Help! I'm moving to the mountains and need to know...

オタク
Bento-ing from: › North Carolina › USA
Joined: 21 Sep 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 31 weeks ago.

I need to know how to start cooking from absolute scratch because the area I'm moving to is a very remote area of Montana and you can't just go to the market and get things for dinner. The nearest food store is an hour away in good weather. I went to school for Horticulture and passed with honors, so growing the food is no problem. I have a supplier of Japanese garden seed and another for things like nori and rice, but I need to know how to make my own fermented, pickled, dried, and canned produce. I need recipes for Aka Miso, Shiro Miso, Nattou, and instructions on preserving my harvest without refrigeration.I plan to move near the end of summer after which time it will be several months before I have electricity or internet. I really appreciate any help you guys can give.

(Just one more thing I forgot...)
Does anybody have any Ainu recipes for Venison?
The land I'm trying to buy is a hunter's paradise. It is 20 acres of huntable land surrounded by land (2,000,000 acres) which has not been hunted in over 100 years. I wonder if Bison Shabu-shabu would be good? Or maybe Elk Hanbaga on a "bun" of okonomiyaki with some okonomi sauce and Kewpie Mayonnaise... Mmmm...

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maki
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Bento-ing from: somewhere › France
Joined: 24 Jan 2007
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Re: Help! I'm moving to the mountains and need to know...

To make miso or natto, you will need some cultures (sort of like yeast) to get them started. You can get them from Gem Cultures - http://www.gemcultures.com/index.htm in the U.S.

I don't know much about Ainu culture I'm afraid...but venison is traditionally eaten in a hot pot (well...Japanese people eat most things in a hot pot in the winter ^_^) I guess shabu shabu would work, if it's sliced very thinly.

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rehfilet
Bento-ing from: › Germany
Joined: 11 Aug 2009
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Re: Help! I'm moving to the mountains and need to know...

whoah, going into the wilderness! ok, there is a food store one hour off, so you won't starve if some things spoil.. have you ever preserved food before? what do you plan to plant? i'd suggest lots of beans of all kinds, they can be dried and kept quite well. squash is good for a new garden as well, it can be harvested in 1 season if the weather is right. tender leavy vegetables grow fast and are nice to have in summer, but are hard to conserve- better have some harder stuff like cabbage, turnips and beets around. those keep quite well stacked in a cool, dark place and can be made into kimchi and so on. with these, you can use the top parts like spinach, so you can get something tender and crispy here, too.
miso will take some months to a year to ferment, better bring a big batch of your favourite kinds!
have you ever cooked venison?
if you won't have a fridge, let the elk live and go for something smaller, like hares for quick roasts or stews (if you can tear the ear between your fingers it's young and to be roasted, if the ear is tough, make a stew. at least that's how grandma taught me).
what about geese or ducks- are there any? if you can get nice, fat birds in fall, you can conserve the cooked, seasoned meat with the drained fat in jars. it's delicious and keeps until spring that way-moist, too, unlike salted/smoked meat.
you'll need lots and lots and lots of screwtop jars, mason jars and such.
pack some sulphur, too, if you want to make jam/marmalade and other goodies that should NOT ferment, it's great for desinfecting. it's like a voodoo ritual you do before making jam: take some sulphur on a spoon, set fire to it, hold the clean jars over the burning sulphur and catch the stinky fumes, close lid and let stand while whatever you are making is cooking. no germ or unwanted fungus survives that! as you probably won't have a clinically clean kitchen that might be a good idea.
good luck
rehfilet

Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 18 weeks ago.
Re: Help! I'm moving to the mountains and need to know...

A friend of mine is going to be moving to the wilderness in Wisconsin and her one condition was a green house, because moving away from our lovely year-round growing seasons and our great produce here in California can be a bit of a shock to the system. So hopefully you will be able to set one up to keep you well stocked all year.

