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Russian Borscht and Sauerkraut?

by Suzanne Many years ago, when I lived in the south, I discovered a lovely little family-owned Russian restaurant in the corner of a shopping center. The babushka shared her recipe for borscht, a Russian beef stew with cabbage, beets, and turnips, and topped with sour cream. Recently, as I made a big pot of this same borscht, I wondered about the ingredients. Was borscht originally made with a big dollop of sauerkraut added? Russian sauerkraut is more of a sweet-and-sour concoction than German sauerkraut, which is just sour. And my borscht recipe calls for both vinegar and sugar, in addition to the cabbage. Had my dear Russian restaurateur altered the recipe? Or was it altered before being handed down...

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Homemade Sauerkraut

by Suzanne Hot dogs, sausages, fried eggs, pork chops, beef stew what doesn't go with sauerkraut?! So I always keep some on hand. I prefer to make my sauerkraut. I use organic and local ingredients, and I can add other veggies when I like and as much as I like. Today, I'm adding onions and carrots. It's going to be good! If you've never made your sauerkraut, it may sound daunting. However, if you have a jar, a knife and a half hour, you can surely make a good batch of sauerkraut. Ok, you'll need cabbage and sea salt, too, but those are easy to come by. Let's Get Started Making Sauerkraut I have 2 large heads of cabbage, a...

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Kombucha Candy

by Suzanne Recently, I took my son to Rooks Barber Shop for his semi-annual haircut (don't ask!). As I was watching the hair fall to the floor, it somehow reminded me of periodically removing the scoby from my kombucha jar when it gets too thick. I realize it's a stretch for some of you, but when you have fermentation on the brain all the time, as I do, then practically everything relates somehow! That brings me to today's topic: what to do with the numerous scobys that build up in your kombucha jar. By far the easiest thing to do is to just toss them out. But that seems pretty heartless, especially if you get attached to your ferments the...

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Fermented Garlic Carrots

by Suzanne Visiting the farmer's market each week is a great way to get motivated for fermenting vegetables. Here in Portland, Oregon, my local market is already filled with so many vegetables, it's difficult to choose just one! However, I prefer to keep things simple, so this week, I'm going for fermented carrots. Fermented carrots are a wonderful, kid-friendly snack, and they take almost no time to put together. Garlic adds wonderful flavor, as do many herbs, such as thyme or rosemary. Today, however, I am keeping it simple, so just garlic cloves for a little added kick. Getting started, Get Fermented I assemble everything I need: Carrots Garlic cloves, peeled Sea salt Filtered water Measuring cup and spoons Pint jar...

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