I learned a lot about nutrition over the years by studying it on my own. When I came across Sally Fallon (Morell)’s book, “Nourishing Traditions, things really fell into place. She is fantastic about telling you what the different vitamins, fats, enzymes, etc. do in the body. Then, she describes—in over 600 pages—how to cook everything. For example, she says about enzymes…
“An important branch of twentieth-century nutritional research, running parallel to and equal in significance to the discovery of vitamins and minerals, has been the discovery of enzymes and their function. Enzymes are complex proteins that act as catalysts in almost every biochemical process that takes place in the body.”
Enzymes greatly aid the process of digestion. They can be found in large amounts in fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchee (fermented varieties). Our ancestors traditionally fermented their pickles, ketchups and other vegetables. These condiments, when served with their cooked food, provided digestive enzymes to help the body assimilate them.
Every fall, I make a batch or two of my own kimchee. I take a cabbage from the garden and slice it thin with either my food processor or a mandolin. I pull a few carrots, then wash and grate them. I then mince a medium onion (very, very small) and put it all into a large stainless steel bowl (the bowl shouldn’t be a favorite as it can get dented). Garlic can also be added (crushed small) or sometimes I throw in some of my homegrown/homemade paprika. To this mix, I add 2 tablespoons salt.
Using a meat pounder, I bang on the mixture, turning the bowl and stirring the ingredients all the while. Liquid begins to issue forth and the veggies get smaller. I do this until there is a lot of liquid in the bowl. Then I pack it into a ½-gallon glass jar, pressing it down firmly with a wooden pounder. The veggies should be covered by the liquid and there should be at least ½ inch of air space at the top. In order to keep the veggies under the liquid, I often fill a pint-size Ziploc bag with a small amount of water and place it at the top. The lid goes on tight and the jar sits on the counter for 2 or 3 days before being transferred into the root cellar or fridge. It can be eaten immediately, but it will also keep for many months.
Now, I’m using this delicious kimchee in recipes. For lunch, I had a reuben….
And, just because....
Apprentice with Celeste
If you live near Alstead, NH, Celeste will be offering quite a few opportunities for individuals to spend “a day at the farm” with her this spring, summer and fall. Starting on April 21 (rain date April 22), folks will be invited to come to her home and join in her daily activities. These should include many (but, not all) of the following: soil preparation, planting, transplanting, weeding, watering, thinning, bug elimination, pruning, cooking, woods management and chicken related duties. Freezing, canning, fermenting and root cellaring will be their own special days. She will provide written instructions as well as a locally-grown (much from her own garden) lunch. As her operation is not large and she wants to give everybody individual attention, these workshops will be limited to six people. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please be prompt and arrive ready to work. She recommends covering up with lightweight long sleeved shirts, pants and hats. She will provide a superb pair of gloves. Wear clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty.
Cost: $150 per person.
Hours: 7 AM until 4 PM (EDT).
Individuals requiring Celeste’s full attention can do day-long apprenticeships for $250. These are by appointment.
To register, leave your phone # and a good time to reach you with Celeste at email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
Celeste Longacre has been growing virtually all of her family’s vegetables for the entire year for over 30 years. She cans, she freezes, she dries, she ferments & she root cellars. She also has chickens.
Celeste has also enjoyed a longtime relationship with The Old Farmer’s Almanac as their astrologer!
Celeste's new book on living lightly on the Earth is due out September 25, 2014.