The first time I made Sauerkraut, I was not really sure what I was doing, and although it did taste good, this new recipe is way better.  With this recipe, I followed the directions from this Youtube video 1 and 2.  A great instructional video for those first learning about Fermentation using Kefir Whey.  I did use different seasonings in mine so I will post a step by step process of making Fermented Sauerkraut With Kefir Whey.
We have really been enjoying our homemade Organic Kefir milk, and after reading about the many health benefits of Kefir and the Whey, I began straining the Kefir Milk to collect the natural Whey, which we keep stored in the refrigerator.  To better understand what Kefir Milk and Kefir Whey is, here is a link with great information.
By the way, it is one year later now that we have been making Organic Kefir Milk - as a result the grains grow like crazy. I have probably given away at least 20 batches of Organic Kefir Milk grains to people in my community. I so believe in passing on health and goodness through knowledge, recipes, and even sharing extra garden vegetables, to any and all that are in need. For me, life is about sharing - it gives no greater joy don't you think?
4 cups of shredded Organic Cabbage
1 cup of water
2 tsp. Sea Salt
2 Tblsp. Kefir Whey
1/2  tsp. dried Dill
1/2 - 1 tsp. Celery Seed (to taste)
I used a food processor to shred the cabbage.  Then place the cabbage in a bowl, add the dill and celery seed, tossing to mix.
Then I used a plastic cup (not the greatest tool, however, it did seem to work) to pound down the cabbage.  Pound down the cabbage for about 4-5 minutes.
Then fill a sterilized quart sized jar with the pounded cabbage, and pack it down hard into the jar:
To the one cup of water add the salt, and Kefir Whey, stirring well.  Pour over the pounded cabbage to fully cover the cabbage in liquid.  If a little more liquid is needed, add a bit of extra water.  Put on the lid, loosely, and let sit on the counter for 3 days.  (the Kefir whey will speed up the fermentation process)
Note:  I made the Fermented Sauerkraut at 12:00 p.m.  By 5:00 p.m. there were already bubbles at the top of the liquid - a good sign!
And here we are:  3 days later:  Beautiful Fermented Sauerkraut:

This Sauerkraut is surprisingly delicious.  In just 3 days - the flavor is fully developed, it is not too salty, the texture is perfect (thanks to my Cuisinart Food Processor - if you have a food processor - do use it). The dill and celery seed gave nice flavor to the Sauerkraut.  I could not be happier with how this turned out - so so so so good!  I can't wait to get a second batch on the go! 🙂  (once fermented, keep refrigerated)
After the success with Fermented Sauerkraut, I had to try Fermented Salsa:
The recipe I followed came from Shannon of Nourishing Days.  This batch was just freshly made - we can't wait to try it in a few days. I made this with just a couple of changes:  I added a 1/2 of a large Jalapeno pepper finely diced, omitted the Cayenne Pepper and rather than use a food processor, I chopped all of the ingredients for a chunkier Salsa. Also, I increased the Cilantro, being the Cilantro freak that I am I just could not resist.
After three days we tasted it:
This salsa is so delicious - I think this will be the only way I make salsa from now on.  Thanks for sharing your recipe Shannon, we love it!
Here is our Fermenting counter:  (with a batch of Kombucha tea in the works)
We love how we feel eating naturally fermented foods.  Not only is it super healthy for you, it actually makes your tummy feel great!  🙂  (next I want to try fermenting other vegetables, so will keep you all posted on how that turns out)

