wild fermentation

Getting on a Food Kick

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I’ve decided I’d like to work towards the point where I’m preparing the vast majority of the foods I eat from scratch. I think this would be enjoyable as well as help me become even healthier.

So this past weekend I got on a kick and did quite a bit. Part of it was definitely in that I started reading a new book, Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz.

wild fermentation


I prepared over a gallon and a half of sauerkraut. As I usually do I added a few carrots and also jalapeno peppers to spice things up. This was the biggest batch I ever made.

I’m also conducting a little bit of an experiment. On some of the jars I’m letting it go as a wild ferment (that is there is natural bacteria on the cabbage which will ferment them). In other jars I added probiotics. This way I can see the difference in tastes, textures and time it takes to do them (as well as if I can feel any different effects from them).

Sauerkraut Jars

This batch will keep me supplied for a couple months…unless I end up giving some away.

Bone Broth

I made almost two gallons of bone broth. I did a few new things during this preparation as opposed to before.

The first of which was to bring the water to a boil and then discard it. After this first boil you refill with water and use that. This removes the blood which can throw off the taste of the broth.

I also added lemon juice and a little apple cider vinegar which is suppose to help pull the nutrients from the bones.

I kept it on low heat for 48 hours, continually adding water as needed. This was much longer than I had ever done before. Truthfully I think it was done at about 36 hours so I could have stopped there.

I’ll be using these as the base of soups in the coming days.

Bone Broth

Buying a case of mason jars was a smart move, as this took up over half.


I love good beer. But in going gluten free I gave that up. I don’t drink all the time but do enjoy alcoholic beverages from time to time. In beer’s place I have been consuming mead and ciders. With the Wild Fermentation book I’ve decided it was time I started my own.

Here is my first batch of mead. I probably would have done it earlier if I knew it was this simple. Just honey and water, collecting wild yeasts from the air.

I’ll let you know how it goes in 3 to 4 weeks.

Wild Fermented Mead

Apparently, just like wine, a mead gets better with age. Pretty sure I’m going to be impatient with this one.

Beef Jerky

I haven’t made jerky since I was a kid. But I’d been eating some my girlfriend bought at the store so I decided to give it a try. I cut up a small steak I had (I’ve heard eye of round is the best option for jerky), threw some seasonings on it, then put it in my dehydrator at 150 degrees.

It tastes good but is a little dry. Too long in the dehydrator. Went on a long hike and it was a bit over done when I got back. Still good though and the next batch should be even better.

Homemade Beef Jerky

Seasoned and ready to be dehydrated.

Homemade Beef Jerky 2

The end product. A little bit too dry but still good.

Wild Mushroom Tea

On that hike we were looking for wild mushrooms. The previous day we had gone to the Santa Cruz Fungus Fair so I was armed with some new knowledge about what I might find out there.

Mushroom Hunting Collection

A pretty good collection from the mushroom hunt.

The last time I had hunted mushrooms I came back with a bunch of turkey tail which I made into a tincture. Just recently I started taking that and really liked it.

The turkey tail was in limited supply but we found much else. I was able to identify the red belted conk, artist’s conk, oyster mushrooms and deer mushrooms.

(Everyone is always worried about poisoning. And it’s a legitimate concern but there is one thing that can help in a big way. All tree mushrooms are safe, except for one, the Jack O Lantern, which glows in the dark so its pretty easy to spot. Now most of these aren’t edible, but you can turn them into teas and tinctures.)

I made some wild mushroom tea with the red belted conk, artist’s conk and turkey tail I found. Just started up a tincture with more of the conks.

And I’m searching around to try to identify the big ones in the upper right hand corner of the picture. Still not sure.

I’ve had this tea by itself (quite bitter), blended into a cacao shake which was amazing, and mixed with my bulletproof coffee in the mornings. All good!

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