Tipsy Instead Of Tossing

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I am wild about wild fermentation and eliminating food waste makes me downright giddy. It is a snowy day and I feel like bringing a little culture into my life!

I was blessed with a ton (well not a ton but a decent amount) of free, rescued produce from a local grocery store the other day. I have been running my dehydrator since yesterday trying to preserve as much food as I can for the lean times that are ahead. The majority of fruits and veggies I just sliced and dried. I ground up the dried mushrooms which makes an amazing spice to add to soups and dips as well as sauces.

I still had citrus fruit left so I decided to try to make a young country wine using wild caught yeast. I don’t have the exact recipe because I am winging it. Basically I am using purified water which I boiled for good measure (make sure in is chlorine free or it will mess with the fermentation process). In a glass bowl (no metal) I added the hot water and stirred in white sugar. I will let the water cool down and then add masticated oranges and a lemon. With fermentation it is important to not allow the fruit to reach the surface or it will mold. We are trying to get good yeast and bacteria to grow NOT mold. There are many recipes online for orange country wine made with wild caught yeast. Once I perfect the recipe I will post!

From all the prep work of the fruits and veggies I had a decent amount of scraps and trimmings and cores. I put most of them in my counter top vermicompost, and the remainder that I did not want, I added to my regular compost. I had a number of lovely apple and pear cores so I decided to use them to make an apple/pear cider and/or vinegar. We will see how the process goes. As with all my lacto-fermentation projects I used glass jars and purified water that I boiled. I poured the water directly over the cores and made sure none of the fruit is touching the surface of the water. For this project I did not use any salt (as with sauerkraut) and I did not use any sugar (even though a little sugar is said to speed up the process). Hopefully in a couple weeks I will have apple cider vinegar or possibly some home brew of the alcoholic variety. I am not too picky, I am just happy not to be wasting any of my rescued food bounty!

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