DH recently had a trip to visit family in the Okanagan, the Interior of British Columbia.  Famous for their orchard fruit and vineyards.  They even have a town called Peachland, imagine that!  He also brought home these lovely Apricots:
As well as these delicious Early Sunrise Apples:
Okanagan fruit truly is something to behold.  The best tasting fruit I have ever had.  The first thing I wanted to dive into was a simple bowl of yogurt, fresh fruit with a drizzle of Agave Nectar:
Traveling back to the Island from the Okanagan is about an 8 hour trip.  Peaches and Apricots will spoil quickly, so once we had eaten some of the fresh fruit I decided to make jam with what was left.  Although I did not get very much, one and a half jars of jam is perfect for DH and I to store in the refrigerator.
This jam is probably the easiest jam I have ever made and does not even need a recipe, but will show you the pictures of the process:
I absolutely love my soft blade peeler!  It very thinly peels off the outer skin on all stone fruits, it is also fabulous for peeling tomatoes too.
With the remaining 5 Apricots, and 8 peaches, first they were peeled, then sliced adding to a pot.
To the pot, add the juice of half a lemon, and about 3/4 of a cup of Organic cane sugar.  I like my jam on the tart side, if you want it sweeter add more sugar.
Bring to a simmer on low medium heat, stirring frequently.  Simmer 1 hour, continuing to stir, and from time to time, I mashed the fruit with a potato masher to help the process along.
I did not even add in any pectin - it really did not need it.  Ladle the hot Jam into sterilized jars and top with the lids.  With one and a half jars of jam, this will get eaten up in no time, so once the jam had cooled, into the refrigerator they went.
But first, I spread some jam on toasted, buttered, bread....Damn...this was a mighty, tasty, fine jam.   Next year I want a case of peaches, and a case of Apricots....this is my new favorite homemade jam!  If you love peaches and apricots, this is a jam for you.

When shopping at our local farmer's organic market, (just down the street), I always leave with a smile on my face.  Bless their hearts - especially with the challenges they face with our very strange, crazy West Coast weather.
One of my favorite summer side dishes is a simple saute of zucchini, tomatoes, yellow or green beans, in Olive Oil and butter, salt and pepper with a sprinkling of fresh minced basil.  A great side dish to accompany any main dish.
Then, I learned how to cook the most succulent, moist delicious pork chop you have ever tasted.  I kid you not.  Looking at Christina Ferrare's site, Big Bowl of Love,  she has a recipe on how to cook beautiful pork chops that is no fail.  Seriously, no fail.  We have made pork chops this way three times now - delicious every time.  Thank you Christina!
Now you know the old story of Pork Chops and Applesauce?  Well, applesauce, I am sorry to say, but move over, cause you have permanently been replaced:
The heaven's have opened up on this one - pickled Rhubarb.  Mercy!  If you love pickles these are a must!  Please check out this post:  Tom, of Tall Clover Farm posted this recipe he received from his friend Chris.  A humungous thank you Tom and Chris!
Here is the thing:  I am not meaning to sound bossy now, but, seriously, this is what you need to do:  first, make the pickled rhubarb - too easy.  Then follow Christina's directions on how to cook succulent pork chops.  Next, slice a piece of pork chop, add the pickled rhubarb - and eat in one bite.  Deliriously delicious yes???  I think I can hear the groans of delight right now!  My only regret was that I did not cook more pork chops.
I love new recipes, summer, and sharing.  Thanks to the Farmer's Market, Tom, Chris, and Christina....you made me a happy girl!

Oh, lord have mercy!  Can you tell I am sooooo excited??   This recipe is not mine - all I can say is it is beyond deliciousness.  This recipe comes from the Chef of the blog  CHEF MICHAEL SMITH, FOOD COUNTRY. For this scrumptious recipe please check out his delightful site here.
As Chef Michael says, once you make homemade ketchup, you will never go back to store bought. I know I won't. And to that I add - Organic store bought or not!  This is seriously seriously delicious.  Once I had made the recipe, I knew oven baked french fries were on the menu.  DH kept saying what smells so good?  That is saying a lot coming from him - as he does not like vinegar, or pickles, in any form.  The house was filled with this spicy tomato vinegar deliciousness.
How good does this look?

I will not print the recipe here as I only made two changes to Chef Michael's original recipe.  All I did was to include some chopped garlic, and lessen the amount of red wine vinegar, then top it up with Balsamic Vinegar.
Chef Michael recommends using a hand blender or a regular blender for this recipe.  I do not have either, but I totally agree. I have an old school 23 year old Moulinex Food Processor, which has served me well all these years, and sadly, is showing it's age.   However, what  I did do was process this recipe two times and then I used a strainer.  It was time intensive, but it did work.  I know, dying food processor or not, I will always make homemade ketchup.
So for this amazing recipe check out CHEF MICHAEL SMITH  FOOD COUNTRY.  This recipe does not disappoint.  I promise, cross my heart, and pinky swear!

