Monday, March 12, 2018

Real food fermentation


Preserving food through fermentation is a lost art in our modern society, but there has been a resurgence in the craft in recent years. People are looking for ways to improve the health through better food choices. You can find fermented foods in grocery stores but selection and quality will vary. Most likely the traditionally fermented foods found on grocery store shelves have been pasteurized rendering their health benefits null and void. This is especially true of sauerkraut and pickles. If you can find fermented, unpasteurized foods at the grocery store in the refrigerated section, the cost will shock you.

That is where books like Real Food Fermentation by Alex Lewin step in. Lewin provides recipes and step-by-step directions on how to ferment food on your own. It's always best to start with a proven recipe and method before experimenting because of food safety. Lewin does give guidelines on food safety and equipment. Thankfully, most equipment is pretty basic.

I did try my hand at making my own sauerkraut. Despite the instructions in the book, I also viewed YouTube videos and researched other recipes before trying it on my own. It was easier than I expected and also much tastier than any version purchased at the grocery store. The cost was significantly less, but then again there is a two week delay (minimum) before you can taste test.


The book is a handy guide for anyone wanting to try food fermentation. I will admit I only tried the sauerkraut. The other recipes didn't interest me and Kombucha seemed a bit scary - only because of the risk of brewing alcohol. The book is heavily illustrated with lots of full color pictures. All in all, a good book for beginners.

Book rating: 5 stars

The books I select for review are books which I personally select from my local library. I do not receive any reimbursement from authors or publishers or free books. I do provide links to Amazon as a convenience to the readers of this blog. I do earn a small referral pittance which is not even enough to buy a soda.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Unbroken


I listened to the young adult audio version of Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. This true story follows Louis Zamperini and his rise from a troubled youth, to an olympic athlete, and finally to a prisoner of war held by the Japanese. The title Unbroken is fitting because after everything he endured he went on to live a relatively normal life. The story was eventually made into a movie, but I have not seen the movie and can't comment on how it compares to the book.

This is an important story to read. There are sometimes ordinary people asked to do extraordinary things. While Louis Zamperini was not necessarily asked to do anything he experienced, he did volunteer. He gave up his Olympic career to serve his country. And then to endure a plane crash and days on a raft only to land in Japan and endure even more is rather extraordinary.

Since I listened to the young adult version of the story, I can't say what I missed. An Amazon reviewer says the language was simplified a bit and there is some abridgement to the story. I felt the changes were relatively minor because I didn't feel I was missing anything. In some parts of the story, I wondered if content had been edited because the torture of the POW's was rather graphic. Still, how does one edit it without losing the seriousness of the situation? After listening to the book, I tracked down the print version to see the pictures.

Laura Hillenbrand did an excellent job in writing this book. For more about Louis Zamperini, I found he wrote his own story.

Book rating: 5 stars

The books I select for review are books which I personally select from my local library. I do not receive any reimbursement from authors or publishers or free books. I do provide links to Amazon as a convenience to the readers of this blog. I do earn a small referral pittance which is not even enough to buy a soda.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Starting Now


I read Starting Now by Debbie Macomber three years ago and I can't remember much of the story. Lydia is a recently laid off lawyer and she is trying to figure her life out. She ends up on Blossom Street and forms a friendship with the shop owner. She also meets a doctor and begins a relationship.

Not being able to remember the story is probably true for many of Debbie Macomber's stories. I have read most of the Blossom Street series and only a few of the stories stand out in my memory and one in particular affected me. But many of Debbie Macomber's stories are fluffy romances and this story is apparently one of them. At the time I read this, it filled a need for a light read.

Book Rating: 3 stars because the story was forgettable.

The books I select for review are books which I personally select from my local library. I do not receive any reimbursement from authors or publishers or free books. I do provide links to Amazon as a convenience to the readers of this blog. I do earn a small referral pittance which is not even enough to buy a soda.