Wednesday, July 16, 2014
This week's CSA share from Dineberg's Farm delivered, among other things, a lovely cabbage, and I decided to ferment it so it might be enjoyed for weeks (and weeks), as other farm-n-garden goodness come ripe.
I created a ginger 'n' pepper kraut, making use of what I had on hand. Now, if you follow me at all, you know that I'm really not a recipe user/follower, and this is most true when it comes to summer fermenting, when I'm using what's fresh out of the garden, from the CSA or the farmers' market, and what I have on hand.
For this not-quite-half-gallon batch I used:
a head of cabbage
three carrots (for color and sweetness)
grated ginger (a couple inches - just a piece that I wanted to use
fresh cracked black pepper
red pepper flakes
… and you can use whatever you have on hand and whatever tickles your taste buds.
I sliced the cabbage, shredded carrots and grated the ginger (all organic) and tossed it all into a large stainless bowl. I added salt to the mix "to taste" and massaged the the vegetables to get the salt well blended. At this point I took a coffee break and allowed the mix to begin the water extraction aspect of the process without me. I do this a lot, allowing mama Nature to do her thing without interference from me. It's one of the reasons that so many "permaculture" concepts resonate with me. But that's another story.
After my coffee break I nibbled the mix and added a bit more salt, again—to taste, and massaged it in and worked the vegetables to release more of their natural fluids. To this I added some fresh cracked black pepper and hot pepper flakes, not measured, just trusting my intuition. I added it all to a half-gallon jar, handful by handful, pressing down the vegetables and rising up the liquid between each handful. I filled a half-pint jelly jar with water, capped it and used it to weigh down the vegetables below the fluid. I covered it with a linen napkin and secured with a rubber band (to keep "unwanteds" out).
This will sit on my kitchen counter for a few/several days and I'll be tasting it daily. Once it reaches the tang that suits me, I'll put it all in cool storage, and enjoy some beautiful, delicious, living food daily, on bread, as a side-dish, in salads, mixed with vegetables, grains, meats … whatever!
So, yeah, that's what I made today.