Fall Fermenting

It seems to be that this is the time of year for fermenting. There is such an abundance of root veggies and cruciferous wonders that they need to be fermented lest they join the compost pile. Besides the kale (which I’ve heard so many fermenting horror stories about that I don’t feel the need to nurture my own disaster), I’ve been experimenting with mixing most CSA veggies into a kraut-chi. I think the process of experimentation in this manner is exciting, as each person will have particular inclinations toward some fermented foods and flavours over others. Fermenting feels like such an intuitive endeavour -mix veggies with salt and wait; and so I have, as jars of radish, carrot, fennel, peppers, cabbage, and turnip line the side table.

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A ferment that is quickly becoming a favourite is the hot pepper sauce. It was simple enough -ferment peppers with garlic and salt and leave it for at least a month, checking for whether surface mould needs to be skimmed off. At the end, simply blend it until it reaches the desired consistency. It’s so lively and fresh tasting, with more flavour than many bottled hot sauces that seem to just have kick and not much else. But beware….the hands get to stinging once you’ve had them massaging the pepper for a time…but worth it? Yes.

I find that undertaking fermenting projects can be so fulfilling; it’s like mental yoga, for you get lots of time to think and connect with your thoughts as you methodically prepare ferments. Like cooking, it can be a regular way to maintain balance, and also a great way to connect with community. Well some family members may beg to differ, as much as I love a great kim(kraut)chi, I’ve driven many family members out of the room when I open a jar….or even if I just open the fridge containing an improperly lidded jar! My cousin suggested that if you eat it the smell doesn’t bother you as much, so that’s become my encouragement. My smellier mixes are the ones where I’ve chosen to use black salt, a himalayan variety known for its sulphurous odour. Delicious, maybe, but rather pungent.DSC06606 DSC06577 DSC06580

 

 

 

Last weekend, lots of us convened to make cider from apples that dad and I have been picking for weeks. We all worked to mill the apples into pomace, then to press the pomace into juice. By the end, we had over 20 gallons, lots of which will be fermented into hard cider, but some of which is being enjoyed fresh and sweet. Again, like the mead, we will do some wild fermentation style and then some other jugs with added yeast.

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I’m headed off for a month, and am looking forward to returning and tasting some ferments that I hope have transformed for the better.

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