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Location: United States
Interests: Wisdom and Understanding. Truth and Love.
Expertise: Getting into trouble.
Occupation: Damage Control Engineer
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|You may or may not recall my absolute obsession with fermentation. Before this bout of illness so rudely forced it's presence into our midst I had an assortment of fruits and veggies that I was ready to take to the next level of lactic acid goodness. It's sadly sitting in my fridge as we speak with vitamins, minerals and enzymes slowly but surely wasting away. I'm hoping that maybe a little later on today I'll feel like getting in there and chopping them up so they can start their journey to the land of Lactic Acid. I love the flavor of lactic acid. *slurp*|
Since I'm feeling better today I should probably have myself a bowl full of fermented veggie. That would most certainly bring harmony with it's ever so plentiful gift of beneficial micro-organisms. ("organisms"- that word always makes me laugh because when I read it out loud I usually flub it up and say orgasms...I swear it's not on purpose!)
So as I've been laying here musing on vegetables and beneficial organisms. I realized that I had pictures of my last adventures in fermenting and hadn't posted them here yet. I'm glad I decided to review them too because there were a few things I forgot I did last time and I most definitely want to replicate the process as closely as possible.
This is a jar of sauerkraut I made the night before back in September. The jar contains four
heads of cabbage that actually filled the container until I added the salt and bruised it.
Bruising is when you take a mallet, potato masher or fist and beat the ever-lovin-snot out of the veggies.
It's great therapy.
A picture of some of the ingredients that went into making the kimchi: bok choy, napa cabbage, turnips, apples, pears, onions, garlic, bell pepper and red pepper.
Here are the apples after being washed I peeled them and then chopped them up and to the right we have a pic of my mooching helpy little helper begging for apple slices.
I did the same thing for the pears, onions, bell peppers and garlic.
I added red pepper flakes to it all and put them all in the blender
until they made a sweet smooth paste.
(Pic on the right demonstrates the whack effects of onion vapors on fermentation helpers)
For some reason I didn't get a pic of the Chinese cabbage and bok choy being chopped into about 1 inch by 1 inch squares or their soaking in the salt water bowl that was on the other side of the sink. But here they are being rinsed after they soaked for five hours.
I then realized that I had some how over looked two heads of regular cabbage in the fridge. How does one over look two heads of cabbage? I'm sure I don't know either but I have ADD so anything is possible. I decided to chop them up and add them to the kraut I made the night before since i had so much more room in there now.
I did not get a pic of the regular cabbage being cut up either but if you know how to make coleslaw then you can improvise with your own imagination. I like to put the sliced up cabbage into a metal pot (you want to mix salt into the cabbage as you go: 3 tablespoons of salt is a rough guideline for 5 pounds of cabbage) and bruise/pound it with a mashed potato masher. As you can see in the photo on the left it started off only an inch away from the rim of the pot. The photo on the right is after a few minutes of pounding, you can see that it has gone down another 3 inches or so. It is also wetter now because the bruising causes the cabbage juices to be released and it has a more translucent appearance as well.
On the left of the photo below we have the jar of kimchi and on the right is the jar of kraut that I added some more cabbage to because I had so much more room left over as it settled compressed.
How I put this all together:
- get a glass or ceramic jar-mine was a big fancy one with a lid that I bought at Linens and things years ago...totally unnecessary but fun to use. BTW make sure that any jars or utensils you use for fermenting of any thing are clean and have no antimicrobial soap residue left on them. The reason is if they aren't clean you will be introducing some bacterias or yeasts that may putrefy your kraut instead of fermenting it and if you have antimicrobial soap residue left on your utensils, pots or jars then you may kill the beneficial micro-organisms and there by leave your cabbage open to ravages of unfriendly bacteria and yeasts that float around in the air. Either of these will leave you with a nasty mess that will not be palatable to ANYONE.
- I put in my bruised cabbage w/ it's own liquids and press the cabbage down. If you do not have enough liquid that it will rise above your cabbage then you can add a brine solution or left over kraut juice...this has to be the real stuff folks. Not that vinegar-ish type you get at the grocery stores. To make your own brine if you do not have left over fermented juice to add then mix 1 1/2 tablespoons salt to 4 cups water and pour over until it covers your cabbage a little.
- The brine is what keeps your cabbage from turning nasty so you want to keep your cabbage under the brine...but some of it is going to want to float up. To solve this problem some people have special weights and plates. I never could find a weight to use and the plate never worked for me. I finally found a solution that did work though, sadly I can't remember who shared this with me so that I can give them credit. What I did and I don't know if you can tell or not in the pic above but I took a never used before ziploc gallon bag and I opened it up and placed it on top of the smashed down cabbage. Then I slowly poured water from a jug into it so that it would hold down the cabbage. BE SURE TO CLOSE THE BAG WELL!!!
