YET ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL SPRING
BY MARY ANNE
In Mendocino County we are fortunate to have
four distinct seasons. Right now, at the end of February, we are experiencing
the dying gasps of winter and the beginning promises of the new season. Trees are
bursting into bloom, seemingly overnight, and daffodils are popping up in yards
and along the roadways. The air begins to take on a fragrant note, and suddenly
we feel the hope that is born when spring comes our way. Lucky for us we had
some rain this year, not the torrential deluges promised by El Nino, but at
least a nearly normal amount of rain, and snow in the mountains. For me at
least, this makes me feel the relief that comes from knowing we will have water
The first holiday of spring, Easter, will
come early this year, March 27th to be exact. Our Mariposa bunnies are busy
accumulating Easter surprises in our gift department to enhance that special
day. Of course, we will also have various candies and gorgeous flowers and
flowering plants for your Easter giving. Be sure to check out our organic
chocolate foiled- wrapped eggs and bunnies.
In April, we will celebrate Earth Day on the
22nd. This is one of our customer appreciation days when we provide
food, music, and information about ecology, and feature products which are
earth-friendly. We are hoping that our customers will mark their calendars and
try to come in and help us celebrate this important day.
Spring is showing up in the produce
department these days too. Two very popular seasonal items, asparagus and
strawberries are being featured now. They are just starting to come in from
California, instead of Mexico, and quality seems to be high. After about six
weeks of a brutal carrot shortage, those popular roots are once again available.
Late season tangerines and mandarins have been extraordinarily sweet and
flavorful. The cocktail grapefruit has experienced a star showing, made even
more popular by Luis, our produce associate, who has sampled out a lot of this
delicious fruit. Onions and potatoes may
be less available in the next month or so as old crops diminish and new crops
are not quite ready to harvest. Navel oranges are still strong. Look for early
Valencias from California to start up in March. Even though they come a long
way, the blueberries from Chile have been really tasty.
A couple reminders to our customers: Make
sure that if you bring your dogs to Mariposa that they are secured on a leash
and tied up outside; also, if you purchase something from our health and beauty
department you should keep your receipt. We can only accept returns from those
departments if you can show your receipt. Lately, we have had a lot of returns,
and we need to adhere to our policy which is posted in plain sight on the
health and beauty aisle. In special cases you may appeal to the HABA manager
for a refund.
We hope that you can get outside and enjoy
the warmer days of spring, start your gardens, take a hike and sing
Four Thieves Remedy
by Gaea Bogue
The story of
Four Thieves is thought to originate in Europe during the Bubonic Plague in the
medieval period. Herbs such as wormwood, meadowsweet, wild marjoram, sage,
cloves, campanula roots, angelic, rosemary, horehound, and camphor were added to
a vinegar base and stored in a jar for 15 days to steep. The mixture was then
strained, and ready to apply to the body.
The legend is
that a band of thieves in Marseilles created the concoction in order to rob the
bodies of plague victims, and not become ill. They doused themselves in the
mixture prior to entering infected homes. As the story goes, the thieves were
eventually captured, and in exchange for lighter punishment they gave their
recipe to the authorities.
has changed quite a bit since the plague, but it is still used to combat
illness. Today there are several producers of Thieves Oil, containing similar
ingredients. I did not find any sold commercially in a vinegar base, but instead
varying blends of essential oils. The common ingredients in all brands were
cloves, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and lemon. The rest of the ingredients vary.
to applying Thieves Remedy directly to your body, you may place a few drops in
a diffusor, or use as a hydrosol in a base of water. This form makes an
excellent disinfectant for surfaces, and purifies the air. At Mariposa we carry
“Thieves Remedy” by “Colour Energy” in hydrosol, diffuser mix, and essential
oil blend for application on your body. In addition we stock “Uncle Harry’s”
“Four Bandits Anti-Germ”. The two companies have differing formulas, but are
intended for the same uses.
I hope this
has been informative! I will leave you with a recipe for Four Thieves Vinegar
from the “Mountain Rose Herbs” blog.
