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I am wife to Stewart, mama of five, homeschooler, messy cook, and avid fermenter. This is where I tell our story... of building a sustainable off-grid homestead in a Christian agrarian community... of raising this growing family of ours... of the beauty and the hard and the joy in all of it.
944 articles written by Shannon

Our morning began as many Mondays often do; with heaps of dishes, dirty floors, and laundry scattered everywhere. A cow and goats to milk, breakfast to make, and chickens anxiously awaiting their freedom. As usual, Stewart heads out the door with the milk pail while I begin breakfast and coax the rest of the chore crew out of bed.

After millet, cream, and kefir it is time for the morning’s work. Stewart and the boys are working down the road on an earth bag root cellar and those of us slated for the clean team get to work.

Ruthie finds a pair of knee pads that were gifted to us so she decides today is the day she’d like to scrub the floor. I am happy to comply. Annabelle works at cleaning off the stove and helps Mama with the sea of dishes that seems to multiply as we go. Our aprons are soon filthy and Joshie is getting anxious so we head out to the garden to pick the lunch salad.

It feels more like May than November, the warm sun greeting us as we head around the cabin and past the rainwater catchment tanks. I notice how odd the clothesline looks empty but it won’t be filled today; the water tanks are getting low so it’s the laundromat for us this week.

Everything is dry in the garden but thankfully there is plenty to pick from. I fill our bowl with baby turnips, kale, and tatsoi. There are rosettes beginning to form in the middle of what I thought were radishes and now I wonder if that is where we planted the cauliflower. There is a fresh spreading of hay and manure on vacant beds and the one bed left empty I earmark for the chicken coop clean out that needs to be done later this week.

We return with a bowlful of goods and start on the kombucha and lunch. I had made raw cottage cheese the day prior (I can’t believe how easy this is) and put half into a makeshift cheese press for something akin to a raw queso fresco. That plus salad, beans, and a bit of canned longhorn we will call lunch, along with big glasses of milk, of course.

Just before everyone arrives home for lunch I cut one of our pumpkins in half to roast for the evening meal. Pumpkin soup is on the menu again and with entirely homegrown ingredients, we are finding it on our table more and more. I am tweaking the recipe for pickier eaters and hoping it goes down better. Maybe I’ll fry up some of our collard greens to go with it again.

The dish pile looks like we never lifted a finger and the laundry pile awaits a trip to the laundromat. But the stove and the floor are looking much better. And Joshie, well, he sure enjoyed himself on this oh-so-typical Monday morning. But then again, he’s not one of the older children who will be hitting the books this afternoon.

If you’ve read Traditionally Fermented Foods, you can help out by leaving a review with your honest feedback.

It has been nearly six months now since Traditionally Fermented Foods was launched. In that time I have gotten a lot of generous emails, reviews, and comments as well as a few questions. One common question is “How is the book doing?“.

I kind of assume when people ask this that they are asking about book sales so in that regard I have to say I don’t really know – my publisher has all of those numbers. However, all of the feedback I have gotten has been kind and positive and with one exception, every email I have gotten regarding specific recipes in the book have been really positive. The one exception to this is the Summer Squash Cortido on page 38. I believe the salt quantity is a misprint and should read 1.5 teaspoons of salt.

The other thing we have been doing in regards to the book is interviews and publicity as set up by our publisher. My publisher Will, and Editor Elizabeth (and their whole marketing team), have been great to work with and because of that, we just handed in a manuscript for a second book – not a cookbook! – that is slated to be launched Summer 2018.

But back to the interviews and features…

Vegan Food & Living Magazine from the U.K. had a piece called Fantastic Ferments in their September issue. In it, I share some thoughts on the health and safety of fermented foods and a few recipes from the book are also featured.

In their Best Healthy Cookbooks of 2017 Feature, Rodale’s Organic Life named Traditionally Fermented Foods as The Best Cookbook For People Who Love Pickles.

Start Fermenting At Home, found in the Atlantic Journal-Constitution features snippets of an interview along with recipes for the Quintessential Sourdough Farmloaf and Soured Corn from the cookbook.

I spoke with Lisa of The Energy Times and she wrote up a piece called Bring On The Brine.

Edible Communities shared a piece on TFF, including recipes for Whey Sodas, Feta Cheese, and Fermented Fresh Herbs.

There were many other blog posts and media pieces left unmentioned but I would like to mention that I am very grateful for everyone’s support and generous feedback through this process. If you’ve read Traditionally Fermented Foods, you can leave a review with your honest feedback for other purchasers.

In terms of ferments, right now I have milk kefir, kombucha, lots of cultured cheeses and butter and a few veggie ferments on my counters.

What are you fermenting?