Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ferment Navidad

The ceramic prevents saturation
Christmas is the time for giving two types of gifts.  Option one is the boring, yet thoughtful, gift card.  We all give them and if the relationship calls for it, the gift card suffices.  The other gift is reserved for the persons in your life that consciously or unconsciously demand you give them an actual gift.  This gift can't be a specific item found on an Amazon wish list or explicitly circled in an newspaper advertisement.  These gifts don't always hit their intended mark.  So, when they do it really makes you smile.  I took a chance this Chistmas on a fermenting pot for my wife and it was a success.

This gift was an attempt to connect with my wife over cabbage.  The way I see it, a marriage built on cabbage is a marriage built on solid rock. It's an old wives tale that I am making up right now.  She's the only person I know to eat raw cabbage by the wedge.  Crazy, I know.  Nonetheless,  I thought this gift could help me see the light by way of sauerkraut.  I don't go crazy over the stuff, but I do occasionally enjoy it. 

The gift itself is a 4 gallon ceramic pot with 4 lbs. stone weights.  You put your mash in the pot, press it down with the stone and ensure it's all submerged in water.

The stone weights are placed on the mash
This particular pot also has a lip at the top of the pot to pour a little bit of water around the lid.  This creates a seal necessary to the fermenting process.

The benefits around consuming fermented foods are well documented (here, here, and here).  Improved digestion, increased vitamins, and an increased shelf life of fresh, raw food are all great reasons to include fermentation in our quest for healthier living.  It is becoming apparent to me that any family plan to maintain diverse, interesting, and healthy eating behavior should include some degree of fermented food.

The water reservoir that creates the seal
So, the holiday season ends but our fermenting adventures continue.  The Fords will thrive with good bacteria growing in our bellies.  And I am one step closer to throwing a wedge of raw cabbage into my lunch bag. Well, maybe not.  We'll keep you posted on our first batch of cabbage and if you're interested, we'd be happy to share the fruits of our labors as well as any tips.  cheers!

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