We bought a house! It is small and cute, in a semi-sketchy, semi-lovely little town that over the next few years is either going to descend into apocalyptic nightmare or become the next up-and-coming cute town around here. They are trying to pump money into education, drug treatment programs, etc. It has a very strong community spirit, which is part of why I like it there–the town seems like it’s invested in creating jobs and solving problems rather than just policing everybody to death. But still, heroin issues and crime and general depression are rampant. Due to this in-between state, where no one knows what will happen, houses are currently extremely cheap. We realized after purchasing it that it is 3 blocks from a huge jail. This morning I started looking at crime rates for this town and discovered that while it has way fewer robberies than the national average, it has way more rapes. On the flip side, this house has an apple tree in the yard! So, that happened.
I am trying to figure out my schedule for the semester, specifically, when I can bake bread. We will be moving too far away from our cool commie bakery to continue buying bread there; I am going to need to step up my bread-baking game accordingly. But it takes 24 hours and it is hard for me to envision how that will fit into my school-year schedule. Does anyone have a sourdough bread schedule they like? I am thinking of mixing the leaven Friday morning, doing the first fermentation period (3-4 hours) Friday night, then baking Saturday morning but then it’s like, your entire Friday night is booked up every week? “Sorry, I can’t come to your event, my bread is doing its bulk fermentation.” Anyway I will figure it out.
I am reading about how to make your own apple cider if you don’t own a cider press, which of course I don’t. Some people are like “just chop up 80 pounds of apples, put it in a barrel and dump boiling water over it! 10 days later you’ll have cider.” Other people have elaborate rules for chopping, boiling, siphoning off the lees (?? or whatever).
As I’m delving into Wild Fermentation, I am sort of stunned in a depressing way by how easy certain things are vs. how we all think we need to buy those things in big plastic jugs from the store. For example, do you know how you make alcoholic apple cider? You literally just leave a jug of apple cider uncovered on the kitchen counter until one day it turns into cider. Oh, you want to make vinegar? Just continue leaving that cider on the counter. One day it will be vinegar, and you can stick it in a bottle. GREAT
All these tasks that our forefathers did constantly and took for granted. I would like to live more that way even though I also know it was an unending slog and you certainly couldn’t be a college professor simultaneously. These are the dark bargains of capitalism.
There is also a recipe for how to ferment your own miso paste. It takes a year.
I’m currently making lacto-fermented pickled vegetables (which is called CHOW CHOW, a lady at Goodwill told me when she saw me with my big crock and asked “what are you gonna make in that?” and I said “PICKLES!”). They are in a huge crock under the kitchen counter. It’s been a week and they still just taste like salt. I’m not sure what else is supposed to happen with them–when do they turn sour, and why? Maybe they never will, and I’ll just have a bunch of soft, super-salty carrots. Ugh!
I am very married, taste-wise, to vinegar in my pickles. I don’t know if I will be able to switch to a non-vinegar pickle, but I want all the live cultures!! What to do (#firstworldproblem AND #oldworldproblem simultaneously! Not many things you can say that about)