Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Making Noms

We're kicking off this week with the prep of a few goodies never tried before- this year, we're bringing ferments to our feast(s)!

The first ruby-red gem we're making is what I'm calling a digestive tonic, though it'll probably turn into "bubbly juice," as Audrey calls it... and that name will probably get more people to try it! Inspired by a few recipes I read for fermented cranberry sauce (which had stuff like pecans and raisins in them, both of which will have family noses turned up), this cranberry drink will pack a nutritional punch and some fizzy bubbles that will be perfect alongside my turkey and dressing!

Cranberry-Orange "Bubbly Juice"
Makes about 1500 mL

1.5 quarts warm-ish un-chlorinated water
1 1/2 cups raw honey
1 lb organic cranberries (fresh or frozen)
zest from 1 orange (organic, since you're consuming the peel!)
1/2 inch grated fresh ginger
1/2 inch grated fresh turmeric
pinch of yeast

In a food processor, blend cranberries (thaw first if using frozen) until coarsely chopped. Pour into container with at least a half-gallon capacity, add zest, ginger, and turmeric, then dissolve honey into warm-ish water and pour over cranberry mixture. Stir in pinch of yeast, cover with a cloth and secure with a rubber band to prevent fruit fly contamination, and let sit on counter top at room temperature for 3-4 days.

Stir 2-3 times daily, and by the second day start smelling and tasting for preferred level of fermentation. Fizzy bubbles should appear by the end of the day and grow more vigorous (you'll hear them when you're stirring). If you let it sit to the point when the fruit sinks and the bubbles stop, congrats, you've made an alcoholic bev! It's still good, but now the kiddos can't have any!

Once the cranberry drink is fizzy and smells a little, well, fermented, strain out the solids and refrigerate that stuff (adjust sweetness to your taste if needed)! Drink within 5-7 days or alcohol content will rise up beyond what you'd want to serve to the whole family. 

Beware: pressure will build in a sealed container, even in the fridge, so store in a carafe or plastic container with screw-top lid so you can gauge pressure with a little squeeze to the sides and release it every once-in-a-while if necessary!

The second little treat we're working on over here is courtesy of our girls, and is also something I haven't tried before: fermented eggs. 

I know! Don't gross out- they're going to be like pickled eggs, only better, and better for you!

I read about them over at Oh Lardy and gave it a go, and they'll be ready for testing by the end of the day today! Love it- uses up eggs? Check! Increases nutrition and health benefits? Check! Quick turnover and near-instant gratification? Check, check!

Depending on their texture, I plan on turning them in to deviled eggs with tasty things on top like bacon and chives. See? I knew in the end they wouldn't sound gross.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand just in case we were getting a little too healthy or 'out there,' we've also made these:

We love making noms! 

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