1 Tbsp. organic sage leaf
1 tsp. organic lavender flowers
1 tsp. organic rosemary leaf
½ tsp. organic thyme leaf
½ tsp. organic peppercorns
16 oz. raw organic apple cider vinegar
Place the herbs and
warmed apple cider vinegar in a glass jar. Avoid allowing contact of the
vinegar with metal. To do this use a plastic lid, or cover the opening with
parchment paper before putting the lid on. Store for four weeks, then strain
into a clean glass jar. This may then be taken internally by the spoonful,
mixed with water, or used as a cleaning agent.
SOURDOUGH BREAD AND HEALTH
BY MARY ANNE
Sixty five years ago bakeries hired two sets
of workers because the dough had to be fermented through the night by a slow
natural process. As more and more corporate bakeries controlled the baking
scene the first thing they did was to develop a process that made the “fast loaf”.
This allowed the bread to be made in less than three hours, tremendously
cutting costs. Though seemingly innocuous, this cost cutting decision would
ultimately have an incredible impact on the health of the nation. The change in
baking procedures went largely unnoticed. The general public has been
conditioned to commercial bread products and is basically uninformed about the
commercial processing that bread undergoes.
Fast-baked bread is one of the major
destructive implementations in the modern diet. The chief contributor is poorly-prepared
and poorly-digested wheat which has contributed to the current plague of
“gluten-intolerance”, obesity, Candida, and many allergic reactions.
Only when the wheat gluten is properly
fermented does it become healthy food. This can also be said of soy which is
digested properly only when fermented. Correctly fermented wheat contains 18
amino acids (proteins), complex carbohydrates, B vitamins, iron, zinc, selenium,
magnesium, and maltase.
Around 2300 B.C. the Egyptians discovered
that a mixture of flour and water left to sit uncovered for several days
started to bubble and expand. They found that if this was mixed with unleavened
dough and allowed to stand for a few hours before baking that it yielded a
light sweet bread. This kind of natural leavening became the basis of bread
baking until the middle of the 20th century. The starter draws yeast
spores from the air and naturally leavened breads rise over time in 6 to 8
hours. The addition of more flour and salt to the starter forms the bread
The best flour for sourdough bread is organic
and whole grain. White flours often have depleted amounts of the vitamins, minerals,
and fiber. Sourdough bread generally has a lower glycemic index than other
breads, meaning that it is less likely to spike blood sugar. It contains the
bacteria Lactobacillus in higher proportions to yeast than do other breads.
More Lactobacillus means the higher production of lactic acid which means less
of the dangerous phytic acid. This leads to more mineral availability and
easier digestion. The slow process of sourdough bread-making results in the
protein gluten being broken down into amino acids. This translates into an
easier and more pleasant digestion, sometimes even for those who are sensitive
to gluten. The beneficial bacteria produced in sourdough starters control the
yeast population in the gut and help to prevent infection. Acetic acid,
produced in the making of sourdough inhibits the growth of mold, making for a
Sourdough bread made with wild yeast,
bacteria, and whole grain flour is the original form of leavened bread. It is
ancient art form, crafted in harmony with nature. The flavor is tangy and
distinctive. It makes sense that we should primarily eat this type of bread.
From Our Suggestion Box
- Sauces N Love Putanesca Sauce,
size that’s there, please reorder-I’m obsessed and have been gone for a
while-everyone loves it. Thank You! : OK! It’ll be here before you read this.
- LaBrea Bakery Roasted garlic
Bread. This is so good! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it
here. Last time I asked I was told it is a “Winter Bread”. Is it winter
now? : It is back in
rotation! Look for it in the bread section- far left.
- Primizie “Thick Cut Crisp
Breads” Sea Salted Pita. Same as others you carry please! Why only 2
kinds? : You were reading
my mind. The Simply Salted will be here soon.
- Candles smell awful! Move away
from veggies, or discontinue. : We have tried several times to move the candles and incense, and I
have one more idea which might help. But, candles are a popular item and
many people love the scents. We try to honor everyone’s needs and wants so
we will continue to try to make the scented candles less offensive.
