Fermented foods are alive foods. In the past couple of years I have experimented with different types. Sourdough, it is a fermented flour that creates the rise you need for bread. No needing to go buy yeast packets from the store, God gave it to us naturally! Lacto_fermented Sodas, this is a natural soda that uses lactobacilli to create a fermented and bubbly drink. Lactobacilli are naturally occurring in roots, it protect the root during the winter months from freezing, but it also loves sugar and will grow and make a wonderful soda culture. Kefir, uses grains to ferment milk or water into a pro-biotic drink. Milk to me is a bit sour and I can’t take too much, unless I add a lot of sugar or fruit and then I feel like I’m not getting the most nutritious drink, but the water kefir tastes more like a slightly fermented wine and it much better to my taste buds. Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that uses a scoby type “mushroom” that ferments tea and sugar. I was horrible with keeping up with my Kombucha. The scoby grows on top and gets bigger and bigger, it grows in layers and you can tear off them to separate them and give them away to friends. Ours got out of hand and then started tasting like vinegar. So I don’t keep kombucha now, but a lot of people swear by it.
I’ve wanted to ferment vegetables for a while now. I bought fermentation weights from a seller on Ebay, they fit inside of large mouth (they also sell small mouth ones) jars and hold down your food. Hubby is a go-getter, I think I established that in my last post. His life motto (after the power of Christ of course) is “A closed mouth, don’t get fed” and he lives by that, he is not afraid to ask for anything. The worst answer he can get is “no” so he just asks away, I find it quite amazing how he is not afraid to ask! Anyway, last week we took a different way home in order to drop off a friend to their house. We passed a large field of cabbage and just like hubby is, he pulled over and went to ask if he could pick a few heads. He had gleaned some strawberries from the same field a year ago summer time, so I think he felt confident in asking. He grabbed a few purple heads and green, the purple were MUCH more dense. Now those fermentation weights would finally get to be used!
This weekend we got our our trusty thrift store score food processor. It’s one of those all in one things, I guess it’s suppose to be a mixer too but we only use it to shred food, like apples we want to press for juice or cabbage for sauerkraut. Hubby shredded about 5lb of cabbage and we added about 3Tbsp of salt as he was shredding. The salt will force the water out of the cabbage and then it will be the protection for the fermentation process. The book we used said to add 1 cup water and another Tbsp of salt after 24 hours to a gallon jar. Since our fermentation weights don’t fit well in a gallon jar, and even in a half gallon wide mouth they seemed too small, we used quart jars. 4= 1 Gallon We ended up with a gallon and probably a pint. I also added a small jelly jar with water (some I just used the jar that is filled with jelly for the weight) in them to weight down the fermentation weight. I am not sure if this is necessary but the book did talk about adding a plate to the top of your vessel and then putting a rock or a jar with water on top to force out the juice. Yesterday I looked at every jar and the liquid had filled above the food line on all the jars but the pint. When I left for work this morning, I just left them as they were and will check again this evening. From what I read the purple cabbage will turn a pink color mixed with the green. It should also only take a few days for a nice ferment, unless we put them in our cellar/basement for a slower ferment. We are opting for the first, a quicker ferment in our warm house. I took photos, but I’ve been a slacker on getting my pictures onto my computer. I have to admit when you look at a computer all day, the last thing I want to do is look at another one at home. This is one of the reasons I rarely make phone calls too, if you are forced do do something all day long the last thing you want to do in your off time is the same thing… Anyway, I’ll post photos hopefully shortly of the before and after. Lets pray the fermentation goes just as planned and we have some good alive sauerkraut.
Update: Finally got my pictures up! Yay.