The Sweet, Sweet Taste Of Beer

The other night, over a glass of porter, Erica asked me how to make a sweet beer. It was a reasonable question – the porter in question is big, boozy, and sweet in the same way that a bar of Sharffenberger 62% is big, chocolatey, and sweet. “Put a lot of sugar in it,” I [Continue Reading...]

Professor Plum, In The Kitchen, With The Food Dehydrator

My mom, in her domestic wisdom, offers me this piece of advice about keeping a home: ”Get your machines working for you!”  She means, get in the habit of throwing in a load of laundry and starting up the dishwasher first thing in the morning and throughout the day, let your machines work for you, and before [Continue Reading...]

Walnut Lemon Pesto

This Walnut Lemon Pesto has become my go-to pesto recipe in late summer when the basil is huge and really needs to get cut back before it flowers.  While I adore a classic pesto, this version has a few advantages over the traditional pine-nut & parm variety. First, it’s way cheaper to make. No $25-a-pound [Continue Reading...]

Lacto-Fermented Salsa

Regular readers may have gleaned (gleaned – ha! harvesting pun!) that Homebrew Husband and I enjoy fermenting stuff. Right at this exact moment, the following is being (deliberately) fermented in our home: 5 gallons blackberry wine 10 gallons of beer (a carboy of pale ale and another of porter) 2 loaves bread dough homemade yogurt 3 [Continue Reading...]

Lazy Preservation At Its Best: Freezing Peaches

Last week I ordered 100 pounds of peaches from this new fruit CSA from Eastern Washington that serves the greater Seattle area (by the way, for local people, I’ve had great service and fruit from them for an excellent price and will be ordering again soon). After jamming and canning and drying until my floors were [Continue Reading...]

Easy No-Stick Canning Jar Labels

Last week, just in time for a massive can-o-thon over the weekend, I followed a Facebook recommendation to some fantastic, customizable canning jar labels on Etsy. I’d link to them, but my aging memory and the fast pace of digital life don’t always play nice, so I’ve completely forgotten where I saw them.  The neat thing [Continue Reading...]

Householder Haikus – My Weekend In Poetry

Juice of two lemons To ensure a proper set I feel every cut. “Can’t finish the peach. The juice runs sticky, too far down my elbow, mom.” My apricots float They will do it every time Maybe more syrup? (big thanks to Harriet Fasenfest for this one) Met the orchard man Blushing fruit, picked by [Continue Reading...]

Get Off The Rack: A DIY Alternative To The Canning Rack

Most beginner food preservers (and I count myself as an advanced beginner) start with the standard issue water bath canner. It’s usually blue or green with funny speckles on it and can be found pretty cheaply new or really cheaply used. My ginormous canning kettle came from the thrift store and cost, as I recall, [Continue Reading...]

Culture Your Cukes: Lacto-Fermented Pickles

My pickling cukes are starting to come on, which means it’s time to get cozy with your friend and mine – the beneficial microbe! I am a tremendous fan of pickling through lacto-fermentation. Think of it as yogurt making with vegetables. Beneficial bacteria chomps down on the natural sugars and starches in the vegetable and converts it [Continue Reading...]

Is DIY Kitchencraft Really Worth It?

Sometimes when you are up to your eyeballs in berry juice and the whir of the food dehydrator has been going on so long you are hearing noises that aren’t really there, you gotta wonder – is it worth it? Is it really worth it to, say, make your own jam when you could just [Continue Reading...]

A Time And Motion Study Of Strawberries

The ol’ homestead is not yet up to growing all the strawberries my family will eat in a year. We used to have an enormous berry patch and could barely keep up on the harvest, but these days we have one main berry bed that’s situated in far too shady a spot for berries. There [Continue Reading...]

Homebrew Husband Plants Something!

A few weeks ago, our garden witnessed an unusual event: I planted something. Usually I confine myself to hard labor, philosophical musing, or self mockery and only get down and dirty with the plant life when following specific orders (“no, more to the right…now turn it a little…”). But fresh back from the Seattle Tilth [Continue Reading...]