Friday, February 12, 2010

Cultured Vegetables


These are my cultured vegetables.
I weighed out my vegetables in pounds and then convert it to grams.
This is the equation to figure the salt...
grams x .025= grams of salt
If you live in a hot climate or it is summer you may want to increase the multiply by .03

The wooden tub is a taru from Japan, it is made from very fine grain, old growth cedar. 
New they are 800.00 because of the lack of old growth cedar.
They impart a nice cedar flavor.
You don't have to have one to make cultured vegetables.
Before I had my taru I made them in gallon glass jar.

This time I made 9 lbs of cultured vegetables.  
I always use a  nappa or green cabbage.
I also like to use a diakon radish.  
This time I didn't have any radish so I used a large 4 lb. white beet.  
I also put carrots, green onions and garlic in it.
The longer it ages the more sour it gets.
I put some plastic between the lid in order to keep the acid of the vegetable from corroding the lid.

Cultured foods have probiotics in them that keep your intestinal flora active.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Stone Soup

Stone Soup is about a three poor soldiers that were coming through a village.  The village got word and started hiding all the food...knowing that the soldiers would steal it.  These soldiers were more cunning than that.  They told a story about a stone that aided in making the most tasty soup. If only they had a pot.

Someone gets a pot, then the villagers bring wood and build a fire.  The soldiers fill the pot up with water and drop the stone into the pot.  If only the soliders had some golden carrots to add to this rich broth.  One of the villagers remembers he has some and adds it.

Soon everyone has contributed to the soup and there is enough soup to feed the whole town and the soldiers.

This is my version of Stone Soup.
It started as lentil soup.  Soup can easily be made with 7 ingredients and water or broth.  I made my lentil soup with
  • 2 cups of dried lentils soaked
  •  4 cups of water or enough to cover it.
  • salt
  • a pinch of savory
  • saute 2 onions
  • add 2 grated zuchini
  • and 2 grated carrots
                I cooked my lentil soup in a thermos pot...but I will do a post about that later.  I brought it up to a boil and left it in the thermos for 4 hours till I was ready to cook dinner.  Then while I cooked dinner I just went ahead and sauted the onion - carrots and added them to the pot and simmered them

Now I did this a couple weeks ago.  I have since been heating this soup up once a day and adding more things to my soup as the soup would get eaten down.  Today I am adding some stir fry vegetables from yesterday and some frozen okra.

You can tell from this picture that it doesn't look a whole lot like it's original, lentil soup.
This is a great way to keep leftovers from building up in your refrigerator.  It is fun to see how long you can keep it going.  Sometimes it is hard because as it gets more and more complex the flavors get better and soon you might just have a half a cup of soup left.  Like I did recently.  I just started cooking my lentil soup over again and added the half a cup of soup to it.

Great to have with corn bread, over rice, on a bake potato, or just when you don't have time to cook but need something that will stick to your ribs.


I have heard that in the old days a cook would have such a pot on the back of her wood cook stove that would always be warm and that she would continually replenish.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It takes three days.

When I was reading The Jungle by Upton Sinclair I realized that it took a man three days to go from a shaven and shorn man looking for a job, to a unshaven and unkept man looking for work.  Women didn't have it as bad.

So this post is about buying razor blades.

Four years ago my husband bought100 razor blades off of ebay.  They were the kind that you put in an old fashion razor(this is just and example I am not endorsing a product).    The ones he bought came from Israel and were sold a 100 to a box.  He is down to the last few and we will be buying another 100.  I would say that was a great value for Hard Times.

(It is not that I am having a Hard Time. This is just a way of living and thinking in Hard Times.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Be Thankful

Practicing Gratitude can be one of the best ways to face Hard Times.  It is not an easy thing to do.  It will require an effort on your part especially if you have been hit with some kind of loss.  One of the ways that I cultivated being Grateful was when cleaning the house I would say, "thank you for this cup that my son used.  Thank you for my son and the joy that he brings me.  Thank you for his health and that he can walk and talk."  I could go on like that till I couldn't think of anything more. It became kind of a game, being thankful and cleaning the house, which was not really something I enjoyed doing, but by being thankful while doing it the housework became a joy because I had created a "practice of gratitude" out of it.

Here is some other ways to practice gratitude.