Tag Archives: fermented foods

DIFFERENT CRANBERRY RELISH FERMENTING

POST #866
Yesterday morning, I had plans to go out with a friend to see the Union Square Holiday Bazaar at 10am. I got up at 5am, did some more cleaning of the kitchen, and then I went to get ready to go out. When I picked up my phone, which was recharging, I found a message which seemed contrived, so I called her. Her excuse was even more contrived, so I figured out that she did not want to go but felt she needed a big excuse (sorry – her excuse was not so big – I’ve been through that, and I know it takes only about 20 mins).
Then, I decided to make some cranberry juice. I hauled out my Champion and proceeded to juice 3C of cranberries (it only gives you about 3/4 C of cranberry juice). One sip of the cranberry juice was too tart, so I added half-again of apple cider, and got a drinkable potion.
Faced with the the pulp from the cranberries, which was still rather juicy, I decided to see if I could make cranberry sauce. I had another orange, so I threw everything into my Cuisinart, along with a couple of tablespoons of ginger powder, @ a tablespoon of palm sugar, and about a tablespoon of cinnamon. I also added 1/4 C water mixed with 1 cap of New Chapter All Flora probiotics.
I packed as much as I could of the cranberry mix into a 1 qt jar, capped it, and set it in line with all my other ferments. Then I was stuck with about a cup of cranberry sauce left over — I gave some to my room-mate (she liked it), and I ate the rest.
I’m fermenting that jar for 3 or 4 days, so I’ll let you know with the report on everything else on the shelf.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday… we’ll see… maybe Monday?

GRAND OPENING: Cultured Butternut Squash

POST #858
Back to the fermented butternut squash I told you about several days ago.

This was “opening night”!  WOO-HOO!
I want you to know that I have squirmed every day and night since I put that stuff up.  Because of the smell the fermenting gave off, I was afraid I had put in too much garlic, and then I worried I had put in too much jalapeno.  I had already started planning what I could do with it if I couldn’t eat it straight out of the jar.  (I’ve never gone through so much agony over a ferment before)

Well, tonight was the night I decided to open it up.  Tentatively, I took a heaping forkful out and put it in a bowl. Even more tentatively, I took a small forkful in my mouth!

Oh my!  Heavens!  Goodness! Woo-hoo! Oh boy! Wow!  This stuff beats tomato salsa in sweet flavor.  The squash is soft (the way I had hoped it would be — easy chewing), and the flavor is …. pickled!  Amazing!  I did not put any vinegar in the mix, but you’d think I had, from the bright, sweet flavor.  The garlic is not overwhelming, and the jalapeno just gives a mild zing.  I love that vinegary taste, for sure.

I combined it half and half with a “TuNo” mix, and ate a big bowl of it.

I can see grinding this up fine and making a spread to put on other food, or sandwiches, or use as a dip.  I could use it as a soup base.  I could use it as a salad base and add some sprouts (that reminds me, I need to make some new lentil sprouts).

Suffice it to say – this stuff is yummy!

This is stuff I could get hungry for all over the place  (and I don’t get hungry for much).

I will have to start a couple of new jars at least by tomorrow, because I want to show off this stuff and give it to my next-door-neighbors, people who have helped me or given me stuff, and some people I really don’t like (must do something to resolve the karma).  They will get the next jars!  This stuff is all for me!

Meanwhile, except that I am full, I would go right back to the kitchen and eat some more of this stuff. It is really good.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH FERMENT

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:
Escarole
Mesclun Lettuce Mix with Baby Arugula
Baby Bok Choi
Japanese Salad Turnips
Green Boston Lettuce
Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes
Toscano Kale
Kohlrabi

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.

7/26/12 CSA SHARE: What we got

POST #767

Basil or Chives – 1 bun…………..Chives
Zucchini – 2 pcs
Cucumbers – 3 pcs
Green Cabbage – 1 hd…………… Savoy Cabbage – 2 sm. hds
Walla Walla Onions – 4 small
Asian Eggplant – 1 sm pc…………traded for 3 cucumbers
Bell Pepper – 1 pc
Green Long Peppers – 3 pcs
Red Potatoes – 1 qt…………………traded for onions

FRUIT SHARE:
Peaches – 1 bag
UFO Peaches – 1 bag

The eggplant was smaller than any of the cucumbers, so I traded it for more cucumbers (I figured it would be too much work on such a small eggplant to make it be a raw food dish)

I finally tired, last year, of trying out raw recipes for potatoes.  I used to give my potatoes to my next-door neighbor, Mrs. Murphy,  but she passed away last month, so I have no use for potatoes now.  I felt lucky to find onions to trade for.

