This Autumn I have made sauerkraut, kimchi and indian lime pickle for the first time, and ginger beer several times.
The idea of making sauerkraut intrigued me – sprinkling thinly sliced cabbage with salt to provoke the juices, and leaving it on the bench to start fermenting seems so counterintuitive to a lot of kitchen hygiene ideas! The sauerkraut came together pretty quickly – smelling sauerkrauty and producing the
slime bloom on top of the brine that is normal. From a large cabbage we got about 6 jars of sauerkraut and I need to buy some more pork sausages to eat with it. I had several lunches of cold chicken and sauerkraut which was delicious. I’ve got red savoy cabbages planted now, and cabbage moths willing, will try some red sauerkraut in winter.
This was inspired by a meal I had in Canberra back in January – pork and kimchi stirfry. And Tigress in a Pickle had a recipe which I’d seen when getting distracted. The final piece fell into place with a beautiful chinese cabbage at the Farm Gate Market. And I finally found a use for the large No 65 Fowlers jars (capacity 2.25 litres) we sourced in February. Once fermented, this turned out spicier than it tasted when first mixed together. The brine filled bag sits on top to make sure the cabbage stays under the surface and ferments rather than rots. I added some finely chopped to a batch of corn fritters, and gave away a jar to Mum. When we get our pork (yum yum yum, a whole side is coming) I will try to re-invent the stirfry I ate a couple of months ago.
Indian Ginger and Lime Pickle
Indian pickles recently came to my rescue at a residential event where the food was rather bland – a quick walk to the nearby supermarket gave the perfect pick-me-up to the dull food.
Again, Tigress provided the inspiration with the recipe. I found a bargain 2kg bag of perfect limes. Eumarrah, the local wholefoods and organic store, had the most gorgeous ginger – pale pink skin which could be rubbed off with a finger tender flesh and full of juice.
After mixing it all together, filling a No 65 Fowlers, and then quickly finding another jar, the pickle began its 6 week sojourn on a sunny windowsill. Over the past few weeks the large jar has sunk down and is now about 3/4 full. It gets the occasional stir and sniff test. Can’t wait for this to be ready. The small jar (small? 950ml) went to try the sun in Sandy Bay.
Many fermenting recipes suggest using a stoneware crock with a closely fitted lid which sits inside the crock to push down the cabbage under the brine. I really like using the glass jars as I can see what’s happening and the brine bag solves the submersion issue. Next year – sour dill pickles done as a lacto-fermentation rather than pickling vinegar. Must plant cucumbers!