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Woof! Woof!


Chinese New Year begins today. ‘Tis the Year of the Dog.

Thanks for your input on the fermentation thing. I knew I’d have pickling and fermentation geeks on the blog!

I’ve had the old, old problem with researching stuff on the web: too much information, some of it contradictory. Some sauerkraut recipes, for example, insist that the shredded cabbage be kneaded vigorously to express the water (this must be the ‘elbow grease’ p2 was talking about). But some people just dump brine over it.

Nobody talks about sterilizing containers first. This makes the jam maker in me cringe. Yeah, I get it — you’re trying to grow bugs. But surely only the right bugs.

Unlike canners and picklers, I get the impression fermenters are a freewheelin’ bunch. It either works, or you’ll know it hasn’t, and it usually works.

I think it’s too cold in the kitchen to start experimenting just yet. We don’t have much heat in that part of the house and, this time of year, it’s hovering in the low sixties (or even high fifties) at night. I think I saw seventy as the recommended temp for getting the cultures going initially.

So I’ve just ordered a couple of different yoghurt cultures to play with while we wait for warmer weather. I love yoghurt, but I will have to work out how to scale down the recipe. I can’t eat a liter every 72 hours!

Pro tip: if you search eBay for “starter culture” you’re going to see a LOT of worms. Have a good weekend, everyone!


Comment from p2
Time: February 16, 2018, 8:57 pm

most of what i remember was the hauling… we’d make a year’s worth of sauerkraut at a whack. i still can’t bring myself to eat any….. 15 -20 bushels of cabbages, a goodly number of 5 & 10 gallon crocks, a heapin’ pile o’ salt and a length of 4X4. that was for gently tamping the cabbage down in the crock to bruise it and get the water flowing… couple inches of cabbage, tamp it down, toss in a handful of salt and another of caraway seed, repeat till the crock’s pretty much full. haul it out to the garage, cover, add a weight to keep the cabbage pressed down. skim the foam off every couple days and in a couple, three weeks, start canning. we’d do this in late sept or early oct in upstate NY back before globull warming when it was in the mid 40’s (around 5 C) pretty consistently.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: February 16, 2018, 9:00 pm

You are over thinking this. Didnt you go thru a hippie phase?
Yogurt makers were popular in the 70s. It was a pot you filled with water and plugged in. You poured your yogurt mixture into little glasses that fit inside the pot. The yogurt was made from milk and culture which you could get from fresh yogurt.

ps: regarding the saurkraut – I’d hate to be Uncle B when you pass wind. 🙂

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: February 16, 2018, 11:16 pm

So, Black Panther has opened. I wonder how many theater shootings there will be.

Comment from p2
Time: February 16, 2018, 11:23 pm

side bets to the CDP??

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: February 17, 2018, 12:31 am

The kraut recipes I used all insisted you make sure you started with pretty much well cleaned gear.
Not autoclave sterile, but clean enough that you could use it to serve your sainted maiden Aunt Mary dinner in.

And shredded, and pounded, yes.

also suggested you avoid using ‘city’ water since it has chemicals designed to keep it bug free. They all suggested filtered/spring water.
In blighty your temps indoors are probably pretty good for kraut. 18-22 degrees Celsius.

And all I can say is when your skin color determines how important a hero you are, you probably ain’t all that much of a hero.

Comment from MauserMedic
Time: February 17, 2018, 2:40 am

After years of trying to can pickles and getting rubbery crap, I tried using room-temperature brine fermentation. Got crisp pickles on the first try. Same result with beets. Trying carrots this year.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: February 17, 2018, 3:30 am

Gut health affects MEMORY – but some people would be better off eating ice cream than plain rice to balance their microbiome


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 17, 2018, 7:39 am

Gut health affects all sorts of things, including mood. To answer your question in the previous thread, Ric Fan, there’s nothing wrong with my digestion at the moment (though I’ve had issues in the past, including a duodenal ulcer in my teens). But the current research into the microbiome is the most interesting avenue of medical research I’ve seen in my lifetime. It’s fascinating stuff.

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: February 19, 2018, 2:01 am

Fair warning, fermentation can become addictive and lead you down strange routes. Despite the almost universal Western aversion to kimchee, all it is is a Korean version of sauerkraut. They basically just add a lot of garlic and chiles to give it a kick. Yes, they bury it [in well sealed containers] because they do not have root cellars in Korea.

The pungency can have positive effects. When I was working we had a fridge in our break room and kept kimchee both because we liked it, and because of one captain who was . . . not the most popular. He hated the smell, and would leave when we broke it out.

Y’all might want to get into making some of that, and see how it goes at the next equivalent of a village picnic. 😉

Or you might, if local laws allow, find yourself involved in home brewing. My son [who was a chef at the time] got interested in fermentation in cooking, and eventually got into brewing. He is now a Master Brewer and running a brewery built to his specifications in NE Iowa.

The beer may go over better at the village picnic than the kimchee

Comment from Tim Carlson
Time: February 19, 2018, 10:16 am

Ayup. Chinese New Year. Really messes up my schedules as far as shipping to / receiving from China & Taiwan.

My asawa and I went out a few weeks ago and bought Chinese charms for all of the major doorways in the house. Some doorways have quite a collection – I have to duck my head (more than usual) to get through. It’s a Catholic country here, but they have assimilated various superstitions from surrounding countries.

I love kimchee. A brother-in-law spent years working in Korea and came home with many recipes for kimchee. Occasionally we’ll gather at his house for a kimchee (bottling? canning? packing?) party. Rule #1 – always wash your hands, with soap, several times before you pee. Or rub your eyes. E-youch.

Comment from drew458
Time: February 19, 2018, 9:08 pm

No Monday post? Uh oh, hope her stoatliness wasn’t a victim of the big UK earthquake!! I read how at least 3 cups of tea tipped over in that disaster.

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