Veraison is upon us, which means the grapes are coming into season. Here's eight ways to preserve grapes, from the traditional jelly to chutney, raisins and more.
Biting into a fresh, crisp apple is the quintessential taste of autumn itself. But when you are faced with more apples than you can eat out of hand, try some of these tempting ways to put them by for later use.
Summer grilling is great, but burgers and dogs are only as good as the condiments that dress them up. Step away from the packaged varieties and try your hand at DIY condiments to make haute dogs and hamburgers.
Got tomatoes? Here's a rundown of ways to put up your maters, from basic canned tomatoes to salsa, ketchup and more.
Ever since Sandor Katz published Wild Fermentation in 2003, the interest in fermented foods has been ever on the rise. Many among us keep a crock of kraut or kimchi going at any given time, and kombucha is definitely having its day. Surprising, then, that until now there's been little discussion around looking back at natural fermentation methods for making cheese.
Enter David Asher. A farmer turned "dairy revolutionary," Asher started the Black Sheep School of Cheesemaking, and now has a new book out, The Art of Natural Cheesemaking. I was able to catch up with Asher at the Point Reyes Station farmers market on a brilliant August day before he was set to present a demo.
PD: How did you get involved in natural cheesemaking?
DA: I was fermenting all kinds of things in my home, making sourdough bread, fermenting krauts. I was making cheese, too, but I couldn't find information on how to make cheese more natural. I knew from reading the cheesemaking guidebooks out there that you need to buy packaged cultures in order to bring about the different changes in cheese. You introduce a certain culture to get a certain cheese; you introduce a certain fungus to get a certain rind. These are all packaged cultures people buy from cheesemaking supply shops. I knew inherently that you don't need to buy a fungus to make a camembert. I knew that cheesemakers traditionally did things differently before the days of freeze-dried cultures and monoculture strains of starters. But there was no information on how to do that. And so I set out on a journey to discover that using the principles of wild fermentation as inspiration, and experimenting with raw milk and kefir to see if I could create the conditions to allow cheese to develop traditionally.
PD: For the novice cheesemaker who's interested in getting involved with natural cheesemaking, what's the best place to start?
DA: I would recommend getting started with a kefir culture. Kefir is like a sourdough culture you keep at home, kind of like a pet. I call it my little cheesmaking pet. I keep it at home by feeding it milk, and it feeds me back kefir. A very basic cheesemaking step is culturing the milk, making this delicious fermented dairy product. If you're interested in making something more complex, you can use that kefir as a starter culture for other cheeses. It serves as a sort of gateway cheese. It's sure to entice you to move on to more things.
Having an herb garden is great, when you need a pinch of this or that. But when the herbs go rangy and begin to bolt, it's time to hack them back and put them by. Here's a few applications for when you need to use your homegrown herbs by the hank.
Sweet, luscious melons are a treat that can only be truly appreciated at the peak of summer, when they're at their juiciest, gushiest best. If you've been overly tempted and have a glut of melons, here's a few ways to turn them into treats that will last beyond summer's steamy days.
Sweetly aromatic heads of elderflowers are cropping up all over. Capture their springlike essence while you can with these DIY elderflower projects.
It's summer, and everyone's gardens are overflowing with zucchini. Don't be daunted! Here's a bunch of ways to put up your zukes so can enjoy them well into the colder months.