Monthly Archives: June 2014

Lacto-Fermented Salsa

Remember last week when I got almost a quart of whey from one batch of yogurt?
Whey from one batch of yogurt

One of my favorite things to do with whey is make lacto-fermented salsa. I love salsa. I eat it on eggs, on salads with a touch of oil instead of dressing, and on tortilla chips, etc. If I am going to be eating it, I might as well be getting some extra probiotics. Also, making lacto-fermented salsa is pretty much the same as making regular salsa, except you add a little bit of whey.

lacto fermented salsa ingredients
What You’ll Need:
-2 or 3 large tomatoes (you’ll see here I used canned, because we don’t have any ripe tomatoes yet)
-1 large clove garlic
-1/2 bell pepper
-2 jalapeno peppers (for medium spice)
-1 medium onion
-a handful of cilantro (this is from our garden at least!)
-a couple squirts of lemon juice
-2 tablespoons whey from making your own Greek yogurt
-salt to taste
-food processor or blender of some type. I used my Kitchen Aid counter top blender, which I swear is just as good as any Vitamix I ever used when I was in the coffee biz.

-Roughly chop all fresh vegetables
-Add to blender or food processor along with whey, lemon juice, and salt.
-Blend to desired consistency
-Pour into glass jars
-Let set in cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight for two days.
-Refrigerate to stop fermentation.

Salsa should taste just like normal, but with a slightly fermented aftertaste to it–which is usually covered up very quickly by spice.

lacto fermented salsa

I put my salsa in jars I save back from when we buy salsa from the grocery store, because I’m tricksy like that. I usually get enough salsa four about three small jars worth, and even though I can usually go through this much within a week or two, yours should be good up to a couple months.

What’s your favorite way to eat salsa?

This Week in Darwin

Thanks so much to those of you who asked after Darwin last week! I posted on Tuesday that Darwin was under-going his second attempt at neutering on Wednesday, after having bad reaction to a pre-anesthia sedative his was giving the first time and having to be resuscitated. Then I completely forgot to post again letting you all know that everything went perfectly fine with his surgery.

The hard part since then has been keeping Darwin calm so he doesn’t rip out his stitches. This dog is 30 pounds of muscle and play! (Someone who saw us walking Sunday morning called him “a cinder block with feet” and it’s an apt description.) Walking him twice a day has helped to wear him out and keep him from being completely bored while he is separated from our other dogs.



We celebrated Darwin’s successful operation with watermelon– his favorite!





Then, Saturday evening, we found out that that sedative wasn’t the only thing he is allergic to. Darwin got stung by a bee and his entire head swelled up!


This picture really doesn’t do it justice. Both of his eyes swelled shut and his lips were completely distended. I was terrified that his windpipe was going to swell shut! I forced two benedryl down his throat immediately and spent the rest of the night monitoring his breathing. Very quickly the swelling went down, but it was very scary nevertheless.


Sunday morning he was back to his old self again, our adorable Dr. Chubbs. He has two facial expressions: tongue a tiny bit out



and underbite. I guess this is his smile?

Someone told us recently that another name for English Bulldog is “vet bill”.  Good thing we love this little guy so much already!

Vineyard Trivia XIII Answers …

1 – Which is further north, West Chop or East Chop.


West Chop

2 – Who makes a Nantucket cookie but no Vineyard cookie.

Pepperidge Farm

3 – What street sign has eyeballs.

Look Street in Vineyard Haven

4 – What is unusual about the Civil War monument in Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs.

It is of a Confederate Soldier

5 – What is the name of this island off of Gay Head.


The small island off Gay Head is Nomans Land (click here)


6 – Where can you get a wooden nickel and how do you get them.


Newes From America Pub in Edgartown.  For every beer you order you get a wooden nickel… collect a certain number and make their ‘wall of fame.’

7 – what is this building and what town is it in




The Arcade Building - Circuit Ave, Oak Bluffs

8 – For extra credit here’s a personal question.  What is my favorite Vineyard breakfast and where?


Blueberry scone and
at Espresso Love in Edgartown.


How did you do ?  :)

Water With Lemon and Lime …


- by Joan -


A List on a Sunday Morning

1. There’s no Weekend Garden Update this week, because I haven’t really had done much in the garden this week–also, we’re between harvests, but I’m hoping we’ll have a tomato or two. by this time next week.

2. In reading about soap-making this week, I found a recipe for breastmilk soap. Just wanted you to now that that exists.

3. Reading about soap-making all week has brought me down a rabbit hole of other fun body care DIYs.

4. I particularly recommend the Humblebee & Me blog. After reading her blog, you will find yourself with a cart full of essential oils and cocoa butter, and plans to make everything you’ve ever needed ever.

5. I am totally going to try her hair balm, since I’ve been doing the shampoo bar thing for awhile now. (I currently use the nettle rosemary shampoo bar from Nurture Botanicals and I highly recommend it, but I plan on making my own very soon.)

6. In case you have tried my Greek yogurt tutorial and are wondering what to do with all that whey, today I made biscuits and gravy, using the whey in the biscuits instead of buttermilk. It tasted and smelled exactly the same. (And Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose Flour works really well for biscuits!)

