Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fun with fermenting

Fermenting foods is something entirely new to me. I started doing Kombucha this spring, which I was a bit hesitant about. I wasn't so sure about drinking something which grew from yeast and bacteria living in harmony! I bought a book a few years back about different ways to preserve foods without canning or freezing. I remember reading the section about lacto-fermentation and being a bit frightened by the whole process. In one recipe for fermenting tomatoes it said if mold should develop on the top it was ok to remove and still eat what was underneath! Ugh! Needless to say I didn't try any fermenting for awhile.
This July I was lucky enough to go see Sandor Katz speak at the Kickapoo Country Fair about fermentation. He was such an engaging speaker and got me all fired up about fermenting foods. He talked about the many benefits of eating fermented foods. I bought his book that day, Wild Fermentation. Since then I have fermented green beans, sauerkraut, kvass (definitely an acquired taste), swiss chard, kefir and kimchi. Last week I got together with the girls to make kimchi. We chopped, grated, and shredded lots of cabbage, carrots, scallions, leeks, garlic, daikon radish, and ginger. I had never had kimchi before. With a week and a half of fermentation, we have very delicious results. The kids even seem to like the kimchi. Some of the other fermented foods get to sour or tangy for them. This summer I still did canning and freezing, but fermented foods has become a regular at our dinner table.

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