I was excited to meet Sandor Katz at his recent appearance at Nikau Cafe in Wellington as part of Writer’s Week. His hefty ‘The Art of Fermentation‘ hardback book is a steal at less than $40 delivered in NZ. He reignited my passion for fermentation as a method of preserving fruit and vegetables. It reminded me that the art of persuasion is a combination of enthusiasm and information. Sandor’s mild mannered delivery displayed both to advantage. Paul and Kelda who run Nikau were consummate hosts as ever with an unassuming and polished support team. They served delicious fermentation-themed passarounds. Would that more function organisers chose to offer a similarly appealing and novel range of non-alcohlic drinks to complement some well chosen wine and beer. I had lunched at Nikau Cafe last week too and been delighted with my choice of haloumi with a tomato salad. It takes skill and restraint to make what was essentially a de-constructed cheese and tomato sandwich into a memorable meal.
My cucumber and zucchini ferments are bubbling well and I’ve reactivated my kombucha jar. Might try another batch of salami too. Still adding to my baggallery with a happy teapot backpack. I’ll be teaching how to make them at Wellington’s HANDMADE 2014 festival at Queen’s Birthday weekend.
Top picks for seasonal recipes would be fritters of the beetroot, corn or zuchinni variety. Or a mixture of all three. Plus a stuffed zucchini or two. Vegetables make a great alternative wrapping to pastry if you want to increase your vegetable intake and reduce your grains. Plus they’re easy, cheap and delicious. Peppers, pumpkins, eggplants and tomatoes make great containers for a meaty or not so meaty filling. I filled some zucchini halves with a slice of left over corned beef, corn kernels and a sprinkling of cheese and it worked really well.