Nourishing Food

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onion-bud-capers1

Growing onions is a bit of a commitment, I am realizing. At least when it comes to garden space. Last October is when I believe we planted these guys and now, nine months later, we are finishing the harvest. They are super low-maintenance and have been coming into our kitchen to feed us in various stages since around December. But in planning the fall/winter/spring gardens, I am trying to remember that these guys take up space for some time.

We harvested green onions throughout the winter and have been eating the bulb onions for a few months now, nearly daily making the base of a stir-fry with whatever greens, beans, or squash we’re harvesting. I don’t know for sure but I suspect it is because of the cutting of the green onions that many of them went to seed. That combined with the hot weather gave us the push to go ahead and harvest the remaining onions in the next two weeks.

onionbudcapers2

The seed flowers are lovely. They smell of chives and those that we brought in had these buds at all different stages. Annabelle asked to help harvest the seed so she patiently sat on the steps sorting tiny black seeds from the buds and the still gentle flowers. We saved the little black onion seeds and then she ended up with a scant cup of the buds.

They reminded me of capers and, inspired by Shaye’s Dandelion Capers, I set out to ferment them in a simple brine.

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After a few days they were bubbling and the brine was cloudy. They are a little difficult to keep below the level of the brine, even with my heavy duty fermentation weight, but I suspect fermenting a larger quantity would solve that problem.

Lacto-Fermented Onion Bud Capers

Ingredients

  • 1 cup onion buds
  • enough water to substantially cover buds (~1 cup)
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt

Directions

Remove buds from onion flowers and place in a pint jar. Add salt and cover buds with water by at least 1/2″. Add a fermentation weight to submerge the onion buds below the level of the brine.

Seal the jar and allow to ferment at room temperature for 1-2 weeks or until they are tangy enough for your liking. Be sure to “burp” your jar daily during the first week to release the carbon dioxide produced as a by-product of fermentation.

Enjoy!

Kefir-Pancake-Syrup
Can we have those huge pancakes again for breakfast?” Elijah asked the other day. I knew the ones he spoke of – they were tangy and fluffy and, most important to a growing ten-year-old, as big as a plate. He ate two of them and probably had a snack an hour later, if I recall correctly. (Can anyone tell me if eating like a teenager since the age of eight is normal for a farm boy?)

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These  particular (huge) pancakes are fermented overnight with a sourdough starter and made without the use of eggs or milk. Because we were out of eggs and we are saving the precious raw goat milk for drinking, they were also vegan. I imagine that is how it was before the days of weekly grocery runs; making what you could with what you had.

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Fermenting the pancakes leaves you without that heavy feeling pancakes can so easily induce. Instead they are filling but light, substantial but digestible. And when we have the milk and are making kefir, we like to make them even more digestible by drizzling on the Kefir Pancake Syrup from page 138 of Traditionally Fermented Foods.

Vegan Sourdough Pancakes

Ingredients

sd-pancakes-top

Directions

Between 8 and 24 hours before you wish to cook the pancakes, combine the sourdough starter, wheat flour, and water together in medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Cover and leave to ferment for 8-24 hours.

When you are ready to cook, preheat a griddle pan over medium-high heat and grease lightly. Sprinkle the salt, vanilla, and baking soda over the fermented batter and whisk well to combine, adding up to 1/4 cup of additional water if needed to thin the batter.

Pour one cup of batter onto griddle for larger pancakes or 1/2 cup for smaller pancakes. Cook 2-3 minutes or until the edges begin to dry and holes form all over the tops. Carefully flip the pancakes and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.

Serve hot with your favorite toppings.