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Gift Lab

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: First-Time Fermentation

December 26, 2016


Research
Years ago, I came across Wild Fermentation, a book by Sandor Ellix Katz that turned me and millions of others onto the idea of home fermentation. I don’t remember how I came across it, or why I bought it. But I read the first few chapters and became enthralled with the IDEA of fermenting.


The book, published in 2003, made Katz a fermentation rockstar. (I’m not kidding, he really is) As for myself, as I read, I was all ready to leave Brooklyn and move to the author’s organic farm commune in Tennesee to begin my new, fermention-centric lifestyle. Because I liked the IDEA.

I successfully made delicious yogurt a few times. And I’ve made a lot of bread, though not sourdough bread.

But despite feeling totally gung-ho, fermentationally speaking, that’s as far as I went. Katz made a passionate, informed case for probiotics (and this was back in 2003, before it was a thing). Almost all store-bought sauerkraut, he said, is pasteurized, which kills the probiotics.

I wanted to make my own sauerkraut and achieve Total Gut Health. But I looked into buying a stoneware crock with a weight (to weigh the cabbage down), and for a beginner, they seemed rather pricey and heavy. I didn’t feel it was wise to commit to something like that without knowing I’d use it more than once.*

And I got stuck there. For years. Until I saw our DIY Fermentation Crock.

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Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Will Our Wax Warmer Melt the Competition?

December 21, 2016

Product

Circle Stoneware Wax Warmer & Wax Melts

Research

So, I kind of had an understanding of how the product works. I have the Glade plug-in version of it. I wanted to try this product because it’s super cute and I wanted to see if it would work the same as the Glade version. Also the product is something I would like. I love essential oils, and I usually burn scents everyday, so I knew I’d use it a lot.

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Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Can These Tools Improve Your Soup?

December 7, 2016
featured_image
Product

Stainless Steel Produce Keeper and Soup Pot Flavor Infuser

 

Background

It is officially fall, almost winter actually, which means TIME FOR SOUP. What is better than the combination of crisp air and the smell of soup bubbling on the stove? Nothing, you say? I agree!

As a frequent maker of soups, I’m very interested in anything that can make my soups more delicious or the process of making them easier. Thus, the Soup Pot Flavor Infuser was immediately intriguing to me. I’ve used bouquet garni in the past, and I’ve wrapped herbs in cheese cloth, but this item seemed like a more sustainable way to add flavor to my soup, and also get rid of the problem of having to locate something and fish it out of the finished pot. Additionally, I thought perhaps I could save some of the time I usually spend stripping fresh herbs off their stem and finely chopping them by just putting entire stems into the infuser and not worrying about accidentally taking a bite of something decidedly un-tasty.

Speaking of herbs, anyone who uses fresh herbs regularly knows the pain of buying a bundle of gorgeous fresh herbs only to find that there’s no possible way to use them all before they get brown and sad and suited only for the compost bin. I’ve been eagerly anticipating trying out our Stainless Steel Produce Keeper to see if I can start making the most of my thyme (see what I did there?)

Hypothesis

The combination of the Soup Pot Flavor Infuser and Stainless Steel Produce Keeper will make this the soupiest and least wasteful winter ever!

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Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Is a DIY G&T as Easy as it Seems?

November 23, 2016

lab-coat

Research

Some say it tastes like Christmas, but I say it’s more like pure class in a glass. Scientists think liking it might mean you have a dark personality (I also drink my coffee black – uh oh), but I think you’re crazy if you hate it. It’s the gin & tonic, people, and I’m a fan. And so, when I saw the Gin & Tonic Making Kit in our assortment, I knew I had to try it out for my next gift lab.

Gin and Tonic Making Kit - UncommonGoods

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Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Fermentation with Friends

November 3, 2016

Research

Last summer, I canned for the first time with fellow UGooders and loved sharing and eating the spicy pickles and peach blackberry jam we created. While both received many compliments, I knew I’d be nowhere without our fearless leader Louise’s technical expertise in the kitchen. As for pickled veggies I haven’t made myself; pickled onions have turned many a salad from mediocre to magnificent, and from a health perspective, I’ll take all the probiotics I can get. As soon as I saw this DIY Fermentation Kit come into the UncommonGoods assortment, I had to try it for myself.

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