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Category: In the kitchen

Master Shopping List

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Ever write your shopping list… do the shop… then return home only to realize there were items you forgot to buy because you forgot to put them on your list…because your forgot that you needed them?

That is pretty much how every one of my shopping trips went until I tripped over a Life changing Pin in the meal planning category.  It took me some digging to find it again but credit ought to go where it belongs.  Check out the Resourceful Gals Monthly Meal Planning post to see the whole amazing system.  I hope to implement more of it someday, but for now I have fully adopted the Master Shopping List concept from them.

I have adapted the idea slightly.  The Master Shopping List is essentially a full list of every consumable that enters my home, including things like toothpaste, toilet paper and diapers, but mostly food.  I found it easier to start my own Excel spreadsheet and make adjustments as I went along.  For example, I would do a shop but if I realise there were items missing from my master list, I just jot them down on the list and when I get home I take a moment to edit the spreadsheet and add them.

It works like this: print the list, then take inventory of all the items on it.  Highlight what needs to be purchased with a highlighter and, if needed, indicate how many need to be purchased.  When unpacking groceries at home, take a moment to circle items you were unable to get and keep the list in your purse for weekly errands, perhaps you can get those items while out and about. Eventually, I changed the print color for all the items I typically buy at Costco to blue.  That way, if that is the store I am headed to, I only have to check my current inventory of the items in blue on my list.

Interested in seeing my list?

Here is the shopping list and ere it is as a PDF

I hope you found this helpful.  You can leave a comment or send me an email using the Contact Us form .  I’m new to this blog thing so please let me know how I am doing and what I need to work on.

Happy Shopping!

Experimenting with fermented veggies

 

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A few years back, my polish friend handed me a shot glass with cloudy liquid in it and told me to drink it.  I trusted her implicitly, so I drank.  A familiar yet exotic tang that I simply could not put my finger on filled my senses.  I really liked it and I wanted more. She tried to explain to me that it was the bi-product of some fermentation proccess common in polish kitchens and that it is super good for you.  Then I moved and no longer got to hang out in her kitchen and forgot all about it

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Fast forward to 2015, I stumble upon posts about fermented veggies.  I listened to a podcast that really made me think and that started my thirst for that tangy taste again.

As a result of reading articles and blogs and searching Pinterest and Youtube, I decided to dive in and try this crazy veggie-fermenting thing that is supposed to be good for my gut.

Here is how I did it.

Cabbage:

  • Shred cabbage and place in bowl
  • sprinkle generously with salt and mix well
  • using clean hands, squeeze cabbage to ecourage juices out
  • Pack tightly into large, wide mouth mason or other container (there is some variation among the sources I looked at as to what to use, I like the Mason jars)
  • cabbage should make its own brine as you pack it, but you can top up if needed with 1 tbsp kosher salt disolved in 1 cup water.
  • make sure the veggies stay below the water-line.  I use Pickle Pebbles glass weights to hold foods down, they will start to float once bubbling begins.
  • cover using lid, or air lock (I like the peace of mind that the air lock gives me, but most people just burp the lid every day to let gasses escape.  It is worth reading about the different methods and their pros and cons but I am not going to attempt to explain here.)
  • leave on counter or place in cool dark place, I leave mine on the counter, I like to watch the bubbles.
  • observe.  It will begin to bubble over the next day or two, a sign that it is doing as it should, the beneficial bacteria are multiplying! Yay!
  • Once bubbling slows down, do a taste test.  If you want more tang, leave it out a few more days then test again.
  • Move it to the fridge when you have reached desired taste.

 

Carrots:

  • slice carrots lengthwise into sticks or cross-wise into coins
  • pack tightly into mason jar or other containter
  • add a brine of aprox 1 tbs kosher salt to 1 cup of water, make more brine as needed to fill jar, leaving 1/2″ headspace. Veggies must stay below water level.
  • cover with lid or air-lock.
  • Leave on counter or place in cool dark place.
  • watch.  I left my first batch for 3 weeks but the next batch only for 10 days as we don’t have A/C and the mercury was rising.  Temperature affects the speed at which the bacteria multiplies. Most sites suggest that cool and slow results in a better ferment. I am still too impatient, but will try that approach as temperatures cool off.

So far, I am most in love with the carrots.  I tried a second batch adding dill, whole garlic cloves and green onions.  They are my fave and I love to drink the brine.  The green onions kinda soft so I probably won’t eat them, but the garlic is sweet and yummy.  I liked my cabbage too but will add more flavours next time.  I tried asparagus and failed.  I think it was too hot and I left it too long.  Trial and error. I have baby cucumbers in the frige that I fermented about a week. Not sure how I feel about them yet… I think I pulled them too soon fearing that they had gone soft but they had not, they were still crunchy.

I am affraid of mold. I also have a fear of eating strange foods so it takes great amounts of courage for me to taste the first bite!!!! So far, no major gross-outs, i even ate a couple asparagus but after they sat in the fridge they were not so crunchy and kinda slimy.  I am thrilled to be learning an ancient method of preserving and proccessing veggies though, because this momma, needs to start getting healthy again.

Have you tried making fermented veggis? Please share in the comments.