Friday, December 07, 2007

Wild Fermentation and More

This has been my week of learning and meeting allies in the movement to help people eat better food. I met Miyoko Nishimoto Schinner, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and Sandor Ellix Katz, fellow authors.

Miyoko and Colleen are fellow McDougall program teachers. Miyoko taught Japanese one day and holiday dishes the other. Miyoko's books are The New Now and Zen Epicure and Japanese Cooking--Contemporary and Traditional. Colleen just released her first book The Joy of Vegan Baking and has a great website: Compassionate Cooks on which she features her weekly free podcast on vegan issues.

It was great fun to watch both Miyoko and Colleen, as it gave me a new appreciation for what it takes to present to a group. Sharing food tips and samples invites people in but you also need to capture their attention.

The day following those 2 meetings, I was a participant in a fermentation class with Sandor Ellix Katz, the author of Wild Fermentations and The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved. Sandor is a fascinating fellow, I don't think eccentric truly captures his spirit, and an article about him and the class will appear in the future on Jason Wyrick's website (Jason occasionally teaches the McDougall program.)

Katz embraces the Weston A. Price philosophy and is likely not a big McDougall fan but I do know that we can agree that eating fresh, local vegetables is good, especially if they are fermented. Everyone needs to embrace their own philosophy and eating style. If it works well for you, then do it. If what you are doing doesn't work, try other methods.

Learning how to ferment vegetables is quite easy. Check out for more information about it. If you've heard of probiotics and prebiotics, these are the original forms -- they occur naturally, no pills, capsules or liquids needed. Also, you don't really need special equipment such as fancy crocks. I do my fermentation in wide mouth quart or larger canning jars set in a bowl to catch the liquid. If you want to know more about this from me, please feel free to email me at

This is a very busy time of year but I hope that you will take the time to nourish yourself in a very caring and loving way with lots of fresh food. Busy often translates into not eating well and grabbing things on the go. Keeping healthier foods around helps with that issue.

I know that I tend to eat what I've got (since it's incredibly difficult to eat what you don't have) around. Lately, I've had lots of wonderful leftovers from classes -- things like Fruited Wild Rice, Indian-Spiced Root Vegetable Soup, Mediterranean Greens, Red Rice, Braised Tofu and Vegetables and more. Taking the time to cook for yourself, as if you are an invited guest, will actually turn you into one. This is my gift to you -- treat yourself like a queen (or king). It's what I do, and it works.

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