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Sima? What? Why?

by Jerri Vappu (May Day) is celebrated May 1st in Finland, usually for an entire week. It's said this Finnish holiday rivals that of Christmas and Easter! Banks and government offices (liquor stores too!) are all closed. Originally in the 1700s, the upper class would go horseback riding to enjoy the new greenness of spring “ since the 1800s, it morphed into university students celebrating academic achievements. Today it also includes workers, with everyone celebrating not only students' successes, but the current spring weather and the coming of the summer solstice. Celebrations actually start on April 30th, vappuaatto, or Vappu Eve. This is when the statue symbolic of Helsinki, The Daughter of the Baltic Sea (Havis Amanda), is cleaned and...

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Fermented Applesauce

by Jerri Eek! Fermentation panic! All my standard airlocks were busy in other fermentation projects, and I desperately wanted to try fermented applesauce! Apples were still falling from my little tree at the end of November, so I poked around in my cabinet and as luck would have it, I had ONE type of airlock left. I forgot about this gem, awesome for all the wide mouth canning jars I own. This silicone tool from Heaven is made by MasonTops, and called a Pickle Pipe. Woohoo! I dug out my Nourishing Traditions book in the hopes of finding a fermented applesauce recipe, but nothing. Most of the fruit recipes in general for 1 quart called for ¼ cup whey and...

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International Holiday Foods and Ways to Make Them Fermented!

I've always enjoyed learning how to make foods from around the world. Discovering new ingredients and methods not only helps to broaden your palate, it also gives you a little insight into different cultures. Ingredients are often chosen because of availability- what is most easily grown, foraged or purchased. The best methods are those that are passed on from generation to generation- lovingly taught or deciphered from well-worn hand written recipes. Celebrations are an especially good time to reconnect with old traditions and memories, or better yet start some new ones! Each culture has it's own unique dishes- some eaten regularly, some reserved for holidays and special occasions. Fermented foods are often a part of these meals, but if not,...

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