I found a 4L Costco pickle jar I was saving (with no purpose in mind) and thought I would try using it to make a batch of sauerkraut. I found working with this large jar to be much easier then working with multiple 1L wide-mouth mason jars; I could get my hand into it to press down the kraut instead of relying on "tappers".
The other new idea I tried was half-filling a zip-lock bag with water a as weight. Wasn't quite as heavy as it needed to be, but it definitely helped to keep the kraut submerged in the brine at all times.
Definitely a successful experiment!
I found that being a bigger man in Winnipeg left me with only a few options when looking for a suit off-the-rack. I really didn't like their tendency to arrange two piece suits with the jacket 2 sizes larger then the pants, and buying one piece at a time really made the price jump.
Ultimately, I started researching local tailors in Winnipeg last December, and had shortlisted down to Giovanni Custom Tailor Shop within a couple weeks. Some of the tailors I had called were quite expensive, and I found Giovanni to be quite reasonable; barely 1/3 more than the limited off-the-rack choices. I also found the interview in his Winnipeg Free Press Article to be very good.
Today, I visited Giovanni's shop, and really had a great vibe from him as a person and really valued his opinions as a tailor; quite professional and personable. The hard part was picking out the material to use; simply too many awesome choices. Below I have the initial two I was contemplating on the left, then the ultimate pick on the right; which my eye caught while the love of my life continued flipping through the samples as I was deciding.
Once Giovanni knows the fabric is in stock and has it ordered, we'll be able to start the process with taking my measurements. Exciting!
When the recipe I was following mentioned that essential oils was optional, I mostly ignored that figuring "why wouldn't I want to add a scent?" While the recipe mentioned Tea Tree oil as a good option for men, the first extract I grabbed from the cupboard was peppermint, and went with it.
Lesson #1: Peppermint is not a good choice for a deodorant. I never clued into past experiences where peppermint caused a nice heating effect when used as an aches-rub, and never expected that I might be inviting a heat rash which took only 2 days to bloom.
Lesson #2: Sometimes essential oils just need to be eliminated. Trying Tea Tree oil as the recipe had originally suggested next definitely helped reduce the heat rash, but irritation persisted. At this point I wasn't sure if the recipe proportions would need to be played with, or an ingredient eliminated. Thankfully, i found my answer in Divine Ms D's blog where she shared the fact that she had to eliminate essential oils for the same issue I was facing.
While I am finally finding the irritation to be finally subsiding, I may try the recipe she follows (if I'm not happy with the ultimate results) as the proportions are different from mine.
Thank you Divine Ms D for sharing on your Paleo Sistah blog!
I've been using YNAB for a few months, and absolutely love it. Where other financial software is focused on what you've spent, YNAB is all about taking control of your money and planning what you are going to spend, now and into the future.
The other amazing thing about YNAB is that they license the software to the household; so, everyone in the house (parents, children, etc...) can each have a copy of the software running on their own computer. They also have free online courses, a great selection of howto's, and a forum full of helpful information and people.
So $15 USD for financial/budgeting software for the entire family on Steam is really amazing!
The wait is finally over, and here are the first scoops of 2 week old ferments.
In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have used a black plate, but I don't exactly plan my photo's.
Having tasted them all, I can safely say two things.
All-in-all, a very successful batch; filled with learning.
This is my second batch of ferments, and it is getting harder to wait until this weekend (like I wanted) when they'll be 2 weeks old. In no particular order I have jars of green cabbage, red cabbage, rutabaga, & beets; as well as some mixed jars of green cabbage, red cabbage, & rutabaga.
As you can see, I am using wide-mouth mason jars, inverted regular mason plastic caps as a barrier, and glasses filled with brown rice (finally found a use for what will no longer be eaten) as weights. Not fancy, but definitely works well.
In truth, it does take a bit of a change in your habits when cooking on Cast Iron; scrub immediately with water, no soap, and keep the curing process going by applying more oil.
Having made the switch however, I can say that I will never go back to non-stick or metal cookware; i enjoy cooking with lower heat settings while these puppies keep all the heat locked in and evenly spread out.
You can follow the link I provided in my Return of Cooking on Cast Iron post to learn the main reasons behind the switch.
Since receiving my online book order from Chapters, I have made two batches of fermented foods by following the Wild Fermentation book. The first was a small batch of sauerkraut using good old green cabbage. It went so well after only a week that we had to get more produce (green cabbage, red cabbage, rutabaga, & beets) for a second batch. The second batch jars are still fermenting (one week in), but I might let it go for 2 weeks before tasting to see if an extra week makes a good / noticeable difference. I also made sure to pickup some wide-mouth mason jars, which make caring for the veggies much easier than the regular jars.
The Practical Paleo book is a fantastic intro book, I highly recommend it as an initial book to read for its easy to understand approach, light details, and excellent meal plans and recipes. The Paleo Solution is a natural second book to read; good for those that like to know the deeper details, as well as additional topics like exercise and sleep.
I picked up Well Fed 2 as a recipe filler, and was glad I did as it has a great selection of "condiments" and other spicy dishes.