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I figured this would be a great topic to start a new thread on as I would love to hear what others are doing. I am canning, my first real attempt, and cannot wait to try new recipes. I have not seen that book, but will head to the library and see if they have it.
We are starting to get a mite overwhelmed by our CSA bounty, and I want to save some it via lactofermentation. For the unititated, lactofermentation is a type of pickling which does not use vinegar, but salt. and time, in an anaerobic process. The salt kills the bad buggies that cause decay, and favors the growth of lacto-bacilli, which convert the sugars and starches in the vegetables into lactic acid, This preserves the vegetables for a long time, especially if they are refrigerated. The cultures remain alive even when refrigerated and are widely believed to be beneficial to health, especially gut health. Think sauerkraut (alive, not the boiled or canned stuff) and kimchi. But I am basiclally a novice. I have made several batches of sauerkraut. First batch I had no idea that one needed to provide an anaerobic environment, and it came out NARSTY. Once I learned my lesson, no more problems. Shred cabbage, massage with salt at the proper ratio until it makes brine. Tamp down the salted shredded cabbage, cover with a cabbage leaf, make sure the brine comes well over the surface, put into a Mason jar with a loosish lid, put on something with a rim to catch leaks, "burp" the jar a couple times a day, ferment to taste, refrigerate. But sauerkraut is easy to make. I want to ferment beets, kohlrabi, garlic scapes, green beans. For that, my question to you, dear experts (if any indeed there be) -- what about fermentation locks? If you use a fermentation lock do you also need to weight down the vegetables so that they are completely submerged? If so, with what? Because it all needs to fit under the fermentation lock. Any additional tips welcomed.
We were fortunate to attend a party that included an old-fashioned hand-cranked cider press and 25 bushels of apples. Now we have SIX quarts of very delicious non-pasturized cider. Two of us will never drink it all. Ideas for cooking uses? I assume I could freeze it, too. Anyone have experience with this? Thanks, and welcome to autumn in the midwest.
DC area cooking teacher/blogger Cathy Barrow has written a front page NY Times Dining and Wine section article, published today, full of timely and useful instructions for would-be home canners. http://www.nytimes.c...html?ref=dining <If you aren't a subscriber, the NYT recently lowered it's free page-views-per-month to 10>