Cooking Traditional Foods

By member Brandi Monson

Have you read Nourishing Traditions yet? That’s the book that started me down my whole traditional foods,/fermented foods journey. It’s very informative and inspiring. But I’ll admit that after I read it, I was a bit overwhelmed at making these sort of changes to our diets.
Cooking traditional style foods can be intimidating to those who are just starting out or who are lacking in the culinary department. Also for moms who are just busy, this style of cooking does take longer. BUT there is help for those of you who feel this is too daunting to take that first step.
There is a blog called Cooking Traditional Foods and right now they are hosting a giveaway for  a free year of Menu Mailers and the Recipe Archive. This is a generous giveaway and a great value! I’ve subscribed to KerryAnn’s menu mailers in the past (and I really need to again!) because she not only makes cooking traditional style fun and easy, she does all the leg work of making out your shopping lists for you. She even gives you reminders about taking out your meats to thaw, or soaking your grains/beans. It’s great for those of us who easily get sidetracked.

The other bonus with these mailers is that KerryAnn always puts in gluten-free, casein-free options with each meal. And for those who don’t eat pork, she offers easy substitutions there too! It’s great!

“CTF has the longest running Traditional Foods Menu Mailer on the internet. KerryAnn Foster, the mailer’s author, has over nine years of traditional foods experience and is a former Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader. Founded in 2005, CTF helps you feed your family nourishing foods they will love. Each mailer contains one soup, five dinners, one breakfast, one dessert and extras. You can learn more about our Menu Mailers at the CTF website. For a free sample Menu Mailer, join our mailing list. You can also join our forum to chat with other traditional foodists and learn more.”

I encourage anyone who is even remotely interested in doing something positive and life changing with their diets to try out CTF menu mailers. Ask for your sample today!


Brewing My Own Ale (ginger that is)

So I gave the previous recipe a try, and the verdict is~I love it! Very tasty and healthful. I’ve shared the recipe with several people (besides all of you!) and hope that everyone gives it a try.
Fermenting is fun, but it’s usually a bit of work. This recipe is so simple, it doesn’t get any easier folks!
Look closely and you can see the tiny bubbles formed at the top of the jar.  My third batch which is brewing right now, I’m going to experiment with bottling and leaving out another day in order to increase the carbonation.

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Fermented Lemons

A few months ago the club ordered organic lemons and organic Meyer lemons. I purchased both for a little variety. I have been wanting to try my hand at fermenting lemons. They are a favored ingredient in  Moroccan dishes. My taste buds were introduced to some Moroccan style cuisine through a subscription from Cooking Traditional Foods.

I pulled out my handy copy of Nourishing Traditions and looked up lemons. I had previously looked up some recipes online and there are many to choose from, such as:  Moroccan Preserved Lemons, or this version of Moroccan Preserved Lemons ….. I use a simple glass jar, crock or plastic bucket to ferment in (depending on the quantities) but you could get one of these handy-dandy contraptions to try as well.

I opted to follow the recipe in NT since it was right there in front of me and not in the other room on my computer screen…

So to get started I washed all of my lemons with produce wash and several rinses.


Assembled all the necessary items.

Then I began to slice and quarter the lemons as Fallon directs. Other recipes call for partial quartering and salting the lemons whole, eh, whatever tickles your fancy.

Then I mixed them with salt.

Chopped and salted.

I poured the lemons into a clean quart jar and pounded them down with a mallet, made specifically for beating the dickens out of cabbage. A couple of years ago this guy approached me at farmers’ market asking about making sauerkraut. I shared my recipe and some helpful hints with him, he called me numerous times with questions, he really was quite the novice and yet enthusiastic! It was fun to mentor him in kraut making! His way of saying thanks was to have this handy-dandy mallet designed and milled for me! So very thoughtful! It really does work well!

Packing into the jar.

The finished jar, ready to ferment!

Juicy lemons ready to ferment.


by member Brandi Monson

Several years ago I read Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions and it challenged me to incorporate traditional style foods into our diet. We already ate most ‘home-made’ foods, you know,  things that didn’t come out of a box. But I wanted to incorporate the lacto-fermented veggies and condiments that the author so praises.

I started with sauerkraut thinking that it couldn’t be so hard, countless Germans have made this and it’s just cabbage after-all! To my surprise it was not only ‘not hard’ but super simple and turned out a delightfully light & crisp kraut that even my husband appreciates. (nothing at all like your store-bought canned sauerkraut.)

Next I tried fermented mustard. Okay, so I wasn’t so sure about this one. But I followed the recipe, mixed it up and let it sit on the counter for a few days. Then I put it in the fridge, and left it there. I would take it out every now and then and look at it, open the lid and smell it, still afraid to taste test it!  No one I knew had ever made this and I wasn’t feeling much like being a royal tester. So back into the fridge it would go.

Eventually I worked up the nerve to sample it, and much to my surprise, not only was it good, but it was fabulous.  Better than any gourmet mustard I have tried in the past, and I’ve tried a few. It had such a full mustard flavor, almost tasted  like it had horseradish in it, although it had none. Delicious. I even coaxed my health-food avoiding brother-in-law to sample it and he loved it. Needless to say, it didn’t last long.

So once again I’ve got the fermenting bug. I’ve tried kraut, kimchi (very good!!), mustard, ginger carrots, pickles (which didn’t turn out right, to the compost it went) and recently I fermented some lemons (more about those in another post). I would like to encourage everyone to give lacto-fermenting a try. It’s easy and wonderfully healthy, like yogurt supplying beneficial bacteria to your digestive system.

Go wild and ferment something tonight!!

P.S. Another informative book on fermenting foods is called Wild Fermentation by Sandor Elix Katz. Katz chronicles his health struggles as a gay man with full-blown AIDS. He maintains that his good health has come from eating raw fermented foods.