Last year we tried fermenting some stuff. We ended up with fruit fly soup. This year things seem to be going a little bit better. I make yogurt and Kurt makes cheese. We make all kinds of preserves, but fermenting vegetables just seems different somehow… a little scary.
We are making dill pickles and beets. The process basically was:
-wash everything involved (crocks, plates to hold vegetables down, vegetables)
-make brine from non iodized salt and filtered water in your non-reactive vessel of choice (this took a while because our brita is slow and we ran out of salt and had to run to get some)
-add spices and oak leaves* to brine (we used garlic, pickling spice and fresh dill)
-put vegetables in
-put a plate on top to smoosh it all down (I also added a jar with water on top to weigh it down)
-cover it all with a clean tea towel
-every day or so scoop out anything gross and wash the plate
* The oak leaves are supposed to help keep the cucumbers crispy. Kurt had to drive all over town to find what he claims was the only oak tree in town. Apparently grape leaves work too.
Other than checking on it every day I’ve been giving it it’s space. I’m not positive what it’s supposed to look like or how I will know when it’s done doing its thing. I’m really just sitting here hoping for the best and trying to catch as many fruit flies as I can.