- Mariposa Made Chocolate
Mousse. Please, please, please ask Sue
to make the chocolate mousse again. They were fabulous & so clean!
Thank You. : Unfortunately
Sue chose to go to Roland’s to work, so no more mousse. Sadly.
- Castle Rock in glass, 1 liter.
I’d buy a case at a time. : I’ll
put in a request for this beer.
- I was wondering if you might
label the origins of the produce. Thanks for considering. : All producer which is not from
California is labeled as to the country of origin already. Check the
produce cards. If it doesn’t say anything then it is from California.
- Please bring back Mariposa
Made Pesto for sandwiches. Thanks : Organic basil is hard to come by all year, and it takes
quite a lot of basil to make pesto. I’m sorry if you don’t like the pesto
we serve, but it is the most reasonable, cost effective way to offer pesto
all year to our customers.
- Your own soup! As a cook/chef,
I would like to suggest using a GF (cup/cup) blend instead of “flour”. No
taste difference, yet we all can eat it!! : Unfortunately we cannot please everyone, all of the
time, however the season for thick soups is about over and the
spring/summer menu will have fewer cream-based soups that don’t contain
any kind of flour.
- Lara Bar (New) Chocolate Pecan. Best bar yet. : Sound’s good, we’ll see about
carrying that flavor.
- Chromulux full spectrum
lightbulbs. They really help with seasonal affective disorder winter
blues. : We’ll
look into this item considering no one else in town carries it.
- Braggs. Was wondering if you might
sell in bulk by the oz. to save containers? : Great idea. We have considered
that in the past. If we create more space in the bulk aisle that would be
the first item added.
- Low sodium soups and hummus. Any. : We carry many low sodium soups
in the Amy’s, Pacific and Imagine lines. Please ask for help if you cannot
- Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee. Chocolate/Regular. Also, your Illy Coffee drinks are
produced by Coca-Cola. : We
have discontinued the Illy brand and are currently looking for a clean, good
tasting, well-priced substitute.
- You have different rolled
oats, instant etc. But no steel-cut? What’s the
haps? Please carry! : We
carry steel-cut oats in our bulk bin @ $1.59/lb. We also have Bob’s Red
Mill in packages in our cereal aisle.
- Any tartar sauce, 12-16 0z. There is none at Mariposa.
: Believe it or not, we
have tried various tartar sauces to sell, and this particular item does
not do well. Perhaps folks prefer to make their own?
- Bhakti Chai, unsweetened
almond (individual bottle in the cold case). Please consider more
sugar-free options for those of us who struggle with issues. We like
treats too! : We had
that flavor originally, but it was discontinued by our distributor. Sorry
From YOGA FOR HEALTHY AGING
Self-Regulation and Yoga: Managing Your Internal
Posted: 05 Nov 2015 09:55 AM PST
About a year ago, I wrote a post about
self-regulation (see Self-Regulation, Psychological Health, and Yoga) because I
was excited to learn about a study Potential self-regulatory mechanisms of yoga
for psychological health by Gard, et al in the journal Frontiers in Human
Neuroscience that provided a model for understanding how yoga can achieve the
benefits of improved psychological health. I also said that the real takeaway
for me from this article was that these scientists included all eight branches
of yoga (see Ashtanga Yoga: Following the Eight-Fold Path) in their model as
the tools that yoga provides to facilitate self-regulation.
But lately as I’ve been noticed that
“self-regulation” was becoming quite the trendy concept, I’ve been wondering,
what exactly IS self-regulation? I mean, I had a working definition when I
wrote that post but because I hadn’t researched the subject that thoroughly, I
wondered how accurate my understanding was. I soon discovered that some other
people had the same question. Haha, unlike me who just typed the term into my
handy search engine, those people—three York University researchers—actually
conducted a study! They, too, observed that there was a lot of confusion around
the term, and they were looking for clarity. (Weird, I know, but it turns out
people conduct studies to determine what a term means.) Without going into how
they came up with this conclusion (see for yourself at Researchers map
'self-regulation' to develop comprehensive definition), I must say I quite liked
their “comprehensive” definition.
