My recent experimentation with fermentation was a great success which lead to new forays into this new (but ancient) world of preserving the harvest. Sauerkraut is easier than pie – cabbage, salt, and optional caraway seeds. Mixing red and green cabbage, adding grated carrots, red or daikon radish or just about any other vegetable you fancy are optional enhancements. Easy recipe for making sauerkraut in a mason jar here.

There are thousands of ways to make kimchi, but the basics typically have Napa cabbage, scallions, daikon radish and a mix of spices including ginger, garlic, fish sauce and gochugaru (Korean red pepper). I was fortunate in finding the gochugaru at one of my local markets, with the help of the Korean manager (who also gave me good advice on making my first batch of kimchi).  The recipe I used as a basis for making kimchi is right here. Once you get your kimchi going, try using it in this quinoa, kale and kim chi recipe, or check out these recipes.

Interested in more fermentation?  I recommend Sandor Ellix Katz’s Wild Fermentation as well as these two books he wrote:   The Art of Fermentation and (somewhat more  practical) Wild Fermentation.


We flirted with fermentation a few years back with less than stellar results – the fermented green beans were good-but-not-great. Fast forward four years and it’s time for another try.

The route to this reawakened interest was roundabout, as is often the case.
*  A PoPvillager posted about her fermented garlic and how it cures all ills including, I believe, the common cold.
*  I bought some kimchi from a vendor at the Mt Pleasant Farmer’s Market – not knowing what I would use it for but it’s always good to have a container of kimchi on hand, right?
*  Then the NY Times food section had an article on grain bowls including a recipe for kale, quinoa and kimchi (which is why it is good to have a container of kimchi on hand).  I made this recipe on a recent visit to the farm and it was rated “3 excellents.” It also reminded my father of the sauerkraut his mother made when he was growing up – she always had a crock of freshly fermented sauerkraut at the ready.

I had already looked up “how to make kimchi” (here’s how) when I realized sauerkraut would be a a logical first step back into lacto-fermentation. Especially since it requires only two ingredients – cabbage and salt (the 3rd ingredient, caraway seeds, is optional).

Easy sauerkraut recipe here –and check back in a few weeks to see if this experimentation will be rated “3 excellents.”