Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Winter Goods

I just packed up some fermented parsnip that I started in a crock 10 days ago. I was fully prepared to throw this stuff out, sticky, oozing, puss like, but instead I am in love. Parsnips don’t taste sweet to me when they are raw or cooked but there is a lot of sweetness after they have fermented. There is sweetness and a very pleasant sour taste and combined make parsnips taste better than I ever could have imagined. One recipe of three pounds, as called for in “Wild Fermentation”, was almost the exact size of a quart jar after it finished it’s warm fermentation and I really packed it in. It now goes into the refrigerator to age and become even more beautiful.

I started 4 pounds of organic cabbage at the same time so I will have to eat some of that fermentation young. It is by far the best sauerkraut I have ever tasted but I expect that it will just keep getting better and better. I filled one of the empty crocks with Wan Shen Chinese broccoli to ferment and the other went back to it’s normal task of making chili. It was worth not having chili for a week but I might have chili for breakfast just to make up for lost time. Wan Shen is like raab except it has long spears of broccoli stem with just a little flower on top and a lot of leaves. The inch thick spears snap easily and loudly when picked fresh and the whole plant is dark green. Great in salads and stir fries, it is grown locally all year round except the hottest part of summer.

Then it was time to clean up some other things I had growing in the kitchen. I keep trying raw foods but find I don’t have much taste for them. I made fenugreek, buckwheat, and broccoli sprouts in my new Geo terra cotta sprouter that made sprouts better and with less effort on my part than any other sprouting method I have tried. So, into a canning jar they went with a little salt and left over fluid from the parsnip and cabbage packing. I smashed them down until all the air was out of the jar and then put a little more fluid from the fermented cabbage on top. Now to finish my cup of Honeybush tea and find a recipe for little seedy crunchy things to serve some of these wild things on.
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