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.
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I love sauerkraut (my boys hate it), but I've never thought of making it myself. I wonder if it will taste even better, I expect it will... Never seen a jar with a vented lid before either.ReplyDelete
I'm afraid thar I'm not a fan of sauerkraut but I wish you success.ReplyDelete
This year I grew my own cabbage from seed for the express purpose of sauerkraut. My mother in law helps us make a huge vat of the stuff, and then we jar and seal it. You can also make a wonderful sauerkraut soup with sausage and potatoes. I grew up Ukrainian, and my husband grew up Mennonite. It's a bit of a perfect food marriage, if you ask me!ReplyDelete
Good luck with your new culinary adventure! I do so admire your let's-give-it-a-try spirit. There are those of us on this side of the pond who also try to cut back on news consumption, but it has an invidious way of finding its way into your consciousness anyway. I am today concentrating on the enormous success of the Women's March on Washington, which has raised my spirits considerably.ReplyDelete
Is it like making wine? My father once covered half the kitchen (including the ceiling) with bright red juice following a gaseous explosion. Just saying.ReplyDelete
I adore both sauerkraut and kimchi but have never tried making either. If yours is successful, I might give it a go. I'm very impressed with you running in the frost - I'm a real wimp when it's icy and worry that I'll slip and break something; I'm definitely a fair weather runner. Have fun at the football. My latest library book is all about hygge - apparently, it's very hygge to come in from the cold, light the fire and a candle and have a hot drink and a warming supper. I'll imagine you doing all that post football. xxReplyDelete
ooh those pictures do look tasty, but I'm a bit scared of trying fermented things.....ReplyDelete
fermenting eh? sounds interesting. Don't think I could get anyone in my family to eat sauerkraut, though.ReplyDelete
The husband brought back some posh fermented tea back from China... very different taste but lovely.
What with running and fermenting you've certainly been keeping busy.ReplyDelete
Thanks, and you too. xx
I'm not good with pickled products. Apart from silver skin onions. I haven't watched any inauguration, because I feared for the obscenity levels rising dangerously out of control. I found thermals a good addition to my touch line days.
We'll done on the running and the fermented veg. Not a sentence I have ever uttered before. Hope you don't freeze too much today xxReplyDelete
Good for you CJ, you're starting the year off right - running and fermenting! I'm not into sauerkraut or kimchi, but my apple cider vinegar is foaming and fermenting like crazy at the moment and my sourdough starter is very much alive. I'm a vegetarian who isn't into fermented veg.ReplyDelete
Let us know how it goes and what it tastes like! Also, I am interested to know how you eat it, as in what you have it with, not do you use a fork! I am wildly impressed by the running, I cannot run to save my life. Well done you!ReplyDelete
Interesting to read about this, lots of people seem to be trying it. Be good to hear how you get on and how it tastes.ReplyDelete
I got into running last year too, and love it more at this time of year when its cooler. Started the parkrun near me which is so inspiring to run with such a range of people. It definitely helps me feel happier at this time of year when I can't garden as much!!
I think that comment about exercise doing everything the pills say they will is so true. I am a walker, not a runner, but I know in my case I always feel better mentally by the end of a walk than I did at the beginning. I tried fermenting cabbage a couple years ago and it was not a success. I think I'll see if our library has the book you're using. Please let us know how it turns out!ReplyDelete
oooooh! this is all very exciting!! i do enjoy sauerkraut, very much. i'll be very interested to know how you get on. it all seems fairly straightforward, which is to say, right up my alley.ReplyDelete
Looking forward to hearing how the sauerkraut progresses and hope you have thawed out with a large hot toddy after a day of football.ReplyDelete
I admire your efforts. It looks like a science experiment! :-) . ((hugs)), Teresa :-)ReplyDelete
I never listen to the news, and I think I'm a happier person because of it. :)ReplyDelete
Keep on running! Exercise really does help so much. This is a difficult time of year for us in that regard, because it's so icy outside. Hibernation is easier.
The sauerkraut looks great so far. Mr. M tried pickling onions a month or two ago, and they must have been tasty because he ate them all up before I had a chance to try them. That book looks very interesting - might make a good birthday gift for him.
Just think how fast you'll be able to run when you turn into Wonder Woman. And a little build-up of gas would provide that extra spurt when you need it. You could be turbo-charged.
