Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday Twister in My Kitchen

Gnowfglins.com has a Tuesday Twister Carnival, where people post pictures and descriptions of what is 'twisting' in their kitchen.  It's really fun to get a 'glimpse' into other 'real food kitchens'.

I had a busy weekend, so I thought it would be fun to get pictures of all the fun projects I started and post them, and link back to the carnival.

My dehydrator has been in constant use for about a week now.  Someday I'll get the metal 9 tray Excalibur, or something similar.  But for now, I'm grateful for my $60 Nesco one.

I bought some spinach and kale from the Farmer's Market on Saturday.  As per Mary Bell's instructions, I steamed them for 2 minutes and then dehydrated them.  I blended up half of them with a little water to make a 'leather' and the others I just put on the tray whole (the leathers dried faster).  After they were all dry, I put them in my processor and turned them into powder.  I hope to add them to our smoothies a couple of times a week to get our 'greens' in.  It's kind of like a homemade green powder, only it's just spinach and kale.  :)  It's a start anyway.  I have yet to actually put it in a smoothie.  That, of course, will be the ultimate test.  We used to drink them often, until I found out that spinach should be steamed before eating.  That confused and discouraged me, so I mostly gave up on it until recently.  Now I'm ready to try again!

This is some wintergreen, oregano and lemon basil that I harvested from our Square Foot Garden.  I dehydrated them and also ground them up for future use.  I am hoping to turn the wintergreen into toothpaste.  It grew like a weed and it has amazing medicinal uses.  And it smells heavenly!

This, I am most proud of, I must say.  Last year around this time, I tried making sauerkraut.  I had read how amazing it is in Nourishing Traditions and Sandor Katz's Wild Fermentation.  It sounded easy, so I finally got up the pluck to do it.  Unfortunately, we hated the stuff. Who knows how much of it was taste preference and how much was my lousy cooking skills.  Either way, I got discouraged and didn't bother trying again until this weekend.  I bought some beets, carrots and cabbage at the Farmer's Market and decided to give it a try again.  It was a lot of fun to make.  I used the recipes from Nourishing Traditions for Pickled Beets, Ginger carrots and something similar to Cortido.  They will be ready to refrigerate in a few days, and I'll wait at least a week after that before trying them.  Everything I've read says it takes at least that much time to let the flavors meld together and mellow a bit.  It is my goal to ultimately serve a fermented drink and veggie with every meal.  One step closer...

This is my half gallon of buttermilk and one cup of kefir culturing.  I go through about a gallon of buttermilk a month.  It's all I use for baking and I use it for soaking and tenderizing meats also.  I used the tutorial from foodrenegade and it turned out beautifully!  I've had it going for about 6 months now and love it

This is my sourdough starter.  I used it for pancakes this morning and I'm going to make pizza dough and bread with it tomorrow.

This is a bunch of nuts that I am crisping to make granola.  Here they are soaking, and then I'll dehydrate them.  Yum!!  
I didn't get any pictures, but I also have my usual 2 gallons of kombucha brewing.  
I think that's all that is 'twisting' in my kitchen.  This was a lot of fun! :)


  1. Wow, great stuff!

    I don't know why I never thought of de-hydrating spinach for powder, but I'm about to start doing just that. Thanks!

  2. I love the spinach idea too! Brilliant. Great Twist.

  3. Hi Sarah. I have a similar dehydrator... it works, but I'd love to have the Excalibur too. :)

    I saw your comment at the Prairie Sunrise blog about your extra SCOBYS. If you have any to spare, I would LOVE to have one. I try to add something new to the kitchen every few weeks, and Kombucha is next on the list. I would be happy to pay the shipping.

    I didn't see a way to contact you, so if you could email me at jfoutch at wowway dot com, I would really appreciate it. Thanks so much!


  4. Ren and Millie, I thought the same thing when I saw it in Mary Bell's Dehydrator book. Genius! So I'm excited to give it a try. Easy to store, still 'fresh' because it was dehydrated, and a little goes a long way. I think, that a whole 'head' of spinach or kale is about a tablespoon of the stuff. Not bad at all!

    Jen-I emailed you. I'd be happy to send you a scoby. Those things proliferate like crazy, and I think I've exhausted the amount of people in North Jersey who desire a scoby off of Freecycle and Craigslist. :)

  5. Sarah - Wow! I love your kitchen! That is a great idea about steaming/dehydrating the spinach. I also backed off on green smoothies after learning that spinach should be cooked. I love this idea - for you to make your own green powder. I am using a Nesco-style dehydrator, too, someday hoping for an Excalibur - or one of those stainless steel dehydrators. All this plastic really bugs me. :( Thanks for sharing your kitchen in the Twister this week - I hope to see you next week, too!

  6. That's it. I'm getting a dehydrator!! lol Well, if I had room for one in my tiny kitchen. For now a low oven will do. Your soaking array looks wonderful! Herbs, nuts...heaven!

  7. Lisa, I hear you on the small kitchen. Most of my fermenting/culturing goes on on top of my dryer. And I have to move it when I'm doing laundry, or it would get too hot. :) But all in all, it's not a bad set up.
    And like you said, the oven works as well. Although mine is currently NOT working. Grr!!

  8. Wow, there are a lot of good little microbes working in your kitchen! I hope I get it together enough to have all of that going at once...someday :)

  9. Sarah, you rock!! Dehydrating greens, that's an awesome idea! Dehydrator is on my list for Christmas :) I bought a huge head of cabbage to make another batch of cortido this past weekend at the farmers market. The first batch I made was good, but I'm looking for something a little different this time around. Excited to hear how yours turns out!