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Do-It-Yourself Food-Making Kits from FarmSteady

Printed From: Foods of the World Forum
Category: Other Food-Related Topics
Forum Name: Around the Kitchen Table
Forum Discription: A place to discuss general food talk, as well as general techniques for food preparation.
URL: http://foodsoftheworld.ActiveBoards.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=4698
Printed Date: 19 September 2020 at 18:20


Topic: Do-It-Yourself Food-Making Kits from FarmSteady
Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Subject: Do-It-Yourself Food-Making Kits from FarmSteady
Date Posted: 08 October 2016 at 23:51
I recently purchased one of each of these kits from http://farmsteady.com - www.Farmsteady.com :

http://farmsteady.com/ - http://farmsteady.com/

http://farmsteady.com/shop/soft-pretzel-beer-cheese-kit - Soft Pretzel and Beer Cheese :



http://farmsteady.com/shop/soft-pretzel-beer-cheese-kit

http://farmsteady.com/shop/everything-bagel-cream-cheese-kit - Everything Bagel and Cream Cheese



http://farmsteady.com/shop/everything-bagel-cream-cheese-kit

And their  http://farmsteady.com/shop/fresh-cheese-making-kit - Fresh Cheese Making Kit  (Ricotta, Mascarpone, Mozzarella and Burrata):



http://farmsteady.com/shop/fresh-cheese-making-kit

I will say at the outset that these kits seem a little over-priced when it comes to practicality, but I really don't care about that; I see them as a gateway that will open a door for people like myself, who have long wanted to take on such projects but have hesitated to do so, either because the idea seemed complicated or intimidating, or because getting organised seemed out of reach. For me, these kits achieve those goals, allowing me to actually get started and eventually grow as I learn. The basic equipment/recipes in each kit are, of course, re-usable, and it is handy, in my opinion, to have all of the essentials in one place, rather than piecing it all together.

Farmsteady is a project conceived by the same team that launched http://BrooklynBrewShop.com - Brooklyn Brew Shop :

http://brooklynbrewshop.com/

Thanks to them, I was able to learn to brew real, all-grain beer, as the process was broken down in a way that was both accessible and do-able, while allowing me to achieve very good results that encouraged me to learn more and grow from the basic kit, to their pre-packaged, all-grain mixes, to recipes in their books, to trying my own recipes, and even to making wine and mead. Beyond that, they were very accessible and able to help any time I had a question, either via email, Twitter or Facebook query.

So yes, I am a bit biased toward these folks; however, if I didn't truly believe that their products had some value, I wouldn't be recommending them. You might pay a bit more, but you're actually doing, and learning, which to me makes it worth it.

I haven't yet attempted any of these Farmsteady kits, partially because we've been doing so much traveling this summer, partially to self-imposed diet restrictions, and partially due to not having the necessary ingredients/equipment on hand at the same time (you'd be surprised at how a stand mixer - or at least its parts - can disappear). However, I think it's going to happen, and soon. My own preference would be to start with the pretzel kit, but for the sake of starting with the easiest and working my way up, it may be the bagel kit. I will reserve the cheese kit for last, and work my way through the cheeses one at a time.

Once I do these, I intend to strike out on my own, and grow from there, building on the base that these kits have provided for me.

More as I progress; I'd like to start one next week, but we will see if that happens. In the meantime, if anyone is interested and/or would like to try these, please do let us know how you do with them.

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Replies:
Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 13 October 2016 at 12:16
I am going to try to do the Everything Bagel and Cream Cheese kit this coming weekend. It looks to be the "easiest" kit to do, and I won't have to buy much in the way of ingredients or equipment.

http://farmsteady.com/instructions-how-to-make-everything-bagels/ - The instructions for the bagels call for using a food processor to mix the dough, but mine is too small for this. I am assuming that my Kitchen Aid stand mixer with the dough hook will work just fine; now, all I need to do is find the dough hook!

The kit calls for the cream cheese to be made at least the night before, so I will to be sure to do so.

If I am able to start this project as planned, I'll create a separate thread, and link it back to this one. I'll probably also create one for the cream cheese as well, since it looks to me as though anyone with some dairy products and some rennet can make it, with or without the kit. Reading http://farmsteady.com/instructions-how-to-make-cream-cheese/ - the separate instructions for the cream cheese , I don't think anyone would have any trouble at all making it as a stand-alone project.

More as it happens, etc. & c....

Ron

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 14 October 2016 at 09:07
Dough hook found - onward!

