Tag Archives: food

Fermenting Foods

For me, sustainable living and self-sufficiency are very closely linked. Self sufficiency usually means growing at least a portion of your own food, which sometimes means preserving your harvest! From another perspective, buying real sauerkraut can be real expensive (and sometimes the sauerkraut from the store isn’t even actually fermented, it’s just cooked in vinegar). $8 for a pint of kraut is too much to spend on my habit. And since you know I wholeheartedly believe in DIY for a million reasons, I wanted to point out a cool DIY tool I found a while ago that I want to try out. It’s a sauerkraut/pickle making jar system. It’s called the “Picklemeister”.

The Picklemeister fermentation jar

The Picklemeister comes in 1/2 gallon and 1 gallon sizes. It’s basically a big glass jar with a seal and an airlock. You cut up your cabbage (for sauerkraut), add salt, a plastic bag of brine, and let the jar sit for 3 days. Then you have a gallon of sauerkraut!

Here’s a video that I love about making sauerkraut (with a really tasty recipe at the end!) with Mark Frauenfelder. Check it out here. He swears by the Picklemeister.

I found the Picklemeister for sale at a few different websites. It’s about $20 + $10 shipping. I feel like it’s definitely worth it and will pay for itself after just one 1-gallon batch.

Simply Natural

Wisemen Trading (and on their Etsy, which seems to have run out of Picklemeister’s today…check back)

Glass jar, with screw-on plastic lid

However, if you’re super thrifty like me, and like the fun and satisfaction of making things yourself, you might just make your own Picklemeister type tool. I’m on the look out for a big glass jar with a screw-on plastic lid. It’ll probably be one of those old fashioned glass juice/sun tea jars with the funny fruit/flower screen prints on the outside. I have seen them at the second hand store for about $2 (of course not since I’ve been seeking them out – but I’ll find one!). Then I’ll just need to buy the airlock ($1.50) and drill a little whole in the lid of the jar for it (and put some sort of gasket around the opening). Total estimated cost? My budget is $5.00! Not too bad!! I’ll do a post about my DIY picklemeister experiment when I find the jar!

Looking out for something like this!

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Sprouting

I had an AWESOME day today (okay, technically yesterday because it’s late) and before I go into great detail about all the great stuff I did and saw earlier (tomorrow’s posts, so stay tuned!), I want to do a short post about the little thing I ended the day with. After an incredibly fulfilling and educational day visiting with sponsors and learning about options for green building materials and photovoltaic systems, I stopped by a health food/healthy lifestyle store on my way home that I’d never been to before. I went there specifically to pick up the Sprout-Ease Econo-Sprouter Toppers. These are a set of 3 grated  lids (in 3 different sized grates, and made of recycled plastic) that fit onto your standard mason jar. These nifty jar toppers allow you to easily sprout lentils, radish seeds, mung beans, and anything else you can think of to sprout! The set of 3 means you can have a constant supply of sprouts if you stagger them, and you can use different sized lids for different types of seeds or beans.

I’ve used these extensively before and they work great and make sprouting really easy. A few years ago my band was on tour for a long period of time, and our favorite road snack was sprouted lentils (which are super healthy and full of protein to fuel our rock n’ rollin’). We would rinse them out every day and just keep them in the rear window of the tour-mobile.

I found them for sale online at MotherNature.com, but you can probably find them in your local health food store. The 3 pack was only $4! Definitely worth it.

Also: Couple-a-things:

-My organic beeswax to be used in my home made deodorant making adventure is in the mail, which means that tutorial will be coming next week! Look out for that!

-I have some really great camper eye candy coming up …

-I’m really excited to share with you all my adventure from earlier today, and introduce you to a few more of my newest sponsors! Lots of info about green building materials and where to find them comin’ up tomorrow.

AND I have some 3D SketchUp models of The COMET and some nice computer drawings of her to share, so keep an eye out for that too.

If there’s ever anything you’d like to see me write about or explain here on The COMET Camper blog, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

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