Went to an awesome workshop last night put on by Just Food. The subject was fermentation and the instructor was none other than the fermentation guru himself - Sandor Katz (author of 'Wild Fermentation' and 'The Revolution will not be microwaved').
I've been wanting to make fermented veggies for a while but was a bit intimidated. Sandor totally demystified the whole process. It's so easy. Veggies, salt, container, done! You can even make fermented veggies in jars if you don't have a crock or want to make a large amount. All you have to do is release the pressure in the jars by taking the lid off every day (at least for the first 2 weeks). This is quite important or you might end up with exploded jars of grated veggies all over your kitchen.
Fermented food is great because it is full of vitamins, minerals and friendly bacteria (think probiotics). It's also great because fermented food does not have to be refrigerated.
But did I mention how easy it is?
Some things are so easy to make it's silly. Like apple cider vinegar for example. All you have to do is take some unpasteurized apple cider (local and organic if possible) and leave it out on the counter in a bottle with no lid (covered with a cheesecloth) for about 3 weeks. After about 3 days to one week you'll have a mildly alcoholic cider with varying degrees of sweetness. After a week it starts to turn into vinegar and by 3 weeks it is done. I'm really looking forward to giving this a try.
I also have a confession to make. While I haven't been as good as my friend Unstuffed about not buying anything new, I really haven't bought much other than essential stuff for the house and some sewing needles. But like Unstuffed, I couldn't resist a book sold by the author. So I treated myself to a signed copy of 'Wild Fermentation'. And now I can't wait to get started.