Friday, July 11, 2014

Fermenting and Gardening Away!

   A couple weeks ago or thereabouts, I posted about making sauerkraut. It's delightful! I fished the peppercorns and dill sprig out of it and managed to fit it all into 2 jars! I think they might be pint sized, I forgot to compare and check to see if they were that or quart. :blush: Ooops. I got them at a yard sell for cheap, so it worked for me at the time. LOL. You can see where we already enjoyed some prior to me jarring it. YUM! It has a nice bit of heat to it and a lot of garlic flavor.
   My next project was to do some regular sauerkraut (so we can enjoy some during the week without wiping out co-workers with the garlic aroma) and let it set longer. I also read about fermenting Salsa Verde, so I decided to give that a whirl as well. Besides, the Salsa Verde gave me a reason to check out some homemade airlocks too!
   I didn't use a recipe per se for the regular sauerkraut--just sliced a head of cabbage (it was about 2.5 lbs prior to slicing) and added a couple tablespoons of salt, massaged and beat the cabbage, stuck it in what I'm referring to as my "kraut jar", added a bit of brine, then weighed it down with a fruit bowl, custard dish, and ziplock bag partially full of brine. Hey, it works and it's fairly inexpensive to do. LOL.
   For the Salsa Verde, I used this recipe from Domestic Soul. Instead of culturing it with whey though, I used some of my brine from my garlic kraut stuff. I probably didn't need to use 4 TBSP of it (recipe only calls for 2), but I wanted to make sure I had something to kickstart it since I'm a bit paranoid. I checked it a few days later and it was perfect! I think I'll add some corn and ground cumin to it next time though. It's pretty dang tasty, so I'm thinking it's a win. I'm not sure just how well my homemade airlocks actually worked since this was a short ferment and there really wasn't that much bubbling. Nothing molded which is always a good thing. LOL.
   The airlocks you see up there? Not too hard to make. Just get some of the plastic lids that Ball makes (or even the Mainstays WalMart brand), drill a hole, pop in a grommet (I used a food grade silicone one), then stick an airlock in there. I got the airlocks for pretty cheap off of I wasn't sure which style I'd like more, so I ordered a 3 pack of 2 different styles to check out. With it being a short ferment, I just used water. Next time I think I'll use brine just in case it gets in the food and to keep it from molding. Not sure if it makes a difference one way or the other, but I'd really hate to be growing stuff in one of those. LOL.
   This weekend's events will (hopefully) be: making yogurt, feta, and red sauerkraut with apples. Since I'm trying a longer ferment time with my regular green sauerkraut, I'm going to attempt the red kraut in a canning jar with an airlock. We'll see just how well this works, but at least hubby and I were able to find some half-gallon sized canning jars so I should have enough space if I split it up into whatever jars it fits it! I'll post another blog post when we get stuff done (or started in the case of the kraut) and get some photos of it. Until then though, I guess this is it. :waves:
Close up of the Salsa Verde. Ooooh! Pretty!

P.S--And I realized after posting this that I didn't address the gardening-- our garden is doing's kinda huge, actually. LOL. I'll do a separate post for that one another time though.

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