Tag Archives: fermentation

FERMENTED SALSA AT 6 DAYS: WOW! Second Grand Opening

On Monday, I opened one jar of my fermented salsa. It was delish, which  good, because I was going to go to the “fermented sauces” meetup in a few hours.  Long story short: I took the salsa to the meetup, people tasted it, said it was good, but no one asked me about it.

Tonight (8 days after I put it to ferment, I opened the second jar. Whoops! It jumped out at me!  That’s my sign for a good ferment. I skimmed off the stuff that was poking out of the jar (next time, I’ll remember to open it over a bowl, to save the juice.

Right now, I am thinking about getting some cauliflower, to make a “tabouli” with it.  That’s tomorrow’s project.

Meanwhile, I am sort of thinking of saving back a bit to use as the starter for a cashew cheeze.  It could be yummy!



POST #942
I have the kombucha scoby and the water kefir grains in the refrigerator. The Russell James Chef Homestudy course I’m going through now has, just this week, given me a very good grounding in what I need to do for kombucha and kefir brewing. I just like to read up on as much background as I can.

kombucha scoby getkombuchaI’m finding out that I may have destroyed my kombucha scoby – who knew that you shouldn’t put it in the refrigerator. Well, it’s been in there almost a week, and I probably won’t try to do anything with it until at least tomorrow. (the scoby picture is from getkombucha.com)

Meanwhile, I have found two downloadable kombucha brewing guides on-line:

The Cultures for Health ebook  is very extensive – it covers in pretty much detail just about anything you want to know. This site also has quite a few informative videos on kombucha

Kombucha Kamp’s kombucha guide is concise and informative. I like it as a checklist for after I have read through the entire Cultures for Health book.

Yemoos Nourishing Cultures’ kombucha FAQ  has some useful information, as well.

More details at GetKombucha.com What is Kombucha

dried kombucha kombuchananaDrying kombucha – I kept trying to find out how to dehydrate kombucha, but never came up with anything much about using a dehydrator. Most of the info was about how to air dry it. I saw one mention of dehydrating at 105 degrees, but when I tried to follow that google link, I didn’t find anything further. It seems you are supposed to dry it to jerky consistency, but, on kombuchanana , which has some interesting ideas for what to do with dried scoby, I saw this picture where it looks pretty dry.

water kefir grains wikipediaKEFIR
Cultures for Health has videos on water kefir . Their ebook deals only with milk kefir, but it is free and has interesting information (the picture is from Wikipedia)

Yemoos Nourishing Cultures has an extensive online water kefir “book”  which covers just about anything you could want to know.

Wellness Mama’s recipe promises Kefir soda  .

Lea’s Cooking’s kefir article  gives her recipes , as well as recipes she has found in her web research


POST #879
from Nourished Kitchen

Donna Schwenk, the author, says:”These are a little spicy, and a little sweet and sour. They are wonderful for digesting your food, building up your immune system, and helping your adrenals feel nourished. It is the flavor I love the best. I’m a foodie and it has to taste good! You can find Vegetable Starter Culture online or in well-stocked health food stores.”

Yield: 2 quarts (64 Servings) Prep: 5 mins
1 medium jicama
1/2 head cabbage
2 handfuls fresh spinach
1 medium apple
1 small onion
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 1/2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt
1 large orange (zested and juiced)
1 package vegetable starter culture

  • Shred or chop the first six ingredients and place¬† in a bowl and sprinkle with salt.
  • You can also layer it in the jar instead of mixing.
  • Firmly pack the mixture into 2 quart glass canning jars or a half-gallon jar
  • Then add the orange zest juice, and culture, and cover with water, leaving an inch or two at the top.
  • Seal jar tightly and let sit on the counter for 6 days and then place in the refrigerator

I haven’t tried this yet, but I will start it this week. I will use 2-3 probiotics capsules instead of the “vegetable starter culture”, which contains sugar and dairy.


POST #853
I read a recipe for butternut squash kimchi, but I did not have any ginger on hand, and I couldn’t be sure that I would enjoy eating the pieces (I’m a very lazy chewer), so I decided to put the butternut squash through the food processor, but only grate it up coarsely (i.e., this is not my usual applesauce-textured concoction).

I can never leave well enough alone, and, for the most part, I am convinced that garlic and jalapeno improve just about anything in sight.  I took a handful of garlic (maybe ten cloves) and a medium-sized jalapeno, and whizzed them in my Magic Bullet to mince them quickly, then, as I packed the squash bits into the quart jar, I layered in gobs of garlic-jalapeno mince.  

I mashed down the squash as much as I could, then mixed a cup of water with 1 cap of probiotics and 1 t sea salt.  Poured as much of it as I could into the jar, stuck a chopstick down through the packed squash and poured some more brine into the jar, then capped it with one of my new plastic re-usable jar lids.

Today, when I looked, about half the bowl the jar is sitting in is filled with juice.   Good. That tells me that the ferment is busy.   

This being an experimental batch of squash, I sure hope that it will turn out and that I will like it.

