Sour Pickles

Sour Pickles

When I was a kid growing up in Chicago, my mother would occasionally take my brother and I to a restaurant called The Pickle Barrel where every table had sour pickles and popcorn. I’m thinking the tables were made from old pickle barrels, but that may just be a fond enhancement of my memory. Having Russian/Ukrainian grandparents on one side of my family meant regular appearances by dill pickles for snacking as well.  If you’ve never made your own, the … continue…

Sea Kraut

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The sea can be very generous in terms of providing food sources, none healthier than seaweed. There are many kinds of seaweeds and in my experience, they are mostly all delicious. Living close to the ocean in Northern California, I’ve got quite a collection of locally harvested seaweed, but for those of you without easy access, seaweed can be readily purchased online and in your local healthfood store. Personally, I love this kraut. I love the hints of the sea … continue…

Cracked Pepper Leek Kraut

Cracked Pepper Leek Sauerkraut-7

Here is another recipe inspired by the excellent book on fermentation, “Fermented Vegetables,” by Kristin and Christopher Shockey. Earlier this year I made their recipe for CauliKraut.  They have a website at The Fermentista’s Kitchen if you’d like to visit. The reason I tried this recipe is that the authors of “Fermented Vegetables” referred to it as a “family favorite.” I make a lot of different ferments so I know what it means when a true fermenter calls something a “favorite.” The bottom line … continue…

What Equipment and Supplies Do I Need for Fermenting?

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Fermentation needn’t be an equipment intensive undertaking, unless of course you are producing at a commercial scale.  All you generally need is a fermentation vessel and some salt and some sort of weight to help keep the contents of your fermentation submerged. Most importantly, just get started and don’t worry too much about having the perfect equipment, but if you curious as some in this fermentation community have been, I thought I’d prepare a list of all the items you can … continue…

Fennel Apple Golden Beet Chutney

Fennel Beet Apple Chutney-6

This is a really good one. You’re just going to have to trust me here. I hadn’t fermented much with fennel prior to this, but with it showing up readily for wild harvesting or at my local market, I thought I’d dive in with some experiments to see how it goes.  I have another Fennel Kraut brewing happily in my kitchen which I’ll likely share with you at a future date, but truth be told, this chutney here is just so … continue…

How to Make Your Own Kombucha Culture – SCOBY

Make your own SCOBY-7

In order to make your own kombucha, you need to have a starter culture otherwise known as a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast). That is the SCOBY floating on top in the picture above. If you have kombucha-making friends who can peel you off a layer from their own culture, or don’t mind ordering online and paying about $10 or so, you can get started that way, but if you don’t have access to a mother (that’s another word … continue…

CauliKraut – Fermented Cauliflower

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Lately I’ve been enjoying an excellent book on fermentation called “Fermented Vegetables” by Kristin and Christopher Shockey. Aside from providing helpful information on the fundamentals of fermentation, I love how the book is laid out alphabetically from A-Z, Arugula to Zucchini, with about 50 vegetable stops in between. I recently tried out a couple of recipes and am sharing one of them here.  They have a website at The Fermentista’s Kitchen if you’d like to visit. This recipe is fairly straightforward and includes … continue…

How Long Will My Ferment Last?

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I often hear from people asking how long they can expect their fermentation to remain edible once the fermentation is complete.  The general answer is a long time!  One of the primary reasons that people have been fermenting foods for millennia is food preservation.  Before the age of electricity and refrigeration, much of the world needed to be able to collect foods when ready to harvest yet store them for consumption throughout the remainder of the year. While there are … continue…

Making Your Own Soy Yogurt

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It has been several years since I switched my diet to one which is largely vegan, but just recently I started to miss the yogurt I once started my day with atop my cereal. So why not make some non-dairy yogurt? I often see soy yogurt and coconut yogurt in my local grocery and other places, but I hadn’t ever tried making my own, so I decided to wing it and see what would happen. The result? A rich and creamy tangy delight. … continue…

Red Cabbage Kimchi

Red Cabbage Kim Chi

“Oooh, this one’s gooooooood,” I caught myself saying out loud when I first tasted this tangy, spicy delight. While in some ways it is a traditional kimchi, the first thing that sets it apart is the use of red cabbage (or purple cabbage if you prefer to call it that). Red cabbage is packed with vitamin C and other nutrients that you don’t find in green cabbage or the traditional napa cabbage commonly used for kimchi. I used more spices too: … continue…