Ginger Beet Kraut

“We’ve decided to give our recipe to the Universe (and to you), so if you’re seriously addicted to it like we are, you can make it at home. Some batches might be crunchier than others which is just fine — it’s still delicious. And if you do encounter a soft batch now and again, simply throw it into the blender with a little olive oil for an outrageously tasty, probiotic-rich salad dressing.” — Kathryn Lukas, Farmhouse Culture

INGREDIENTS:

2 medium heads cabbage, about 5 lbs
3 cups beets, diced or shredded
1/4 cup fresh ginger, finely minced
3 tablespoons coarse sea salt
1/2 gallon mason jar with air lock or a kraut crock

METHOD:

Peel the outer leaves of the cabbage. Reserve a couple and set them aside.

Cut the cabbage in half. Thinly slice the cabbage into long shreds, and then put them into a large mixing bowl.

Massage the salt into the cabbage and let the mixture sit for 15 or 20 minutes, or until it’s weepy.

Meanwhile, peel and dice or shred the beets. Peel and mince the ginger. Add both the beets and ginger to the cabbage.

Massage the cabbage, beets and ginger vigorously, making sure all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

Pack this mixture into a half gallon mason jar until the brine rises at least 1 inch above the vegetables, making sure to also leave 2 inches of space at the top.

Take the reserved cabbage leaves, bunch them up, and stuff them into the top of the jar, and tightly screw on the lid.

Insert the air lock into the lid and fill with water. Put this jar into a glass container to catch any possible overflow.

Put the mason jar and glass container somewhere in your home that maintains a consistent
temperature. We like a 21 day ferment at 64 degrees.

SOURCE: Kathryn Lukas, Farmhouse Culture

California Salmon Dodge Drought Bullet for Another Year

By Russ Parsons | Los Angeles Times | March 3, 2015

Populations of 2-year-old California salmon are healthy; next year may be a different story.

Apparently the California salmon has dodged the drought bullet for another year: The annual forecast for the fishery predicts that the population this year will be slightly bigger than last.

The initial results of the 2015 National Marine Fisheries Service survey forecasts an adult ocean population of California salmon that’s about 2.7% higher than last year.

That translates to about 650,000 fish — up from about 630,000 last year but substantially less than 2013 total of more than 800,000. Still, that’s far healthier than 2008 and 2009, when the fishery was closed completely.

The most recent figures are much better than many observers had predicted, given the devastating four-year drought the state is still enduring. With reduced water flow in the Sacramento River, some observers had feared a collapse in the population of young salmon heading out to sea.

There’s a pretty good chance well see that in the future, maybe as early as next year, says Michael O’Farrell, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research fisheries biologist specializing in salmon.

But we make abundance forecasts based on 2-year-old fish, and while California was certainly dry two years ago, it certainly wasn’t like it is now.

 { Read full article }

Lemon Kefir Ice Cream

INGREDIENTS:

1 2/3 cups kefir (or buttermilk)
Zest from a large organic lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sweetener of your choice — maple syrup, rice syrup, honey, or a mix of honey and sugar
2 tablespoons limoncello

METHOD:
Whisk together all ingredients in a mixing bowl until blended. Cover, refrigerate for an hour until well chilled.

Pour ingredients in the bowl of ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When finished, pack into container and freeze for at least an hour.

Serve with thin butter cookies or handful of raspberries.

SOURCE: Adapted from chocolateandzucchini.com

Chilled Cucumber and Kefir Soup

Bowl of kefir soup with cucumber and dillOn hot summer days when you want something light and simple, chilled cucumber and kefir soup fits the ticket. Make soup a few hours before planning to serve to let the flavors develop.

INGREDIENTS:
4 cups English (hothouse) cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and chunked
1 cup plain kefir
2 green onions including tender green tops, chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
2 teaspoons cream style horseradish
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2-3 Tablespoons fruity extra-virgin olive oil
Garnish: slice of cucumber, sprigs of dill, chopped chives, parsley

METHOD:
Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a large bowl and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for about an hour.

Place mixture in blender jar and purée until smooth and silky. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. (Soup can be made up to 12 hours ahead and stored in the refrigerator until serving time. Whisk to emulsify ingredients.)

Before serving, stir in olive oil and garnish with chopped chives and dill.