This past weekend I had the opportunity to gather together with a few friends here at GMC at the Cerrwidwen Farm House to make some yummy food with the student-run Slow Foods club. This year, the club is being run by two Green Mountain juniors, Ivana Zivkovic and Sarah Wallen. This week Ivana and Sarah taught us how to make kraut and ricotta cheese from scratch.
Kraut (chopped up cabbage, massaged and self fermented with its own juices) is amazing! I was so in awe of how simple and also mysterious the process in making it was. This is a paragraph I found online that clearly explains the process that is really helpful: ” Sauerkraut is pickled cabbage. To make it, cabbage is shredded, salted and left to ferment in a de-oxygenated environment for 4-6 weeks. The salt, via osmosis, pulls water out of the cabbage to form brine that helps protect the kraut while it is fermenting. Some modern recipes use vinegar, but the traditional method just uses salt and occasionally water to add brine volume. Three phases of microbial activity produce lactic acid and improve vitamin content while converting sugars in the cabbage. The enzymes break the cabbage down into smaller, more digestible molecules and the lactic acid kills unwanted organisms. The term “lacto-ferment” comes from the lactic acid secreting bacteria present in a batch.”
Ricotta cheese is also amazing! The easiest cheese to make within many cheese-making processes. All you need is milk, salt, and vinegar ! Here is another great online excerpt: “You bring the milk almost to a simmer, add lemon juice or vinegar, and then let it sit while you work on the rest of dinner. Another 10 minutes or so goes into straining the curds, and then the ricotta is ready for your lasagna, pizza, or whatever devious and delicious plans you have in store.” This is literally a half an hour or less process and SO delicious.
So thankful we have the resources on campus and student interest to create and learn more about making food from scratch! If you’re interested in joining Slow Foods Club as a student on GMC’s campus, contact myself or Sarah or Ivana!