Dreamy's Delights

It's all about the food!

Kitchen Gear

I recently expanded my cooking repertoire to include lacto-fermented foods. I realized that this requires a bit of extra equipment. This led me to thinking that I should list some of the more unusual things I keep around the house.

Mason Jars: Because I can my own food, these are required in my house. I have half pint, pint, quart and half gallon sized jars. I recently added the half gallon jars for my fermenting projects.

Water Bath Canner: Basically a big pot with a wire rack for holding quart and pint mason jars. Used for canning high acid foods such as fruits and tomatoes. Not required if you’re not interested in canning.

Pressure Canner: This is only required if you want to can your own low acid foods. I like to make a LOT of chicken stock (17 quarts one time) and can it for later use. A pressure canner has to be used to prevent botulism because water bath canning doesn’t raise the internal temperature enough.

Pickling Crocks: These are ceramic crocks that are designed for fermenting foods. They come in sizes ranging from 1 gallon to 5 gallons or even larger. I currently own two 3 gallon crocks. At some point I will probably invest in a 5 gallon crock for making BIG batches of sauerkraut. Some of the reading I’ve been doing seems to indicate that gut flora being out of balance can contribute to Multiple Sclerosis and lacto-fermented foods help heal the gut. I will probably been doing lots of fermenting in the future.

Cabbage Stomper: A hard wood stick that looks rather like a baseball bat with the end cut off flat. It’s used to tamp down cabbage and other veggies as you layer them into the crock for fermenting.

Plastic Crock Inserts: These are custom cut food grade discs that fit inside the pickling crocks to hold the food down. I put a half gallon mason jar full of water on top to provide the weight. If you buy a high end German fermenting crock, it comes with ceramic weights. I didn’t feel the need to spend a couple hundred on a crock when I could get a simple 3 gallon crock for $45 plus $20 for the plastic.

Food Processor: I’m a food processor junkie. I have my old 1970’s Cuisinart, a much newer Magimix, and a little 1.5 cup mini food processor. And yes, I use all of them.

Blender: I put off owning a blender for many years. I never needed it. Then when I started cooking Indian food, many of the sauces called for being pureed in a blender. So I have a nice little Oster that does the job just fine. Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t always have to have the most expensive gadgets 😉

KitchenAid Mixer: I love my KitchenAid stand mixer. It’s versatile and you can get extra attachments to do other things. My current favorite is the sausage grinder. I also have a sausage stuffing attachment but I haven’t had the patience to stuff sausage links. I want to eat the sausage too soon.  It’s not required equipment but a stand mixer comes in very handy for baking.

 


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