A week or so ago I went to a fermentation party, a day to come together, bring a bunch of veggies and get some ferments started. We met at the house with the biggest kitchen, we all brought our own knives, veggies and cutting boards. I only knew one of the ladies there but we quickly all became friends and had a great time. We got to know each other while we unpacked our baskets, boxes and cookbooks, laughing when several of us unpacked Nourishing Traditions.

not mine but beautiful

Then we got the party started with a couple shots of beet kvass, bubbly and tasting of earth, it went down smooth and tasty. I have got to get some kvass of my own started soon. I really love beets and they’re SO good for you.

Because we are getting ready to renovate/remodel the kitchen I went low key and small on my fermenting plans. I just didn’t  know what I wanted to do about summer cooking and eating with our kitchen ripped out. So I brought the ingredients to make sauerkraut and spicy sauerkraut with carrots, 10 pounds of cabbage, carrots, real salt and a few jalapeños. Sauerkraut is easy to make and I thought the addition of a couple peppers and carrots might spice it up. I planned on two batches one spicy and one regular so I also brought a crock and a jar to pack them in

I got super inspired though as the other ladies pulled out their ingredients and their samples of past ferments. I tried some jalapeños and carrots, some beets, beets with kelp(SO GOOD!), onions and garlic. I absolutely loved the jalapeños and carrots, they were so hot and spicy, they tasted like the heat was somehow elevated. I got so excited about them I came home and promptly bought a pound or two of jalapeños to ferment for us.

The day was really great and I brought home 10 pounds of kraut that we could not wait to eat. I cracked open the spicy carrot kraut after 4-5 days and it was so good, the cabbage and carrots were mildly spicy and the slices of peppers were amazing. After we ate some I stuck it in the fridge for long term storage.The regular sauerkraut I left to ferment for an extra day or two before putting it in the fridge too, I don’t know why I just didn’t think it was ready to go yet. When I transferred it to a jar for storage I tasted it and it too was supreme. I’m glad both of the turned out so well, it’s a bummer to work so hard chopping and have it fail, rot, mold or otherwise go bad.

For the jalapeños I simply washed them well and rinsed them. I cut of any bad spots, scuffs or soft spots. Then I cut off the stem end and sliced them top to bottom, I didn’t remove the seeds. I put them in a gallon jar, added 2 teaspoons of salt and covered them with fresh water. I stirred them to dissolve the salt, then I covered them and put them in a dark corner. They’ve been bubbling away for a couple days now and it’s time to let out any gasses that need to escape. When I check them I’m going to press a jar on top of them and then close the lid. This will make sure that all the peppers, mostly all the peppers, will be submerged. Anything left out of the liquid is fair game for rot and mold which will render your ferment inedible or at least unappetizing.

If anyone is interested I still have fermented carrots from last fall that are as crispy and delicious as they were 8 months ago when I first made them. Fermenting food is an age old way of putting food by. You can easily store food without canning, boiling, sealing or freezing. I use it in addition to those methods not as a replacement, it certainly broadens your food preservation horizons.