Summary Harnessing traditions from previous generations to preserve food is not only a passion for Shannon Stonger, but a way of life. Shannon walked away from a career in chemistry to raise her family. Shortly thereafter, she and her husband moved their family off the grid to discover a more simple, agrarian life. With only minimal solar-powered electricity, Shannon relies on practical food preservation techniques, such as fermentation, to provide nutritious food for her family while cutting food costs.
In Traditionally Fermented Foods, Shannon shows readers how to preserve food using traditional fermentation techniques, often without refrigeration. An alternative to canning and freezing, traditionally fermented foods do not require modern technology to preserve. You can learn Shannon’s authentic preservation technique, which she depends on daily to put food on the table, so you know they work. You can also learn how fermented foods work, how to make fermented foods and how to use fermented foods in recipes. This book contains over 80 recipes with corresponding photos.
I’ve read just about every fermenting book my library has (which is quite a few), and as an experienced fermenter I find all the other ones a bit basic and uninspiring, without answering ‘why’ the authors are passionate about fermenting, or showing me how to adjust recipes depending on temperatures, storage conditions and so on. Shannon’s book is completely different.
I love that this book integrates fermenting as a serious homestead activity rather than segregating it to just a ‘sometimes’ kitchen activity done in 70ºf kitchens with fridges for storage. Shannon lives off-grid, and the storage times in the book are all given for root cellar and room temperature storage, which I greatly appreciate, and I think many other people doing fermentation as a preserving method will appreciate this too.
Shannon is a homesteader, and the recipes are ones that fit well into the homestead, including easy ways to preserve tomatoes, zucchini, fresh herbs, sweet corn, and more, interesting variations on sauerkraut and kimchi, baking, dairy, and drink recipes that don’t need much time or attention, and plenty of other recipes that fit well into a busy lifestyle.
This book is more than a collection of recipes, but also gives guidelines for creating your own ferments, creative and tasty ways to include more fermented foods in your diet, and ways to adjust recipes depending on what temperature it will be fermented or stored at.
There are lots of photos, and lots of detail in the recipes, so that they really go beyond the basics. It’s suitable for fermenting beginners, and I think experienced fermenters will appreciate it it too (I have been fermenting things for around ten years, and I still learned from this book!). This is a book that answers ‘why’ things work, as well as showing you how to successfully do them in different temperatures and conditions.
This book has recipes for lacto-fermented vegetables, sourdough baking (including gluten-free recipes), cultured dairy, fermented drinks, and fermented condiments. I would recommend this to anyone that is interested in these things (or even just one of them), especially homesteaders and off-grid people.