I'm now committed to my sauerkrauts so much such that I have tooled up. Eating the ferments and making them is now an addiction and a routine.
I purchased a Borner V-Slicer Multibox V3 'grater' (pictured left) at a seriously cheap price and can now grate with abandone -- including my fingers if I am not careful.
I also picked up second hand in the local Op shop two more EasyYo yogurt making flasks. I don't use them to make my yogurt but they are excellent crocks for fermenting vegetables.
You can ferment in anything, really -- even a bucket will do -- but I like the EasyYo size and sturdy build.
So today I experimented and grated up a batch of Turnips inspired by this recipe.
I added one beetroot for colour.
The routine is simple:
- Get some live Greek yogurt and pour about a cup of it into a colander lined with two paper towels. Leave for an hour resting on a bowl and gravity will separate the Whey. Its' the Whey you want. It contains the bugs that will do your fermenting-- like lactobacilli -- and harvesting them this way will give your ferment a kick start.
- Scrape the (deliciously) thick yogurt mix in the colander into a jar for later consumption and set the whey aside. You should get one third to half a cup of clear fluid in the bowl below.
- Grate your cabbage or turnips or whatever. The size of your fermenting container will determine the quantity you need to grate. I grate into a square plastic storage box with high sides. That way there is no mess and there is plenty of room. Much better than using a bowl to grate in or onto a kitchen bench or chopping board.
- Sprinkle the grated vegetables with salt. I use one tablespoon for my quantities. Mix in the salt and start squeezing the beejeebers out of the grated vegetables. Pound them with your fist. Throttle them. Then leave them to sweat.
- Drain off most the liquid after half an hour of sweating; squeeze the vegetables some more and pour in the Whey. Mix.
- Shovel the grated vegetables into your fermenting container and push down them firmly so that liquid rises up above and drowns them. The grated veges need to be submerged in fluid otherwise the microbial growth won't be the ferment you seek. The process has to be anaerobic.
- You need to weigh down the grated vegetables with a china plate or plastic disc that covers the gauge of the vessel you are using. On top of that put a weight. I prefer to use an old anchovy jar that has a glass lid. I have removed all the metal from the jar and to add weight, I fill it with water. The jar is easy to keep clean and it works. If I had a rock the right size and it was a smooth easy-to-wash river stone I'd use that.
- Cover the container so that flying bugs can't get in and leave the ferment to go about its microbiology for at least a week. Depending on the weather and where you live or the time of year or how hot or cold is your kitchen -- the fermenting time is up to you.
- Bon appetit.