If any little pieces try to slip around the edges you can use a clean finger or spoon and poke them back down.
- Then I laid a freshly cleaned tea towel over the top to keep out dust and put the lid on top of it to keep the towel from slipping off.
- I left this out for 3 days at room temperature and then transferred it to two used big glass pickle jars I picked up from my Aunt's local sandwich shop. I LOVE those jars. I then put those jars in the fridge where they have kept very well and we are still eating on the last one.
- If you want to learn more visit this link... This is Sandor Kraut's website. I have his book Wild Fermentation. He is a fabulous soul and I truly appreciated his book on many levels.
Both of these ferments will continue to develop as they age in the fridge where they can stay for a very long time supplying your digestive tract with beneficial micro-organisms and enzymes. This turned out a lot longer than I thought it would. I finished my bowl of kimchi and mashed potatoes and now I'm mentally psyched to get fermenting again.
- I start out by cleaning and chopping the Chinese cabbage and bok choy into squares. Then mix 10 cups of water with 1 cup of salt and soak the cabbages in it for a few hours. I went a head and sliced up my turnips and added them to this to soak.
- When the five hours is up rinse them well in the sink.
- Then I chopped up the apples, pears, garlic (I used home fermented garlic and it was a real jump start to the fermenting process) and bell peppers.
- Blend the apples, pears, garlic and bell peppers. Add in red pepper flakes. You'll probably also need a little liquid to help all of this blend. Since I was adding my fermented garlic I also added it's juice but you could add some fish/anchovy sauce or a little brine- to make a brine 1 1/2 tablespoons salt to 4 cups water and then add the amount you need of this solution to keep the blender going until makes a nice smooth paste.
- I then mixed the sauce from the blender with the cabbage and turnips in a big glass bowl. If you would rather use your hands to do this and the next step that's fine but if you are using the red pepper flakes you want to make sure you are using some clean latex or kitchen type gloves or you're hands will be ON FIRE for hours later...ask me how I know.
- After I thoroughly mixed this together I then stuffed it all into a large used glass pickle jar. The sauce went well above the veggies and unlike the kraut I did not have any problems with the cabbage trying to float above the juice since it is so much thicker.
- Put the lid on loosely. Let sit out at room temperature for 2-3 days and then transfer to the refrigerator.
- I pulled this all together from many kimchi recipes I read and also a good video I watched on youtube.
Here's a link to the video if you are interested.
|OK, I have a confession... |
**cue the flashback effect**
Late one night a few months ago Jason and I accidently left Little David in the van for probably 30 min after we got home (never fear it wasn't hot so late at night). It was a simple case of Jason thought I brought David in and I thought Jason brought David in. And as i was getting my pj's on and tucking the kids in I noticed that Jason hadn't put David in his bed yet and I thought he must be still asleep on our bed (this is our ritual at night to get David dressed for bed in our room, keeps him out of trouble LOL). So I headed back to our room to get him and NO DAVID. I looked at Jason and said "Honey, didn't you get David out?" and of course his answer was "No, I thought you did" and my answer was "OH CRAP!"
|Today Lil David told me that he wanted a pean'uh budder (peanut butter) sandwich. |
I said "PB, huh?"
He said " I DON'T want pee pee! I want pean'uh budder."
He brought me roses today too. The one behind my ear on my new profile pic is the one that he insisted that I wear and then he gave me kisses and a hug (can't have kisses w/o a hug btw, it just doesn't work like that). He's so funny and sweet.
|You know life slows down for no one, especially not me. |
The house has been moved to it's new place. I know I know, were are the pics?
My Dad has been working on replacing part of the floor in the front were there was some termite damage.
My Mom, sons, Koldodi and me worked on getting some old tile from ~*HELL*~ off the floor.
Koldodi pulled up a lot of the old carpet nail stuff around the edges and doorways of the rooms, thank the Lord there was no old nasty smelly carpet to remove.
Right now I'm tired but I need to get a move on...
- I need to clean up around here and do some laundry (Mt. Washme is trying to take over my laundry room)
- declutter... lots of decluttering to do
- I'm not supper worried about packing since the house isn't livable yet and it's only 17 minutes away. The decluttering is the most essential thing to me right now.
|Is it a bird? |
No, it's my new ("old" but "new" to us) house!
They are already moving it.
Well, they have it up on blocks and they are getting it ready to be moved
but I think getting it up in the air technically counts on it starting the moving process.
And now you know... the rest of the story.
Staying calm... can be hard to do,
especially if you are excited and nervous ((at the same time)).
I feel butterflies in my tummy.
Millions of them,
a whirlwind of butterflies.
Staying calm is hard,
when butterflies are inside
Koldodi and I had our 12th wedding anniversary yesterday. :o)
I am blessed.
and please say a prayer for my sister's recovery... she had her tonsils and adnoids removed today.