What I’ve been up to…

Hey everyone!  So, as promised, I’m back to blogging, hopefully regularly.  Here’s what food things I’ve been up to recently:

1. I got water kefir grains from a lovely woman I met through Boston Ferments back in September, and I’ve been making water kefir regularly even since.

2. At the Fermentation Festival, I got a kombucha SCOBY and have also been brewing booch continuously ever since.  There’s a lot of fermented drinks going on in Casa de Kelly.

3. I made fermented hot sauce for Christmas gifts this year from the recipe at Killer Pickles and it came out sooo yummy!  I also fermented two kinds of mustard, which also came out very tasty.

4. I made kimchi for the first time back in… October?  Maybe?  It didn’t last very long because I couldn’t stop putting it on and in EVERYTHING.  Seriously.  Tacos, sandwiches, pasta, rice, whatever.  I really wish I had made more.  One quart was *not* sufficient.

5. I wrote a paper about wild fermentation for one of my courses, whoo!

I’m missing many things, but you get the jist.  Fermentation has consumed my existence, basically.  Although I did some canning too (applesauce and roasted onion and sage jam from Putting Up With Erin, to name just two).

This year, my resolution is to build up my pantry.  We moved to a wonderful apartment in Boston with a large kitchen (well, larger than my old one anyway) with a pantry.  Like a real pantry with shelves and cabinets and the whole thing.  My dream is to have the shelves lined with things I preserved myself.  I want to put up a serious portion of our canned goods this year.  This might be a bit over zealous–I am in grad school and working full time–but I like to hold myself to pretty high expectations, even if I can’t always meet them.  I just got a new catalog from Annie’s Heirloom Seeds (which is a wonderful company if you’re not already familiar–go check them out!), and I’m really hoping to grow more things than I’ve been able to grow in the past.  My garden last year basically fell victim to some absurd wind, both in NJ where it’s usually not that windy and in Boston where it is always obscenely windy, so I didn’t get to consume much of what I grew.  I’m very determined to change that this year.  Maybe if I can enlist Michael for some assistance…

I also got some awesome kitchen things as gifts this year.  Michael gave me a pasta machine and drying rack, which I’m so excited to try out, and a kitchen scale (finally!!).  His parents got me a much-needed immersion blender, and my family members bought me some amazing looking cookbooks.  I’m starting to think about what I want to preserve come canning season, and I know some of these books will come in handy for that.

I think that’s all for now.  I just found out that a winter market is starting up in my neighborhood, and the first day is tomorrow, so I’ll be heading there to grab whatever wonderful things I can find.  I’ll be sure to update with whatever project I’m inspired to try.

Some things I’m excited about…

This is just a quick and dirty post of some ideas I’ve gotten myself all excited about, and then off to bed with me!

1. I’m doing Foodie Pen Pals this month!  I just got paired up with my penpal yesterday, and I’m really looking forward to hearing back from them and getting started.  I’m just absurdly excited about this whole concept.  A STRANGER SENDS YOU AWESOME FOOD, GUYZ!  Anyway, more on that when I do the big reveal!

2. I just found this recipe on Phickle (a truly awesome blog about fermentation, if you aren’t already familiar) for vegan cheese!  I am promising myself that I will try this!  I’m a little nervous about this being my first fermentation experiment, though.  Maybe I’ll try sauerkraut first or something…

3. This post on how to pressure can beans also has me absurdly excited.  I think this might be my project this weekend.  I just need to overcome my fear of my pressure canner.  I got burned pretty badly using it this past summer.  But it’ll be totally fine this time because I have this wonderful step-by-step guide to ensure I don’t screw up!  Right?

4.  This is an idea I’ve had brewing for a while, and I’m putting it in writing (typing?) as a way of making sure I eventually try it:  I’m obsessed with the idea of making a lavender earl grey pound cake/shortbread/cupcake/muffin/something doughy and tasty.  I’ve been meaning to start experimenting with this for a while now.  Maybe this weekend?  Probably not, but soon!