Learning 'self-regulation' involves learning
how to monitor and manage your internal states, understanding what it feels
like to be calm and alert, and so also learning to recognize when certain
activities help you to return yourself to those states most easily, as well as
what pulls you out of them.
The term “self-regulation” is often used
regarding children (I think you can imagine what a child who is not able to
self-regulate at all might be like) but of course it can apply to all of us,
because who among us is not sometimes swamped with emotions that cause us to do
things we might later regret
And now that I have a better understanding of
what the term means, I thought I’d look at bit more closely which yoga techniques
can help improve self-regulation. (I read or hear so often that “yoga” can help
with this or that problem, but yoga is such a large collection of techniques
and practices that I feel that it is important to be more specific than just
saying "yoga.") So I’ve broken down the definition the following five
1. Monitoring Your Internal States.
Whether you are meditating or practicing
asana mindfully, using your witness mind as I described in The Power of
Svadhyaya (Self Study), Part 1 allows you to observe your emotional responses
and thought patterns, helping you uncover habitual responses to stressors. This
is the first step toward improving self-regulation.
2. Understanding What It Feels Like to Be
Calm and Alert.
Yoga practices that trigger the Relaxation
Response, including meditation, breath awareness, and restorative yoga, allow
you to experience conscious relaxation in the safety of the yoga room (see The
Relaxation Response and Yoga). In this state, your mind opens to a wider range
of possible reactions to stressors (see Stress and Your Thought-Behavior
Repertoire). Having this experience in the yoga room teaches you that you can
learn to respond to stressors in the real world in a similar way.
3. Recognizing When Certain Activities Help
you Return to Those States Most Easily.
Experimenting with a wide range of yoga
practices, including different yoga poses, different meditation techniques,
different breath techniques, and even studying yoga philosophy helps you
recognize which yoga “activities” work best to help you return to a more
balanced state. (I know, for example, that Baxter loves a yoga nidra practice,
while I myself prefer Legs Up the Wall pose and revisiting some of my favorite
passages from the yoga scriptures.)
4. Recognizing What Pulls You Out of Those
Working with your witness mind in the yoga
room trains you to start observing yourself in more volatile situations in your
everyday life. You can learn which external or internal events set you off or
make you more likely to be off balance. Some of these may be things you can
change, for example, by eating more regularly, finding a less stressful way to
get to work, or getting more sleep. For those stressors that you cannot avoid,
you can learn to respond differently to them (see Re-Patterning Your Nervous
System: Practice for the Real World).
5. Managing Your Internal States.
Besides relaxation practices, you can use
yoga asanas and breath practices to energize yourself when you are feeling
fatigued and to uplift yourself when you’re feeling depressed. Using yoga to
manage your internal states allows to make yourself feel better through your
own efforts rather than relying on outside events or other people to calm you
down or cheer you up, and gives you feeling of control over your emotional
Although “self-regulation” is new concept to
me, because I’ve been practicing yoga for over 20 years and using it to reduce
my stress levels, to restore myself when I’m depleted, to energize myself when
I’m fatigued, and to uplift myself when I’m feeling a bit depressed, it turns
out I’ve been self-regulating all this time without even knowing it. And that’s
one of the main reasons yoga is so important to me. How about you?
