Hey, I had a revelation (though I could be doing this wrong). I just started fermenting this past summer (in Texas, so summer = really hot, and my kitchen is really warm at night), and so my ferments went really, really fast. Well, it's gotten colder and everything is taking longer and I've been confused about how to figure out when they're done. Well, I think I figured it out with my salsa. After it ferments a while, the tomatoes/onions/peppers start to float and a layer of water/juice appears. When that layer is at the bottom of the jar (it usually starts about 2/3 of the way down the jar for me), then I decided it's done. I tried leaving a batch at room temp for another 12 hrs or so after that point and it got really tangy, too much for my taste. But putting on a lid and refrigerating it when I first noticed everything floating seems a good point.
ANyhoo, I am rather new to this whole thing, and a bit in a fog. I had tried to make some sourdough starter in the past- and failed- or at least I called it failed- I kept getting something that smelled like acetone (yeah like nail polish remover)- not sur what was up with it, but I wasn't eating it without knowing what was up. I really need to find some better instructions.
I did make the fermented bean paste I think she called it from NT- it was good. WE ate it with melted cheese and salsa as a dip (I know heating it likely killed all the goodies) I tried the saurkraut from NT- was a little nervous about it, it had been smelling kind of good, but didn't taste 'done' to me, then it started smelling like off to me (could be just nervous about the whole process). I also tried pickles- one jar seemed good, but the other didn't- could have been that I started with cukes that were a few days old.
Well I am so in the mood to ferment something now. I just picked up a little parsnip and turnip today. I still have some beets around and a little cabbage. I was thinking of trying pumpkin much like she says to do sweet potatoes?
Just wanted to say keep the great posts coming.
I left out the oregano, and it is really good, but next time I am going to cut way back on the garlic - It kind of stays with you for the rest of the day.
I consider it a success for my 1st ferment.
What kind of containers do you use? I was thinking of maybe the smaller mason jars? Since I've never done this before, I have no idea! What do you recommend for me? TIA!
Hi, I'm TJ! | NMY Grad | Mama to DD 5/13
Here's what I do for ginger carrots: (they are easy)
Grate a bunch of carrots- enough to fill a quart-size jar. Add a few cloves of minced garlic (like 2 or 3), and about a Tbsp of chopped fresh ginger. Add a couple tsp's of salt, mix it all up, pack it into the jar tightly so the juice comes to the top. Let it sit on the counter, covered with a piece of cloth for a few days, but pack the veggies down daily under their liquid. When it suits your taste, put a lid on it and transfer to the fridge.
I think the ginger carrots take about as long as the kimchi. I would say 5 days, about. (give or take. depends so much on the temp/conditions of your home).
I'm doing: 2 c. grated carrots, 1/2 T grated ginger, 1/2 T salt, 2 T whey.
Should I change that at all? Add some garlic? Reduce the whey?
Hi, I'm TJ! | NMY Grad | Mama to DD 5/13
I've made the pickled garlic - it's nice chopped in a salad or tossed in spaghetti sauce after the cooking is done. Any other suggestions! I have twelve heads in that jar! We take raw ginger when a cold is coming on and it stops it dead - does anyone know if fermenting affects that benefit or not?
I made kim chi and LOVE it! Sauerkraut is next. The kim chi is even better now that it's been in the fridge several months.
We got a wine cooler on mega-clearance and set it on 50 to chill wine and lacto-fermented veggies after they're done. They seem to do fine in there. I figure it's the equivalent temp of a root cellar and they'll keep for months in there. Any thoughts? So far they have kept just fine, including that 3 month old kim chi.
|I made kim chi and LOVE it!|
|We got a wine cooler on mega-clearance and set it on 50 to chill wine and lacto-fermented veggies|
|I'm doing: 2 c. grated carrots, 1/2 T grated ginger, 1/2 T salt, 2 T whey. Should I change that at all? Add some garlic? Reduce the whey?|
That said, I've never used whey because we can't have dairy, and I don't remember how much I used (though I remember reading Hibou's post before I did it, although I also skipped the garlic). But I think Hibou's instructions are for a jar 2x the size of a pint-sized one.
