fermentation basics recipes and resource links

Thanks for coming to today’s “Fermentation Basics” demo at the Fun with Fermentation festival, and a big thank you to Christina Sasser and the entire WVSFA team who worked so hard to make the festival a success!  I loved the mix of old and young people, farmers, hippies, yuppies, foodies, students, and parents. I was happy to share some of my techniques and tips for vegetable fermentation, and enjoyed talking to so many of you after the demo at the Master Food Preserver booth.

Ferments discussed in today’s demo:

Recipes with sauerkraut:

Some books and resources I trust and use often:

  • Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving (classic resource for basics of preservation, updated every few years)
  • Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich (includes fermentation recipes and many ethnic recipes not available in other collections)
  • Wild Fermentation by the King of Sauerkraut Sandor Katz
  • OSU Extension-Lane County’s full list of preservation publications (free .pdf downloads) – See esp. “Making Sauerkraut and Sauerkraut Recipes” and “Problems & Solutions: Sauerkraut” under the heading “Pickling”
  • My Harsch crock
  • The OSU Extension Master Food Preserver message line for class registration, preservation and food safety questions: 541-344-4885.  We no longer have a local hotline, thanks to budget cuts in Lane County, but in the summer and before the holidays there’s a 1-800 number you can call.  More information here.

potluck in corvallis!

…with special guest Ken Albala, who spent the week at Oregon State as the Horning fellow.  Ken gave three talks on food.  I caught up with him and the Corvallis food studies/Slow Food gang after his talk on potlucks (among other ideas about sharing food).  Where else?  At a potluck.  He made this wonderful all-local ravioli out of homemade dough and a butternut squash filling that both featured Two Towns cider.  It was topped with walnuts, peppers, and herbs, and was the star in a meal of many excellent dishes.

Stay tuned for the book version of this year’s Horning lectures.  OSU Press publishes the lecture series, and I understand Ken will undertake this project in the future.

It’s a big weekend here at Culinaria Eugenius.  Just got back from the coast with a mushroom delegation led by UO Environmental Leadership Program’s Peg Boulay, members of the Cascade Mycological Society, local chefs, and our guest Hank Shaw.  Now we’re off to the wild foods dinner at Marché.  More to come!

hunter, gatherer, conservationist: finding the forgotten feast with hank shaw, nov. 14

I’m so pleased to announce an event that’s been in the works ’round these parts for months.  Wild foods expert Hank Shaw will be talking to UO students and researchers in my Food in the Field research group, and giving a public reading on November 14 for the entire Eugene community.  Free event and open to all.  This is the last stop on a nationwide book tour for Hank, so let’s give him a warm welcome!

Can’t read the fine print? click here for a .pdf.

Hunter, Gatherer, Conservationist: Finding the Forgotten Feast
Book Reading and Discussion
Author Hank Shaw
Monday, November 14, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
282 Lillis Hall, University of Oregon, Eugene

Hank Shaw is a wild foods expert, hunter, angler, gardener and cook, based in Sacramento.  His exquisite and unusual wild foods blog, Hunter Angler Gardener Cook (http://honest-food.net), has been twice nominated for a James Beard Award, and was awarded best blog from the International Association of Culinary Professionals organization in 2010 — two major achievements in food writing.  He is on tour for his already acclaimed new book, Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast (Rodale Books).  The book explores North America’s edible flora and fauna, explaining how to track down everything from wild mushrooms to mackerel to pheasant, and to create locally sourced meals that go far beyond the farmers market or campfire cuisine.

At a public reading for the University of Oregon and Eugene area community, Shaw will share his experiences in the field and in the kitchen, discussing not only his sophisticated recipes and innovative techniques for preparing wild food that grows and roams in the Pacific Northwest – camas bulbs, venison, and wild berries, to name just a few examples – but also the political, social, and environmental issues surrounding hunting and gathering in the twenty-first century.  Books will be available for purchase and signing.

lane county fair 2011 photo album

I took a bunch of shots of the preservation judging, grange exhibits, rides, and some livestock.  Check it out on the Facebook.  OK, I’ll admit I’m still a little obsessed with the Zipper, the scariest, most dangerous carnival ride ever, then or now.

