes and hangs like jewelry as shown below.
Source
 Now for the culture.  I hope you weren't thinking I've finally gotten some class or something. o.O  No, we're talking fermenting here.  You may remember I've already blogged here about making sauerkraut and how wonderfully easy and fail-proof it is using this type of jar...

as it allows the gas to escape (see photo) but doesn't allow any bad bacteria to enter the jar.

Now, today I want to introduce you to a similar, tasty way of adding more probiotics (good bacteria for a healthy digestive system) to your diet without spending a lot of money on supplements.  And you can use a regular canning jar, too. It's easy, fun and an age old way of preserving vegetables.  And it's not a bit scary as some would have us think.

The simple fact is if it were not a safe method of preserving vegetables I probably wouldn't be here to tell you about it, and you wouldn't be here reading about it, either, because this method has been used for a loooong time.  It's ancient in fact and very likely that our ancestors used it.  This is the fermenting method using salt as the preservative.

For this batch I sliced carrots, cucumbers, radishes, cauliflower, and jalapeno peppers and packed them in the clean jar then covered them with brine (a mixture of 3 tablespoons sea salt to each quart of water).  I let the jar of vegetables set on the counter for 7 days to allow it to ferment.  After 7 days I put the jar in the refrigerator, and it will keep for several months...if it lasts that long.  They're very good and a nice break from cooked or completely raw vegetables.  The flavors meld together and are delicious, and this is a great way to use produce that might go to waste otherwise.
 For more details and specific directions for fermenting vegetables there are loads of articles if you just google the words: fermented vegetables.  Here are a couple of links to help you start your own journey to a healthier, more cultured lifestyle:   How to Ferment Vegetables: The Basic Culturing Process or Lacto-Fermented Pickled Vegetables

Have a great week, Y'all!
Shared at:  The Art of Home-making Mondays, Roses of Inspiration, Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop

56 comments:

  1. The cowl and scarf are beautiful! Lovely handiwork! My mom has made sauerkraut a few times, but I have never learned how because I'm not particularly fond of the taste.

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    1. Thank you, Bethany. The mixed vegetables aren't nearly as tangy as the sauerkraut. I hope you'll give it a try. :)

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  2. I love the yarn for the scarf, and I really love the cowl that is the prettiest one I have seen so far.
    thanks for the reminder of fermented veggies-I need to get back to that again
    Brrrr it is very very cold here in the Ozarks this morning-woke up to both woodstoves out of wood-so I have been busy getting me and the house warmed up again. I am thinking a mug of hot chocolate sounds good this morning lol

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    1. Thank you, Kathy! I may try adding more repeats to the cowl the next time I make it. The photo from the pattern makes me think the designer is very tiny.
      We're colder than usual here, too. I've got my coffeemaker going full steam. ;)

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  3. All the yarn works are beautiful, but that last blue one is my favorite! Gorgeous! Thanks for the info on the fermented vegetables. I've got to try that. I'm pinning this.

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    1. Thank you, Judy! I just love that little cowl, too. Hope you like the fermented vegetables.

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  4. Your infinity scarf is truly beautiful... Neat way to can vegetables... Happy New Year,,

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    1. Hi Judy! It's great to hear from you - hope you are doing well. :)

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  5. Good morning, my friend! I was quite fascinated about the process of preserving vegetables - I have never done that before, but will have to remedy that soon :) Thank you for sharing!

    And your infinity scarf is simply lovely! I really like the bead/button that you added. Have a blessed Monday! Hugs!

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    1. Thank you, Stephanie! That's a big metal button on the first scarf. I'm so glad you want to try the fermented vegetables. :)

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  6. i like your scarf creations. and i love sauerkraut. :)

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    1. Thank you, Theresa. Have a great week!

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  7. Hi, Toni!
    It has been a while since I stopped in, but I see you've taken a hiatus! I pray you are all well in health and in the Lord :)
    I've made lots of fermented things, but not use the jalapenos b/c of my husband's distaste for hot things. Is this very hot? I love heat and so maybe he'd try a bite :) It is so colorful and pretty! Also wondering where you got the pretty blue lids on the Fido jars. I will Google it and see. :)
    God’s blessings (and hugs) for the new year ahead!

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    1. Hi Jacqueline, we're doing great, just been really busy lately. I think you rate your own jar of fermented vegetables and your husband his own, too. That's the only way I know to keep everyone happy. :)

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  8. I always thought you were classy! That beautiful cowl just proves it.

    What is the proper ratio of sea salt to water? Looks yummy.

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    1. Hi Kay! The usual ratio is 3 tablespoons salt to 1 quart of water. I use a little less than that (eek!) if my jar isn't packed tightly, but I'm encouraging everyone to go by the recipes in the links just to be safe.

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    1. They are delicious. Thanks for stopping by.

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  10. Oh, this makes me want to get busy and ferment something. :-) Very neat!

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    1. I hope you do try fermenting vegetables. They are very tasty.

