Fermentation workshop with Courtney Tyler in Common Ground 25 February

The next level fermentation workshop will take place on the last Thursday of this month in Common Ground in Bray. Again it will run from 8-10pm. 25th February 2016. Don’t forget to add it to your calendar!

Come learn how simple it is to make your own fermented delicacies. Learn too about the healing qualities and nutritional importance of live-culture ferments.

In this workshop we will cover different ferments than we did at the last event. We will learn how to make a gorgeous greek goats milk yogurt, how to make co-yo (coconut yogurt) 2 different ways, kefir cheese, fermented mung bean pancakes and also go over the basics of facto-fermenting vegetables and pickles.

I will bring some samples of these delicious products for you to taste on the night.

I will also have some mother cultures for purchase on the night for only €5 if you’d like- such as kombucha and kefir.

Google maps for finding your way to Common Ground can be found below.

The address: Beverly Studios, Church Terrace, Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

Booking is essential- book here to pay in full. The cost is €18 for the evening or the discount of €15 for current Common Ground members.

Contact Courtney at: courtney@fiercequirky.com or call 086-376-4189.

Click here to pay the deposit to book your place. Hope to see you there!

 

Austrian Pear Bread- Kletzenbrot

I was given a small loaf of this very special and delicious bread at Christmas from a lovely Austrian friend Bettina. I hounded her for the recipe. I still haven’t made it yet myself, but I did dry some pears in my dehydrator to have them ready for when I do.
Austrian Fruit Bread – Kletzenbrot  Kindly shared by Bettina Winkler

300 g Dried pears (Kletzen)

250 g Prunes

250 g Dried figs

100 g Raisins

150 g Nuts (e.g. Walnuts, Hazelnuts)

1 tsp. Allspice

1 tsp. Pimento

1 tsp. Ground cloves

1/2 cup Rum

5 tsp. Sugar

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1 tbsp Vanilla sugar

500 g Rye flour

200 g Wheat flour

1 sachet Dried yeast or 100 g
 Sourdough

1 tsp Salt

This is a recipe from my beloved Grandmother. I initially intended to keep this recipe in the family, but I feel good things need to be shared in order for them to survive and live on. I treasure this recipe and carry it on, as it gives me great memories of my childhood. And not only mine, but also my father’s, mother’s and brother’s memories from our lives as a family. I bake it every year around Christmas time as this was usually the time when my grandparents would make it. Whenever I have the first bite, the same image comes back to my mind: Me being a little girl, sitting on the lap of my grandfather, eating Kletzenbrot with unsalted butter on top. I hope you enjoy this bread as much as I did and still do up until this day. Please refrain from using it in a commercial sense in order to value this recipe for what it is, a family treasure.

Thank you & enjoy!

Prepare the fruit mix

Cook the dried pears in water until soft. Cut them into chunks, as well as the figs and prunes. Put all of them into a big bowl, together with the raisins and nuts. Add the rum and leave it to rest for a few hours (over night works well, too). Add the sugar, vanilla sugar, cinnamon, all spice, pimento and ground cloves and leave to rest for another two hours.

Prepare the bread dough

Mix the flours, salt and yeast or sourdough, stir the dry mix with a fork before adding some liquid to cover. Leave the whole mix to rest until it raises (~ 45 – 60 mins). Best is a warm place with a wet table cloth over it. Add the fruit mix and about 3⁄4 cup of lukewarm water, let it rest again (~ 45 – 60 mins). Form into small to mid-sized loafs and bake at 160°C – 170°C for about 1- 1 1⁄2 hours (until dark brown on the outside).

Stored in a cool and dry place it is said this bread should last for months. It will be rock hard, but cut off a slice, add butter- enjoy with a warm cup of tea!

 

Danke Bettina!

Fermentation Workshop at Commonground

I held another fermentation event in Common Ground on the 4th February. It was a full room once again and we demonstrated making a large batch of sauerkraut in class and talked through:

The importance of live culture ferments, as a food, to increase the bio availability of vitamins and minerals, and to preserve food.

Kombucha, primary and secondary ferment

Milk Kefir

and Ginger bug to create your own easy healthy traditionally fermented probiotic sodas such as ginger ale.

The next one will take place in the same venue on the 25th February. See the attached poster for all that we will cover.

