10/27

Fermented Hot Sauce & Pepper Flakes: I took roughly a half bushel of Hinklehatz peppers, purchased from Who Cooks For You Farm, and simply ground them up in a blender with enough water to make a slurry. After they were all processed, the peppers were placed in a bucket with a breathable cloth lid to ferment. After about two weeks (when a little bit of funky flavor was developed but not enough fermentation to disintegrate the pepper solids) I strained out the pepper solids to dehydrate into flakes. The remaining liquid is a delicious and spicy. I added a quart of persimmons to add sugar, garlic, and salt. The sauce is continuing to ferment.

Amazake Bread: With the recently made koji rice I added more cooked rice and water for amazake and let it ferment a couple days to a nice sweetness. The amazake was then cooked down to a thick porrage. I added the porrage to a naturally leavened rye bread. The result was not necessarily a sweeter or more sour bread, but definitely one with a deeper nuttiness and caramelized flavor.

Koji Tea: I love the flavor variations of koji. I simply toasted some koji rice in a dry pan until light brown. The result is a grain that tastes reminiscent of fruit loops with hints of nuttiness. I’ll steep it as a tea or use it as a texture addition to a dishes.

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10/20/16

As I scurry around my daily food project caretaking duties and explorations of natural food-making and earth-based culture meanderings, I paused for a moment to think about how this Ferment Pittsburgh thing is meant to be a resource for my community, and how so much of what I’m doing is in secret. I’m not one to really enjoy most of these internet-based communication methods, I’ve decided to make an attempt at sharing my daily routines and projects on here (I guess that’s a blog?) as much as I can remember at least, in case someone might benefit.

So a taste of today, 

Batch of kvass: chopped up leftover naturally leavened bagels, covered with water, added a good glop of ripe and ready sourdough starter, honey to taste, and covered with a towel fastened by string. The 10 gallon bowl was moved outside in the autumn cool air and hot sun to bubble away. I will taste this evening and adjust the flavor.

Koji Rice: After soaking a couple pounds of everyday- run of the mill rice overnight, I gave it a good rinse and steamed it in batches. This rice I’m preparing for koji for a workshop this weekend. After the rice steams to al dente I’ll let it cool to around 100, add starter culture and incubate in a cooler with Mason jars of hot water and towels, checking every 12 hours or so. Unfortunately i haven’t had a chance to pick up my brother’s Excalibur dehydrator as it makes things way too easy.

Planting of Winter Wheat: My drying beans, two beds that hold malfax and Calypso, have set in a good amount of yellowing leaves so I’m planting my Banathka wheat i got from Eli Rogosa at growseed.org. I’m excited to have found her project as I was specifically looking for ancient graibs heralding from the Carpathian region, as I have ancestory there.

Strawoboshi: The overbearing strawberries are either falling off while still white or if they do turn red are being devoured by the slugs. So I’ve been picking them unripe. I salted a batch yesterday to prepare as umeboshi plums. Juat salt and a weight on top. I checked them today and everything looks good.

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