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Posted By: pitrow
Date Posted: 14 October 2016 at 09:11
Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:

Dough hook found - onward!


HA! I feel your pain with that one! I lost my hook and search and search for months and never found it so I ended up ordering two from amazon, and lo-and-behold the missing one turns up the day after the two new ones arrive. Ugh.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing your adventures with this. Definitely something I've been wanting to try, just never find the time for it so I'll live vicariously through you.


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Mike
http://lifeinpitrow.blogspot.com/" rel="nofollow - Life in PitRow - My often neglected, somewhat eccentric, occasionally outstanding blog


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 14 October 2016 at 09:24
Mike - by the looks of it, it is easier to do it than to actually read about it...I'm not kidding!



They're currently editing the video for the pretzels, and I assume that they will make videos for the cheeses from there.

In any case, I am not usually much of a "video person," but these folks are good at breaking it down. Their videos for Brooklyn Brew Shop essentially taught me to brew beer, and you know what a process that is.

Time aside, I'm guessing that you could do this, no troubles at all!







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Posted By: HistoricFoodie
Date Posted: 14 October 2016 at 11:15
The only tricky part about bagels and soft pretzels is the soaking. The rest isn't much different than making any other bread or rolls.

It might take one or three tries before you get the technique down. But after that you'll be just fine.

Even with the baking soda approach (as opposed to lye) it's a good idea to wear rubber gloves. Making pretzels is about the only time I ever do so when cooking or baking.

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But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 16 October 2016 at 23:03
The cream cheese has been made, and it was easy! 

Due to my mis-reading of the instructions, it took a little longer than expected, but it was very easy to make. It's chilling and firming up in the refrigerator now, and I think it's going to be great!

I'll post more later, on a separate thread.

Ron


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Posted By: pitrow
Date Posted: 17 October 2016 at 11:27
Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:

Mike - by the looks of it, it is easier to do it than to actually read about it...I'm not kidding!

...

Time aside, I'm guessing that you could do this, no troubles at all!


Finally got around to watching this. I wonder why they're using malt syrup in the boil? Most bagel or pretzel recipes I've seen use baking soda or lye to lower the PH to get that nice chewy crust. from what I can tell malt syrup is pretty neutral in ph. Maybe the extra sugars on the outside help form the chewy crust?

anyway, you nailed it with the time thing. My weekends are so jam-packed these days that I'm lucky if I get half an hour in the entire weekend to think about doing something I want to instead of running all over NW Oregon running errands and doing stuff for other people. And during the week I'm just too wiped out by the time I get home, get the kids fed, play with the little one and get him off to bed to even think about anything other than vegging on the couch for half an hour before I go to bed myself. Dead


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Mike
http://lifeinpitrow.blogspot.com/" rel="nofollow - Life in PitRow - My often neglected, somewhat eccentric, occasionally outstanding blog


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 17 October 2016 at 13:18
Mike - my guess (and that's all it is) is that the malt syrup is for colour and flavor. There might be some textural consideration, as well, but I cannot say for sure. I did notice that there is a conspicuous absence of the "baking soda step" with the bagels, even though the pretzels employ baking soda in the boiling water (the pretzels use malt syrup, as well). I'm positive that they did the bagels this way for a reason; but what that reason is, I do not know. Looking at their Twitter, FaceBook and InstaGram posts, they definitely know what they're doing, and it looks like they're having a fun time doing it.

That enthusiasm is a big part of what finally got me motivated to give this a try, and I am glad that I did! Like you, I found it difficult to find the time to start. These last couple-three years have been pretty busy for us; but even before that, I was having trouble getting started with projects like this, even though I definitely wanted to try them.

The cream cheese itself was very easy and while it did take time for the over-all making of it, the time that I had to put in was surprisingly short. It was also broken up into three separate steps, due to the fact that the milk/cream sat for 12 hours while the curds formed, and another 8 hours or so while the curds were hanging and drying in cheesecloth. This allowed me time to take care of a few other home/family/shopping and other duties. I'd be surprised if I actually put more than an hours worth of my own action into the project, and that includes taking the photos, which I will post as soon as I can.

Here's a "teaser" photo that will be part of the over-all pictorial that I am preparing:



Looks pretty good, I'd say!

All-in-all, the cheese-making part was easier and less-involved than I thought it would be, and I'm glad that I finally did it. The bagels? That might take a little more time, but I'll get it done, along with everything else!