Growing up in a Danish household, pickled beets were always abundant, but particularly so at Christmas time. It is usually the first thing I make as Christmas gets close.  Then I start in on the cookies and goodies.
We would have pickled beets with everything, but most commonly on open faced rye bread sandwiches with cheese, pate, and sausage meats.  I think pickled beets are a main event like Cranberry sauce is to most other people.  All of my sisters to this day make this recipe.  One year I can't remember why, but I did not make them.  I still hear about it from my daughter, in fact she actually asked me to make them for her birthday!
The original recipe will follow, but I wanted to mention, this recipe can also be made with Apple Cider Vinegar, although, you do get quite a different flavor.
This makes a fair bit of seasoned vinegar, actually I had 2 cups leftover, which I refrigerated to make more pickled beets another day.
6-8 large beets
3 cups white vinegar
2 cups of warm water
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 Dashes of:
mustard seed, celery seed
good pinch of ground cloves
3/4 tsp. salt
Wash the beets well, leaving on the skin, tops and bottoms.  Place into a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil.  Cover with a lid, turn down to simmer and cook until tender.  Mine took 1 1/2 hours to cook through.
Meanwhile sterilize your jars and lids.  In another pot, combine the water and sugar. Keep stirring until all of the sugar is dissolved.  Then add the vinegar, and seasonings, stir to combine and set aside.

When your beets are cooked, drain the water off, remove beets to a platter to cool. I line my cutting board with parchment paper to prevent the beets from staining the board.  (I care more about staining my cutting board than I do my hands) Once cool, cut the tops and bottoms off, then peel the beets, slice in half, and then into quarters.  Slice the beet fairly thin, think of a slice on top of a sandwich.
Fill your jars to the top with the sliced beets, then using a ladle pour on the seasoned vinegar, covering all of the beets. Cover with the lids, and refrigerate.  They taste their best after about 3 days and will keep for ages in the fridge.

We are getting ginormous red cabbages from the garden.  I honestly thought that since this was such a poor summer, we would get next to nothing this year, but it looks like  red cabbage loves cooler weather.  So far we have had it in salads, and stir fries.  Now onto Sauerkraut, something I have never made before.  In doing some research, I discovered that Kimi over at Nourishing Gourmet has a great post for making Sauerkraut - check out her site for the original recipe.  I used her recipe as a guideline, but discovered, that I would need to make a couple of changes as I started off in a different direction.  Kimi's recipe shows the cabbage being shredded finely in a food processor, I chose to finely slice mine, as I wanted a bigger texture.

Using a clean glass bowl, or crock, something that is non reactive, I sliced up 5 lbs. of red cabbage, to which I added about 4 tsp. of Himalayan Course Salt.  I then put a plate on top and covered the bowl with clean towels.  I realized after an hour or two, there was still no natural juices forming, so I used a wide jar, and began pressing down onto the cabbage, and slowly the juices began to form.  It was a bit of a work out, but glad I did this to get the process happening.  Then I filled a 4 liter jar with water, tightened the lid and placed that on top of the plate to weigh it down.  There should be enough juice so that it begins running onto the plate.   Then cover well with clean towels to prevent any dust or debris from entering the bowl of cabbage.  The following morning, I checked the cabbage,  cleaned the plate and returned it on top of the bowl of cabbage, placed the jar of water on top and covered well with towels.  The fermentation process is beginning! I just realized, the recipe should have had a total of 3 1/2  Tblsp. course salt, and I used 4 tsp., so although it was two days later, I added more salt.  At this point I was not sure if it would continue to ferment.  From the research I have done, apparently, there should be a layer of "bloom"  that should be removed each day.  I never did get any, but I did check each day.  After 10 days, I decided to taste it.  Wow, it was surprisingly delicious!  I then transferred the Sauerkraut to clean glass jars, and filled the jars, pressing down the cabbage, and poured any remaining liquid over top of the cabbage.  Add a screw top and place in the fridge.  Sauerkraut is surprisingly easy to make, nutritious and delicious. Thank you Kimi for your guidelines!