But I would look into seeing if you can find a canning/preserving class in your area so you can get the hang of that before you need to depend on it for you food supply. The writer of this blog http://foodsnobberyhobbery.blogspot.com/ lives in Minnesota and does a lot canning/preserving, so you may be able to get some information from there.

Best of luck with the move!

オタク
Bento-ing from: › North Carolina › USA
Joined: 21 Sep 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 31 weeks ago.
Re: Help! I'm moving to the mountains and need to know...

Thank you Maki-san.

"have you ever preserved food before?"
Yep, I've made sauerkraut, jam, pickles, and smoked meats.

"what do you plan to plant?"
Carrot, daikon, bok choy, nappa cabbage, 3 kinds of carrots, red onions, yellow onions, green onions, shimonita negi, kabocha squash, heirloom American pumpkin, spinach, edible chrysanthemum, tomatoes, 6 kinds of peppers on a 3 year cycle, short season eating corn, Yukon Gold Potatoes, azuki beans, sweet peas, shiso, parsley, rosemary, sage, sesame, gobo, cumin, thyme, eggplant, cucumber, buckwheat, quinoa, all outside in the first year.

Inside the greenhouse will be: dwarf mandarin oranges, dwarf limes, Camelia sinesis(茶), Basil, ginger(a lot of this, Granma loves the stuff), Japanese yams, yama imo (山芋), and seedlings will be started here too.

It is a lot of work, but it is worth it. Last year I planted this much but all the area crops failed due to a mold and extra heavy rains. This year I'll be taking up supplies that I already have, but next growing season is where I'll have to provide for myself. I just won't have electricity yet so I can't ask then.

"have you ever cooked venison?"
Plenty. I do hunt now already, and it is for food. I'll just be eating more of it. 1 elk will last all winter frozen naturally and whatever I don't eat can be smoked, corned, or salted. Deer and their reletives are hunted in the fall and winter.

bronwyncarlisle
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Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 31 weeks ago.
Re: Help! I'm moving to the mountains and need to know...

How about making salami from your venison? Not at all Japanese, of course, but that is the one thing I make that I can always give to my Japanese friend Yoshio to pay back the things he insists on getting me from Japan. He and all his family love it. It's a whole lot easier to make than you might think, and you don't need any special equipment other than a mincer - which I think you'd call a grinder in America. Oh, and casings and curing salts, but they're cheap and last for ages. You can even use the deer intestines for your casings if you want to go really from scratch. Most of the recipes seem to want large amounts of pork fat, but I made a really lean one a wee while ago and everyone loved it.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0025668609/ref=oss_product
and
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0982426712/ref=oss_product
are excellent books on the subject.

I'm assuming you WILL be planting garlic? It's not on your list that I can see.

____________________________________

Bronwyn

My blog is Food and Shoes

Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 18 weeks ago.
Re: Help! I'm moving to the mountains and need to know...

Not that I am by any means moving to the wilderness... but thank you for reminding me to plant garlic, my garden is getting a bit crowded but I really need to plant that and remember to put saffron bulbs on my list for fall. I just hate paying for stuff that I can easily grow on my own.

オタク
Bento-ing from: › North Carolina › USA
Joined: 21 Sep 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 31 weeks ago.
Re: Help! I'm moving to the mountains and need to know...

Actually, I forgot garlic too. LOL, I love the stuff. Saffron was something like $15 USD per 1/2 oz, and for the same price for the supplier of my School I could get about 16 Crocus sativus bulbs from the Netherlands.

Concerning the salami; deer intestines could have parasites in that area and there is no way to tell, so I'll stick to goat or cow intestine linings. It is a good Idea I hadn't thought of to make salami. I've never had salami.

bronwyncarlisle
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Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 31 weeks ago.
Re: Help! I'm moving to the mountains and need to know...

It might be getting a bit late for this year - it's almost time for me to plant it here. Plant on shortest day, harvest on longest day. Or thereabouts.