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  11. You crack me up. And here I thought you were getting classy! ;0

    I have to admit that I LOVE the necklace looking scarf too. A very neat idea and the cute blue bunting you made in the background was also fun. We are enjoying some fermented veggies right now too, cabbage and cukes... So far cauliflower is my favorite.

    Also wanted to thank you for the sweet cheerleading comment you left yesterday! That made me smile :)

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    1. Thank you, JES. I'm on my third scarf that hangs like a necklace. It works up really fast if you're a knitter.

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    2. But not too fast when you are just an admirer like me! (Though my daughter can knit and crochet, I made sure of that... I just need to learn from her now!)

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  12. Beautiful scarves. Someday I will learn how to make my own.

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    1. Hi and than you for stopping by. You will enjoy knitting; it very therapeutic.

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  13. Your scarves are just gorgeous, I haven't tried an infinity scarf as of yet but would like to some day :)

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    1. Hi Connie! These are, actually, the first infinity scarves I've made. :)

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    1. Hi Kira! That's what caught my eye, too. Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  15. I love the clever way the scarf drapes, very flattering. I love the idea of those jars too allowing the gas to escape. Take care. Chel x

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  16. Your scarves are gorgeous! Love the colors. Thank you for sharing with us!

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    1. You're welcome, Mrs R, and thank you for visiting. :)

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  17. Nice blog, i saw you thrue The enchanting rose, will be visiting soon..blessings

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  18. Such an interesting post!
    The scarves made by you are very beautiful, and fermenting vegetables is something I really should try sometimes. Thank you for sharing!
    Happy New Year 2015!

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    1. Thank you, Sara. Fermenting vegetables is very easy so I hope you will try it.

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  19. Those scarves are beautiful. I'm sure the recipients loved them! :-)

    Oh I've never fermented anything at home (I had to look for sauerkraut to know what it is) but if it weren't for your pictures and experience I wouldn't even think of eating that "thing salivating" in the jar. A friend of mine who is a macrobiotic consultor makes that kind of preserves but I don't dare trying. I'm sure mine will simply rot.

    Happy & blessed 2015!

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    1. Thank you, Alhana, it's good to hear from you. :)

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  20. I have a jar just like that I bought the other day and a load of cucumbers I need to use up from my garden. Would cucumbers by them self fermented this way work out?

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    1. Hi Debbie! Yes, cucumbers will work just fine as long as they are fresh and crisp, and you can add spices and dill if you like. We like garlic and hot peppers in the jar with our cucumbers.

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  21. Your scarves are beautiful. I love the colors and the pattern very much.
    Fermenting vegetables sounds like a good dish. We used to make kraught. It tasted good with hotdogs. Your vegetables sound great. Would love to have some on these cold, winter days.

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  22. Hi Brenda, my husband loves kraut and hotdogs. Thanks for stopping by.

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  23. Thank you, Toni, for stopping by again. I have those blue-lidded Fido's in my shopping cart at amazon, thanks to you! Have a wonderful Lord's Day and stay warm!

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  24. I don't knit or crochet (although I used to) but love to see the things you make. Always such informative posts, Toni. Blessings to you today!

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  25. Love your yard colors so much! So very vibrant! I love fermenting veggies, too, especially sour kraut. That is absolutely brilliant to use those kind of jars. I will be looking for some. We've always used crocks and mason jars, but your idea is even easier! Thanks for sharing :) BTW, left you a reply on my blog. Have a fantastic day! Jackie

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  26. What a beautiful post ~ and such lovely things you've been making! Knitting and crochet is wonderful to do during the chilly winter months! And your fermented vegetables look so interesting ~ I have been experimenting with sourdough recently and what fun it has been! So sweet to visit your delightful blog again! Hope you've been well! Love and blessings, Kelly-Anne

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  27. Just stopping in to let you know of my new website - http://www.thegentleartofhomemaking.com

    Hope to see you there! Blessings!

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  28. Hello! Popping in to say thanks for being my newest follower! Your scarves are absolutely beautiful...especially the way it drapes around the neck...such lovely colors too. I do love me some sauerkraut but have never made any...the veggies also look interesting try. Are you also in NC? Following you now :)

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  29. Thanks so much for stopping by!
    Love the beautiful scarves!!

    Hugs
    Deb

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  30. Just checking in to say 'Hi', Toni. I pray for you often and hope all is well in your neck of the woods! Love it when you come and 'talk' with me, friend :)

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  31. Your veggies look great! I have always wanted to try fermenting veggies but always chicken out. The Aquafire cowl is my favorite too!

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  32. Hello, first I want to thank you for stooping in for a visit,I appreciated your sweet comment.
    The Lord has been gracious and He as my Shepherd, will continue to walk along side of me as I press on with the healing process.
    I must give your spur crout a try as I have been buying mine and it is something I need to take with every meal. It has been a tremendous help on my healing process.
    I'm thankful I found this recipe.

    Have a beautiful day.
    Joy to you!
    Debbie

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Thank you for your comments!