As I wait for my soul to catch up with the fact that my body has flown across 11 time zones, I can indulge in the dreamtime state that is jet lag to reflect upon the journey we have been on before it seems like a distant memory.
I feel grateful for the opportunity I have recently had to travel back to Australia with my family in tow. It has only been 8 years of longing to be reunited with some dear friends there and to relax into the warm glow of the southern skies. Ok, it is more like a harsh, burning sun, but when you come from Ireland, any suggestion of blue sky is welcome!
The energy from the sun inspires me naturally towards a healthier way of life, so taking up the role of resident fermentation expert and chef on a sustainability project really was a dream come true. Eating whole, real food is joyful, abundant and true.
What better place to experiment with those recipes I have been dreaming up in my mind than on a willing and hungry audience of like-minded folk.
And so the kitchen journey began, with jars of Kimchi, Salsa, Sauerkraut, Dilly beans, Radishes, Carrots, Broccoli stems, Kombuchas, Jun, Kvass, whey drinks, ginger bugs, switchel and kefir all fermenting away in the sun, to be worked in and out of every meal.
All three weeks of Breakfast, Lunch and dinner, with rarely a meal repeated, was a creative flow of giddy, bubbling, foodie imaginings with lots of meal plans scribbled, as below, not only keeping everyone fed, but keeping me challenged and interested.
- Banana polenta with LSA, vanilla kefir, maple syrup.
- Buckwheat Porridge with apples, greek yoghurt, nuts, honey,
- Over-night summer oats with berries, tahini, Kefir, seeds, maple syrup
- Millet, buckwheat & chia, porridge with banana, coconut flakes, walnuts, goji berries and moringa
- Rice porridge with carrot, apple, raisin, ginger, lemon, nuts, honey
Lunches featuring all manner of fermented goodness hidden in various ways:
- Kimchi pancakes with broccoli satay salad
- Chilled BeetKvass & Saurekraut soup with Nut & Seed Bread
- Raw Falafels, Cauliflower tabboleuh, fermented Radish and eggplant
- Watermelon Gazpacho served Purple eggs & Fermented Mayonnaise
- Buckwheat crepes, Bean slaw, fermented red pepper dip, fermented mayonnaise
- Chilled Avocado and fermented cucumber soup with beetroot burger and spinach dip
Various dinners abundant in energy giving goodness including:
- Moroccan tagine & herby quinoa
- Chocolate chilli with buckwheat crepes
- Lentil & sweet potato salad with fermented eggs and dilly beans
- Laksa, enough said!
- Curry with Indian Socca and fermented relish
- KIMCHI, KIMCHI, KIMCHI everywhere with all kinds of salads.
That is just an idea. Three weeks of food, a menu free from gluten, diary, refined sugar, full of energy, probiotics and love and relatively no waste. Fermentation fits beautiful into the sustainable dream, whether you are trying to achieve that in the house you build, the garden you grow or the food you eat. It awakens your connection to your body and to the earth. It feeds your life whilst respecting every living thing and the planet we share.
Could I do it again? Yes, in a heart beat.
Could I open a restaurant? I don’t think I have enough hours in the day.
Could I detail all the recipes for you? Hell yeah, I am just about too and the book will be available SOON.
I forgot to mention what happened to all the fermented drinks on the go.
Depsite the milk kefir, which made its appearance mostly at breakfast or as a savoury salad dressing, mid-morning refreshments were a necessary part of the day. Kombuchas, Traditional lemonades, ‘Fizzy grapefruitade’ orangeade, lemon & limeade (all made with kefir whey), Ginger bug drinks and the hugely thirst quenching and “hip” SWTICHEL, as illustrated, hydrated the team.
This was a kitchen of abundance and filled with jars and bottles displaying different projects feeding the bodys and minds of inspiring folk. Every bite of good food is an invitation to be healthy, happy and whole again. If truth has a taste, is it alive.
If you would have me, I’d glady come to a sustainability project to spread bacterial goodness with you.
“Every meal a surprise of different flavours, colours and textures. Guaranteed a meal full of nutrients, life and love- everything your body needs.”
“Every meal unique and beautifully presented. Each ingredient lovingly sculpted, raw, fermented, blended deliciousness that tantalises the tastebuds and gives the stomach a big hug”
“Noting wasted but resourcefully crafted to create a new delicious healthy meal”