Thursday, December 20, 2012

Winter is coming, Winter is coming (also, lacto fermenting)

[this post was originally published on 11/13/2012]

And in a way I sort of, a little bit, look forward to it.

The fall planting of potatoes is in the ground, the garden is (mostly) put to bed, the radishes are doing pretty good and will be lacto fermented for delicious yummyness:

Clean, then cut radishes into bite sized chunks or slices (I prefer slices, but ymmv),
put them into a glass container with a wide opening (you want to be able to get your hand in there, old pickle jars are great for this), then, using filtered, distilled or boiled and cooled water (you don't want bleach in your water, it will inhibit the friendly little lacto bacti you are trying to encourage), mix it with salt. I prefer sea salt, but have used pickling salt, it's a matter of choice.

One quart of water with three tablespoons of salt. Agitate until all the salt has dissolved. I found that yelling political slogans works less well for this than actually shaking the bottle, so I use an empty two liter soda bottle to mix the solution.

Cover your radish chunks or slices or stars (hey, get creative, these can look really cool) completely, then weigh them down to keep them submerged. There are several methods to accomplish this. Small plates, with a glass filled with water on top work, provided they fit into the opening, you can use a small canning jar to keep the radish down, you can fill a plastic baggie with some of the salt lake and keep them submerged that way or what I do, which is using a plastic plate, cut to just larger than the opening, that I use to keep things down.

Leave the whole shebang on the kitchen counter (or the coffee table, I won't judge), be sure to have some kind of surface protection, since this thing may bubble over, and well, salt water; wait for a few days, you should see little bubbles come up. After about 3-5 days, go ahead, fish around in there and taste one.

Salty. Radishy. Delicious.

Rinsing the bit off will make it somewhat less salty.

If it tastes good, put it in the fridge. Want more tang? Leave it out for a few more days and keep tasting. I keep my finished jars in the basement, it's cool, it's dark and noone can hear them scream they will keep for 3 months to about a year.  

If you get some sort of mouldy looking scum on the top, remove the scum, check the contents to make sure there is no ickiness going on (talking slimy, repulsiveness), otherwise, it's ok.

I have not yet had any go bad, but I am given to understand that if it does, it will smell like a mixture of fermenting cow droppings and bum vomit. I'm not entirely sure what that smells like, but I am relatively certain that I've never smelled it and we are both still alive, so apparently I've got this.


  1. Wait. Finished jars, as is? Finished jars, new solution? So desperately confused.

    I love that your brain makes mine giggle (agitprop. V funny.).

    1. In short: YES.

      Slightly longer version: I tend to make new solution, but you can just ferment in the final container and leave it as is, I make ginormous batches and package up smaller with new juice. Whatever works for you, both methods are fine.