Fermentation 101

The “Fermenting Females!”

I had the fun opportunity to host a Fermentation 101 class for a group of moms here in Santa Barbara and it was a ball!  I started by posting to my homeschool email list serve to see if anyone was open to doing a monthly fermented food swap (like one I had done in DC), but almost all who responded were curious about fermenting foods, yet wanted to learn more before they started swapping their creations.

So my hospitable friend, Jenna, opened up her home to 15 of us and we learned, tasted, and made sauerkraut and orange marmalade together.

Following are the notes, recipes and pictures of our little Fermentation Festival!

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SUSTAINABILITY: Our future (Part 3)

(Be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2!)

OUR SUSTAINABLE FUTURE:  The small efforts that are making a BIG difference

Photo by Bryan R. Van Devender

So if the goal in helping feed the world is to get people to the point of meeting their own needs, then I am going to focus on organizations who are thinking beyond and doing more than just giving hand outs.  As Dennis Prager pointed out, if the National Park Service warns, “Please Do Not Feed the Animals” because they may grow dependent on hand outs and not learn to take care of themselves, perhaps (with the exception of emergency relief and short-term help) we should treat humans with the same respect.  If that sounds harsh, know that even leaders in poor countries and ex-pats working within them are acknowledging this concern as well.

(On a personal note, a team of friends just returned from a humanitarian trip to Haiti and were surprised and discouraged that one of the few phrases many of the local children could speak in English was, “Give me a dollar.”  Let’s teach the next generation to say, and do, more than that.)

For a detailed critique of past and current development efforts, and some inside-out recommendations for improvement, see When Helping Hurts.  I would also highly recommended a set of podcasts that delve deep into the questions of poverty called Poverty Unlocked.   Continue reading

SUSTAINABILITY: GMOs and the Status Quo (Part 2)

(To begin with Part 1, go here first.)


“WEIRD SCIENCE” (FYI, I cannot find all of the links online to back up Joel’s review of the scientific literature.  Intuitively, I trust him and know that in one of his many books, he cites specific back up.  As well, bad science has a way of getting buried by the big guys who could be negatively impacted by it…)

Our society has all but swallowed the mainstream science that has promoted Genetically Modified crops and chemical fertilizers as safe and much more productive than its organic, (God-designed) counterparts.  But if you look a little deeper, you’ll see the failings and biases of even the world’s best science. Continue reading

Can We Feed the World Sustainably? (Part 1)


(Why do I often bite off more than I can chew?  I’ve decided to turn this into a 3 part series due to the length.)

I’m not going to even bother answering this question with a “yes” or a “no.”  Instead, I am going to explain why we have no other choice than to feed the world sustainably (via a little history lesson and a critique of the status quo.)  And finally I will share some awesome, yet little known examples of how others are already doing so.

But first let’s start with a definition for “sustainability.”   Continue reading

The Reformation of Food and the Family Conference: A Review

 Titanic Event

One of my new, wonderful friends in Santa Barbara, Jenna, sent me an email a little over a month ago alerting me to this conference.  I was SO excited about an event where Christians were talking about food issues, because seeing that combo come together has been a passion of mine for a number of years now.  I also happen to think gluttony is the last acceptable sin in the church (at the cost of oppressing the ‘least of these’) and, as a whole, we Christians are getting schooled on creation-care by our hippy counterparts.   So it was a real encouragement to hear that the Vision Forum was tackling this mighty subject. Continue reading

RECIPE: Grain-free Pancakes


I realize that grain-free is all the rage right now but, though I’m gluten-intolerant, I am not morally against all grains.  (Too many bread references in the B-I-B-L-E, for one…  And I do realize that the bread was a completely different beast back then than our SAD Wonderbread, but I am happy to report that Jack Bezian is making Old Worlde bread that he ferments for up to a month and are amazingly delicious and easily tolerated by many a gluten-hater.  I digress, but it was so worth it…)

So I’ve been looking for grain-free recipes that are a compromise between the almond flour pucks and the coconut flour egg hogs.  Couldn’t find one, so I made one up.   Continue reading

The Sugar Manifesto

In 2008, after almost 5 years of membership, I wrote the following letter to our awesome church after a wonderful but sugar-filled retreat.  I questioned the disconnect between wanting to nourish our kids spiritually while pumping their little temples full of crap food.  I challenged the church to view food as a justice issue.  I gave suggestions for alternative snack options.  And, to the credit of the leadership, they took me up on my suggestions… and promptly put me in charge of kids snacks for the next retreat.  The squeaky wheel gets the grease – and sometimes the responsibility.  =)

Though (as a whole) we’re a little late to the party, Christians in large numbers, are starting to notice that food matters to God. Continue reading

RECIPE: Fermented Blueberry Chutney


I just submitted this to a Whole Foods original recipe contest.  Here’s hoping!  (Although I can’t imagine that they would ever pick a recipe with the word “bacteria” in it… Scaredy cats.)


Note:  Fermented foods tend to be easy to throw together, but require time for those friendly bacteria to do their glorious work.  Fermentation preserves foods naturally while also providing healthy probiotic bacteria that aid in digestion.  Because of the benefits, traditional cultures ate fermented condiments at every meal.  So they are delicious AND nutritious – it’s a win-win!   Continue reading

Real Food for Real Families

This was the presentation that I gave at our MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers) group when I lived in DC.  (A little shout out to my DC friends – miss you all!)  A few of the gals became Real Food Fanatics after our little discussion – so proud…


FIRST THINGS FIRST – No one can do it all.  Grace not guilt.

ABOUT ME – My journey and passion to connect faith and food…

DISCLAIMERS – This is politically incorrect and may be a paradigm shift.  Everyone is different.  PRAY for family support and desire.

WHAT IS REAL FOOD? Continue reading

Eat Real Food (Or As Our Grandparents Called It, “Food.”)

This post is for those just beginning to walk in the Real Food Ways.  Take note that this is an ever evolving journey and though there are some very obvious characteristics about Real Food, each person has to find (and tweak) the version that works for them.  (The variations of the Paleo lifestyle, Raw food movement, Specific Carbohydrate Diet, etc. will have to wait for another post.)

And because this blog is called “Shesourceful” instead of “Sheexplainsitalleventhoughlotsofotherpeoplealreadyhave,” I’m just going to pass along a few links to some great Real Food resources.  I will try to use my editing super powers because there are too many to choose from.  Ya know, because Real Food is all the rage.  Actually it was all there was until around the Industrial Revolution.  But I digress… Continue reading