Eating Nutrient Rich Foods; For Pregnancy and Beyond
Nearly all obstetricians will recommend a prenatal
vitamin to their patients. The fact is, nourishment for a mother to be and her
baby is vital, but unfortunately, most prenatal vitamins have serious draw
backs. These synthetic concoctions often contain artificial colors and
additives, contaminants such as heavy metals, and significantly lower or even
higher amounts of an ingredient that they claim on the label. So what is there
to do? I’ve acquired some information based on Sally Morell’s book, “The
Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care” that can help a mother to
get what she needs by eating a nutrient rich diet. Sally Morell is a writer,
and the co- founder and president of the Weston A. Price foundation.
foundation, established in 1999, is based on research that was conducted by Weston
Price in the 1920s and 30s. Price studied the dental health of various pre-industrialized
cultures, who ate traditional foods (primitive diets), and compared them to
groups who had adopted an industrial food diet. Here is where he saw the
relationship between nutrition, dental health and physical health. He concluded
that the modern western diet (primarily white flour, sugar and processed
vegetable oils), was causing major dental problems and poor overall health. In
contrast, he also witnessed the societies who ate primarily pasture fed meats
including organ meats, seafood, eggs, bone marrow broth, unpasteurized or raw
milk and fermented cod liver oil, had straight, strong teeth, free from tooth
decay, and were indisputably healthier in general. These foods are rich in
saturated fats and the fat soluble vitamin A, D, E and K2, as well as essential
fatty acids EPA and DHA. He studied this relationship in depth over 10 years,
and went on to write numerous books including, “Dental Infections and Related
Degenerative Diseases” and “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration”, which is
still in print today. Although there are opponents to this way of nourishing
the body, especially from vegetarians, I do encourage you to seek information
for yourself. It seems clear to me that our modern food diets lack some of the
nutrients that our bodies were designed to need.
There are a
couple things to keep in mind. One is that this way of eating, the food must
come from animals that are pasture raised and without hormones. Conventionally
raised animals do not contain the essential nutrients that grass-fed ones do.
For instance, omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are anti-inflammatory, and are
abundantly higher in grass-fed animals. Industrially raised animals are
typically fed corn and soy which in turn makes the meat excessively high in omega-6.
Omega-6 creates inflammation in our tissues, arteries, immune system, and
decreases our ability to fight infections, cancers, auto-immune diseases,
diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Having a balance between these fatty acids
are crucial for our bodies to be able to fight these inflammatory disorders.
Here’s an example: 3oz of industrial beef has 8,350mg of omega-6 and 1,005mg of
omega-3, while grass-fed has 8,495mg of omega-6 and 4,225mg of omega-3! That is a 2 to 1 ratio compared to an 8.5 to 1
in conventional beef. Choosing our food sources wisely is just as important as choosing
the food itself.
food! Liver is not something most of us grew up eating. I have fond memories of
eating with my nana, where I remember being almost perplexed that she was
sitting there actually enjoying her dinner of liver and onions! Liver is
considered a sacred food in most traditional cultures. Actually, it is credited
with being necessary for the creation of strong, beautiful and healthy babies.
It is astonishingly nutrient dense, high in vitamins A, B12, B6, C and K2,
iron, zinc, and choline, which are all crucial for a baby’s development. There
are ways to prepare it that you may find will make it more palatable than
others. Check out some recipes and just think of it as medicine!
Most people are aware that eggs are a terrific
source of protein. But, did you know the yolks are a great source of choline?
Choline is a micro-nutrient essential for brain development. Choline builds the
connections between neurons in our brain known as synapses. It is also
responsible for the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is the
key to nerve function and muscle control. Egg yolks provide your fat soluble
vitamins, folate (the natural form of folic acid), and minerals such as iron,
zinc, and selenium.
have heard supplementation with folic acid is necessary during pregnancy. But
beware, taking a synthetic folic acid supplement may actually be dangerous. Not
only does synthetic folic acid not cross the placenta, taking folic acid has
now been linked to an increase risk of breast cancer latter on in life.
