Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunday, August 12: Day 12

If you walked into our house today you would be bowled over by the overwhelming feeling that you were walking into a giant tomato. I started making sauce at around 5:00 am and by the time I was satisfied with the thickness it was 3:00 pm and I had 12 quarts ready. Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year and it gives me such pleasure to put up food for the coming colder months. Luckily I have an extremely generous friend who lets me share her giant freezer--this means I can can less and freeze more! (Maybe I Can-can less too! Can you tell I have been breathing lycopene all day!)

Breakfast was a modest affair of leftover bread products and cider. Lunch was "things we can grab while we sweat" and included glorious local peaches that brought tears to my eyes with their deliciousness, tomatoes (shocking!), cheese curds, carrots, a tiny melon and apples. Dinner will be out at my parents' house and will be roasted chicken, potatoes, chard, kohlrabi, and our-of-this-world peaches and strawberries (thank goodness for the everbearing variety!)

Scott baked our bread for the week in our wood fired oven today--all 100 mile certified and delicious!

I am posting early today because we are headed out for dinner in the country and watching the Perseid meteor shower. We have been overwhelmed this week with people's generosity of time, knowledge and food. Thank you to all who are enthusiastic about our project, we are thrilled that so many people find this experiment interesting. Some of you eat like this already and want to know that there are "more out there." For others of you these ideas are new--thanks for coming along for the ride


meewt said...

Hi, I'm a friend of the Tick-Riffany's (the Holts ... I stopped trying to say their names correctly years ago).

I'm curious about the yeast in the bread. Are you able to buy it local? I just don't even know how I would figure out locality of yeast.

Lynch Family said...

To be honest, we lucked out on yeast. SAF yeast (makers of Red Star) is located in Milwaukee, a mere 75 miles from here. So not everyone would be so lucky.

However, if you are willing to do a bit of advance work, you can get yeast in a number of ways by capturing it from the wild. One common way is to cultivate it from grapes—you bury some unwashed grapes in flour for a few days and then nurture the yeast that comes off the skin. It takes a couple of weeks, but you have your very own sourdough starter.

Another method takes advantage of the fact that there are wild yeasts on the surface of many grains. Wheat is pretty good, but rye is the best. You grind up whole berries, mix in some water, and watch it for signs of life. Either of these methods should be detailed on-line somewhere if you want specifics, and many artisan bread baking books spell them out, too. Most proponents will advise using organic or unsprayed grapes/wheat/rye as they are likely to have more wild yeasts on them.

Perhaps the easiest way would be to mooch some sourdough starter from a friend or neighbor. Each starter acquires a unique mix of microorganisms specific to its location—you can't get any more local than that!

meewt said...

Good grief! If I ever try to eat within 100 miles, I'm moving to Wisconsin! Here in New Orleans, I'd just get shrimp and crawfish.

Enjoy your journey - it's fascinating and seems so ... normal in a fundamental way.