Real Fermenting: August 2012

Friday, 10 August 2012

Not Fermenting - Pickled Jalapeños

Pickled jalapeños - I can't get enough of them! In order to support my habit, I needed to make my own. These aren't fermented, but they are made with homegrown peppers, along with jalapeños from my farm box. This recipe follows a basic canning process, which you won't see very often on this blog, because it is designed to prevent fermentation, or any kind of microbial activity. Canning was invented fifty years before germ theory was discovered, by the French brewer and confectioner Nicolas Appert. For Napoleon... hmm. Maybe next time, I will try to find a fermented jalapeño recipe. 
Chopped jalapeños. Wear gloves

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Carrot, Onion, Parsnip and Horseradish Sauerkraut

I just know this is going to be a beautiful sauerkraut. The flavors of these wonderful vegetables are just all so rich and complementary. Just imagine a hearty sausage (no wimpy hot dog will suffice!) sitting proudly on a bed of this sauerkraut!

Our faithful friends for sauerkraut

Monday, 6 August 2012

Gundru, or Kyurtse

This recipe is straight out of Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz. If you haven't seen this book before, pick it up now. It is a fantastic resource, full of inspirational passages and great advice. Gundru, or Kyurtse, is basically pickled greens. Apparently, it is Nepalese in origin from the Newar people of the Kathmandu valley. I am using some wonderful mustard and dandelion greens today, but you can use anything that is part of the cabbage family. Think beet greens, turnip greens, lamb's quarter whatever you have on hand.

Dandelion and mustard green wilting in the hot Bakersfield sun

Coffee Kombucha

I've have been making kombucha with various teas over the past month or so. Alternating between caffeinated teas and non-caffeinated teas, I have been enjoying having access to cheap and excellent kombucha. My favorite has probably been the black tea kombucha combined with ginger juice. The heat of the ginger covers any excess sourness when you forget to bottle your kombucha for a couple of days. Today, I am making coffee kombucha.

One thing I would highly recommend is being careful if you add chia seeds to the bottle. I have a couple of different theories about why this happened (chia gel is compressible maybe? viscosity leads to liquid being drawn out of the bottle?), but today I suffered the effects of an explosive decompression while opening a chia seed kombucha. Imagine opening a shaken-up coke can, but with chia seed gel covering your kitchen. Another bottle last week with way too much chia opened with a column of rigid rising chia, which I rapidly attempted to eat, to no avail. Stick to 3-4 tsps per pint. I really went crazy with the chia.

My kitchen after the chia explosion. Note the side of the fridge.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Cider Four Ways - Update

A quick update on the Cider Four Ways experiment I did a couple of weeks ago. Now I have the chance to sample each of the ciders, and I will run through them in this post. As a reminder, they were: Plain Cider, Chai-der, Ginger Cider and Earl Grey Cider.

Earl Grey Cider - Delicious!