The best of times, worst of times, fermenting times

Here we are in May 2022 and I am about to revive my blog. I found a couple of draft posts written some time ago but never published, and I’ve decided to hit the “publish” button for this one even though it is more appropriate to August. I love the title of this post and there might never be a better time to use it. The first paragragh of A Tale of Two Cities is perhaps my favourite paragraph ever written).

If you are not interested in fermentation, be patient. I am en route to Spain and will post again soon.

The best of times because I find myself in an idyllic stage of my life when I have health and comfort for myself and those close to me, but I have virtually no obligations or responsibilities.

The worst of times because of so many things in the world around me – Covid, politics you-know-where, no travel, uncertain future activities.

Fermenting times because… like everyone else, I need to entertain myself at home during the pandemic. I like to set tasks for myself and do them. If I can eat or drink it afterwards, so much the better.

Dill picklesHere is a post describing my pickles. Very easy to do one jar at a time, and no cooking or sterilizing is involved.

Curtido (light sauerkraut)

This is a typical Central American dish. This recipe will fit approximately into a 7 cup jar. I have also tried recipes that use only cabbage and salt, but I prefer this one.

  • 1 small cabbage, red or green (600 g) – finely sliced or shredded
  • 2.5 cups water (750 mL)
  • 1 medium onion – finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) white vinegar
  • 2 carrots – finely sliced
  • 30 mL kosher salt
  • 3-5 mL dried oregano
  • 3-5 mL cumin
  • black pepper

Combine all the above. Crush with hands. Put in a large jar. Weight it with a glass or small jar on the surface to keep the stuff submerged. Leave at room temperature for 4-10 days. Eat.

Rhubarb wine – Let’s face it – it tastes pretty awful. I still make it as described in this post. Most often, I make a blueberry-rhubarb combination.

Blackberry or blueberry wine – Same method as rhubarb, with berries instead. One gallon of berries makes a gallon of wine. My method uses only fruit, water, sugar and wine yeast. I buy the wine yeast, but add no yeast nutrients, sterilizing stuff, etc., etc. (There is no big investment, so you can always throw it away if you don’t like it.) It is totally organic, vegan, etc.

2 thoughts on “The best of times, worst of times, fermenting times

  1. I’m so happy you’re blogging again, I love your posts and it’s a nice way to stay connected. Are you doing Camino again?

  2. I was about to ask why you keep making rhubarb wine if “it tastes pretty awful”, but after reading the comments in your 2011 post, I assume it is because you still can’t grow grapes in your back yard. Have you tried other possibilities? It hadn’t occurred to me that you can pretty much turn any vegetable into wine, e.g. carrots, jalepenos, parsnips, potatos, ….

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