Kimchi, Fermented Root Vegetables, recipe adapted from Katz, S.E. (2003). Wild Fermentation:

When a variety of radishes, turnips, and cabbages come into season, it’s time to preserve the fall vegetables by fermentation. Fresh black radish so hot in the mouth mellows when fermented, not to mention the health giving qualities fermentation gives us.

Mild Kimchi

Makes up to 4 quarts

1 pound Napa cabbage, chopped finely

Daikon radishes, thinly sliced 

(mandolin is helpful)

Black radishes, thinly sliced

3 carrots, thinly sliced

Bunch of kale, bock choy, finely chopped

3-6 garlic, finely chopped

3 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger

Cayenne, seeded & chopped


Mix a brine of 4 cups water and 4 tablespoons salt and

heat to dissolve salt, stir & cool.

Place chopped vegetables in ceramic container and mix

the vegetables with your hands. Add the chopped garlic,

ginger and cayenne and mix into the vegetables. Pour

cooled brine over vegetables and press down, so that the

brine covers the vegetables.

The next day you can drain the brine, taste for saltiness

and place the vegetables back into the ceramic container..

Press down until the brine rises over the vegetables. You

can add the brine if more is needed. Use the rest of the

brine to fill up a plastic ziplock bag.. You may add more

brine to the plastic bag. Fit the bag over the vegetables

to keep the vegetables submerged. Place ceramic container

in a cool place like the basement.

In a week, taste the vegetables for saltiness and crispness.

When mixture is sufficiently fermented, place mixture

into glass containers and put in the refrigerator to stop

the fermentation process.

 Quart jar of kimchi ready to eat!

Quart jar of kimchi ready to eat!

The Making of Kimchi


Owl cookies

Making  owl cookies is a fall tradition started when my daughter was a baby. I’ve changed the recipe over the years, switching to maple sugar,  butter & almond butter to make them more flavorful and healthy.

Owl Maple Sugar Cookies

            2/3 cup butter [151 grams]

            1 cup maple sugar  [217 grams]

            1 egg

            1 teaspoon vanilla

            1 cup crunchy almond butter [285 grams]

            1 1/3 cup all purpose flour [160 grams]

            1 teaspoon baking powder

            1/2 teaspoon salt

            1 cup plus oatmeal [100 grams]

            2 ounces bittersweet chocolate

            Bittersweet chocolate pieces


Combine butter & sugar in a heavy, duty mixer fitted with a paddle attachment & mix until creamy.  Add egg, vanilla & almond butter; blend thoroughly. Sift flour, oatmeal, baking powder and salt together.  Add to creamed mixture, & blend well. Divide dough in half.  Shape one half to form a roll 8” long.  Add melted chocolate to remaining dough and mix to blend. Pat chocolate dough on parchment paper, forming an 8” square or twice the width of your roll.  Place roll on chocolate dough square and press chocolate dough around the roll until it is completely covered except for the ends. Wrap with parchment paper.  Do not refrigerate dough; room temperature allows the dough to be more pliable.  Cut into 1/4” slices, (pastry scraper works well) alternating the position of the roll to maintain the rounded shape. Place each cookie on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pinch chocolate dough to form two ears.  Use chocolate chips for the eyes, and press a cashew in the middle for the owl’s beak. Bake in preheated 350˚ for 12–15 minutes.






Honey -Thyme Ice Cream, The Cook and the Gardener, Amanda Hesser

 2 cups milk

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup honey (168 grams)

5 egg yolks

16 plus sprigs thyme

Fill bottom pan of double boiler with an inch of water and bring to boil. Lower the heat to medium and place the upper pan on top. Add the milk, cup of the cream, the honey, add the egg yolks, and stir constantly until the mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon, 10 to 15 minutes (or when temperature reaches 175º F.) Remove from the heat, add the thyme sprigs, cover and infuse for 10 minutes. 

Strain into a bowl, add the remaining (cold) cup of cream, and mix well. Let cool completely, then pour into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.


Bread mixing bowl.jpg


Years ago I was introduced to the books of Elizabeth David, Britain’s answer to Julie Child. However, Elizabeth David not only proved to be a fine cook, she became one of the foremost culinary historians of her time. I started with her Bread book, and I was hooked. I wanted to become a culinary historian of the 18th century. I needed to learn how to bake the bread of the time.

