…or simply, a mushroom bed 🙂 The king oyster mycelium was growing vivdly and it was time to give it some more room and freedom, so we moved it outside. The mushroom patch is located at a shadowy, hidden place in the garden, consisting of nutrient-rich, forest-like ground and lots of mulch and biomass.
The raised beds in the garden dearly needed some protective layer for the still cold nights here in northern germany, thus, we bought some bed liners. They’re sold by the meter, so we had to attach some eyelets for fastening them to ground with tent pegs ourselves. Here’s how:
So how do you insert a grommet into fabric, or in my case, plastic sheets? Well, common eyelet sets come with a number of eyelet parts and some special tools, they’re cheap and convenient and available in every hardware store. Left is an overview of what’s in the kit.
Lately, my neighbours cut a large branch off the oak that grows right on our shared property border and I got two pieces of the wood to grow mushrooms on them. I used Shiitake-inoculated wooden dowels for this and now I’ll have to wait for about half a year or the logs to become fully colonized.
I officially declare the mushroom season open! And to honor this appropriately, I’ve started new king oyster mushroom cultures that I hope will thrive and grow. This time, I used store-bought grain spawn (this shop is cool, give these guys a try!) – the last propagating attempt with the used up mycelium didn’t work out sooo well.
The whole action doesn’t take much time and effort (and it’s perfectly doable, sitting, with a broken knee…). But it is absolutely vital that you work as cleanly as possible, so to give your spawn an edge over any possible competing contaminats. I’ve got two versions:
I read about this in my doctor’s waiting room in – I shit you not – a women’s magazine. Mediterranean/French style easy homemade butter! They adressed several different seasonings and further uses in the article, but the basic procedure is always the same. All you need is a food processor and half a liter of heavy cream (get the real enchilada: 30% fat). After having my TBE shot, I knew what I had to do…
Sauerkraut is so german it even gave us our name 🙂 , it’s very widespread in the nation, very regionally diverse and versatile. It is part of the traditional german cuisine, mostly eaten as a side dish but also as a full meal when made with the appropriate ingredients. It’ very healthy – for example for it’s contents of vitamin C which even increases when cooked.
There’s what feels like a gazillion ways of preparing sauerkraut in germany alone (and I bet there are even more recipes all over the world). To condense these down to some kind of a standard formula that everything else can be built upon, here’s my way. BTW: We’re talking fresh and unprocessed Sauerkraut here, not the pre-cooked, canned version from the supermarket.
Update october 2020: New sauerkraut, substantially more information added 🙂
Since I happen to be a “Kraut” by birth, I decided to home-make my own Sauerkraut. Fermentation using wild lactobacillus is an ages-old and easy way of preserving almost every reasonably hard/crunchy vegetable you like. It’s easy and for our grandparent’s generation it was a perfectly common thing to do.
So what is this “fermentation thing” all about? Fermentation is latin and means the decomposing of carbohydrates in foods by various bacteria or yeasts with no oxygen around. Besides improving digestability, this produces a wide variety of distinct aromatics and other substances, the most important one being acid (lactic acid in this case). Harmful bacteria cannot thrive in an oxygen-free, acidic environment, thus, our food becomes preserved.
I was asked by a member of the extended family circle about a recipe requiring a roux.
So let’s make a “Roux“… Ahh… yeah, right. Sure. Of course. This is french. It’s pronounced ( /ˈruː/ ) and this sounds sooo much better than the german Mehlschwitze, which – honestly – sounds more like a sore throat 🙂 .
A roux is used as a basis for things like heavy sauces, soups or stews. It thickens them up and makes them creamy and rich. Since it’s a base-ingredient, it is very versatile and can be used for a wide variety of cooking tasks from the standard french cuisine mother sauce Béchamel up to New Orleans Gumbo. Google “roux usage” and you’ll see what I mean.
Some people find making a roux a little intimidating because, yes, you can absolutely screw it up, but if you follow these simple steps here, I promise you’ll nail it every time. It’s no magic.
I had a friend of mine over these days with two well-used and now dull knives – this inspired me to write this article. At a certain point of knife usage, just honing a blade’s edge won’t do the job anymore and you will have to re-sharpen your knife and give it a nice clean edge again.
This is how I do this with all my knives, kitchen or outdoor, in this case using a Lansky knife-sharpening-system (which I know is discussed controversially on the internet). With a little training and devotion you can achieve excellent results with it – and in a much easier way than with a traditional whetstone. This is my way to do it and it works absolutely satisfying for me.
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