It's Your Money

Food Workshop Goes Sour

People at the Fermentation Workshop Make Starter Jars of Sauerkraut

Growing up, we were taught to be careful about leaving food out too long; every family has a cautionary tale involving a hapless uncle and sun-warmed potato salad. But at IYM’s Food Fermentation workshop Wednesday night, our friends from Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard showed us how to safely let some foods sit—and sit—for delicious, nutritious results.

Unlike most foods, MHC's Kayte & Stephaniewhich simply spoil or mold when they’re not properly stored, many vegetables and fruits—and even some dairy products—go through fermentation under certain conditions. The result is often (but not always!) the sour, tangy taste we’re familiar with in foods like sauerkraut and yogurt.

MHC's Kayte and Stephanie shared with us how to prepare different foods for fermentation, and how to protect against spoilage (short answer: your chances of contamination are almost zero). But the highlights of the evening were sampling the many different fermented treats on hand like kefir soda and kimchee, and even taking home “starters” for sauerkraut, yogurt, and kombucha.

So what does food fermentation have to do with being money smart? For starters, it’s cheap. The cost of fermentation supplies and the foods you ferment are low, and you get a lot of bang for your buck. The live cultures found in fermented food also contribute to good health, which is always a money saver. And fermented food keeps very well, making it a good addition to your weekly or monthly menu planning.

If you’d like to give fermenting food a try, check out some of the many books the Library has on food fermentation.

You can find more free opportunities to get money smart at the Library on the It's Your Money events calendar.


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Along with a new look for our page, MCPL’s It’s Your Money project is working hard to help you get control of your money—no matter how big (or small) your income or family is.

Among all the great money tools here on the IYM page, we’ll focus on these basic topics:

Spending, saving, and budgeting. Often find yourself asking “Why’s there always so much month at the end of my money?” Check out the articles and links we’ll post regularly for practical, unbiased tips on getting organized with your finances. It’s easier than you think!

Managing your debt. Whether you’re prone to getting drastic with your plastic, struggle with student loans, or cringe when you think about how much you still owe on your car or mortgage, you’ll learn lots about how and when to take on debt—and how to best pay it off.

Big purchases. If you’re thinking about buying a home, a car, or another big-ticket item, you’re probably also thinking “Where do I start?” Keep your eye on this page for the most reliable information.

Investing wisely. Maybe you’ve already tried your hand at investing, or maybe you don’t know a stock from a Roth IRA. Either way, there are numerous ways to grow your money, and we’ll discuss many of them here.

We'll be adding lots of practical information and useful tools soon, so check back here often. See you around!

It's Your Money is made possible by a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation through Smart investing@your library®, a partnership with the American Library Association.

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