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 18 October 2016 at 14:32
Here is the pictorial that I did for the cream cheese portion of the Everything Bagel and Cream Cheese kit:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/cream-cheese-kit-from-farmsteady_topic4708.html

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 25 October 2016 at 10:09
I made the bagels over the weekend; I don't often toot my own horn, but I am pretty sure that I nailed this project. These were beautiful and tasted even better; a healthy schmear of cream cheese was the only adornment necessary! They were a) easier and b) more delicious than I would have guessed, and the education was well worth the price of the kit. Now that I have the method down, and - just as importantly - now that I've actually experienced the results, I suspect that there will be more bagels in the future.

I took a few photos; I will try to organize and post them by this weekend.

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 08 November 2016 at 16:23
Here is the pictorial that I did for the everything bagel portion of the Everything Bagel and Cream Cheese kit:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/everything-bagel-kit-from-farmsteady_topic4718.html

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 27 April 2017 at 09:56
I just placed an order for one of these today.

http://farmsteady.com/shop/kraut-kit



This is marketed as a sauerkraut kit, but good for any lacto-fermenting project. I've made home-made sauerkraut before, on a smaller scale, using an old recipe and method that we found in my wife's grandmother's recipe files after she passed away. The method works, but is probably not the "best" way to do it where food safety is concerned.

I'm looking forward to receiving and experimenting with this kit, which is totally re-usable and should last many years. One of the first projects on my list is pickles, and I am guessing that there well be a few more. I might even dip my toe into the pool that is kimchee!

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 27 April 2017 at 13:33
Lightning-fast shipping; four hours after I ordered it, it is on its way! :)

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Posted By: Hoser
Date Posted: 28 April 2017 at 03:35
Now you can make some half sour pickles if you want too!

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Go ahead...play with your food!


Posted By: gonefishin
Date Posted: 28 April 2017 at 04:37
Neat kit...I can't wait to hear your thoughts, after you try it.

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Enjoy The Food!


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 01 May 2017 at 08:38
This is expected to arrive today, according to USPS tracking.

I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with it, and might even pick up a head of cabbage on the way home from work tonight, so that I can get a quick start on it. That way, when the local farmers' markets begin, I can be ready to make some sauerkraut using some very nicely-grown cabbages from our local Hutterite colonies.

Eventually, I'd like to make the lacto-fermented pickles, as has been discussed on the forum many times; also, there is a whole world of foods out there that can be explored. This kit - along with the other kits from Farmsteady - should be a great way to begin that exploration.

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 02 May 2017 at 13:44
Well - it did arrive yesterday, but the post office was closed when I got back to town after work. I was, however, able to pick it up this morning.

I haven't been able to open it yet, but will do so this evening. I bought some cabbage, so I see no reason not to get started!

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 03 May 2017 at 19:48
Here is the pictorial that I did for the sauerkraut:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/making-sauerkraut-with-farmsteadys-kraut-kit_topic4797.html


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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 12 May 2017 at 09:15
I ordered this yesterday:

http://farmsteady.com/shop/mexican-fresh-cheese-making-kit



The kit contains equipment, ingredients (except milk) and recipes and instructions to make Queso Fresco, Queso Panela and Queso Oaxaca. I think it will be interesting (and delicious) to compare this one to the Italian.

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 26 January 2018 at 15:11
Adding to the "collective knowledge" on this thread, here is a pictorial that I prepared for a lacto-fermented pickle chip project:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/lactofermented-pickle-chips_topic4944.html - http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/lactofermented-pickle-chips_topic4944.html

Also, stopping in at FarmSteady's website, I see a few new products and concepts, including concepts on foraging, composting and a new kit available for making at least 2 types of goat cheese. Goat milk is pretty much unavailable here where I live, so I probably won't get that one at this time; however, I'd like to, because I do love Feta cheese.

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 27 January 2018 at 10:33
For those interested, here is FarmSteady's video on making sauerkraut :

https://youtu.be/1k-LDM5TUu8



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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 07 February 2018 at 16:25
Here are two projects that I recently completed in conjunction with my FarmSteady kits -

Beer Mustard:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/farmsteadys-beer-mustard_topic4949.html

And Beer Cheese:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/farmsteadys-beer-cheese_topic4957.html

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 07 February 2018 at 16:27
For those interested, here is FarmSteady's video on making Soft Pretzels:

https://youtu.be/q10kKAJ2FYs



And their video for making Everything Bagels:

https://youtu.be/3aemIAEqsqU



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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 15 February 2018 at 12:34
I promise, I do NOT work for these folks!

