I’ve previously posted about making the wonderful fermented tonic beet kvass, and continue to make it regularly. Some time ago, while researching different types of “kvass”, I discovered that the origin of the drink is an Eastern European ferment that uses bread – specifically, rye bread – as starter for the ferment. It just so happened that there was some “extra” sourdough rye sitting around, so I started some traditional bread-based kvas.
Autumn is the season of squash. Sure, squash is available at other times of the year (like the eponymous summer squash and overabundant zucchini), but for sheer variety, fall can’t be beat. All manner of gourds – decorative and edible – beckon from grocery store produce shelves and market tables. Time to get creative and preserve some of these gems!
It’s ‘booch harvest day, and three gorgeous bottles of the good stuff are sitting quietly on a shelf on the fermentation station, working their second ferment magic. Sometimes I have to take a step back and marvel at the various ferments in different stages – I am, after all, a microbe farmer (mad scientist?), too.
Refrigerator crisper drawers invite egregious procrastination. They allow unassuming veggies to hide until they’re past the point of no return – soft, soggy, sometimes slimy. Eww. In my efforts to avoid wasting food, I am occasionally horrified at what I find in there: lettuce that appears to be sporting a coating of pinkish ectoplasm, a severely shriveled and rubberized carrot, a desiccated and scraggly scallion…they haunt the crisper drawer and remind me that wasting food is a character flaw. Today, however, I managed to salvage some of the sorriest specimens and turn them into something tasty.
I typically make two quart jars of my favorite kimchi, kkakdugi, at a time. The last time I did, though, the second jar became a bit too fermented (it gets very soft and loses that radish crunchiness I like) for my taste. With a lonely, soon-to-be-rubbery daikon in the crisper drawer, it simply made sense to make a small batch of this spicy probiotic condiment.
I’ve been brewing the amazing elixir known as Kombucha Tea for years now. With this ferment, an unusual-looking culture transforms sweetened tea into probiotic goodness, thanks to the hard work of the Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY): the disc-shaped pellicle formed by the microbes responsible for performing the magic.