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October 26, 2016

Ferment, Pickle, Dry - a book review


Do you ever feel like your meal planning is in a rut? It's the same old thing over and over again and you'd like to shake things up a bit, but you don't know where to start.

Ferment, Pickle, Dry - Ancient Methods, Modern Meals, a book review

I've been there too. Lately hubby and I look at each other in the afternoon and ask "what sounds good for dinner?" and "I don't know, what sounds good to you?" This usually leads to a round of "I asked you first." We're just not inspired.



The remedy for this lack of inspiration is often simple: a new cookbook. Preferably a cookbook with new methods or exciting new dishes that you've never tried before (and maybe haven't even heard of before).

The publishers of Ferment, Pickle, Dry - Ancient Methods, Modern Meals recently sent me just such a cookbook. (Please note that the opinions in this post are 100% my own, even though I was given this book in exchange for a review.)

I know you're familiar with the canning and dehydrating methods of preserving food. I've written about canning and drying food quite a bit, and I've made pickles occasionally. I'm not as familiar with fermenting, a method of preserving live food full of the good bacteria that our bodies need for a healthy gut.

The first section of Ferment, Pickle, Dry is all about fermenting, from the equipment needed to the process itself. While certain tools can make the job easier, the authors point out when we can use items we already have - like jars with screw top lids - and when we should invest in a specialized item, such as a food thermometer.

The fermented recipes are so intriguing, and are much simpler than I'd imagined. I'm already making yogurt, kefir and kombucha. The simple directions in this book will take me deeper into the realm of fermenting.

Napa kimchi solyanka a thick and hearty soup from Ferment, Pickle, Dry.

While in the military my husband spent a great deal of time overseas, and one of the dishes that he enjoyed and would have loved for me to make for him is kimchi. Ferment, Pickle, Dry has several pages of kimchi recipes as well as suggestions of and recipes for dishes that incorporate kimchi as well. For instance, napa cabbage kimchi can be made into napa kimchi solyanka, a thick and hearty soup that will wake up your taste buds with its complex flavors.

That's what sets this cookbook apart from the rest: the partner recipes: first, the how-to directions to make an item, and then recipes that include the item. You'll never wonder "now, what do I do with this?" The partner recipes are identified with a knife and fork symbol.

As far as pickling goes, I've only done cucumber pickles. I've been missing out! After the directions for making pickled cherry tomatoes is a recipe for Greek salad that includes those tomatoes. I think the pickled oranges and pickled pears both sound delicious. Some of the gazillion-dozen eggs in my refrigerator are destined to become hot pink pickled eggs.

Ferment, Pickle, Dry - Ancient Methods, Modern Meals, a book review

The section on drying or dehydrating food ranges from directions to drying mushrooms that then become soup, sauce, or mushroom risotto, dried tomatoes that make an instant vegetable stock, and a variety of snacks such as gingerbread crackers, banana, apple and pear crisps, and candied pumpkin.

This unique cookbook offers a simple and exciting guide to fermenting, pickling and dehydrating food, and then shows you hot to transform your newly preserved ingredients into fabulous dishes. Throughout the book Kim Lightbody's photography feeds the eyes. You're sure to be inspired to try something new.

Ferment, Pickle, Dry - Ancient Methods, Modern Meals is written by Simon Poffley and Gaba Smolinska-Poffley, and published by Frances Lincoln. Photography by Kim Lightbody. Available at Amazon.com (affiliate link) and other retail bookstores.



I received this book for free in hopes I would mention it on my blog. I was not required 
to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, but this does not affect the price you pay.


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6 comments:

  1. This is awesome! I am always looking for new ways to preserve food. I haven't done any drying beyond herbs, but I LOVE fermentation - wish I had more space to keep it going all the time.

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    1. Me too, Heather. My dehydrator gets a lot of use, but I could sure use a bigger kitchen for all my kombucha and starters and bread proofing and so on.

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  2. This book sounds very interesting! I'm always trying new things and trying to add new skills to my repertoire. I started fermenting a few years ago and have liked the results so far. But often then I don't know what to do with the result, so I especially like that this book offers ideas and recipes for that.

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    Replies
    1. I've had that same situation, Michelle: not knowing what to do with something I've preserved. Having a back-up plan is a good thing, like using up some of our jelly or jam in a crockpot chicken dish. I like that this book gives several ideas of how to use the foods we've preserved.

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  3. I love learning of new ways to preserve food, especially fermentation. Thank you for sharing such a terrific review!

    Tammy
    www.simplypreparing.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Tammy. Fermenting is easier than I thought it would be. It's "slow food" at its best.

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