Bugs in my Food: part 2

It’s a well documented fact that epic failure teaches us way more than stunning success. Isn’t that obnoxious? None of my food attempts were inedible per se, but none of them were quite what I had hoped for. I’m a one-try-get-it-perfect-or-I-am-annoyed kind of person (my husband is a one-try-and-he-always-gets-it-perfect kind of person…I’ve learned to love it. Although I’m not going to lie…Sometimes his epic failures, rare as they are, make me feel less pathetic.) This was my first attempt at all of these things so I should count it a victory that I didn’t kill anyone with these bugs and everything I made can be eaten (and probably will be eaten exclusively by me because I can’t waste food). Starting off with might-not-be-failures.

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This is a bowl of walnuts and pecans soaking in slightly salty water. Tonight I will be dehydrating them (One of these days I need to tell you about my love for my dehydrator. It’s song worthy). Here is the reason that I’m not happily popping them in my mouth straight out of the bag. If you Google “why soak nuts,” you will get way more info than you need. I need more snacks for munchkins, and since little man loves dates and other dried fruit I’m going to make him some trail mix.

The glorious red thing is a hard cheese I had made a few weeks ago and waxed today. The last time I posted, we had made another hard cheese but that one isn’t ready to wax. Nor will it ever be after what I realized today. The reason why you have to press it with so much pressure and then salt it for days to get a rind to form, is to get as much liquid out as possible. I learned today that if you don’t the liquid will seep out and compromise the wax, leaving your cheese open to mold [smacks forehead]. We didn’t press the newest one with as much pressure because I wanted a softer, moister cheese. Apparently leaving water in it if you are planning on aging it is not the way to do that. So well yes. But I am getting the waxing process down, leaving a smoother more consistent coat. I’ll figure out how to deal with the other cheese later but for now, at least the wax will slow the mold growth right?

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Mayonnaise is a very simple thing. In theory. Here is what I learned about mayonnaise: Olive oil makes everything taste like olive oil. Yellow mustard is a horrible substitute for Dijon mustard. I should have taken the commenters advice and used some coconut oil to help it thicken when it cooled. However, despite the fact that it doesn’t taste or feel anything like mayonnaise, it makes good tuna and really good ranch dip.

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The ketchup was ok. It tastes like gussy-ed up tomato paste, but I guess that’s all ketchup really is. I added a bit more vinegar and that helped. The real test will come when the munchkins have it on eggs, or to dip chicken or hamburgers.

Does that jar of sauerkraut look like the one in my last post? That’s because the pictures are the same. I didn’t bother taking a new picture because it looks and tastes the same as the night we made it. I don’t think we made sauerkraut so much as salty cabbage. Granted we didn’t use a crock, we only let it sit 3 days, and we might have used too much salt and we didn’t submerge it under a weighted-down plate. You know, minor stuff really. Tonight we are going to try kimchi, and we’ll see if that turns out more fermented goodness and less plain salty veggies in fish sauce. But there is always round two for the bugs in my food and you know I’ve got big plans for round two!

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