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Comment by Randall Smith on August 16, 2018 at 7:02am

Kim chee is supposed to be very good for cultivating the right kinds of intestinal bacteria. Looks good, Daniel. Hope it turns out. Today I'll make your version of kraut. No vinegar, right? I do use vinegar in making slaw and pickles.

Comment by Patricia on August 15, 2018 at 7:07pm

Oh that looks so good. I love colourful foods.

Comment by Loam Gnome on August 15, 2018 at 6:56pm

Randy please tell us how it goes!  My one concern is the temperature.  My house isn't air conditioned, but the basement is a little cooler.  I think these work best in cooler conditions, but I don't know why.  We'll see.  As long as it smells like sauerkraut, it should be fine.

These are my two newest kitchen microbiology experiments.  The first is kim chee.

Kim chee needs a few weeks to mature. It's basically a flavored sauerkraut, using Chinese cabbage cut into chunks instead of thin slices of regular cabbage.  The other additives are hot pepper, ginger, garlic.  The orange things are shredded carrot.

Then I made a salsa to ferment.  I didn't know that could be done.  It should only take a few days, I guess because the tomatoes release soluble sugars to ferment. 

Randy, do you do the pickling using vinegar?  I haven't tried pickling watermelon.  We'll see what happens to the salsa.  Next thing:  Gingered zucchini relish.  Just because.

Comment by Randall Smith on August 14, 2018 at 6:54am

I have one head of purple cabbage sitting in the fridge. Per your "recipe", Loam, I'll try making kraut. I'll use a Ball jar, from Muncie, IN., just east of me.

Today is also "pickle day". I have 2 cukes that need "dilled".

Have you ever tried pickling watermelon? (I haven't)

Comment by Loam Gnome on August 13, 2018 at 10:36pm

Joan, no problem about the name.  I often call my friend Charlie, and he's not Charlie at all!

I recall something about sauerkraut before.  I think it's been years.

These jars were from the grocery store.  They are still glass canning jars, just a different shape, one quart size.  The lids are metal ring with canning jar insert lids. 

I liked your metaphor about making sauerkraut. I do intend to share the product.  I also liked just making one quart at a time.  It seems like less of a big deal,  But I then went on to make a quart of purple cabbage kraut, too.  We will see what happens.

I wish I could grow the cabbages from seeds but cabbage worms destroy the plants.  I need to find things that are less of a struggle, now.

I think I have everything that is needed now to make a batch of kim chee tomorrow.  Similar to a sauerkraut fermentation, but is Chinese cabbage cut into chunks instead of shredded, and has garlic, ginger, and hot pepper added.

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 13, 2018 at 6:08pm

Loam, I am so sorry that I addressed my piece on kraut to Loren. I thought it odd that Loren would have such a task, however, one never knows what creative, inquisitive, inventive things people will do. 

I think you and I have had this ouroboros discussion before, probably at the Garden site. 

Making sauerkraut is like planting a tree, the one who performs the tasks believe in the future and expects to share them with others. 

I like the design of your jars, Daniel, and wonder if you have them for your canning supplies? I saw jars such as these in a gardening catalog. The jars came with a plastic box and lid specially designed for the jars. What a neat way to store jars when there is a lot of dust.

I wonder if the plastic is recycled?

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 13, 2018 at 5:52pm

Loren, I can think of no food more delicious than home-made Sauer kraut. The aroma fills the whole house, giving an earthy atmosphere quickly noticed by people who do not live in the house.

It was kraut that helped me find new celebrations and milestones to mark the year's passing. We started by replacing Easter with a party in April when we started cabbage seed inside and celebrated the mystery of seeds. The first of June, we bean transplanted seedling into the garden with a celebration of the beginning of life. In August, was the beginning of harvest time that lasted all through the autumn until the first killing frost. We began by gathering canning and freezing supplies and equipment. We celebrated each fruit and vegetable that came into season. At the end of October or the beginning of November, we held a day of remembrance of those who had gone before us and the values we learned from them, the ones we wanted to keep and the ones we wanted to discard with the reasons for our choices. December was the beginning of dormancy, of rest, discussions, reading, recognizing the end of another year with all its challenges and rewards. This lasted through the arrival of spring seed catalogs and ordering seeds for the coming year. The approach of spring signaled the beginning of indoor seed planting, sharpening tools, designing the garden, finding those able and willing to do the hard physical labor.

The year is like an ouroboros, an ancient idea that originated in Egypt of a dragon eating its tail. It represented having no beginning and no end. Life is a cycle that repeats over and over, day after day, generation after generation, and it fits mythology of religions. 

A more modern version, a more enlightened one, is of a spiral that climbs in space and time, one generation building on the knowledge of the former generations biologically and cognitively. It fits with the evidence gained through knowledge and science. It requires libraries of science and history. 

Comment by Loam Gnome on August 13, 2018 at 3:01pm

As befits my German (about half) heritage, I decided to make some sauerkraut.  I have not done that for many years.  Home made sauerkraut is much more flavorful and crunchy, and filled with beneficial bacteria and enzymes.  There are many youtube videos and web pages describing how.  I'm using a 1-quart jar method.  The only ingredients are a head of cabbage, sea salt, and time.   Shredded and squeezed, one head of cabbage fills a 1 quart jar to about 1 inch from the rim.

There are better descriptions, but briefly, the cabbage is quartered, cut out the core, then slice into very thin slices.  Place them into a large bowl, add a tablespoon of sea salt mix, let sit 15 min.  Then with clean hands, squeeze, mix, pound, mix squeeze to squeeze out the cabbage juice.  Then pack into clean quart jar, using wooden spoon to pack tightly, and pour the brine from the squeezing over the cabbage in the jar.  I weighted down the cabbage in the jar, with a water-filled, sealed, plastic bag, and screwed on the lid loosely.  It's in a large dish, because it's expected to leak as it ferments.  The instructions state that the lid will need to be loosened daily to let the gases escape. 

I haven't done this in years.  We'll see how it goes.  I also made a purple cabbage batch, and might make some kim chi if I feel up to it.

Comment by Randall Smith on July 26, 2018 at 6:58am

As if I don't have enough different foods to eat! Fortunately, I'm not a big fan of cauliflower. And it's one veggie I don't grow. But, your recipes do sound tempting.

Comment by Patricia on July 25, 2018 at 10:47pm

It makes it a little different than run of the mill salads.


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