I made this Meatcake for my friend Ryan's birthday!
The cake is two lamb and beef meatloafs baked in round cake pans.
The frosting is made with mashed potatoes.
The flowers are hand curled pieces of salami with parsley leaves.
It was delicious!

Lacto-Fermented Pickles:

These pickles use only salt and water.  They are left at room temperature for over a week to encourage the growth of lactobacillus, a beneficial bacteria.  
These pickles can actually aid digestion and promote general gut health.  Everyone loves gut health, right?

How To:

Use Kosher Salt
The salt to water ratio should be between 5-7%
If your vegetables have a higher water content (such as cucumbers) use a higher salt concentration (7%)
If you are using root vegetables or cabbage use a lower concentration (5%)
I made these in a ziploc bag, not exactly classy but it worked.
Use gloves while chopping and packing vegetables to prevent bacteria from entering the mix.

1. WASH and PEEL all of your vegetables.  If there is any bacteria on the skin it may colonize and make you sick instead of healthy.
2. CHOP your vegetables
3. DISSOLVE SALT into boiling water.  You can add peppercorns, mustard seeds, cardamom, rosemary, etc. to this brine.  
4. PACK your vegetables into a gallon sized freezer bag that is resting in a plastic bowl.  MIX the vegetables well adding whole cloves of garlic, dill, scallions, etc. 
5. POUR brine into bag to completely cover vegetables.  Shake the bag gently to bring any air bubbles to the surface.  
6.  RELEASE all AIR from bag and seal.
7.  WAIT.  After a few days you will see tiny bubbles rise to the surface.  The bag will begin to fill with gas.  Release the gas periodically and reseal the bag.  If any scum form at the top remove it with a clean spoon. 
8. If the room that the pickles are resting in is around 70 - 75 degrees Fahrenheit it should take between 8 and 16 days to complete the pickling.  Taste them until you are happy with the flavor.  
9. Wearing gloves, TRANSFER the pickles in to mason jars or airtight food containers.  They should be consumed within 3 weeks of finishing.    

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