But, I do love their concept, their enthusiasm, their approachability, and their efforts to get interested people to take the first step into many DIY projects. With that, I decided to give their Foraging Kit a try:

http://farmsteady.com/shop/foraging-tool-kit



Quote Unearth the natural world’s bounty. Whether wildcrafting chanterelles, morels, ramps or chicory, the right tools are essential.

Foraging is tremendous fun. Few things compare to walking into the woods, a nearby park, or a pristine patch of green and collecting your next meal. With that said, not everything you find should be eaten or picked. Please forage responsibly and safely. Identify everything carefully with the help of a book, a good website or an experienced friend and make sure to leave enough behind for animals and future foragers.

What's Inside:



Mesh Bag: Collect mushrooms while leaving their spores behind for years of successful mushroom hunts to come.



Foraging Knife: sturdy foraging knife is essential. Ours is equipped with a rosewood handle, folding blade and natural fiber brush.



Canvas Collecting Bags: Keep your foraged goods neatly packed on any excursion with durable canvas bags in two handy sizes (6" & 12").



Sugaring Spile: The best pancakes are topped with your own homemade syrup. It all starts by collecting some maple or birch sap.


I almost didn't get this, thinking that it was more of a Back-East thing not really suited to my area; however, I finally decided to go for it. I remembered The Beautiful Mrs. Tas, growing up just a mere 100 miles away from me, talking about going mushroom-gathering with her grandfather, and I figured there must be some things around here that we can forage; mushrooms, berries, roots, rose hips...certainly others that I am not even thinking of. With that in mind, I should get some good usage out of most of the kit. There are no sugar maples around (that I know of), but I did some reading on birch species that can be tapped, and I believe we may have some in the area...it's worth a try!

Time to get out my old Boy Scout Book....

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 20 March 2018 at 14:12
Here is the link to my pictorial on the Soft Pretzel Kit:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/soft-pretzel-kit-from-farmsteady_topic4988.html

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 23 March 2018 at 11:03
Here is the link to the home-fermented Beet Kvass (Known as Gira in Lithuania) that I recently made:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/beet-kvass-gira_topic4961.html

I was just today reminded that this is a key ingredient in traditional Borchsch!

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 16 April 2018 at 13:45
A quick note on the fermentation kit itself, as well as FarmSteady's customer service:

Last week, I was cleaning the fermentation jar and weight, when I somehow managed to get the weight wedged into the neck of the jar:



This had happened once before, but at that time, it was relatively easy to pop the weight out; in this case, the weight was really stuck in there.

I eventually discovered a solution: fill the jar about half full with water (to slow the weight when it drops) and use the handle of a wooden spatula (or other similar thing) to tap down on the part that is sticking out of the top. Tapping on the "lower" end that is stuck seems to be counter-productive. In any case, it will fix the problem, but some force is necessary when tapping; of course care is essential when doing this, because there is a chance that the fermentation jar might get broken.

I contacted FarmSteady to pass along all of this information, in case anyone else reports a similar situation, and they offered to send a replacement that will (presumably) not be as snug. Pretty nice, I'd say!

Now, what project will I try next?

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Posted By: Margi Cintrano
Date Posted: 16 April 2018 at 15:55


Ron, 

Wow  !!  This is definitely a group of  impressive projects ..  

Let us know how it goes ..  

Good luck ..  

M.   


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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 09 May 2018 at 10:49
Just an update on this, FarmSteady did in fact send a brand-new replacement "Kraut Kit," which is essentially identical to their "Fermented Vegetable Kit." Excellent customer service, and it is appreciated by me, for sure.

So now, as long as I am careful, I have two of them, and can double my projects. I think I'll get a sourdough starter going in one...or maybe a Kombucha SCOBY....

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Posted By: pitrow
Date Posted: 10 May 2018 at 08:56
Good to know Ron. My weight is pretty snug in one direction, but if I rotate it 90 degrees then it slips through a little easier so I'm guessing the mouth of my jar isn't exactly round inside. I could easily see getting the weight stuck if I'm not careful with it. Thanks for the info!

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 10 May 2018 at 09:01
Hi, Mike -

The key seems to be to make bloody well sure that when you put the weight in, it is perfectly straight up-and-down. If it does get stuck, take a photo or two, then send an email to mailto:info@farmsteady.com - info@farmsteady.com about it. They are great folks (the same kids who run Brooklyn Brew Shop) and will take good care of you. After that, give my "solution" above a try. It "should" work, but it takes a leap of faith and a possibly bit more strength than one would expect. If it does work, that's good - but of not FarmSteady will have ya covered!

