Sunday, March 27, 2011

ferment with me

Okay. Maybe the post title is a little deceiving. Only two of these products are truly fermenting (from the left: our own maple syrup, lacto-fermented dilly carrots, sauerkraut with caraway and mustard seeds, pickled turnips and beets, pickled turnips with cumin and paprika).

For the past few years, my husband and I have been members at a nearby CSA. Our CSA has summer shares and winter shares, and we've done both for a while now. The winter shares for us are primarily preserved root crops (that were harvested in the fall and then put into cold storage), but also some greens that were still in the fields (did you know that you can harvest kale even when it covered with snow?) and some others (spinach, salad greens) in passive greenhouses. Anyway, the winter CSA just ended, but I had an abundance of gold ball turnips, daikon, beets, and celeriac.

This resulted in some uh, exciting projects including a batch of celeriac fries that boiled over and started a grease fire that reached past the hood over our stove. Surprisingly, nothing was damaged and no one was hurt (including the fries) thanks to some baking soda for the fire and a larger pot for the fries. The celeriac fries were surprisingly sweet and not dissimilar in texture from sweet potato fries.

As to why I picked up so many turnips at the CSA, I'm not really sure. I've never liked turnips very much, so I decided to grab a bunch and try pickling then to see if I would like them that way. So far I've only tasted the ones with the beets (which have taken on their vibrant pink hue), but they're pleasant, not oppressively turnipy, and taste, well, pickled.

Sort of at a standstill with the whole work thing. I need to get a doctor's note before I can come back yet again, so tomorrow I guess I'll figure that out. I've been thinking that if I really can't figure out a schedule that works in the fall (i.e. daytime job and a daytime class) that maybe I will just stop working. I think that if I stopped working but my husband didn't, we'd be just poor enough for state-subsidized family health insurance. Money would be tight, as it is now, but life would probably be more pleasant. Plus, I'd have more time to cook (and make beer).


  1. Wow - The canned goods look spectacular! Very impressive! And I do hope you make the right decision for you concerning work/school/cooking and brewing balance. :) Best of luck and YUM!

  2. Those jars look beautiful! I love that you're a part of a CSA. Your last sentence (about having more time for beer) cracks me up. Good luck with the decision-making!

  3. I didn't get my beer brewed yesterday. :( Stupid food poisoning.

    Hoping sometime this week.

  4. Headstrong: I think I gave up on the "right" decision stuff a long time ago. My life is starting to feel like a choose your own adventure book, though.

    RS - The CSA is so great. They have you-pick flowers and berries during the summer, too. I don't know what I'll do when I'm in school full-time, it's definitely a little more time consuming to prep some of this stuff versus pre-washed salad out of a box.

    As for the beer (and having time for beer), come on, it's seriously important. I mean, why shouldn't I know how to brew beer? That sounds like some kind of basic life skill... and...well, at the rate my husband likes to drink it, probably a frugal investment.

    XY - Hope you're feeling better. What kind of beer are you planning on brewing? The local brewery near us sells some ingredient kits (i.e. oatmeal stout, not your mama's IPA, whatever). I think I might try one of those first. Seems sort of foolproof.

  5. I've always wanted to make my own sauerkraut! I LOVE sauerkraut!!!! :)

  6. Sounds like you've got a plan, missy. Sounds like a good plan.

    So not only you make beer, but it's actually good enough to drink. You are a woman of many talents.

  7. Wow, I would love some of that subsidized insurance with my beets. :-P My state, Washington, decided to stop offering it to newbies and to double the monthly payment for existing patrons. I've been on the wait list for over a year, but it looks like they might tear the program apart instead of re-opening it. :-)