Thursday, December 1, 2011

cold, fresh kraut

I'd been on Planet Spazz for about ten days, carpet bombing in-boxes at night with obnoxious email after obnoxious email, drinking twice the amount of coffee I normally do, and pushing breakfast further and further into the afternoon until this morning, when I returned to Earth and found Earth to be a nice place with blue skies and big problems.  I looked into my bank account: twenty dollars. I looked into the sky: not a cloud.  I checked my inbox: a letter from Stan.  I'd written him (again) and told him that I now believe what some others around me believe: it's time I take this blog pro.  But how?  Stan replied: "The connection between money and writing seems particularly feeble these days.  Keep with the blog."  This was at the end of a letter whose main focus was the federal regulations that make it nearly impossible for small time animal farmers to cooperate with small time slaughterhouses to supply Americans with affordable and humanely-raised meat.  The demand for locally raised meat is enormous, and the market would take off if the laws that regulate the slaughtering of animals favored smaller players, which is exactly what they don't do.  Anyhow, that issue is for the future.  For now, here are a couple hot dogs with some homemade sauerkraut.  I started the kraut two weeks ago while teaching a kraut workshop in Ashfield, MA.  

kraut on dogs, homemade fries

Home fermentation and fermentation workshops are two more ways to challenge the food system status quo, to wrest some power back from whomever clutches it now.  This post, however, is not really about fermentation or sauerkraut.  It is more of an announcement: You should expect this blog to become increasingly political and increasingly assignment- and travel-oriented.  American food culture is not only changing on Food Network.  Quite the other way around.  The Food Network probably does not advance our food culture in any meaningful way.  The Barefoot Contessa might teach us how to make some nice bouillabaisse, making us feel more French and more sophisticated, but she teaches us, if she teaches us at all, while we sit on the couch, still munching on 1980s vintage Ruffles. I don't mean to turn my nose up at Ina, aka the Barefoot Contessa; I only mean to suggest that the significant changes being wrought upon American food culture are not happening on television.  They are happening in books like Wild Fermentation and Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal.  They are also happening on the ground, on farms and in kitchens everywhere, and Oilchanges wants to go wherever they are happening.  Our way forward to better health for our soil and our bodies is my way forward as a writer.  For now, here's a close-up of the kraut on dogs.

One part bad buns (made with more ingredients than you can shake a stick at), one part industrially produced hotdog (same), one part Hellman's mayo, one part homemade french fries, and one part home-fermented sauerkraut: this meal speaks volumes about how complicated our food world can be.  An "ordinary dinner" is never so ordinary.  The kraut points the way forward.  The Hellman's is stuck in the mud. 


convert 2d to 3d said...

Hi. Amazing post Lono. These are sounds amazing superfoods.

Dr. Crowbar said...

Theo and I are into ten days of kraut fermentation. She thinks it smells wrong, I think it smell right on track. Tried some yesterday. Delicious, but needs another week.