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 10 May 2018 at 11:21
They also have a new kit out for making two types of goat cheese:

http://farmsteady.com/shop/goat-cheese-kit



This includes equipment and instructions for making Chèvre and Feta cheese.

I am not sure if I will get this one, as I can't imagine a local source for the goat milk required. If I can find a way to get the milk, I might get it.

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 30 August 2018 at 10:37
For those interested, here is a video on Lacto-Fermented Carrot Sticks, from FarmSteady:

https://youtu.be/1to4j6mLhBQ



And here is one on Classic Dill Pickles:

https://youtu.be/zOQ3Z4WOtBw





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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 06 September 2018 at 09:07
Here is the pictorial I prepared for making the Classic Dill Pickles mentioned above:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/canning-freezing-dehydrating-and-other-food-preservation_forum40.html

This recipe was released in conjunction with FarmSteady's offering of a Lacto Pickle Kit:

https://farmsteady.com/shop/lacto-pickle-kit



Like the fermented vegetable kit, this one is essentially the same as far as equipment goes, but includes a tea bag in order to reproduce the tannins that would be found in oak leaves or by curing the pickles in an oak barrel.

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 11 October 2018 at 12:02
FarmSteady now offers a fermentation kit geared toward folks who want to make their own hot sauce:



https://farmsteady.com/shop/hot-sauce-kit

This is essentially the same as the others; no real difference. The real resource, in my opinion, lies in FarmSteady's Field Guide with recipes:

https://farmsteady.com/field-guide/

Many of the recipes here look great to try; more importantly, looking through them can offer some inspiration, if you are looking to try a unique project of your own.

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 13 December 2018 at 10:06
Posting this on the "primary" FarmSteady thread: a link to their lacto-fermentation guide:

Some very good information here, whether one wants to reap the health benefits of lacto-fermentation, or simply preserve and enjoy great-tasting foods such as sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi etc.

https://farmsteady.com/field-guide/lacto-fermentation-a-guide-to-making-fermented-foods

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 15 March 2019 at 08:43
I've been remiss in keeping up with the new products, recipes and videos from FarmSteady; it looks to me as if they are creating recipes and producing videos faster than I can try them!

From this point, I'd advise anyone interested to check out both their main website:

https://farmsteady.com/

Their Field Guide (basically their recipe book):

https://farmsteady.com/field-guide

And their YouTube Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbWeQK1KUF9v0aZJA2Lx3hw

In addition, there are also the usual social media outlets; FaceBook, InstaGram, Twitter etc.

This latest idea from them is next on my to-do list: Tepache -

https://farmsteady.com/field-guide/recipe-tepache

Originally posted by FarmSteady FarmSteady wrote:

The key to [tepache] is piloncillo, an unrefined cane sugar that comes in a cone shape and can be found online and in Mexican specialty stores. This sugar smells like a cross between maple sugar candy and cola, and once you taste it you’ll be sneaking it into your dessert recipes as well. You can sub in a cup of turbinado or brown sugar in a pinch.


I just placed an order for some piloncillo, which is unavailable here; with luck, I'll be making this in less than a week.!





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Posted By: HistoricFoodie
Date Posted: 22 July 2020 at 06:57
Hi, Oliver.  Good to hear from you.

A couple of things, though about how we do things here.

First off, we normally do not multiply post. There are exceptions, but, with most posts, one time in the right forum should suffice.

Next: As a rule, we try very hard to post in the appropriate forum and/or thread.  For instance, we have discussed vacuum sealing in the past.  The preference would be to use the search box to find those threads, and add your thoughts and comments there.  Or, if it's more convenient for you, and you want to discuss vacuum sealing, then start a new thread.  Were it me, I would put it in the tools of the trade forum.

Again, thanks for posting, and we look forward to hearing more from you. 


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But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket


Posted By: Margi Cintrano
Date Posted: 22 July 2020 at 07:51

Ron,

Very fascinating .. 

Yes, with all those forests, surely there must be some "boletus" and perhaps a truffle or two !!

Of course it is quite early for these amazing entities and end of October - through November should definitely be a great time to "go on the quest " to forage ..

Have a nice summer.


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Volamos a Mediterraneo, un paraiso que conquista su gente u su cocina.



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