Copyright © 2007-2015 Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, All Rights Reserved

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.
 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