Book Recommendation: The Cultured Club by Dearbhla Reynolds

This is a book that I always recommend on my fermentation workshops. Its written by the Irish author Dearbhla Reynolds and is packed full of easy to follow recipes. And not only how to make the ferments, but what to do with them!

I spent many a fermentation crazed 3 or 4 day and night frenzy whipping up her recipes.

Delighted to be reunited with this wonderful book after having ‘lent’ my copy out and never got it back!

Here is a Rice Miso Breakfast idea that I am going to make in the morning:

Doesn’t it sound good? Are you a savoury breakfast lover also?

Rice Miso Breakfast recipe by the Cultured Club.

In conjunction with the book or instead of, another resource of hers that I cannot recommend highly enough is her online course: Saucy- The Secret of Sauce. I love it because even I am guilty of having soggy kimchi at the back of the fridge or preserved lemons lingering and languishing in my pantry- unsure of how to use them to their potential. This course gives you 26 saucy recipes of how to use ingredients like those to transform them into incredible tasting and probiotic live sauces.

Do yourself a favour and check it out!

Miso magic in Belfast with The Koji Kitchen and The Cultured Club

I spent a couple of wonderful days with my friend Dearbhla (The Cultured Club) in Belfast the other day. She was hosting a workshop by Robin of The Koji Kitchen.

We spent a full day and night soaking and cooking kilos and kilos of beans in preparation for the workshop.

There were lots of lovely folk in attendance: lots of nutritionists, chefs, beginning to advanced fermenters, and all around cool people.

Here are some images of the workshop. I’d highly recommend a workshop with Robin if you are interested in expanding your knowledge of the magic that is koji.

We all went home with our own jars of sweet miso- and it should be ready to taste in 6-8 weeks.

On a totally separate but very important aside- we were lucky enough to eat the best Indian food I’ve ever tasted on this trip. EVER! My tastebuds almost couldn’t cope. And it just looked like a nondescript bog standard take-away. If you are in Belfast you must taste this food! Bites of India at 97 Ravenhill Road. I will be dreaming of that dinner for a long time to come!

Gift Vouchers for an experience – mushroom foraging, wild food, food fermentation, medicinal mushrooms, herbal medicine

Should you be looking for a perfect gift for someone you love and tired of buying more things?

A gift of an experience is something that will never be forgotten.

I offer experiences, events and workshops in wild food, herbal medicine, fungi, medicinal mushrooms, foraging, and more.

Here is a link to buy a gift voucher: https://www.hipsandhaws.com/shop/

Fermentation day with friends

I often feel so lucky and grateful to be surrounded by such loving and incredible people in my life.

I’ve gone to visit my friend Annie over the last few summers for a polytunnel clear out fermentation session. We were joined by Kittie, Tina, Annie, myself and Petra (who was behind the camera).

Here are a few pics from the day. Annie Holland Photography took many of these photos and many more (I have yet to add- I cannot locate them now, and will add soon).

Ginger Lime Water Kefir Recipe

water kefir grains

I finally got some more water kefir grains today from Healthy Habits in Wicklow Town.

I had water kefir grains in the past but quickly felt overwhelmed from too many cultures on the go. I am now superhuman (ha, you should see my countertops!) at balancing all of my cultures, so I decided to give it another go.

If you’d like to learn more about water kefir grains and read loads of recipes, one of my favourite websites is Cultures for Health.

This recipe is slightly adapted from Bar Tartine’s Cortney Burn’s of San Fransisco. I highly recommend this cookbook.

 

Ginger Lime Water Kefir recipe

Makes 3 cups/ double the recipe if desired. 

Ingredients:

 

3 cups/ 750ml filtered water, preferably non-chlorinated

¼ cup/ 50 gram sugar

½ teaspoon molasses, preferably blackstrap

a washed, organic eggshell (for added minerals)

pinch of sea salt

2 squeezed lemons or limes, including the peel if organic

a couple pieces of dried fruit such as raisins or apricots

1-2 inches of organic fresh ginger, sliced finely.

¼ cup/ 45 grams water kefir grains

Method

 

In a 1 litre non-reactive container, such as a glass milk bottle, dissolve the water and sugar. Once mixed, add in all of the other ingredients: molasses, eggshell, sea salt, lemon peel, (save the juice for later) dried fruit, sliced ginger and lastly the water kefir grains. If you add the water kefir grains loosely in a small muslin sack or bag they are much easier to remove after.

Screw the lid on tight and give it a shake to mix everything. Then (importantly) leave the lid on, but unscrewed so that the carbon dioxide can escape. Or use an airlock if you have one. Bottles can and will explode if you don’t take care! If you’ve screwed the lid on, be sure to release the carbon dioxide every 6-8 hours by opening the container.

Let stand in a warm place of 68-72F/ 18-22C for 48 hours. 72 hours if the room is cooler. It should be gently fizzy.

Remove and discard the fruit (you can eat it) and lemon pieces and eggshell. Remove the kefir grains. Strain the liquid through a sieve to catch any other bits or kefir grains.

Stir in the lemon or lime juice using more or less to taste. In Cortney’s recipe, she also adds fresh ginger juice.

Transfer the liquid to flip top bottles such as glass Grolsch bottles with the rubber gasket. Leave at least 1 inch/ 2.5 cm of head space to allow the carbon dioxide to expand. Let stand at room temperature until pressure builds, about 24 hours. You can use a plastic bottle if desired to remove the possibility of explosions, but also to gauge that the pressure has built up sufficiently. Once the bottle feels hard, move to the refrigerator. Refrigerate for up to 1 month. Serve cold straight out of the bottle.

I’d recommend opening the bottles with care. I open them over the sink and with a plastic jug over the top of the bottle in the event of a surprise geizer!

The kefir grains need to be fed, so once removed from the mixture feed them again immediately in a sugar water mixture of ¼ cup sugar/ 50 grams to 1 quart or litre of water. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks. Drain and add fresh sugar water every 7 days. Or repeat the recipe and start again!

ginger water kefir