Eat Real Fest 2011 Part 2 – Kraut-a-thon with Happy Girl Kitchen Co and Farmhouse Culture and Cooking with Jam

This is Part 2 of a series of photo posts from Oakland’s Eat Real Festival, September 23-25, 2011 at Jack London Square.  (Part 1, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6).

Farmhouse Culture and the Happy Girl Kitchen Company hosted a Kraut-a-thon at the DIY Make It area.  It was another great hands-on event where audience members got to get their hands dirty making a classic sauerkraut using natural microorganisms.






Extolling the virtues of fermented vegetables.  Especially interesting was the fact that the nutritional content of the vegetables can actually improve after fermentation.









Demonstrating her cabbage cutting technique









They had the audience get involved right away.  Cutting boards, microplanes, knives, veggies, salt and spices were all provided.









Salt is an important component in making a sauerkraut.  The audience was instructed to salt until it tastes just too salty to taste for a salad.  Not adding enough salt results in a soggy sauerkraut.  Also, using non-iodized salt is a requirement – the iodine inhibits the growth of microorganisms.





Hand mixing the sauerkraut.  Farmhouse culture and the Happy girl kitchen company even provided a handwashing station for the audience to use prior to getting in on the action.

 Cooking with Jam

Rachel Saunders, Michele Polzine and Fran Loewen led a talk on ways to use jam in normal cooking.  They fielded a slew of questions from an interested audience at the Master Craft stage of Eat Real Festival.









Rachel Saunders has been making jam for 13 years and offers a line of preserves (Blue Chair Fruit) that can be found at farmers markets and various Bay-Area restaurants as well as a sold-out cookbook with great photography and delicious recipes.  I’ve been picking up her jam since I first started seeing it at the farmers market a number of years ago.





A jam pyramid.









The highlight of the event for the audience was probably the samples – they served a peach leaf ice cream with a plum jam topping.  Samples went REALLY quickly.





Blue chair’s Norweigan intern, dutifully scooping..





.. and then applying the plum jam topping.