Speaking of covering, you can also not cover, use cheesecloth and the ring to keep flies and such out. That method requires that you push the veggies under the level of the liquid regularly, usually 1x/day but 2x/day is necessary IME in warm weather (Texas summers, for example). There's a really nice discussion of this earlier in this thread (one of the reasons I love this thread) and Sandor discusses the flexibility as well in Wild Fermentation. I felt a lot better when I realized this is a lot more flexible than I'd assumed after reading NT.
AnnieMarie, people have mixed results with the ketchup recipe. I will try to type it up later today, but many people say you need to at least halve the fish sauce or it's distinctly fishy (unless you like that) and I needed to add a lot of extra water and it was still thick and I didn't find the flavor great. It was also plain to me--there are spices in ketchup, I have no idea what ones, but this recipe doesn't have them. But some folks love the recipe.
Oh, just re-read. The ketchup recipe starts with canned tomato sauce, so it may not be what you are looking for.
Pandora--the NT recipes are good without whey, read the first few pages of this thread, nice discussion of that too, many folks don't double the salt, I don't and we haven't keeled over yet. Some recipes just taste too salty with 2x the salt. We love the kimchee recipe from NT, nice low level of spiciness, it works well for my kids (typical American palate in terms of spiciness/heat level). Do you have NT? And none of Sandor Katz's recipes in Wild Fermentation use whey.http://www.wildfermentation.com/http://www.wildfermentation.com/reso...p?page=pickles
This is the pickle section from his book. Seriously tasty. I haven't found grape or oak leaves yet so I cut my pickles into thin circles and I haven't noticed the lack yet. Smaller pieces ferment faster, so keep an eye on them.