Friday, February 11, 2011

Fermented Veggies & A Special Congratulations

I know I don't post about my politics often, but this is a historical moment.

(photo from Le Monde)

So, solidarity and respect to all the men and women in Egypt, who have shown both their government and the world that peaceful protest can be the answer to freedom. You've shown us all something of pride and beauty.

On that note, I know that any of my achievements today will seem lesser compared to what else has been going on in the world today, but one of the reasons I was really excited about Friday was that I knew that... my homemade sauerkraut would be ready!

Yes, I finally bit the bullet and tried my hand at fermented veggies. Last week during my kitchie date, my friend Amanda all but held my timid little hand through the process of making sauerkraut. I recently started taking probiotics to feed my tummy gremlins (I've intuitively been feeling like they haven't been doing great) and it's been making me feel fantastic. I figured that getting non-capsule versions of probiotics couldn't hurt either, and I looove anything fermented, from kimchi, sauerkraut, to yogurt or mead (hey, mead is fermented, it should count!). So sauerkraut has definitely been on my mind!

While it did require quite some prep work (and I admit that a lot of it was accomplished thanks to Andrew, aka. my personal supply of man power), it wasn't that complicated at all! After slicing up two heads of cabbage, I added about 2 tablespoons of salt and we massaged and pressed away until the cabbage started losing its water and making its own brine. After about 45 minutes of hard labour, I placed them into two mason jars and packed them in really tight with a wooden spatula (pressing down on the cabbage with that spatula really helped release the water from the cabbage even more). Once I had pressed down enough, the brine came to about 1 inch above all the cabbage. I topped off the jars with a couple folded cabbage leaves, and sealed them up tight, and stuck them in my cupboard for a week.

The result was perfect. I didn't want overly soggy or acidic sauerkraut, and when I opened it, the smell was perfectly vinegary and fermented. I knew I'd done it! It was crunchy and the salt levels were great. I'm sure probiotics are multiplying in my tummy as we speak!

All in all, fermentation is really not that complicated, whether its kombucha or sauerkraut. Just make sure everything you use has been washed and sanitized, and let the magic happen. Like making bread, doing your own fermentation is definitely just an act of confidence! I'm slowly and surely becoming a master fermentor!

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