Everyone is better off getting their folate naturally from food. Studies have
also shown that folate is 200 times higher in pastured eggs than in eggs from
chickens raised in factory farms. It is recommended to eat at least two egg
yolks a day, and in this case, even more is better! Folate is also abundant in
spinach, collard greens, bok choy, broccoli, artichoke, asparagus, and yes,
it’s found in liver too. Because many of these nutrients are fat soluble, be
sure to eat your veggies and greens with lots of grass-fed butter for better assimilation
of the nutrients.
butter and more butter! One of the healthiest fats on the planet! (Grass-fed
that is) It’s not hard to get the daily recommendation of butter. Four
tablespoons of that delicious grass-fed spread will provide a rich source of
nutrients to you and your baby. By now, most people are aware that the last 5
decades of demonizing cholesterol was unjust. Cholesterol from food sourced saturated
fats are different than oxidized cholesterol from processed foods. The cholesterol found in whole foods is
essential to a child’s brain, immune function and nervous system development. Real
food sources of cholesterol are needed for the body to produce all of our sex
hormones and the utilization of vitamin D for strong bones and teeth. It is a
powerful antioxidant, and it’s used by serotonin receptors (our feel good
hormone), which explains why people who have tendencies toward violent
behaviors, have low levels of cholesterol. Breast milk is so rich in
cholesterol, and contains a special enzyme for the baby to properly utilize it.
Pregnancy is definitely not the time to cut down on good fats! This is just one
factor why butter is healthful. Butter, unlike other animal fats or
cold-pressed oils contains the fat soluble vitamins A and D which are essential
for fetal development.
essential nutrient during pregnancy is glycine. Glycine is needed for protein
synthesis in the fetus, thus fetal growth. And although normally we make enough
to meet our needs, during pregnancy we need more. Supplementing with synthetic
glycine is not recommend, possibly even dangerous, so again it has to come from
a nourishing diet. Bone broth is rich in glycine, nutrient dense, inexpensive
and easy to make. It can help with those who experience nausea in the first
trimester of pregnancy as it quickly soothes the stomach. And for people who are reintroducing meat
into their diets and finding it hard to digest, a small amount of bone broth
consumed at the same time, helps with the digestive process.
Seafood is a
food most people are told to avoid during pregnancy. Yes, it is true, mercury
is dangerous, but with the right choices, the benefits from a particular seafood
far outweighs the risk. Avoiding large fish, such as tuna or swordfish, which
tend to have the highest concentrations of mercury, and commercial freshwater
fish like catfish is smart, since the chances are high that they may contain pollutants
and high PCB levels. There are safer choices; again do some research, and don’t
just believe a blanket statement that pregnant woman can’t eat fish. Your child
will thank you. Another thing most doctors won’t tell you is that healthy
bacteria in the gut along with sufficient amounts of selenium and glutathione
can actually trap food-borne mercury and can block its absorption. Please note,
one of the best sources of glutathione is raw milk.
milk from pasture-fed cows is another nutrient- dense perfect food that is easy
to digest and assimilate. Many people who are considered lactose intolerant can
digest raw milk without the same problems that occur from conventional milks.
Raw milk contains enzymes and encourages beneficial bacteria, which contribute
to the accessibility of its nutrients and absorption. Pasteurization destroys
these enzymes. As far as its safety, it also contains components that destroy
pathogens and microbes, and at the same time helps to build our immune system. The
FDA has been irresponsible claiming all raw milk is dangerous. Just look at the
facts, of which there are numerous. Any food not handled properly can give rise
to deadly food-borne pathogens. The CDC’s (Center for Disease Control) own
data, shows that a person is 35,000 times more likely to contact illness from
food than from raw milk. Sipping raw milk throughout the day is an excellent treatment
for morning sickness. By adding a little powdered ginger, and warming the glass
gently in some simmering water, it can really be a great trick to get some
We do carry
whole food and food based prenatal vitamins here at Mariposa. So if you need to
take one at least we have some reputable products. But why would you when we
are so fortunate in this area to have access to pasture fed, organic, local
food and raw milk! Just eat your vitamins!
Fermentation, Part II
Humans have used fermentation to produce food and beverages since the Neolithic age. For example, fermentation is used for
preservation in a process that produces lactic acid as found in such sour foods as pickled cucumbers, kimchi and yogurt, as well as for
producing alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer. So what is fermentation?
Fermentation is a metabolic process taking place in an anaerobic (oxygen
free) environment, in which the cell of an organism converts a carbohydrate,
such as starch or a sugar, into an alcohol or an acid. For example, yeasts
perform fermentation to obtain energy by converting sugar into alcohol.