And then I learned about the Ordinary Penny Loaf and met a fine bread maker originally from Germany, of course the land of the best bread. Brigitte owned a flower pot that she kept in her oven to replicate a bee hive oven found in many 18th century kitchens. She also found a perfect bread making bowl.

Through Brigitte’s inspiration, I purchased a large terricotta flower pot, and found a black smith to make an iron handle for the top. One stormy night a black cherry tree fell at Sully Plantation where I worked, and I asked for a log from the fallen tree. The next day the log was waiting for me right by my car. The log was so heavy it barely fit in the trunk, but somehow it managed to arrive at my home. My husband cut the log in half and slowly created a bread bowl, using an adze, an axe-like tool with “a thin arched blade set at right angles to the handle and is used chiefly for shaping wood.” I read Elizabeth David’s bread book from cover to cover and learned about the ancient history of bread making, and the use of yeast. Now I was ready to create a loaf of crusty bread.

 Flower pot with iron handle

Flower pot with iron handle

…cooks knew that a penny white loaf—even if its actual cost was higher or lower—meant one made from the finest flour, enriched with milk and egg, weighing from six to eight ounces, while an ordinary penny loaf meant one of slightly coarser flour milled from a secondary quality of wheat and weighing probably twice as much.

David, Elizabeth, English Bread and Yeast Cookery, London, England, Penguin Books, 1979.


When Brigitte introduced me to 18th century Mary Randolph’s receipt for an Ordinary Penny Loaf, I realized this was the recipe I wanted to work with. The proportion of water to flour is perfect. Many good bread recipes still use that proportion. Also sugar is not used to “feed” the yeast. Overnight fermentation of flour, water & yeast is the secret. Yeast and sugar are rivals for the water in the mix. Take out the sugar, and the yeast is perfectly happy to use the flour as its growing mechanism if it has the time.

Mary Randolph in The Virginia Housewife writes,

…put into a bowl three quarters of a pint of cold water to each quart of flour, with a large spoonful of yeast, and a little salt, to every quart;…In the morning, work it a little, make it into rolls, and bake it.…A quart of flour should weigh just one pound and a quarter.

Randolph, Mary, The Virginia House-wife, facsimile of 1824 edition by Karen Hess, University of South Carolina Press, 1984.


To make 4 (8 oz.) loaves: Adapted Receipt

Sponge—4 oz. flour, 4 oz. water ½ tsp yeast

12 oz. (about 3 cups) unbleached bread flour

4 oz Spelt flour (about one cup)

2 teaspoons salt (6-7 grams salt)

 Overnight sponge

Overnight sponge

Make a sponge with 4 oz. (1 cup) unbleached flour, 4 oz. water (1/2 cup) and ½ tsp. dry yeast. Mix ingredients until they are incorporated, cover with plastic wrap, allowing to ferment for several hours or overnight. When it has doubled and is full of bubbles, it’s ready to be made into dough. This step makes a tastier bread.

 Sponge, flour, salt and water…ready to mix

Sponge, flour, salt and water…ready to mix

 Kneading the dough

Kneading the dough

Place sponge in large mixing bowl and add the remaining all-purpose flour, the spelt flour, salt and 8 oz water. Mix until incorporated and knead with the heal of your hand until smooth and silky. Cover the dough with plastic wrap, painted with a thin layer of olive oil, and allow to double in size (about 1-2 hours). 

 Almost ready

Almost ready

 Kneaded dough, ready to cover with plastic wrap and rest

Kneaded dough, ready to cover with plastic wrap and rest

Once doubled, shape into 4 round loaves & place upside down on parchment paper sprinkled with corn meal.  Cover and allow to rise once more. 

Dividing the dough into 4 pieces.jpg

 Dough shaped into four, slashed and ready to bake

Dough shaped into four, slashed and ready to bake

Place the pizza stone and flower pot in the oven and preheat to 425º.  It will take about an hour. When the oven is hot, place the bread dough with the parchment paper on a peel (a shovel-like tool used to slide bread in and our of the oven). Take a knife and slash the top, allowing the dough  to expand. Slide the parchment & dough onto the pizza stone and cover with the flower pot.  Bake the bread about 25-30. The bread is done when the internal temperature is 190-205 or it sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom. Normally I find the temperature of the bread by poking a temperature probe on the bottom of the loaf. Five minutes before the bread is done, you can take off the flower pot and allow the bread to finish browning. 

 The peel sliding the bread into the oven

The peel sliding the bread into the oven

 Ready to bake

Ready to bake

 Baked bread with temperature probe

Baked bread with temperature probe