Two weeks ago , I spoke at our library on the publication of my latest book on local history. At one point during the question and answer period, Terri asked me if I had any new projects in the works.
Her question took me off guard, but since I sensed she really wanted to know I told her this:
“Well, actually I do. There are two. One requires a good chunk of money so until that piece of the puzzle comes together ….
My first project in the wings is this….I would like to retrace (on foot) the Scottish pioneer settlers that came to our area late 1830…they started in the Red River Area of Manitoba Canada..worked their way down through Minnesota and into eastern Iowa. All told, a 1300 mile trek on foot. Realistically, I would need two and 1/2 to three months to pull that off. and because I would not be working, enough money to off set the lost income…so until that piece of the puzzle comes together…..
I have discovered another area of life, that combines several things. I have been intrigued for years about various processes (making cheese, fermenting wine, starting sour dough starter from scratch with wild yeast… etc) I realized a few weeks ago, they all fall under a general category of fermentation….so my latest quest is to become a “Fermentation Master” (whether it’s sour dough, wine, sauerkraut, or cheese, curing meat, food preservation, etc. I want to understand the theory behind these life skills…”
(Fermentation master is a term I DM have coined for myself…like acquiring a masters degree in college). 🙂
If you were to stop by our home currently, you would discover I have 2 things currently fermenting. A two quart jar of peach mead, (from local raw honey and some peaches off one of our trees) and 2 jars of red sauerkraut. I’ve been nibbling out of one jar of sauerkraut the past few weeks just to have a handle on the taste…I’ve noticed my incessant food cravings have tapered back between 50% to 75%…(which I have battled for years. I’ve also dropped 8 pounds). In some of the literature I’ve read about lactic acid fermentation (which is what is going on when making sauerkraut)..it mentioned the link between food cravings, obesity, healthy gut bacteria, the brain/ probiotic links etc.
So last night, I messaged a friend who also happens to be a family doctor that specializes in nutritional and lifestyle choices (who is much more up to speed on the medical angle of these things) and asked her if there could be a connection…here is what she said:
“It makes perfect sense, Doug! What happens is that by eating the sauerkraut you have been changing the microbiome of your GI tract. You may have had an imbalance of yeast, which ALWAYS causes you to crave carbs and sugar.”
Anyway, here is a link to a great blog with information about fermentation and some recipe’s you can try yourself at home that I stumbled across recently:
And here is a link to a user friendly, in depth book on fermentation by Fermentation Master Sandor Katz. I got my hard cover copy two weeks ago. It is so readable and full of practical wisdom.
It should be on every person’s book shelf.
And finally, here’s a link to Sandor Katz on Youtube talking about how to make your own sauerkraut and the health benefits. Check it out!
So that’s some of what’s been on my mind the past month. DM