Booking essential to secure your place.

fermentationposter

Herbal infused vinegars

Herbal vinegars
Here I’ll show you how simple it is to infuse herbs in vinegars to preserve them in a tasty way for use throughout the year
Fire Cider- a sinus tonic and immune booster.
This year was my first time making the famous “Fire Cider” or it’s also known as the “Master Tonic”.
I was inspired to make this by one of my favourite Irish Herbalists Marina Kesso. I attended some of her workshops at Herb Feast in St Anne’s Park in Raheny and another in Airfield. She had a selection of herbal vinegars and taught us how easy these were to do at home. I also read a lot of Susun Weed’s blogposts and books and she also teaches a lot about how good these are to incorporate into your diet.
The “Fire Cider” is taught by Marina as a sinus remedy. The horseradish in this would certainly have an effect on sinus, if you’ve ever eaten Wasabi with your sushi you know that burning pleasant rush that goes right through your head.
I altered this recipe slightly by adding in a couple of seasonal extras such as rose hips as i made this in the early autumn.
I added in all ingredients from the garden that I’d grown myself, apart from the ginger. As always, use organic where possible.
Onion, garlic, ginger, horseradish, chili, raw unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar and local honey. And the rose hips for extra vitamin C.
Here is a lovely youtube video link to Rosemary Gladstar talking about this herbal vinegar, Fire Cider.
And an excellent blog post from The Mountain Rose with better instructions and recipe ideas than I could write- check it out here: http://mountainroseblog.com/fire-cider/
I will add more recipes of the other herbal vinegars that I’ve made and the ways that I incorporate them into my daily diet.

Elderberry Shrub

Today I was in Health and Healing in Wicklow town, adding some of my silver jewellery and steampunk jewellery to an empty display case. (thanks Neville!)

While there, I picked up a bottle of Bragg’s Live Apple Cider Vinegar. (As an aside, I’ve heard they have not been able to produce enough of their delicious unpasteurised vinegar to keep up with demand and it can be hard to come by these days!) When I got home I took a few jam jars half filled with elderberries and filled the rest with the vinegar and some sugar (I used Rapadura sugar). I took some parchment paper and folded it under the metal lid, so that the vinegar wouldn’t react with the metal.

I’ll shake this occasionally and leave it to infuse for the next 4-6 weeks.

The properties of the elderberry will infuse into the vinegar, preserving its medicinal properties and at the same time, creating the base for a tasty drink in the coming year. I’ll dilute this with sparkling water, or hot water and lemon to enjoy as a drink.

You can do this with any seasonal berries, herbs or fruit.

“A shrub is made by combining fruit, sugar and vinegar into a bright and complex syrup that delivers plenty of fruit flavour.”

Keep the shrub in a cool place and enjoy diluted with water, club soda, or in a mixed drink. Also nice to take in a shot glass for a concentrated sup of goodness!

Rose-hip infused vinegar

Rose hips are easy to spot in the hedgerows at the moment. Did you know that all types of rose hips are edible?

Rose hips have the great virtue of being high in a number of nutrients and especially high in vitamin C. Rose hip syrup contains 300mg per 100g. This is up to four times more than blackcurrant juice and twenty times as much as the juice of an orange, according to Roger Phillips in his book on Wild Food.

Conventional roses are heavily sprayed with chemicals. Choose organically grown or wild roses only.

You can dry them for tea, make rose hip syrup or chutney or do this easy rose hip infused vinegar:

Collect rose hips in the autumn or early winter. Rosa Canina are the native wild rose in Ireland, but there are lots of Rosa Rugosa around and it’s worth your while to seek them out. They rose hips on the Rugosa are HUGE in comparison with the wild ones. Luckily in Wicklow, the council seems to have planted them in most of the hedgerows and along the motorways. Any rose hips will do, but be sure they aren’t sprayed with chemicals.

Coarsely chop the rose hips no need to remove the hairs or seeds yet (unless you’ve the patience of a saint)! Cover them in vinegar (I prefer unpasteurised apple cider vinegar- but use what you like). Let this infuse for 4-6 weeks and strain through a muslin covered sieve. You want to be sure to catch all the hairs as they cause irritation and are unpleasant. Squeeze the material in the muslin to get out all of the liquid. Add honey or your preferred sweetener if desired, bottle and label.

Drink this as a shot for a hit of vitamins and minerals. Or add a tablespoon to a mug of warm water, or to sparkling water or as a mixer. A delicious way to preserve the bounty of the seasons.

As the raspberries in our garden are often coming out at the same time of the year, sometimes I mix the rosehips and raspberries to make a lovely and naturally sweet infused vinegar or shrub.

Wild and Slow do a lovely and very informative PDF file which is free to download here. It has lots of recipes and traditional uses.