Lately, I’ve been reigniting my love for food fermentation. Several months ago, I managed to kill my kombucha mama. (If you’ve never tried kombucha, go to Earth Fare or Natural Foods and pick up a bottle. It might be your new love, too!) But the wonderful Tammy Ozment shared some of hers. So, I am waiting, not so patiently, for my first batch of Tammy Kombucha to ferment on my kitchen counter. Also, I just scheduled with Marc Williams, from botanyeveryday.com, to teach a fermented foods class in March for us. So the excitement was bubbling…
Then, I discovered that Earth Fare had (has?) the book, Wild Fermentation on sale for only $12.50! I’ve been wanting that book a long time, so with the ice storm, I read the whole thing in less than a day. Sandor Katz goes about fermentation in just my style: few rules, lots of creativity.
Last year, Scott and I made homemade sauerkraut. It was awesome, and met with rave reviews. I wanted to start a batch last night, but was not going to brave the icy roads for a couple heads of cabbage! But I had some turnips. So, currently, on the kitchen cabinet, sets a quart jar of “sauerruben”, or fermented turnips. If I get moving later today, I might make the same thing, but with carrots. I love how Katz encourages you to try stuff. In a week or so, we’ll find out if we like sauerruben!
For those reading this and worrying about my health, afraid of listeria and other monsters lurking in my crocks, fear not. I am careful to keep my containers and hands clean, and watch for any signs of yuckiness. If it smells bad, don’t eat it….or just try a tiny bite…. Also, Katz says that in all his years of home fermentation, he never made anyone sick, or even heard of a case. In fact, a few years ago, the government did a study and found that most of the cases of milk-borne illnesses came from PASTEURIZED milk products!
I have also made lots of yogurt and plan to make kefir soon. So, don’t be afraid. Get the book, take the class, but start fermenting!