Tuesday, June 15, 2010

EPIC WIN / EPIC FAIL

First the EPIC FAIL:


My very first tomato of the season, the one I've been nurturing and coddling for weeks was eaten by the birds!


*^%^*((^%!! ungrateful birds! I have three bird feeders FULL of seeds plus I put out all our old fruit for them. Not to mention that they snack from the compost pile on watermelon rinds....it just wasn't enough for them, they had to go and violate my tomatoes. We'll see who gets the last laugh, stay tuned!

Now on to my EPIC WIN:
Growing everything I need to make
lactofermented pickles!


You should know by now that I get very excited over such things!
I finally have enough cucumbers and my dill is growing out of control, so what else can you do but to make pickles? But not just ordinary pickles,
lactofermented
pickles!
The ingredients are simple: distilled water, cukes, sea salt, and time.
That's it!
So what's so different about lactofermented pickles? They are probiotic, which means they are full of lacto-bacilli bacteria. This bacteria, when ingested, colonizes your gut. It protects you against illness (since your digestive system is practically the basis for your whole immune system!). It can even protect you against certain cancers.
It's an ancient way to preserve food and it keeps the nutrients of the food intact. Traditional pickling and canning destroy all the beneficial bacteria and nutrients in food. Is it still edible and tasty, sure, but the life of the food is gone.

So how is it done, you ask? Simple, just make a brine that is strong enough kill the bad bacteria associated with purification but promote the growth of lacto-bacilli.
In a one quart glass jar, fill halfway with distilled water. It must be distilled because the chlorine in tap water will kill all the good bugs. Next, pour in one tablespoon of sea salt and dissolve. Again, must be sea salt, iodine kills the good stuff. For pickles (or any other vegetable you wish to pickle - green beans, okra, garlic, etc...) slice and put in the brine. You must use cukes that are homegrown or purchased from the farmer's market. Store bought cukes are coated with a wax and will not lactoferment. From there, it's up to you! I like to season my pickles with fresh dill from the garden, one smashed garlic clove, and sometimes a little jalapeno or cayenne pepper!
Now use a wooden spoon and submerge the vegetables underneath the brine. At this point in the process, air is your enemy! You can even weight it down with a glass or heavy spoon.
The vegetables MUST remain underneath the brine to ferment properly.
Now just leave it on your counter anywhere from 5-10 days.
Nature will do it's thing!


Length of fermentation depends on temerature of the storage area. I start taste testing pickles around day 5. When I get the right taste, the pickles get sealed and put in the fridge. We've eaten pickles a year after processing with this method and they taste wonderful!
Sometimes a little scum forms on the top of the liquid ~ not to worry! Just skim it off and keep on with the process.

I have to say that I am quite certain that eating lactofermented vegetables in addition to drinking elderberry tincture kept us illness FREE this past winter. It's when we ran out of the stuff that we started getting sick!

So eat your lactofermented veggies and make some lactofermented salsa.....I'd make some salsa, but all the birds ate my tomatoes! :-(

To learn more about the process check out these very informative links:

FERMENTED FOOD FOR BEGINNERS

FERMENTATION IS FUN

LACTOFERMENTED FOOD FOR KIDS




5 comments:

zentmrs said...

Looks like an interesting process! I may have to try that this season!

And UGH! Those darned birds! I'm hoping that ours don't like tomatoes. Does hoping work? ;-)

Thanks for sharing!

Meadowsweet Cottage said...

Darn birds! We think our robins have red feathers because of the strawberries and cherries they snitch, lol.

I'll have to try your pickle recipe--my sweetie loves dills.

Anne said...

Your pickle recipe is something I will definitely have to try. I've been experimenting for years with making different types of pickles and they never seem to turn out. It sounds very similar to what they used to make in the Little House books. Thanks for sharing!

Melinda said...

Try attaching aluminum pie plates to the tomato cages - that sometimes helps scare the birds away. But not always - they can be so frustrating!

Jami@ An Oregon Cottage said...

I'm so glad you linked this up to the Tuesday Garden Party- I've been interested in this method, but it always seemed so intimidating (where would I find a crock, etc). You make it seem pretty easy!

And I've never had birds get the tomatoes- you've got some interesting ones there, it seems. :-)