Loretta
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Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 4 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 12 weeks ago.
Re: Help! I'm moving to the mountains and need to know...

I'm hoping to learn to make miso this year in collaboration with a friend, but that's a while off.

Have you considered planting Yacón?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yac%C3%B3n
I tried this for the first time one November in Tokyo. The guy who ran the Izakaya where I ate it got it from his parents who grow it around the Yamanashi area. Apparently, it was very popular with the pigs also.
I went back the following April and it was still available. Yacón made delicious tempura.

Also, if you have the right climate for it, Jerusalem artichokes (or sunchokes) are supposed to be easy to grow. They make a great alternative to Gobo in Japanese dishes. Downsides are; their notoriety for producing gas, their potential to run rampant (classified as a noxious weed in Minnesota, as is Yellow Nutsedge - in California - AKA chufas, AKA tiger nuts, a huge favourite of mine, I love the taste and they are very nutritious, turkeys are supposed to love them too. These need to be pasteurised before consumption. They make a delicious Soy-style milk which can be made with a pestle and mortar and some muslin or just soaked and eaten as they are.)

オタク
Bento-ing from: › North Carolina › USA
Joined: 21 Sep 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 31 weeks ago.
Re: Help! I'm moving to the mountains and need to know...

I don't grow saffron anymore.

Folly
Bento-ing from: San Francisco
Joined: 5 Jul 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 30 weeks ago.
Re: Help! I'm moving to the mountains and need to know...

We can grow saffron in the SF Bay Area?!! Suddenly I see a mini-agribusiness! Is it easy to harvest?

Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 18 weeks ago.
Re: Help! I'm moving to the mountains and need to know...

Our growing seasons are a bit different than the majority of the US, fall is the normal time to plant saffron bulbs and garlic can be planted in spring or fall where I am. It may be a bit odd but last year tomatoes well into November. The eastern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area is known for its agriculture, it is generally more productive than land in the Central Valley but as the population has increased all forms of farming have decreased.

Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 18 weeks ago.
Re: Help! I'm moving to the mountains and need to know...

It takes a bit more effort than you would think, since you are just harvesting the stamen. So unless you have a very large area to devote to just saffron (and a lot of time to commit to harvesting) I would suggest just growing it for your personal use. But if you tend not to use a lot of saffron you can stock pile it over time and sell it.

Balifly
Bento-ing from: Vancouver › British Columbia › Canada
Joined: 22 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 18 weeks 4 days ago.
Re: Help! I'm moving to the mountains and need to know...

Any lake or streams close by?
A smoke house would very useful.
I use to have a cabin up in the interior of British Columbia for recreation only.
Year round living would be a real challenge.
If you need re-supply of Japanese products let me know I am close to several stores.
Don't forget to bring a reloading kit with you.
http://www.leeprecision.com/html/catalog/rlpress2.html ( Hand press kit)

Good luck!

bronwyncarlisle
Moderator
Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 31 weeks ago.
Re: Help! I'm moving to the mountains and need to know...

I reckon a smoke house would be excellent, and you'd have heaps of room to make one of those ones with a fire pit and a trench to take the smoke to it. I wish I had room to build one of those.

Alice
Bento-ing from: Leicester › UK
Joined: 9 Jun 2008
User offline. Last seen 3 years 26 weeks ago.
Re: Help! I'm moving to the mountains and need to know...

Surely stockpiling safron is bad?

I have 2 little boxes of saffron at the moment, one is a few mounths old, one is only one mounth old, and the difference in smell is phenomanal.

I really should use them soon, but as a student I am reluctant to buy ingredients for paella unless it's for a very special reason. That said, I don't drink very much so I spend my alcohol money on food, so if I can convince some friends to come round...

Alice
Bento-ing from: Leicester › UK
Joined: 9 Jun 2008
User offline. Last seen 3 years 26 weeks ago.
Re: Help! I'm moving to the mountains and need to know...

