About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Fermented veg: Not just sauerkraut

After my early enthusiasm for fermenting all of the vegetables, I settled down to just sauerkraut. However, seeing that carrots were going cheap in the supermarket recently, I bought a second bag and had a go at fermenting those.

Roughly following a recipe that someone shared in a facebook group, I added small quantities of onion and celery as well as a couple of pieces of crystallized stem ginger (the recipe had root ginger, but I had a jar of the sweet kind in the cupboard). There was something else in the recipe, too - I forget what it was, but I didn't have any.

I wanted to be sure that the ginger (grated, and rather sticky) was evenly mixed with the carrot so, instead of my usual method of adding ingredients in turn to a jar and pressing down as I go, I sprinkled salt over the grated carrots in a bowl first, then mixed the ginger through, and added the other vegetables last, and mixed it all up with my hands. Finally, I packed the mixture into a jar and pressed down. It released enough liquid to submerge everything when it was well squashed.


Fermented carrot salad. The stones are used to keep it under the liquid.

After about a week I tried some and really liked it. I'd wondered whether fermenting the sugar out would lose an essential feature of carrotiness and leave it dull and possibly bitter, but not at all. It just tastes like a tangy grated carrot salad, as if I'd added a good vinegar dressing. It's nice on its own, with cheese or cold meat in a sandwich or, less obviously, as a substitute for chopped tomatoes in cheesy pasta. In fact, I'd say this makes a pretty good alternative to tomatoes in salad, which is great, since I've had no success in growing tomatoes. Unfortunately, I haven't done very well growing carrots, either, but at least they're cheap to buy.

2 comments:

  1. As much as I love fermented veggies it's just too darn cold in my unheated home at this time of year for the process to happen. What starts off as shredded raw cabbage in brine ends up 2 weeks later as, er, shredded raw cabbage in brine with zero lacto-fermentation having occurred.
    What I have managed to lash together though is a slow cooker controlled by a thermostat set to 23deg C so I can at least have a daily pint of kefir.

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    Replies
    1. Wow, your house must be even colder than ours! Unheated? Brr! Our kitchen is about 14deg C at this time of year, which seems to be enough for lacto-fermentation, and surprisingly, enough for sourdough yeast. Actually, it shouldn't be that surprising, since I collected the yeast for that from a cabbage in the garden... in November. Your slow cooker set-up sounds like a good solution.

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