Absolutely gorgeous week here in Eugene for fair-going, too!

lane county fair 2011 opens today!

EDITED TO ADD: See my 2011 photo album on Facebook!

I really love the county fair, with its creepy carnival rides, heart-attack food, and exhibits of animals and food products.  I’ll be there today with the Master Food Preservers and other Extension groups ready to talk about food safety and preservation to anyone in hearing range.  My shift is 12-2 p.m.  Come say hi!  It’s over at the, duh, Fairgrounds at 13th and Jefferson/Friendly/Jackson.

Some of my MFP colleagues are judges in the food-in-jars competition, and that’s always fun, too.  New canners should definitely stop by to see some of these gorgeous pickles and crystal clear jellies and broths.  I always get good ideas from the preserved products I see.

How will the elimination of 4-H from our county affect the animal show this year and in subsequent years?  I know that Lane County program directors and teachers have been traveling long distances to other counties to continue their work with 4-H kids, and I’d imagine the kids have been displaced, too.  Will they continue to show up at our fair?

By the way, if you’re interested in learning more about the preservation techniques you’ll see at the fair, check out our Master Food Preserver Alliance Facebook page for more information about classes.  I think there are still spaces left in the tomato canning and meat canning classes.  (MFP tomato/salsa class on August 26 and the meat canning class on September 23. $15/class. Call 541-344-4885 for information.)  Tuna are all full, but we’re taking a (rather long) list of interested parties for next year.  Also, more classes to come in fall and spring!

iron chef eugene 2011: chef heidi tunnell!

After a day-long battle, Iron Chef Eugene 2011 has been crowned.  We congratulate Chef Heidi Tunnell of Creswell’s Heidi Tunnell Catering Company on reigning supreme!  Her win was all the more impressive, given she’s 38 weeks pregnant.  Chef Tunnell will go on to battle at Iron Chef Oregon at The Bite of Oregon festival, which will take place at Waterfront Park in Portland on August 12-14.  Just about the time she plans to give birth.  Will that slow her down?  We think not!

Check out my behind-the-scenes (or rather, front-of-the-scenes) photo set of the three rounds of competition.  Even as the emcee, I couldn’t resist taking a few snaps.

You’ll see all four chef contestants and their sous chefs at work: Chef Tunnell, Chef Mike Meyer of Red Agave, Chef Shane Tracey of Nib Modern Eatery, and Chef Max Schwartz of Agate Alley Laboratory.  The theme ingredients were: Battle 1 (Tunnell/Meyer) – Our Family Farms’ pasture raised chicken; Battle 2 (Tracey-Schwartz) – raspberries and Huerto de la Familia’s blackcap raspberries; and Championship Battle (Tunnell-Schwartz) – Oregon dungeness crab.

I was so impressed by the competitive spirit this year — the dishes that came out of the outdoor kitchen were impressive.  And even though the chefs were intense and focused, they were also kind and generous toward one another when we had technical difficulties.  The camaraderie on stage was very much felt and appreciated.

I’ll write a post about my favorite moments of the Bite of Eugene festival later, but right now I need to get ready to talk about the competition on KLCC’s Food for Thought radio show.  Listen to me, the new Iron Chef Eugene, and judges Ray Walsh of Capitello Wines, Jeff Kandarian of King Estate, Boris Wiedenfeld, and Ryan Stotz dish on the experience — noon – 1 p.m. today on 89.7. [Edited to add: listen to the archived version of the program here. Heidi and I tune in around about a third of the way through the hour.]

iron chef story in register-guard!

My story on the Iron Chef competition appeared in the Register-Guard today.  See the lovely photo of all four chef-competitors here, and be ready to support your favorite chef.  Any bets on who will win?  Eugene Eats is conducting a Facebook poll, and they’ve asked twitterers to twitter the event.

See you at the festival!

(P.S. For those of you interested in the pressure canning gauge testing, I’ve amended the information a bit.  See previous post.)