Anyhow, it is time to do another batch of ferments. I am writing a little bit for a group I belong to on basic fermentation, starting with pickled Daikon, because it is so easy and readily available year round. Most North Americans do not use Daikon, which is a radish, albeit a mild one. It makes a great pickle, just like cucumbers, remains firm and crunchy and only takes a few weeks sitting on the counter. My parents used to go whole hog and pickled 50 or more jars of cucumber, can tomatoes, make sauerkraut by the 5 gallon crock and so on. That is absolutely great. One must have storage space that is quite cool to keep all that fermented food though. And since I live on my own, I do not need all that preserved food, though I plan to do more than I did this fall. It is just that fall on the farm is a really busy time in itself, with harvest and winter preparations and there is not a great deal of time left for preserving. I do not know how they did it in the old days, but I suspect with many more hands than two, it was a whole lot simpler.
So, There are ten pounds of cabbages waiting for me, 5 gallons of carrots, and of course the two Daikon radishes. I want to try ginger and honey ferment too. That one I have not made before, but my honey garlic ferment is ready and is fantastic. It is just raw honey covered garlic. Daily the garlic is coated with the honey by stirring or shaking or turning upside down. Then the magic happens and eventually the honey becomes liquid and the garlic falls to the bottom of the jar, indicating it is saturated and ready. The honey is a great throat ease or cough syrup too. The carrots will be cut like bread and butter pickles in rounds and fermented with different additives: dill and garlic, ginger and cinnamon, oranges. Gosh, it is going to be so delicious.
There are new fangled devices to make fermenting easy, but just a Mason jar will do for a small bit. Salt is the way fermenting in North America is mostly done, but other cultures rely on bacterias and molds as well as salt. We are a little shy to try those time honoured recipes here. Do you ferment? I would love to hear from you.