Bacteria perform fermentation, converting carbohydrates into lactic acid.
Yeast and bacteria cells are like little tiny artisans, using their own
self-made tools, enzymes, to take apart molecules of source material, and
rearrange them into new forms. While
these organisms are doing this work to feed and fuel their existence and
reproduction, the by-products released in the process and their effect on food
is what benefits humans and animals.
The scientific study of fermentation is called zymology or zymurgy.
Louis Pasteur was one of the first zymologists, and referred to fermentation as
“the result of life without air”.
In the 1850s and 1860s Louis Pasteur became the first zymurgist or scientist to study fermentation when he
demonstrated fermentation was caused by living cells.
this article, we will focus on some details of one type of fermentation: Lacto-fermentation.
Simply put, lacto-fermentation is a microbial process
using beneficial bacteria including Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and other
lactic acid bacteria (commonly known as probiotics), which thrive in an
anaerobic environment. A wide variety of beneficial lactic-acid bacteria and
yeasts are involved in the process of lacto-fermentation, all of which work
together to convert raw food into more easily-digestible components, along with
releasing and stabilizing nutrients of the food. There are many stages and
processes along the way, when converting raw cabbage into sauerkraut, or raw
milk into fizzy, tasty kefir. Let’s take a closer look at the process and
interactions that occur to produce sauerkraut.
Lacto-fermentation is a spontaneous, complex
microbiological process that has a sequential occurrence of different
microorganisms. This shifts from aerobic to anaerobic – a very critical step for the overall-health and
stability of the final brine and fermented food. The same shift applies to all fermented foods, whether dairy, grain, vegetable or
fruit. The goal is the creation of lactic acid by the lactic acid bacteria.
Amazingly, anaerobic lactobacillus bacteria (LAB), the “good
guys”, which are essential and foundational to lacto-fermentation, are only
available in extremely small
numbers – only about 0.15 to 1.5% of the total bacterial
population, primarily belonging to Leuconostoc
mesenteroides ssp. mesenteroides at the beginning of the process.
The other bacteria are aerobic – pseudomonads, enterobacteriaceae, and coryneforms –
and dominant in the beginning.
Fermentation begins the moment the cabbage is filled into
containers. The vegetable matter being tightly packed helps ensure that aerobic bacteria
(Pseudomonas, Flavobacterium, and Acinetobacter species – the microbes you do not want to
have in your ferments), are deprived of oxygen, and are immediately diminished.
While anaerobic bacteria use up oxygen, they multiply over the next 2-3
days, while pH changes as lactic, acetic, formic and succinic acids form.
environment shifts to anaerobic, with the
salt and reduced pH working together, supporting the anaerobic lactic-acid
bacteria Leuconostoc mesenteroides which, initiates
fermentation. This bacteria is well-adapted to vegetables, present in
substantial numbers, and produces lactic and acetic acids, further lowering pH.
Aside from some human time and labor in preparation, all
the spectacular, complex interactions and biochemical transmutation were
carried out by nature. Isn’t it
Next time we’ll peer into the life of yeast, and learn a little
bit about its intoxicating dance with sweetness. Thanks for joining me!
NEWS AND NEW ITEMS FROM THE
The newest label on our meat shelf is grass-fed, free range beef from
Marin. Called Pasture One, this nearly local beef comes to us in hotdogs,
Polish sausage and Andouille. The animals are pasture raised from birth which
transfers into an exceptional product. More items will be added as they become
For you lovers of Dave’s Killer Bread you’ll be happy to know that the
bread will be delivered fresh to us a couple times a week. We will be able to
increase our options and the price will drop a little. Dave’s Killer Bread
makes for a wonderful sandwich and is loaded with lots of grains and seeds. All
organic too. Yum! In the gluten-free category we have a new bread from
Healdsburg called Liberty-5. The bread is moist and tasty and the slices are
actually LARGE! Varieties include Cinnamon Raisin, Oatmeal Millet, and
Sunflower. They also offer a sandwich bun, dotted with black sesame seeds,
which makes a hefty sandwich and is definitely large enough for a full-size
hamburger. Look for these items in the freezer case.
