Monday, January 4, 2010

Kraut redux and other adventures

These are beets I put into our mini root cellar in September. Not bad, eh? As you can see, they went soft on the stem ends (where the sand is obviously sticking), but that leaves 3/4 of a beet for borscht! I guess this means I should have been more careful that there was no water or broken peel on the stem ends. Also, the 'cellar' spent September on the floor in our rather warm kitchen, as I was unwilling to lug it to the basement only to lug it back up in November when we moved. The remainder of the beets are not at all soft, and still tasty. The sand is a messy pain, as I suspected it would be. The last thing one wants to do is wash beets in a basin (to avoid getting it down the drain) and dumping it outside when it is - 25 C. I hope to switch to perlite when I find some at a reasonable cost.

Another experiment, fermenting in the cupboard. Poor E, every time he opens a cupboard or fridge door there is another unidentifiable concoction bubbling away...

This one is Kimchee-style kraut. I used this recipe again, but learned from my last failed attempt to add brine if salting the cabbage doesn't create enough liquid to cover the veggies. More in-depth information on the joys of letting cabbage go funky can be found here. I added garlic, ginger and Korean hot pepper powder, hoping that the potent combo will serve as an immune booster in a few weeks. The only unfortunate side effect (for those around you, anyway..) is garlic coming out your pores for a few hours.

Speaking of human being repellent... have you heard that eating a raw clove of garlic kills a cold? I started coming down with one a few days ago and tried a home remedy suggested by our Ethiopian friends.. crushed garlic in hot milk! Bleargh, you may be thinking. That's not too far off. However I found the addition of milk a vast improvement over chewing a raw clove by itself, which is the most common approach for insane/brave North Americans. The sniffles were gone 4 hours later.