Fermentation Class with Well Preserved

Last week, I did something on a bit of a whim.

I went to a fermentation class at the Cookbook Shop, taught by Joel and Dana from Well Preserved (my latest very favourite preserving blog).

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And I’m ever so glad I did. Ever since my canning workshop last fall, I’ve been excited about preserving and just waiting for summer to get here so I can get to putting up some jams and pickles and deliciousness. In the meantime, I’ve found another way to preserve foods — fermenting!

Fermenting is a great way to preserve foods — and it not only makes them more nutritious (more vitamins! easier to digest!), but also very delicious. I love that sour sauerkraut tang, and I just adore kimchi.

Joel showed us a few different fermentations: carrots, sauerkraut, hot sauce (!), spicy ginger, and ginger beer (non-alcoholic, and oh-so-delicious). I’m excited to try all of them in my own kitchen!

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During the class, Joel cleverly walked us through the process of fermenting veggies, and I ended up with a “standard recipe” that looks like this:

PeelMandolineWeighSaltCrushClean jarSmall jar smush24 hrs – Brine – Taste

Each of the steps is pretty easy:

  • Peel: start with organic veggies, and peel ’em so that the salt can more easily permeate the cell walls and the water can get out more easily
  • Mandoline: slice the veggies thinly — a mandoline means you get even slices for consistent texture
  • Weigh: use a scale to see how heavy your veggies are
  • Salt: the secret ratio is 2tsp salt / 1 lb veggies — add your salt
  • Crush: use your hands to crush up the veggies with the salt in a bowl — this helps get more of the water out of the veggies
  • Clean jar: pop your salted veggies into a clean jar
  • Small jar smush: use a smaller jar to smush your veggies in the larger jar, and leave the smaller jar on top to weigh down the veggies
  • 24 hours: let the veggies rest for 3-24 hours to get maximum water out of them
  • Brine: cover with dechlorinated water (boiled, filtered, or spring water), and loosely cover the jar with cheesecloth
  • Taste: taste every day to see how sour they’re getting, and pop them in the fridge when you like the taste and texture to stop the fermentation — eat and enjoy!

And so I am now armed to ferment veggies!

The process is way easier than I expected. I’ve got these carrots (that link has a full recipe & explanation) fermenting away on my counter, and I’m already excited about them.

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You can follow my progress on Twitter, and I will be posting all about my experiences here on the blog too, once they’re ready for nibbling!

Joel also introduced us to the work of Sandor Katz (@Sandorkraut on Twitter). I happily took home a copy of Wild Fermentation, and have wishlisted The Art of Fermentation.

Yup, I have a new hobby, and I’m glad. It’s a delicious one!

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Categories: Inspiration

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  1. Fermented Garlic Carrots | The Kitchen Operas℠ - May 6, 2013

    […] are really great for your digestive health (and therefore your overall health), and after my Fermentation Class with Dana & Joel from Well Preserved, I thought it was high time to start up some bubbling jars in my own […]

  2. Recap: Fundamentals of Fermentation at the Cookbook store - WellPreserved.ca - June 16, 2013

    […] There was much more as the night meandered between many topics but always came back to the simplicity that is fermenting.  Lindsay also wrote a summary of the class – show her some love and check out her summary of the class (which is a lot more pragmatic than my rambling summary) on The Kitchen Operas. […]

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