I understand that the paella I make bears little resemblance to the authentic recipie, but I grew up with it and it reminds me of home so I'm not sure if I want to switch to doing things the authentic way. Also, I cannot get snails and game (including rabbit) is very hard to get (I don't think it's particularly more expensive, just hard to find) around here.

Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 18 weeks ago.
Re: Help! I'm moving to the mountains and need to know...

I don't want to put words in Loretta's mouth, but I feel that as with a lot of traditional dishes there really is not a need to have a bunch of expensive ingredients.

One of the best examples of this I can think of is my Polish grandmother's cabbage rolls, I have seen all sorts of complex recipes with a ton of different ingredients but my grandmother's recipe is remarkable simple. The only ingredients she uses are cabbage, ground beef and rice that she seasons with salt, rosemary and thyme. I really think that there is something to special about these simple, traditional recipes that cannot be matched by more complicated modern versions of a given dish.

Loretta
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Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 4 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 12 weeks ago.
Re: Help! I'm moving to the mountains and need to know...

Are the boxes of saffron from the same source/company?

Saffron (the whole dried stigmas, not the powdered version) will last for years in optimum conditions. Generally, somewhere cool and dry is best. It's usually stored in a rust-resistant metal box, but I've known it to be stored in wooden boxes or opaque glass jars with corks on the tops - plastic isn't a great way to store it.
Where it's from will have an affect on the fragrance and flavour. Iranian saffron is supposed to be more astringent than the celebrated kind from La Mancha, Spain. My own experience is that the colour from non-La Mancha Saffron is less intense so you end up having to use more, so it isn't necessarily that much cheaper, and the extra amount could be what makes it seem more astringent. I know I've had bad results from using non-Spanish saffron.
For me, Saffron is like Cloves - less is more. Upset the balance and Saffron can taste rather horrid.

The fragrance may well diminish over time, no matter how well you store it. However, the Valencian way to cook with it requires that you lightly toast the stigmas first before grinding and then cooking with them. Once this has been done, it's very hard to tell the difference between saffrons. As they can only be harvested at the start of the year and most of the times I've eaten Spanish Saffron have been at the end of the summer I don't think there's ever been a time I could tell apart a dish where saffron from that year was used from a dish made with older Saffron.

Saffron is a hugely labour intensive food and harvesting it is backbreaking work, usually done in cold weather, so a great way to develop arthritic fingers. There's a danger of it disappearing completely as a crop from Spain as the cost of living has risen so high and, even before the property booms and the higher value of the Euro, families who grew Saffron in Spain were struggling to keep it viable. At least 1,800 crocus stamens are required to make up half an ounce - $15 for that compared to 16 bulbs from the Netherlands. As you can see, Saffron won't make you rich!

UK has a long history of Saffron Cultivation (there's the very pretty town of Saffron Walden in Essex where it was very big business) and there's a locally famous Saffron Cake from Cornwall which is absolutely delicious - and probably my favourite way to enjoy a pure Saffron taste. Again. Not much saffron grown in the UK anymore. Not a crop I'd recommend to anyone unless it was for their own personal use.

In Spain more and more families have stopped using it. And I know lots and lots of families from the Valencian region who don't much like the taste of Saffron in their paellas (I find it strange how non-Spaniards fixate on saffron being a key element in a paella, it's not a view shared by everyone in the Spanish Paella region where yellow food colour is widely used. The biggest champions of Saffron I know of are the Gypsies, I love 'la cocina gitana'. It's also strange to me how Paella ingredients are viewed as expensive when it's a peasant dish. Anyway, I've exhausted the subject here: http://justbento.com/forum/authentic-paella#comments I did come across this article recently and both my mother and I were howling with laughter over it. It's probably the funniest, and least authentic recipe I've ever seen. Everything about it cracked us up http://www.howtodothings.com/food-and-drink/a860-paella-authentic-valenc...)

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