1. If whey is not readily accessible, pour yogurt through a cheesecloth and drain for 30-45 minutes. The liquid that accumulates from the yogurt is whey.
2. In a small bowl, toss chopped walnuts and raisins with sea salt and spice blend. Set aside.
3. Coarsely chop apples and place in a large bowl. Add reserved walnut and raisin mixture. Toss the entire batch with lemon juice, whey and honey until thoroughly combined.
4. Transfer to a clean, half-gallon jar or crock. Pack down all the ingredients and add 1+ cup of liquid so that at least 1/2" of the water covers the top of the ingredients. Cover rightly with a lid or plastic wrap secured with a rubber band. Let sit at room temperature for 2-3 days. Each day, check for mold growing on the surface and skim away. Burp the jar if necessary. When the texture has reached the desired consistency (taste-test each day), transfer to the fridge in an air-tight container. Eat as is or serve on yogurt, kefir, cereal, waffles, pancakes or alongside grilled meat.
Note: 5-spice blend is available in Asian markets or in the spice section of most super markets.
My first week at the orchard has come to a close. It's Saturday and raining; I can hear John wood-working in the barn down the road. Emily is canning tomatoes in the kitchen; Eliza is on a boat; Rob is kayaking.
There are a couple large cabbages ready for picking and I think the leeks have reached a good size--I think I'll make this Japanese pancake today (minus the flour) and begin reading Endurance by Alfred Lansing.
This ugly little bugger might be the world's most perfect food. It's called a "Trailman," and tastes like no food (or apple) I've ever had in my life.