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September Edition
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Hello Everyone!
October marks the inexorable march of the seasons into the colder months…Suddenly it is Autumn and at the Equinox we celebrate the shortening of the days and cold whispers of the winter to come. Mother nature is bountiful at this time of the year, generous with her gifts. The trees are heavy with fruit, the hedges are gleaming with red and purples wild berries and the fields golden and ready for harvest.
If there is a time to make the best of the season, this is it. As we move into Autumn the time is now to turn our hands into making the best of what is now abundant, but fleetingly so.
When you eat seasonally you reconnect with the cycle of the seasons, to how our ancestors inhabited our world and became part of the landscape. After the heady days of Summer, when BBQ, salads and fresh berries are king we turn to the hard work of preserving the best of the season after the harvest.
Damson harvest!
Preserves are the ultimate slow food – not only because they do take time to make but also because they should be consumed slowly too. You have to work hard to make the sun ripened flavours of our fruit and vegetables last well into the winter, when those warm rays are nothing but a memory.
If you ever made a jam, chutneys or pickles you can appreciate that those are foods that take time and commitment to make. From the constant stirring of pots when making preserves to the faith in the work of microbes when you ferment vegetables. Preserving the season makes you literally take a moment to engage in conscious making and eating your food. And more importantly it is also an exercise in patience and faith, you never completely know how your preserve will turn out until you open your jar.  
I would even go further and claim that fermented foods are the definition of slow food. It takes time to grow your vegetable, then to harvest, prepare and process then and then… you have to wait. Maybe for a couple of weeks in the case of a kimchi, to a year or more if you are making a miso. Time, in this case, is one of your main ingredients. Herein lies the main difference between preserves and ferments… with jams, chutneys or vinegar you are relying on the addition of a preserving agent: sugar, vinegar or alcohol. When you ferment you are relying on microbes and how they will transform your vegetables – and they need their sweet time to create the magic.
So, when you use fermentation as a preserving tool, you are almost travelling back in time. You are able to taste the warmth of the summer sun on most dreary of the winter nights. It is a reminder that even when all is dark and cold, there is hope of spring right in the horizon – if you only wait.
This Month I am Cooking… 
Oh boy oh boy, this last month saw me living in the kitchen… It is peak harvest time and I am officially the surplus lady of Frome!
1. Jars and jars of cucumber pickles.  
2. Getting my koji set up ready for the winter, so I can make ALL the misos.
3. A very special batch green tomato and black garlic miso kimchi for my Christmas market.
4. A apple and sauerkraut crumble – really! Check my Instagram page for the recipe.  
5. About 10 litres of slow roasted tomato passata.
6. Damson and Bay leaf vodka.
Some surplus tomatoes from this year!
Basic Sauerkraut Recipe
Running a fermentation business, means I do fermentation all year around but even for me, this time of the year, I am never far from my kitchen… Just the other day I rescued 6 boxes of tomatoes from an organic grower that needed space in their polytunnel – cue me prepping tomatoes for a week.
If you ever considered making fermented foods yourself, I would say this is the best time to try it. It is an easy enough process and very fun to make too.
This a standard sauerkraut recipe using cabbage as a base. You can add to it, using carrots, peppers, beetroot or any other odd end of vegetables you have lurking at the back of your fridge – as long as it not mouldy.
1kg of the brassica of your choice: any kind of cabbage, Brussel sprouts, Chinese Leaf or a mix of all of them, sliced. Keep one outer leave to be used as weight.
1 apple
2 tbsp of cinnamon
1 nub of ginger grated
½ cup of cranberries or other dried fruit (optional)
1 tsp of chilli powder (optional)
Salt – rock or sea salt
Prepare your ingredients and weight them. You want to use 2% of salt for the total weight of your ingredients. Massage the salt onto the vegetables for about 5 minutes, you will notice the vegetables will go down a lot, and lot of water will come out: this is going the make up your brine.
Pack all your vegetables tightly on a clip-top jar, pushing out any air pockets. A lot of liquid will rise to the surface, this is how you keep an anaerobic environment to encourage the growth of your good bacteria (Lacto Acid Bacteria – LAB). As you pack it all in, use your outer leave (or another weight, like sterilised rocks or a ziplock bag with baking beans) to keep your vegetables submerged. Look to the last image above as this is what is it to look like!
Keep you jar in your kitchen counter from 20 days to a month. If you keep it in a cold room, like a garage or a shed you can leave it for a month or even 2 during winter. The temperature affects the fermentation process, the hotter the quicker.
If you would like to learn more why don’t you join on our workshops? Dates for October are almost sold out but there are still spaces for November and December dates.
We are also keeping our 20% discount up for our Get Pickled Somerset Family. Just use the code GP20fam for any courses at check out.
Also keep an eye for new courses like miso and vinegar coming up in January.
We also have funky gift vouchers that will make great Christmas presents. DM or email me for more information! 
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Growing & Sharing
Being back home, meant head down with a lot of kitchen work and planning ahead for the new year. But there is still a bit of time for some fun to be had!
1. I learned about Tawainese douchi (fermented black bean) with Pao Lin.
2. Went for countryside walks with the boy.
3. I harvested all the veggies waiting for me in the garden.
4. I had amazing veggie sushi at Hakko House, at Marston Park.
5. Got right back into foraging.
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