Saturday, 21 January 2017
Stand well back, I'm fermenting
And so here we are. Things are changing, here and across the pond. I have cut back on news consumption a bit. Don't need to know every tiny detail of it all. For my mental health. I went for a run this morning. It was dark and there was frost but it was good. I'm not a particularly regular runner, but I do feel so much better when I run. I sleep better, I feel more positive. Someone left a comment a while back saying that exercise does everything that the pills say they will. It stuck with me, and it's something I think is very true. Please don't imagine some slick, Lycra-clad swiftness. I am so slow the children can keep up with me just by walking, and all I have is an old pair of running shoes. I don't let that put me off though.
When the sun came up the sky was clear the whole day was gloriously sunny. My desert rose basked in it. I'm not sure it's completely happy at the moment, it might need a bit of a repot or something. Maybe it would rather be living in the desert. A sunny south-facing windowsill is as good as it gets around here.
I cracked open the book on fermenting vegetables this morning and had a go at sauerkraut, which is one of the most basic recipes.
Just a matter of finely shredding the cabbage, rubbing in salt for a while until the juice is released, then packing tightly into a jar making sure there is no air trapped within the leaves.
The cabbage all needs to be pushed down under the brine level (the brine is the juice from the cabbage, no added water needed). Then I topped it with a folded cabbage leaf and a bag of water to weigh it all down and keep it under the brine.
The natural bacteria should get to work and give off carbon dioxide and turn the mixture sour in the manner of a pickle. In a few days the book suggests trying it, although it might take somewhat longer for the flavours to develop. The bacteria are probiotics and very good for the gut apparently. And the fermenting releases more vitamins and minerals than you would get from just eating raw fresh cabbage. I have high hopes it will work and I will pretty much turn into Wonder Woman.
Next I shall give kimchi a try. Chinese cabbage, radish, spring onions, garlic, chilli and carrots from memory. I've tasted some and it's utterly delicious. The fermentation breaks the vegetables down just the right amount for me. This is the book I've been using.
You'll see I have a jar with a little vent in the lid, to allow the gas to escape. This isn't essential, you can just leave the lid a bit loose. Don't put it on tightly because of the build-up of gas. Oh how I love that phrase. Comedy and danger all rolled into one. I shall let you know how it all goes. If it works you can bet I'll be fermenting everything in sight.
Hope everyone has a very good, calm, relaxing Sunday with a bit of reading time and absolutely nothing annoying. I shall be out watching football most of the day I think. By sundown I shall be frozen solid.