I’ve never tried to make sauerkraut with Savoy cabbage, so I looked it up in Sandor Katz’s  Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods , my go-to book for info on raw fermentation, and found that I can use Savoy cabbage just as I would use green cabbage (I’m guessing the flavor might be different, but I’m going to put jalapeno peppers in it, so it will probably be okay).  I’m out of sauerkraut right now, because my jar fell out of the refrigerator and broke all over the floor (big mess!).  While I was reading Wild Fermentation, I noticed a recipe for fermenting turnips, and another for fermenting beets, so… there go my backed up root vegetables.  I have some time tomorrow afternoon, so I guess I’ll make some sauerkraut, and some fermented turnips and beets.

Stay tuned

HOW COME THE MARINATED BEETS ARE SOFTER THAN THE FERMENTED BEETS?

I’m wondering why the marinated beets are not so hard as the fermented ones are.  I am thinking about marinating more beets than I need for dinner next time, and then putting the extra in a jar to pickle, to see what happens there.  We’re not getting beets in today’s CSA share, so I guess I will run up to Fairway tomorrow and pick some up to experiment with.

FRESH 3-DAY SAUERKRAUT – MY FAVORITE

I opened the plain sauerkraut tonight, and I find that I much prefer fresh 3-day sauerkraut to any other kind.  I think I went at least 30 years without eating sauerkraut, before I started making it.

The first day is the best, by me.  Once I open the sauerkraut, after fermenting, I put it in the refrigerator.  Refrigerated, it is still good, but nothing compares to the fresh stuff.  I think I am going to start making smaller batches, because I so prefer the new 3-day stuff.

I am not saying I don’t like the sauerkraut all the way to the bottom of the jar, it’s just that the first day is so nice.

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)

SWHAT I’M READING RIGHT NOW

I have just received a new book, Truly Cultured  , by Nancy Lee Bentley, in the mail, and I am rather pleased with and excited about it! 

The first half of Truly Cultured talks about the history of food, the different diet ideas, different fermentation methods, and why it’s all good.  What?  I will say that the author is not 100 % raw, nor is she 100% vegan, nor, as far as I can tell, is she even a vegetarian.  Nevertheless, she covers all of the dietary ideas, including raw food-ism, in a very objective manner, so that, no matter where you find yourself, diet-wise, you can find something to take home here.  The nutrition information is spot-on, as I see it.

There are all sorts of fermentation recipes in this book — I got it primarily for the fermentation background information,and, also, for some of the recipes (I seriously doubt I will be making whole milk cheeze, but she does have nut cheeze recipes, she covers rejuvelac and a number of other raw fermented beverages — including ginger beer!– and she has recipes for a couple of different kimchees, and a number of other fermented vegetable dishes).

I am happy to have this book — I was intrigued by it when I saw it in the bookstore, and I love it now that it is in my house.

WHAT DOES REJUVELAC TASTE LIKE?

Sometimes people make rejuvelac according to a recipe (or my recipe) and then wonder what it is supposed to taste like.

That is a very interesting question.  When I first made rejuvelac, I just did it  according to the recipe in an Ann Wigmore book, and I drank it because it seemed like the thing to do.  I did not really think about what it tasted like.

Some people say that rejuvelac tastes like a tangy lemonade. Okay. I can go there.  I think it tastes like what it tastes like and I just drink it, because the taste is non-offensive to me.

I would recommend following the recipe to the letter (whatever one you follow — I have one in my recipes: just key in rejuvelac in the search box). I have had the experience of doing it from a book recipe, and, also, of doing it in a training — it has always turned out the same for me (I use a very clean recipient, and I  follow the instructions to the letter)

Some people add fresh or dried fruit to the mix, after the wheat berries have been sprouted, ground, and added to water, and they ferment the rejuvelac thusly — this gives a different flavor — I have tasted “mango rejuvelac”.  I often make “rejuvelac wine”, adding raisins or dates (depending on the recipe), or “mulled wine” (adding mulling spices) to the the basic mix as I begin to ferment the rejuvelac.  On occasion, I have made “champagne rejuvelac”.  (The recipes for these variations can be found right here by keying in “rejuvelac” in the Search box)

I will tell you this:  My recipe is for 1 gallon, and, for the longest time (as in always)  I have made it in a 1/2 gallon jar.  I have suddenly become aware of my boo-boo (duh! after 30 years?????  !!! and in-person training????)  The good thing is, my rejuvelac recipe has always worked (and I passed my test in my training when I took my rejuvelac  in for inspection by the teacher). I have just scored a gallon glass jar, and I am going to make some rejuvelac this week in it — I expect it will be pretty much like what I have made before)