10/04/12 CSA SHARE: What they say we will get and what I am thinking of doing with it

POST #862
Here is what they say we will get:
Mesclun Lettuce Mix with Baby Arugula
Baby Bok Choi
Japanese Salad Turnips
Green Boston Lettuce
Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes
Toscano Kale

So! We’re back to leaves again! Just means that I have to get to the share distribution early early early, so I can trade some of those leaves for maybe more kale, more bok choi or more turnips, and maybe more kohlrabi.

I’ll make cultured kohlrabi with whatever kohlrabi I get (probably “dill pickle” style). When it’s in the jar, I’ll tell you the recipe.

The kale will likely go to kale chips. I haven’t had any in a while. I won’t buy them commercially-made — too pricey.


I’ve got one plain (no seasonings) 64 oz jar of sauerkraut fermenting.  Tonight’s the first night it is available. (I say it that way because I have never made a straight no-addition sauerkraut before).

Last night, I had to finish off the vegetables I had bought for fermenting, so I had a little private fermenting party in the kitchen.


First, in the food processor, I grated all of the (chopped) cabbage I still had (about 2 small cabbages) and threw the grated cabbage in a bowl and added onion and sliced serrano and jalapeno peppers (I did not have enough of either one, and I figured both are spicy, so I sliced what I had finely, and added to the grated cabbage.

I placed the grated cabbage/chili mix in a large bowl and then added 1 heaping T sea salt.  I tossed the mix to distribute the sea salt.T

Then I  massaged the mix until it became very juicy.

Then I put 3 capsules of New Chapter probiotics in 1/4 C spring water, and mixed it up.  Just before I added it to the cabbage, I added 1/4 C spring water.

I stuffed as much as I could in a 2 qt. mason jar, stuck holes down through the mix, poured in the water/probiotics mix, screwed the lid on tightly, and set it in a bowl on the counter.


I still had quite a bit of the cabbage mix left, so I grated two carrots in the food processor, mixed them into the cabbage in the bowl, and massaged some more, until it seemed very juicy again.

When I went to put this mix into a jar, I realized that I needed a quart jar again, probably because of all the carrot.  I stuffed it into a quart jar, mashed it down, to about 1 inch from the top of the jar.

I put 1/4 C water into a small bowl, added the probiotics, and mixed it all together, and poured the mix into the new jar of sauerkraut.


I still had some cabbage/carrot mix , so I chopped up a small nappa cabbage, and set to work to make a “kimchi-like” ferment.

I chopped the nappa cabbage to pieces no larger than 1 in. square.  I placed the nappa cabbage in a large bowl, added the cabbage/carrot mix, added thinly sliced and chopped onion, and about @3 serrano peppers, chopped; added @1T sea salt, and massaged the mix until it released liquid/became juicy.

I placed @1/4 of the cabbage in the jar, then added minced garlic and a liberal sprinkling of cayenne pepper to the layer.

I added more nappa cabbage, then added more minced garlic and cayenne pepper, and then repeated until I had filled the jar.  Then I added 2 caps of probiotics to about 1/8 C water and added that to top off the jar (leaving about 1/2 in. before the top of the jar.)  I screwed on the lid and set the jar in a bowl on the counter.

Now I wait 3 days, to see how it all turned out.

Fortunately, I don’t have to wait for sauerkraut – the plain batch I started on Friday will be ready in time for dinner tonight.

PICKLE EXPERIMENT: Kirby’s and Brussels sprouts

I’m making cucumber pickles and Brussels sprouts pickles right now.  At least, that is my goal.  I say it that way because I did not have any available Mason jars when I bought the Kirby cucumbers and Brussels sprouts on the spur of themoment, so I used glass jars I had on hand (mayonnaise jars with plastic tops and a hot pepper paste jar with a metal lid)

This will be interesting to see… must the jars have those two piece lids where juice can seep out, or is that optional.  Either I will get pickles, or I will not.

The making process was as follows:

I cut the Kirby’s in half lengthwise and stuffed them in a jar they fit into.  Then I put mixed 1 T sea salt with @ 1 C spring water, 1 T acidophilus, and @ 2 T dill weed, and poured that into the jar.  ( I know that you are supposed to use dill seed, but I did not have any, so this is a big experiment)  I filled the jar to @ 1 inch from the top, squashed the Kirbys down to be under the liquid, and capped it tightly.  It is sitting over there on the counter, and I am hoping.

With the Brussels sprouts, I did much the same thing. I cut them in half, packed them into a jar that fit, and filled it with the same mix as above.

I’ll test in a week. Either I will have delicious pickles, or I will have learned how not to do.

Meanwhile, I  am out there looking for where I can get Mason jars in different sizes in New York City, and I haven’t tried the pickle/sauerkraut maker that I received in the mail (I need about 4 cabbages to fill that baby, and I still have about 1 qt of delicious cabbage/watermelon radish/daikon sauerkraut… should start a ne batch in a few days, so I will use it then)