Pele's Fire Mead, a blend of ginger, turmeric & chipotle, bubbling away happily by the fire!
Today i sit, steaming mug of turmeric & ginger bliss in my hands, gazing out onto the wintry scene unfolding outside my window; i ponder the ways that my ancestors survived days like this. Oh, I've dabbled in living outside in winter, spending freezing nights huddled around a fire that couldn't quite penetrate the cold in my bones in the tipis in Oregon; feeding endless logs to woodstoves in houses without walls in Tennessee; schoolbusses & yomes in North Carolina; straw-bale wonders in Northern California; wet winters in Hawaii where i wished for a woodstove to dry out beside. Yes, we've tried winter in many structures. Now i sit behind solid walls of wood, with insulation, even! and oh, do i give thanks! i watch the Eastern Bluebirds, all ruffled up, 1 female and 4 males; and as the wind whips the snow into swirling furies of cold, these birds are much more concerned with mating and worms, than warmth.
And my mind goes to my ancestors. How did they know how to preserve food through the cold winter months? How many mistakes led them to understand the mysteries of fermentation. And by what great good fortune do i find myself here, in this place and time? As everyone speeds forward in ever increasing lines of progress, i hold space for the stillness, the quiet infinitesimal movements of the micro-herds working for me, for life, in the jars and carboys that i've chosen to call my friends; transforming carbohydrates into complex chains of sugars; sugars into alcohol; seeds into food; milk into medicine; preserving the abundance of my hard work in spring, summer and fall, into the things that sustain my family through the winter.
If you do not yet know these mysteries, i invite you to enter into the food ways of your ancestors. Whatever culture we individually may have come from, we are all human; and every known human culture has a history with fermentation. Discover your roots, take a class, read a book, make some kraut. Begin to know your food and thereby yourself in a more intricate and intimate way. You will never regret the decision, i promise!
An avid & sometimes obsessed & sometimes nomadic & always wild fermenter & culture shifter...find her scampering in a forest near you!