7. Today I whipped up the easiest ice cream ever to go with the cherry pie I made. It was delicious, so I will share:
-2 cups half n half
-1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Whisk it all together and throw in the ice cream maker. We have a hand crank one that my soon-to-be 8 year-old can easily use. He churned while I read Harry Potter, and we had ice cream in less time than it took to read a chapter.

8. This upcoming week might be my busiest week of the year–busier even then Christmas. All of my siblings and siblings-in-law will be in town, and on top of the Fourth of July, we have three birthdays, including Athrun’s–and just like what happened at Christmas, I’m opening a new store in a week, so there’s no extra time off work either. I’m not complaining, just wrapping my head around the busy.

9.Don’t forget, Pogona KAL kicks off Tuesday. Do you have your supplies?

Review: New Vintage Lace

Review: New Vintage Lace post image


First, the facts:

Title: New Vintage Lace: Knits Inspired by the Past

Author: Andrea Jurgrau

Published by: Interweave Press, 2014

Pages: 143

Type: Lace


1. Materials
2. Techniques
3. The Fine Art of Swatching
4. Projects
5. Doily Dissection–A Little Geometry and a Lot of Fun

KS: New Vintage Lace

The In-Depth Look:

I love a good lace book, and when you add in knitting tradition as well? Even better.

The author writes, “This book is about embracing knitting tradition without being bound by it. … Fortunately, large collections of what I consider to be the finest knitted lace doily and tablecloth patterns have become available in the past few years, including those by German designers who knitted during the first half of the twentieth century. This style of lace, called kunststricken, translates to ‘art knitting.’ Herbert Niebling (1905-1966) is my favorite of these designers. … For New Vintage Lace, I set out to reinterpret kunststricken for contemporary appeal. Although I take pleasure in knitting doilies and tablecloths, I wanted the projects in this book to attract a wider audience. Maybe I was simultaneously channeling Grandma Rose and her sister Helen when I started envisioning ways to transform these classic lace motifs into wearable pieces for today’s lace knitters.”

Wearable pieces. That’s what makes this book so appealing. I love lace and find knitting it a pleasure, but … I’ve never really had the urge to knit doilies. I also prefer a slightly bigger gauge. I mean the fact that my grandmother used to crochet lace edgings onto handkerchiefs with impossibly small steel crochet hooks still amazes me–even in my 20’s, seeing where to insert the hook was hard, and even if I find it a little easier to knit lace than to crochet it because you’ve got your stitches nicely separated on a needle, still … I prefer yarn to thread, you know?

Besides, who’s ever going to see your doily collection?

Shawls, though? Well, hello, beautiful.

The book starts with some techniques you’ll need to know–knitting with beads, circular cast-ons, basic lace-knitting stuff. Then there’s a discussion about the importance of swatching, but then the fun begins. The patterns.

They aren’t all shawls, the patterns in this book. In fact, the first few are for hats (or hats and/or matching doilies). Then there are a couple scarves, all of which are lovely, but to me, the real stars here are the shawls, because they’re stunning. They range in shape to half-circle to wedges to full circle. (Yes, most but not all of them are some variation of round rather than triangular.) The fact that much of the lace is based on delicate doily or tablecloth motifs is pretty easy to see, too, but that’s all to the good. We get so used to having certain expectations about shawl patterns. We’re so accustomed to the top-down triangular shape, or the slightly curved, semi-circle, we see them everywhere. These patterns, though, are unique … and it’s a delicious irony that that is true because in many ways that’s because they’re old. Or at least the motifs they’re based on are.

The book sums up with a final chapter about how you can take a classic doily pattern and turn it into your own shawl pattern, along with tips and a chart and one more pattern so you can see the process to its end.

All in all, I like this book a lot … and I have a feeling that I’ll be knitting one of the “Blue Dahlia” shawls myself one of these days, because it’s just too gorgeous not to.

This lovely book is available at your local shop or at

Want to see bigger pictures? Click here.

This review copy was kindly donated by Interweave Press. Thank you!

My Gush: Lovely lace.

Whistler Pillow Giveaway

Moonshine Yarn

Thanks so much to everyone who entered our Whistler Pillow pattern and yarn giveaway! It was really nice reading all your comments. I wish I could send yarn to each of you, but, alas there can only be one winner and today’s winner (chosen at random) is:

Contest Winner

Karin, please email me your mailing address at susie at fiber farm .com and I will get your yarn out to you ASAP.

Summer Lunch …

Lobster salad and planters punch …




- by Joan -

Vineyard Trivia XIII …


For trivia #13 let’s revisit some former questions.

 1 – Which is further north, West Chop or East Chop.

 2 – Who makes a Nantucket cookie but no Vineyard cookie.

 3 – What street sign has eyeballs.

4 – What is unusual about the Civil War monument in Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs.

5 – What is the name of this island off of Gay Head.


6 – Where can you get a wooden nickel and how do you get them.




7 – what is this building and what town is it in


8 – For extra credit here’s a personal question.  What is my favorite Vineyard breakfast and where?


Think you know the answers?  Leave a comment and check back in a few days and see how you did :)


btt button

Do you still get excited about new books as you did when you were little? In general? New books in particular, like from a favorite author? Or do you look at all new, unread books with the same level of anticipation?

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!