Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cultured Vegetables: Farmers' Market Challenge

These are cultured veggies my son and I made last Tuesday.
We started with fresh veggies from a local farm--Turner Farm (See a previous post about Turner Farm HERE.)  This farm is  a non-profit, certified organic, educational organization.
Previously, my son made a coconut kefir using a starter we purchased HERE.  We looked up various recipes online and watched Sandor Katz's wild fermentation video.  Then we proceeded.  
We grated a parsnip and lots of carrots.

Red cabbage was next on the chopping block.
We grated a turnip,

chopped yellow beans, 

and grated ginger.

Then we started packing the jars  We used pint size glass canning jars with rubber-ringed lids.  (Everything must be sterile!)  We poured about an inch-2 inches of kefir into the jars.  Then we began packing in the veggies, tamping them down with the handle of a wooden spoon.  In some jars we layered the vegetables; in some jars we added green onion, and other herbs like mint, basil, and thyme (from my garden).  
We also made a salsa slurry using fresh tomatoes and a cayenne pepper.  Later, after this has cultured, we'll added fresh chopped veggies.  

After the jars were packed to about 2 inches from the top, we added water to rise above the vegetables, but still leaving about an inch of air space at the top. 

Next, we rolled up a cabbage leaf and placed it on top, pressing down, so that it, too, was under the liquid.

Then we fitted the jars with lids, gathered them together, and covered all with a towel to keep the temperature even--about 70 degrees.  (That's it!  no sealing in a water bath!)  Now when will they be ready?  Probably about a week.  These are meant to be eaten as condiments--a little with each meal.  Cultured foods are good for your health and digestive tract. 
This post has not meant to be a tutorial on cultured veggies, nor an explanation of the health benefits.  I'll leave you with a few links to explore.  But first, with this post, I am participating  in the Farmer's Market Challenge, July 31st edition.
Judy, aka Squirrel Queen, started this challenge last year to see what kinds of products were available around the world.  This challenge is fun with a purpose.  "The purpose of this challenge is to raise awareness for locally produced foods. Most of the food you purchase at the grocery store is grown somewhere else. What kinds of foods are produced in your local area? Are you supporting your local farmers?"   
Hop on over to Judy's blog The Road to Here, and link up yourself and/or check out all the posts.  See what's going on around the world!  

cultured vegetable links:
1.  Wholesome Goodness a recipe, great information, and links to step-by-step tutorials  excellent!
2.  making cultured vegetables VIDEO with Donna Gates of Body Ecology
3.  how to make coconut kefir VIDEO from the Renegade Health Show 
4.  general information and 2 starter recipes HERE --Body Ecology website
6.  vegetable suggestions and a basic recipe HERE Healthy Green
7.  a couple recipes

Notes (to answer a few questions):
1.  You do not process in a hot bath.  After closing the jars, you just let them sit in an @70-74 degree space for about a week.
2.  After a week (approximately), open up a jar and serve.  Store in the refrigerator for a long time.  The veggies will continue to culture slowly.
3.   If you cook these, you will kill the beneficial bacteria you took the time to culture.  Just use as a condiment or as a side dish.  (perhaps on salad, in slaw, on potatoes)
4.  6 days later--opened one of the jars--mostly carrot with some parsnip and turnip, and added grated fresh ginger--delicious!

photos by me © 2010 and one by Squirrel Queen  © 2009

Friday, July 30, 2010

Glacier Mountains: SkyWatch Friday

The beauty and majesty of Glacier National Park, Montana, USA  
100 years ago on May 10, 1910, Glacier became the United State's 10th national park.  Located in the Northern Rocky Mountains, native Americans called Glacier the "backbone of the world."  Encompassing more than a million acres, it is home to a great diversity of animals and plants.  In 1932, Glacier with Canada's Waterton Lakes National Park, became designated as Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.  Together, in 1995, they were recognized as a World Heritage Site.
LINK to Glacier National Park

This post is for SkyWatch Friday hosted by Wren, fishing guy, Sylvia, Klaus, and Sandy.Come join us in this awesome meme, link up, and meet folks from all over the globe. 

photos by me © 2008

Thursday, July 29, 2010


fertile, producing abundance,
prolific: a trait that describes Missie well!
look at her wonderful photography
which can be found in her etsy shop, Sykin's NW Wonders, along with jewelry pieces.
Next up is her Sykin's One Stop Twilight Shop where you can find Twilight inspired jewelry and cards.

