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I've wanted to make dandelion wine for, oh... six years now.  And guess what?  Today, I made dandelion wine!

Sure, it won't be drinkable for months, but I'm excited!  And since dandelions are blooming everywhere right about now, it's the perfect time to do some wild foraging and harvest your own bottle of wine.


 
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Quick and dirty recipe - homemade tempeh salad!  Delicious, nutritious, easy.  Like many lovely things in life.

When your immune system is struggling, protein and greens are the ultimate combination.  When your energy is low, quick meals are a godsend.  Ta-da!  Tempeh salad, at your service.

Now, you don't have to use homemade tempeh, but I highly, highly recommend it.  It's less expensive and more delicious.  Plus, how cool is it to ferment your own tempeh?!?  Way cool.


 
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There's Bessie!
It's finally happened.  I caught the raw milk bug.  Yep... I'm into it.

Ask anyone who knows me - I can be stubborn.  Alternative health and food trends often leave me skeptical at all the hype.  It took me 3 years to start drinking kombucha, and another 4 months after that to even research its health benefits.  Now, I'm so 'into' it that I make my own kombucha.

So how did I become a raw milk convert? This morning I got an email from a local dairy owner, offering a (raw) milk share from her soon-to-be lactating cow, Bessie.  Shares are about $3.50/gallon, 50 cents more than the local organic milk I've been getting from the grocery store.  Usually the cost (and having to drive 30 miles pick the milk up) would be enough to tip the balance towards store-bought. 

But... I looked at the pros and cons between store-bought and farm share, and raw milk won out:


 
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Thick, creamy, a lil' tangy... yogurt cheese is incredibly versatile.  You can use it simply as a thickened 'Greek' yogurt, as labneh, as a spread for crackers & bagels, with fresh fruit, as a substitute for cream cheese, a base for sour cream dips, and even as whipped cream, cheese cake, & cake frosting (or so I hear).  Plus, it's probiotic!

Yogurt cheese is, undeniably, one of life's finer pleasures.  Personally, I like it with garlic, cracked black pepper, and sea salt.  I use this spiced yogurt cheese (yog-eese? chees-urt?) as a spread on crackers - delicious!

Best of all, yogurt cheese is extremely easy to make.  Let's give it a shot, shall we?


 
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My roommates are comedians.
Yogurt is incredibly easy to make.  There's really no reason to buy yogurt in those plastic cartons - especially when you have a source of free milk! 

I know most folks aren't as lucky as I am in the free-milk arena, but free milk happens

First, Morgan worked at a local community organization which had a surplus of free food - much of this food came to me, including gallons of milk! 

Lately, my roommates have been in and out of town, leaving me with soon-to-expire milk. 

My thoughts on this?  1.  Excellent.  2.  Yogurt!  3.  Most excellent.

And the best part is, you can make yogurt too!


 
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Morgan is satisfied!
_If there were a homemade tempeh church, I would join.

I know that sounds strange, but it really tastes that good!

As a vegetarian-minded/flexitarian-type eater, I've bought my fair share of commercial tempeh.  It's okay.  It's kind of boring, though, so I rely heavily on marinades like soy sauce and honey to spice it up.  Plus, tempeh costs around $4 for an 8 oz. package - $8/lb. is do-able, but not for something that's merely 'okay'.

One day, my partner Morgan and I were leafing through our copy of Wild Fermentation, and saw the section on bean ferments.  She offhandedly commented, "I'd be into making tempeh." 

Two days later, I bought 20 pounds of dried soybeans for $10 on Craigslist, and soon after, bought a packet of Rhyzopus oligosporus (the tempeh spore) from G.E.M. Cultures.

I was committed.


 
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Wild Grape & Mint Kombucha
_I was never a big kombucha drinker -  between its weird floaty slime and the price tag, the hype over its health benefits utterly failed to draw me in.

Then the day came... a dear friend brought me a bottle of home brewed kombucha.

Wow.  It was deliciously sweet and made with love.  Plus, it came in this ultra-cool blue glass bottle (I have a thing for colored glass)!  I used the spore juice left at the bottom to make my own batch, and I've been hooked ever since. 

Kombucha - or 'Booch', as I like to call it - is really easy to make.  Plus, you can make a liter of it (a little more than two 16-oz. bottles) for approximately $1 and half an hour of your time. 

When you make your own kombucha, it's designer - everything, from tea/herb/juice blend and type of sweetener, to the degree of acidity and alcohol content is up to you.

I'm not going to list off its health benefits, because I don't know and I don't really care.  All I know is that live cultures are good for you and it tastes awesome.

So!  Ready to learn?  Good.



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