How to prepare your family to survive and thrive in todays uncertain world

Fermentation Rocks

I don’t recall if I mentioned this before, but my wife and kids bought me a fermentation crock for Fathers Day this year. I’d had it on my list for a while, but wasn’t quite ready to get it myself. So my Beloved pulled the trigger for me and lo and behold, a new prep item showed up!

They got me a 10 Liter Harsch Crock. It’s very nice!

Now I love sauerkraut as-is, but I was looking forward to some natural homemade kraut. So I shredded up some cabbage and threw it in the crock with some brine. I also mashed up some garlic cloves for some extra kick.

Well, that was a couple weeks ago. We sampled it last week, and it was good but not quite there. Today, much better. So I pulled some out for consumption and we’ll leave more in to ferment a bit longer. Even my wife, not the worlds biggest kraut fan, said it wasn’t all that bad.

Fermentation is a good and healthy process for preserving foods. In particular if you have a root cellar, fermented foods will last for quite some time. While you can ferment food without a crock, I really like using one because it’s completely purpose built.

Cucumber season is just about upon us here in the Pacific Northwest, so I’m looking forward to some lacto fermented pickles as well.

So here’s my request to you … I know some of you are big fermenters, so share your favorite recipies with us in the comments section!

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4 Responses to Fermentation Rocks

  1. I’m a homebrewer so my favorite fermentation requires malt, hops and yeast. Too many recipes to list. I do love me some sauerkraut. I don’t have a large crock so I use the insert from a crockpot and make small batches at a time.

    • Joe, that’s an interesting idea with the crockpot. I think we have a couple old ones in the corner in the garage, too. I’ll have to give that a try.

      What do you use to weigh everything down and keep it in the brine?

  2. I make yogurt & kefir almost weekly. It’s awesome to get a gallon of yogurt for the price of a gallon of milk! I used FagĂ© as my new starter more than a year ago (after SOMEONE ate ALL the yogurt, leaving none to make the next batch) & haven’t been disappointed.

    We eat both yogurt & kefir as is or with honey / maple syrup / homemade jams. I use it in recipes to replace milk, buttermilk, sour cream, etc… It’s amazing in pancakes! I prefer using them to make fruit smoothies; my kids like frozen pops made with either yogurt or kefir mixed with homemade preserves.

    I’ve also recently started making kombucha… but I’m afraid to drink it! LOL So in the meantime I’m using it to heal & strengthen the dirt in my veggie gardens. Any long time kombucha fermenters out there willing to send a shout out?

  3. I just started fermenting a few months ago. I make saurkraut/sour cole slaw and a vegetable medley in wide mouth quart mason jars. (Though I sure like Rudy’s ferment crock!) Like Stevi, I also love kefir and have both milk and water kefir going all the time. Ferments are great sources of probiotics and have other digestion and health benefits.

    My basic vegetable ferment recipe:

    6 c. raw veggies, chopped/sliced/shredded/grated coarsely or finely
    1 Tb. salt
    cabbage leaf or weight that fits in neck of jar

    Salt the veggies and knead or press the mixture for a few minutes to extract as much juice as possible (but don’t drain off the juice). Pack veggies and juice into mason jar and fill with water to about 1″ below rim. Stuff in a cabbage leaf or use a weight to cover veggies and keep them immersed in brine. Seal loosely and store at room temp out of direct sun for 3-4 days until desired tartness and texture are reached. Discard cabbage leaf and store jar in refrigerator.

    For saurkraut or a sour cole slaw, I use only green cabbage with some garlic and onion. For vegetable medleys, I’ve used cabbage, garlic, onion, cauliflower, carrots, and celery. Herbs are nice, too–a branch of dill per quart is my favorite addition.

    While almost any veggie can be used, broccoli and green peppers fade into an ugly color and I don’t think I’ll be trying them again. Still working on adding some color, though carrots work great.