Dear Yogis,

I have been making “herby” stuff for my new book (I even have an interested publisher).  I have to try these recipes and ideas out, and write them down in a way you will understand, instead of just throwing things together until the taste test is right.  I hope you are working hard at making from the garden –  soon it will be winter and a lot of the yummy stuff will be replaced (temporarily) by the bitter herbs that mother nature gives us to prepare our gut for the next season, we skip them at our peril.  If we don’t prepare with these herbs,  then we get all the gut issues that modern man is prone to.

So, eat away, keeping in mind you will be saving heaps at a time when things at the shops are getting more and more expensive and will continue to rise as interest rates go up (this effects everything).

Here a recipe to be going on with…  APPLE CIDER VINEGAR (there are lots of self-seeded apple tress around – find one). Although this is a longish recipe, it is easy – I have just broken it down into a step by step process.

*organic apples and apple scraps (left over from jelly or tarts)
*2 Tablespoons cane sugar – you can use other sugars but they don’t ferment as well.
*2 cups water

Clean and dry a 1 litre (or larger) jar.
Fill the jar 3/4 full with apple scraps.  If you are using whole apples chop roughly and put them in the jar.
Dissolve the sugar in the water.

First Fermentation:
*Pour the sugar water over the apples until they are covered (adjust according the the size of the jar, but always make sure the apples are covered), always add additional water to make sure the apples are completely submerged.
*Weigh down the apples with a fermentation weight or a small glass jar (Any apples that are not under water could mould)
*Cover with cheese cloth or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band
*Store in a dark place at room temperature (for the first two weeks I store mine on the kitchen bench because it needs stirring frequently – some people call it “the beast” because it is yeasty and alive)
*Leave it for 3 weeks, check stir, and make sure that none of the apples are getting mouldy.
*Bubbles will form, just keep stirring – it will settle.

Second Fermentation:
*After 3 weeks, you will notice it will smell fairly sweet.
*Strain the apples out  and return the liquid to the jar.
*Some cooks compost the apples, some use them in salads or baking – you decide.
*Put the cover back on the jar and leave it in a dark place for three weeks, stirring gently every few days.
*When the vinegar has achieved the desired strength for you, take off the mother which you can use again- I save them in a jar of water in the fridge.
*The lid can be replaced tightly at this stage and you can transfer some or all of the filtered vinegar to a bottle and start using it.   You could use half a cup of this ferment to add to the next batch which means it will ferment more quickly.
*Keep in the fridge otherwise it will keep getting stronger….  I am told that stronger vinegars are very good for weight loss (this applies to Kombucha too).

Yogis, I hope you enjoy making this... it is so much more satisfactory than anything you can buy.

I have just had a corner of my kitchen re-modelled by a lovely man (sorry girls, married to someone else).  I have wanted this small change completed for years, and now I feel there is so much more room in the kitchen, and so much bench space.  What a difference a new cupboard can make!  No, I won’t be getting a stove or a dishwasher or a Thermomix although I can see that each of these things have a reason and a purpose, but at the moment, I like doing things the hard way, it brings me closer to the whole process. Buying non-essential equipment opposes my idea of simplicity.  If I can enjoy my day and time in the kitchen without BUYING something to remove the process from me, then I will.


See you on the mat (or in the kitchen),