It’s Noir or Never!

At the end of this past growing season, we were blessed with (among other things) a harvest of garlic, apples and chestnuts from Katsumi Farms, (Megan’s parents homestead). With minimal fridge space and an eagerness to learn more about preserving and fermenting stuff, Megan and I decided to try turn them black before they turned bad. Let’s start! To make black chestnuts, black garlic and black apples, we vacuum sealed them in bags and placed them in a dehydrator at 60°C/140°F for 4 weeks, 6 weeks and 8 weeks, respectively.

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Shio Koji

Shio Koji. Lately, I have been putting that $H!T on everything. Ever since I finished the Koji Alchemy book, which I highly recommend, I have been trying to get my hands dirty with koji. No deep dive here yet, just small baby steps. It started with just seasoning with a bottle that you can just buy and use it right away like any type of seasoning. I would use it as a marinade or as a finishing when sautéeing vegetables, (Nicholas loves it). Everything came out pretty tasty so far, and I’ve found there’s less of a chance of over-seasoning as long as it’s used sparingly. Note that shio koji has both sweetness and saltiness, and the commercial ones tend to be a little bit on the saltier side.

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Did you know we can grow persimmons in Ontario? The trees have been on the farm for some time, but you wouldn’t know it until this year now that the fruit has finally started to appear! The fruits were quite small and some had fairly large seeds without much meat, but it was still such a thrill to see them on the trees for the first time. They tasted pretty good too! With the first harvest of fruit this year, we thought we’d try to preserve some as hoshigaki for fun. We strung them up and left them to hang in our garage – which has a little airflow, but not much. Due to lack of planning, we didn’t get the process quite right. We should have peeled and hung them earlier (they were already starting to ripen) and the temperature of the garage ended up being a bit too cold. Hopefully we will get another shot at it next year!

Yogurt at Home: 2 ways

We’ve been making our own yogurt at home for the last year or so. It’s really been more for fun than anything else. I have a hunch that it’s not exactly more economical (more on that at the end). But there is something that I find so exciting about the magic transformation that takes place. Another bonus is that we’re eliminating a lot of the waste that goes along with buying and eating yogurt on a regular basis (I mean, realistically one can only find so many uses for all of those plastic tubs).

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Bread and Butter Pickles


1 3/4 cup vinegar (we used a combination of apple cider and white vinegar 50/50)
1 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp celery seeds
3 tbsp salt Read More