For your Easter holiday we are planning on having a nice selection of
hams on stock from Fromani, Llano Seco, and Roundman’s. Our lamb will be on
sale for 15% off the week before Easter. You can also special order a leg of
lamb for Easter, courtesy of Roundman’s. Call Carrie to reserve.
Clover now carries their own Greek yogurt in 6 oz. and 16 oz. sizes,
well worth a try. Cabot cheeses are a recent addition to our cheese case with
wonderful Vermont and New York style cheddars.
And, for the Irish among you, we will have corned beef for St.
Patrick’s Day. Roundman’s makes a delicious corned beef! That and some Stout
and you’ll be set for the leprechauns. Don’t forget to be wearin’ the green.
From The Bon Appetit Cookbook
Boiling the asparagus actually removes the excess water from
the stalks that might otherwise leak out while the tart bakes. This easy first
course would also be nice for a weekend brunch.
1 All Ready Pie Crust (half of 15-ounce package) at room
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
14 OZ asparagus, each spear trimmed to 3 inches long
2/3 cup half & half
2 large eggs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 OZ)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, or 1 teaspoon dried
½ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 450°F. Open crust on work surface. Press out
any cracks. Rub with 1 teaspoon flour. Arrange dough, flour side down, in 9
inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Press dough into pan. Fold excess
dough border over to form double-thick sides. Pierce dough all over with fork.
Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool on rack. Reduce oven temperature to
Cook asparagus in pot of boiling salted water until just
crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain well. Place on paper towels. Whisk half
& half, eggs, cheese, tarragon, and salt in bowl. Season with pepper.
Arrange asparagus like spokes of wheels in crust, tips toward edge and ends
meeting in center. Pour custard over. Bake tart until top puffs and browns,
about 35 minutes. Cool slightly. Cut into wedges and serve.
Pan-roasted Chicken with Asparagus and Shitakes
From Sunset Cookbook
shitakes, a good sear on the chicken, and a sprinkling of nutty parmesan
cheese-not to mention sweet, tender-crisp asparagus-make this low-fat dish a
winner. The recipe can be easily adapted to other vegetables or more mushrooms.
2 Tbls. olive
boned chicken breast halves (1/2 LB each)
reduced-sodium chicken broth
sprigs, plus chopped thyme leaves for garnish
½ LB shitake
mushrooms, stems discarded and caps halved, or button mushroom halved
½ tsp. salt,
plus more to taste
freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
1 LB slender
asparagus, tough stem ends trimmed
¼ cup shredded
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat oil
in a large heavy oven-proof frying pan (not non-stick) over high heat
until oil is hot but not smoking. Add chicken breast, rounded side down,
and cook until golden, 2-3 minutes. Turn chicken over.
- Add shallots and garlic to pan
with chicken and cook, stirring occasionally so garlic doesn’t burn, until
shallots are soft and translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add broth, thyme sprigs,
mushrooms, salt, and pepper and cook until mixture begins to boils, about
- Lay asparagus over chicken,
cover pan, and put in oven. Bake until chicken is just cooked through (cut
to test) and asparagus is tender (see
quick tip below), 14-16 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
- Season asparagus-mushroom
mixture with salt & pepper to taste. Divide vegetables among rimmed
plates or shallow pasta bowls, top each with a piece of chicken, spoon
sauce over chicken. Garnish with chopped thyme and parmesan.
Quick Tip: If you prefer your asparagus more fully cooked, return it to
the oven once you’ve lifted out the chicken and bake it 5-10 minutes more
Per Serving: 355 cal., 25% (88 cal.) from fat; 58
g protein; 9.9 g fat (1.7 g sat.); 8.3 g carbo (1.8 g fiber); 582 mg sodium;
132 mg cholesterol.
500 South Main Street
Willits, CA 95490