Fermentation, Christopher and Kirsten Shockey

I LOVE FERMENTATION!  Truth in advertising here — I enjoy many methods of home food preservation but fermentation is more like conjuring magic or alchemy — taking some basic ingredients and sprinkle with some fairy dust — voila — gold!  ok, not gold necessarily — but delicious vegetables that have been transformed into something completely different and even more delicious!

I have fermented gallons of sauerkraut and beets, and I have a few things brewing along that I’m not even sure I should mention because it might just scare you!  Things are bubbling and brewing on various shelves in the house and garage — a batch of red miso…which will take an entire year; a couple of quarts of shoyu koji; a kombucha mother awaits a transformation while it rests in the fridge until I get brave enough to attempt brewing that up — red vinegar mother is in one cupboard with big slabs of mother growing on it like giant blood clots (see?  it is scary — I wasn’t kidding!)

If you are wanting to get bit by the fermentation bug you can do no better than to order Christopher and Kirsten’s book — Fermented Vegetables: Creative Recipes for Fermenting ’64 Vegetables and Herbs in Krauts, Kimchis, Brined Pickles, Chutneys, Relishes and Pastes 

Sounds pretty comprehensive, right?  Well it is — and no, I don’t get a commission on book sales.  I have, however, bought plenty of cookbooks and a few fermentation books and this one is the best, especially for someone just starting out.

How did I hook up with these folks?  I had a fermentation experiment go bad — and sent a plea to the Fermentista’s Kitchen and Kirsten got right back to me.  While we weren’t able to save the patient (tomatoes that actually turned into something like salty tomato beer…but that’s another story) — we did hook up to schedule some wonderful interviews about fermenting.

Interview With Christopher

Interview With Kirsten


Cooking With Cannabis, Elise McDonough





  •  It was like the elephant in the living room — all of these interviews I’d done about food in Humboldt…and there it was…the ubiquitous Marijuana Brownie.  You can travel all over the U.S. and when you mention that you are from Humboldt County — people will do the whole wink wink nod nod — which I find pretty annoying to tell you the truth.  Humboldt County is an amazing place filled with wonderful people and without a doubt the best food on this planet…but for some people we will only be known as the Marijuana Capitol of the World.

So here I am doing this radio show and interviewing people about food and Humboldt…and decided it’s time to deal with that elephant.  What better way than to interview Elise McDonough, Editor for High Times Magazine, who literally wrote the book on cooking with pot when she authored, “The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook: More Than 50 Irresistible Recipes That Will Get You High.”  And while the brownie is still alive and well in the cookbook — there is so very much more, so much in fact that we had to follow up with a second interview.

Listen to Part 1

Listen to Part 2

Check out the cookbook

Ewe So Dirty, Jaime and Ben Cohoon

I always stop by Jaime and Ben’s stand at the farmers market, if only to put a smile on my face!  At Ewe So Dirty, Jaime and Ben raise sheep and lambs both for meat to sell at the farmers market and to make soap which are scented with the most amazing combinations of herbal and spicy bliss.  Their lambs are processed at Redwood Meats on Myrtle Avenue in Eureka.  Lotions, soaps, yarn and more can be purchased through their online store.

Jaime and I usually talk about some new food adventure — she turned me on to roasting pepperwood nuts and making a kind of truffle out of them…who would have known?…stop by the farmers market and say hello — I promise you will leave with a smile too!

Listen to the interview

Check out their website

Humboldt Cider Company, Jamie Ashdon

We think of hard cider as being an adults only beverage — but there was a time in north America when drinking fermented beverages was commonplace with everyone including children — many diseases could be contracted from drinking tainted water and it was much safer to consume hard beverages.  With the advent of prohibition hard cider became a thing of the past — for a very long time!

But, thanks to some small cider works — and also thanks to orchardists throughout the country that kept the cider varieties alive and propagated, we are returning to a golden age for hard cider.  Here in Humboldt County there are many home brewers — and Humboldt Cider Company, co-owned by Jamie Ashdon (you will remember him from our episode on Humboldt Beer Works), and Michelle and Darren Cartledge (beer and cider enthusiasts and makers) will be providing an opportunity to savor the terroir of Humboldt with a tasting room at Redwood Acres.

Listen to the interview

Check out their website