That'll be enough for just a pint-size jar, right? I'm wondering if they'll be a bit saltier than you like--I think the salt is mainly for its preservative properties early on, before the bacteria get going, so if you're going to use whey, the bacteria will get going faster, and it should be safe to cut back.
I did a little bit less salt, but did everything else the same as what I posted above. It's basically NT's recipe cut in half. My arm got tired grating 2 cups of carrots, I can't imagine doing 4!
Oh, and 2 cups was 4 carrots, for those of you wondering how much to buy.
Hi, I'm TJ! | NMY Grad | Mama to DD 5/13
Here’s what I’m going to try (in case it works):
Per pint-size jar:
½ pound small-medium okra pods
1 small dried chile, cut in half
½ tsp mustard seed
3 sprigs fresh dill
1 whole clove of garlic
¼ tsp whole peppercorns
And however much salt is typical in the veggie recipes in NT.
Wish me luck!
I’ve been inspired by a recent episode of Good Eats to try okra. I’m going to modify his pickled okra recipe and try it as a ferment. Alton Brown says it’s not slimy, so I figure it’s worth a shot (because I don’t think we’ll be trying any other okra recipes anytime soon).
okra is also good in gumbo...
Eating shouldn't be stressful!
Tightly packed beans, unrefined sea salt, handful of whole black pepper corns. They do not turn out spicy; they have the flavour of black pepper without the bite and our boys eat them continuously from the jar if we don't stop them
Also, chunks of sweet onion added to string beans to ferment is nice too.
Sauerkraut seasoned with garlic, nutmeg, and rosemary is super delicious.
Quartered brussel sprouts with garlic chunks turned out very spicy; I've left it in the fridge to mellow.
Cauliflower with mild or hot curry powder, raisins, a little bit of garlic, and unrefined sea salt turned out amazing.
Cauliflower with just salt was also quite delicious.
Broccoli florets with garlic and salt are delicious. I cut the stems up and ferment those with just salt for the manlets- they LOVE the stems this way.
I'm going to try salsa tonight.
Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. Jan. 23, 2012
I hope it turns out!!
A tip I have learned.... when making sauerkraut save the outer leaves. Once it is all tamped down, roll the leaves up and then place them on top of your ferment. The rolled leaves will help keep the veggies submerged
I think I got the tip from another MDC mama- thanks!!
Green string beans recipe from my four yr old son:
Tightly packed beans, unrefined sea salt, handful of whole black pepper corns. They do not turn out spicy; they have the flavour of black pepper without the bite and our boys eat them continuously from the jar if we don't stop them [...] Quartered brussel sprouts with garlic chunks turned out very spicy; I've left it in the fridge to mellow.
sharing life with | 10 yo ds | 8 yo dd | dh (since 2012)
"I am not what happened to me...I am what I choose to become." ~ Carl Jung
In the mean time I aquired a 2 gallon red-wing crock which belonged to a great-uncle and was being used as a wooden spoon holder by my sister. I have filled it with a layer of cabbage leaves, a large layer of califllower, and a top layer of cabbage leaves, topped by a plate that just fits into the crock. The red-wing has a lip that holds the plate about 3- inches below the absolute top. As soon as the fermenting began the yeast accumulated in a layer across the top again. I didn't want to lose too much of the acidic brine this time, so I placed a coffee filter into a funnel and put that over a mason jar. I dipped water and yeast out of the crock into the filter until I filled the jar. This lowered the brine level an inch or two and I wiped out the exposed surface of the crock with a paper towel. Then I poured the filtered brine back into the crock. It looks good, but I think I have a couple of weeks of daily scumming to know for sure.
Postpartum doula & certified breastfeeding educator, mama to an amazing girl (11/05) and a wee little boy (3/13).