Hey Bird Brine

It is the day before the day I cook the most meat I have ever cooked in one day.

A ten pound meleagris gallopavo, aka the domesticated turkey. I valued customer and friend from the farmers market gave me her time tested recipe.

turkey_recipeShe is a vegitarian.She has not tasted this recipe for a decade but it stil melts family hearts. I trust her.

But first the brine phase begins, ensuring a bird as moist and rich as Bill Gates in a bath house.

For my Brine:

  • Lemon
  • Coarse salt rub
  • Peppercorn
  • Green onion
  • Pickle Juice, So much pickle juice.

This bird was to buxom to brine in one bout.

turkey_brinetopHere is the top last night.

turkey_brinebottomFlipped it this morning.

Pickle juice, liquid gold, umami bomb, flavor fury, and holyer than wine.


I do solemnly vow to respect the bird.


“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
– Julia Child

Happy T Day Ya’ll


How to Beet Botulism

The wind is hollowing maddly outside my Oakland home, and the night is ripe for tales of fermented horror.

Interesting thing about the human mouth. It is a bacteria county fair, scratch that, state fair.

How do I know this? A little experiment with my Beet Kvass

ferment_kvassHere it is 3 weeks after bottling, purple and pristine, not a single speck of botulism. I took a sip and put it back on the counter.

kvass_3One day late the light film of mold on the surface that that hunk is pointing to.

kvass_23 days later, that mold is a little more than light now. Lets take a sip out of the big jar and check on it in a week


E gad! look a the difference, the deep and perfect purple uncorrupted by my lips versus the pink bubble mess soiled by my reckless taste testing. Reminds me of my favorite Dr. Suess book.


Solutions?Once a ferment is kissed by lips, make sure to bed it in the refrigerator where mold is so slow to grow.

And was my Kvass ruined? Nah I just scraped the bubbly pink off.

High Fat Recommendation? It had to be the Swedish

Sweden, how I do love your fatty ways.


The domino has been tipped, or so one fat loving skinny guy hopes. Sweden is the first Western nation to develop national dietary guidelines that reject dietary fats  in favor of carbohydrates.

Pause for applause.

Dr. Eenfeld, reviewed the new guidelines.  “Fat is the best thing for those who want to lose weight…. the most effective weapon against obesity.”


Which nation will do right by there countrymen next? Not one with a food economy built on corn, wheat, and soy

In the meantime though this 81% raw cacao chocolate confectioner is pleased.


Out with the Swedish Fish


And in with the dark chocolate

Hot Sauce Foraged by Veterans

Hot Sauce. Foraged

Pretty excited about this saucy order.

Had these at Urban Plates a while back. Maca hot sauce. Yes please.

DangHotSauce_bottlesSpirulina, even better.

Wait… it also supports veterans.

“Forager Mike is a Force Recon Marine Combat Veteran with aspirations of serving humanity through both food and social justice for future sustainability.  Mike is a graduate of the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training (VSAT) program, which has been an instrumental asset in the success for transitioning Veterans from the military to civilian life and the business world.”

“Mike is a Raw food chef, a wild food forager, primitive wilderness survivalist, dedicated father, technological futurist, humanitarian, nutritionist, and an environmental social scientist.  In formulating Dang!!! it’s good Sauce, his goal was to create a Sauce that was extremely beneficial to a person’s health sustainability, and presenting exuberant taste and quality as well, while maintaining the highest beneficial integrity of the food.”

Thanks for setting my micro-nutrients on fire Mike.

Whole Bok Choy Pickle

Fement_bokchoyWhat is in my Pickle Jar this fine Friday. Why it is full of whole bok choy, ginger, garlic, and dill.


  • 4 head tiny bok choy
  • 1/4 bunch fresh dill
  • some twice pickle garlic cloves and ginger chunks left over from my last pickle batch


  • Just a teaspoon peppercorn


  • One gallon water
  • 4 TB coarse sea salt

It is colder now so i expect a little longer wait for the taste supremo. I am gonna say 18 days.

happy_pickleHappy Pickling

My Probiotic Love Life

durian_fermentLast week I posted up some model shots of my kitchen’s current lacto-ferments.

There was a bit of frustration on the part of some readers. I provided no recipes and am at a loss, because I have no recipes to give.

Fermentation is much different than cooking. It is temping to describe it as more akin to chemistry or science, and cooking is those things to.

I don’t think science is right either though; it is more romantic than that.

There it is. For me fermentation is romance.

Bubbly Kvass

Bubbly Kvass

I enter into a long term relationship with a ferment. High passion beginnings of chopping and spicing grow into a calmer and sedate snuggle.


My ferments and I check in daily, see how each other are doing, becoming closer and more intimate. How have we changed, could we be warmer? Cooler? Shall we take a seat in the sun?

Eventually, we become one… I eat it that is.


Recipes have stopped applying to my fermentation habit. I follow general guidelines and exploit opportunities.

Deals on rutabagas at the Farmer’s Market, a particularly beautiful radish, or a friend’s overwhelming onion harvest. These opportunities combine with my whims. Am I feeling spicy? Seeking some digestive solace in ginger or the cleansing properties of lemon? Maybe a pickle fan’s birthday coming up, or perhaps it is bratwurst season?


That last one is silly, it’s always bratwurst season.

I do have some helpful guide lines, one is the rule of 3 and 5.

5 pounds veggies corresponds to three tablespoons sea salt, These are tossed together in a bowl and left to sweat for a few hours, then packed into what ever vessel seems most appropriate.


Here is a new ferment I started this week with ratios ripe for rough replication:


Green Onion Carraway Kraut:


  • 3 head green cabbage
  • 3 bunches green onion
  • chopped fresh dill.


  • Lots of carraway, maybe about 4 tablespoons

Total Weight 3.2 pounds or 1.5 Kilograms

O bother, let the math begin.

3 TB salt/5 lb = 0.6 TB salt per pound, so 0.6 TB x 3.2 lb veggies in this new kraut = 1.92 TB salt… o lets just call it 2 TB shall we.

This method has served me well. I hope it might serve you, as you enter in the veggie dating scene.


It is O.K. to have multiple partners. Should a relationship turn sour do not stress there are plenty of fish in this briny sea.