Well done on the running, whatever the pace. And on the news withdrawal (I'm afraid I'm still addicted). The venture into home fermenting sounds interesting. I do enjoy stuff that's been through some sort of fermentation process (sourdough bread, yoghurt, wine, tempeh) but really dislike sauerkraut. But, hey, to each her own and hope it turns out well for you. Love the (new?) mug and the handwriting sheets.ReplyDelete
I don't reach much news myself, it's hard for me to see the point. It feels like torture most of the time and I've reached a point in my life where I actually don't care very much about others' political opinions, which makes it easier to ignore them. I don't enjoy debate anymore and I think we're all so different with different needs and experiences that it doesn't even matter what the mainstream thinks, we just have to decide for ourselves. Anyway, I'm so glad you had the chance to run! I don't enjoy running but I do love to walk and when I have the chance to take a really good walk, I'm happy for days after. I haven't fermented anything, aside from sourdough starter, but I'd really like to try. My husband loves sauerkraut and would be thrilled if I made some freshly for him. I will have to look for that book, thanks for the suggestion.ReplyDelete
Good for you with the jogging. It does make you feel better although I'm not yet up to your standard, I'm just a "jog a bit walk a bit" kind of jogger round the orchards and fields where no one can see but the dog and the birds, but it is so worth it!ReplyDelete
Be very interested to see how the cabbage turns out, and that book looks interesting.
I don't think I've ever tried sauerkraut but I'm very tempted to give making it a try. I would so like to go out running again but know my knees will be unforgiving.ReplyDelete
Dog walks have taken over my running temporarily, although I think the dog would love it if I ran with her. Well done though, in the cold and dark, not easy. News from across the pond makes me both angry and frustrated (alternative facts, wtf?!) and I swing between wanting to join a march and wanting to hide. Good luck with the fermenting, it's looking pretty good so far to my untrained eye. ;-) xxReplyDelete
Love the title of your post, CJ - like the other phrase, comedy and danger rolled into one! Awesome that you're giving fermented veg a go, I'm not sure I'd be brave enough but thoroughly intrigued to see how you get on! Will the whole family eat it or is this a lunchtime treat for you? C xxReplyDelete
Well done out running, I don't run but that first brisk walk in the morning when I don't stop to take too many pictures always sets me up for the day! Your fermenting looks very interesting. Hope you didn't get too frozen on Sunday it was so much warmer here compared with Saturday. Sarah xReplyDelete
Any physical activity that isn't dangerous (what? I'm an old lady mom!) is good that makes you happy. I don't have fancy outfits for my workout, but the boys know I definitely have specific workout clothes. I think it's another layer that makes me feel comfortable not nec. confident in my activity. And yes, I'm perpetually chasing the endorphin high. My husband likes to pickle. I am thinking I will keep him away from this beautiful book b/c he will surely take up fermentation as well!ReplyDelete
Looking forward to hearing how you get on with your fermented veg. It's something I'm hoping to try soon too. That's a great looking book.ReplyDelete
I like hearing about the little things we can do here are there to combat all that is being done and undone politically speaking. The quote about exercise will stay with me as well. I agree completely and always have a better day when I go out and exercise (or play, as I like to think of it). I'm excited to hear how the cabbage comes out. The line about the gas made me laugh. I've been wanting to learn to can for years. I just need to take that big next step of actually trying it. Hoping your boys are enjoying skateboarding lately! Hugs ~DevonReplyDelete
Sauerkraut, exiting! This was a winter staple when I grew up in Switzerland. We warmed it up with juniper berries and a tad of caraway seeds to further aid digestions. Although of course the kraut on its on is a very effective jump started for our microbiome :-) My neighbour made a huge vat of sauerkraut every year, in the cellar (all apartment blocks in Switzerland have those, with little compartments for each flat). She must have done something wrong one year because I swear it smelled like an exploder sewer in the house.... I quite fancy copying your small scale fermenting but no doubt it will be added to the list of things I may do when I retire. As for the changes from across the pond, it must be now clear to even the staunchest supporters of the new administration that the man in charge is unhinged! Here, I am starting to worry about my status as European citizen... and I am not even watching the news, just scanning the headlines! Have a love weekend. xxReplyDelete
Adorei as imagens.ReplyDelete
Adorei as imagens.ReplyDelete