And then, she even has an Overstock Shop.

You really must check out her BLOG, Sykin's One Stop Etsy Shopping Guide.  Daily, she features some of the wonderful items etsy has for sale.  (A recent favorite is a shop that makes felt food including some delicious-looking rock candy.)
Next up, Fraying Fabric Productions, her graphic design site.

Missie is a member of the following etsy teams: Etsy Bloggers ♦ Etsy Moms ♦ Fabulous Artistic Moms ♦ EtsyRAIN

You can also find her on Facebook and twitter.

Sykin is the featured etsy blogger for the month of July.

photos by Milissa Hodson © 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Vacations are the shimmery gossamer threads of enchantment from which memories are woven.  After years gone by, how they shine in our hearts!  When I was  younger, it was summer vacations that I most remembered about my childhood family experiences.  To the beach we would go for a 2 week holiday.
little snippets of memories:
the breeze blowing the curtains in my room as I lay in the twilight ready for sleep
my Dad and I laughing as a wave we have been riding spills us upon the sand
dinner at a restaurant on the boardwalk with little mints on the table 
  the wind blowing me off my feet 

Summertime....back in the day.... with photos from the past
hot fun in the summertime! with photos from the past
I still love the beach, and it makes the perfect wintertime getaway for me and my husband.  Often I get to celebrate my birthday and our wedding anniversary then.  (They are only several days apart in February.)  Once on my birthday, I was on a snorkeling trip in the Caribbean.  Nothing could be better.  To lie in the sand under the hot sun, swim in the cool water, and relax, ahh, just relax.  time to be still and just enjoy being alive.  
In the summertime, I like a more active vacation--one that involves exploring and hiking and seeing beautiful natural scenery.  When my kids were growing up we'd often take two week vacations "out West"--the western US, that is. 
some memorable times:
hiking in the Grand Canyon--more than once (I have a dream to hike all the way to the bottom and back up again, of course!)  One time my husband helped rescue a guy who was struggling to make it back out.  But that's a whole other adventure!
hiking in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison (Colorado) with my husband and daughter.  We lost the trail coming back up from the bottom and made our own way which was rather steep for a while.  We had to pull ourselves up by grasping onto bushes.  (We later considered this fun and an adventure!)  There was a guy who came into our very secluded campsite at dusk and talked to us while we were starting to eat dinner.  This was very strange and we reported it as soon as he left.  We later believed he was a criminal that the police were hunting.  But that's another story.
standing inside a giant redwood tree  (Seeing redwoods had been a dream of mine since I was 10 and a friend visited California)
the stunning, electric, living blue water of Crater Lake
the devastation caused by the fires in Yellowstone, the volcano of Mt. St. Helens
seeing the incredible majesty of Glacier National Park
the buttes, and other strange and wonderful desert land formations in Arizona and Utah
◊  seeing wildlife up close--elk, bears, moose
◊  snowball fights in Summer!
My dream vacation is visiting any of these most wondrous places and reveling in the beauty.  I have been most blessed to have seen such marvels.
This is for the etsybloggers' team carnival. 

photos by me © 2008-2010
long ago
Prickly Pear, an uninhabited island near St. Maarten (coral reefs!)
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Glacier National Park

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Art of Sleeping

by Earnest
The stairs are my most favoritest place to cat nap.  I especially like this step.  It is part way up and part way down.  I am happy to spend most of every day right here.
Where do you most like to sleep?
Cats on Tuesdays is hosted by Gattina on her blog My cats and funny stories.  Post about your cat(s) and link up!

photo by me © 2010