Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Poor radishes . . .

Well, I flubbed it again. Ok, lesson learned. Refusing to thin your radishes because you are selfish will get you ZERO radishes! If you are me, repeat that until it starts to sink in.
My radishes were not developing properly, the leaves would have been edible if they weren't so bug-eaten, and the two radishes that looked like they were starting to bolt had roots that were both underdeveloped and woody at the same time! I had to pull them all up and throw them away. Maybe next year I will try again with radishes. But for now, I am sick of them. Plants I still have: sweet potato (the leaves are bug-eaten but it keeps making new leaves and is pretty and viny in a 5-gallon bucket hanging from a plant hanger) and chammomille (lots of green, no flowers yet, but it's not even July so there is still plenty of time for that to happen) and a secret.
Do you want to know what the secret is? Okay, I will tell you. I have a tomato seedling outside (two, actually). I have never had any success with starting seeds inside, but these tomatoes are doing better outside in the summer than any of my indoor stuff ever did! I hope the growing season is long enough for the plant to mature, but if not I will try again next year!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mint Soda Experiment

A few days ago (and I was playing with the idea in my head long before) I decided to make a lacto-fermented mint tea drink. No kefir, no kombucha, just tweaked the classic ginger ale recipe (the one on Instructables using honey instead of sugar) to omit the ginger and replace the water with mint tea. And the whey came from raw milk, curdled with lemon juice and strained. (By the way, the "cheese" from this process tastes like lemon-flavored yogurt. Good with fruit.) And I brewed in in a mason jar. Now I'll be honest with you - It isn't fizzy. But it is nice and tart. Oh, another thing. You can kinda taste the salt. But the ginger ale has that too, and I LOVE it. If you can't get raw milk, strain commercial yogurt with live cultures. The way you strain it is: put a coffee filter inside a strainer and put it in a bowl. Pour the yogurt or curdled milk through the coffee filter and leave it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. You get "cheese"in the filter and whey in the bowl.
Now I am wondering how this would taste with chammomille tea. Or if I could make it fizzy by using something a little more "live" than just raw milk. Well, I have a yogurt experiment sitting in the sun outside. And in a few months my ginger should be ready to harvest, so I can make ginger ale. Good stuff. Love ta hear about your cooking experiments!