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Thursday, July 7, 2011

CSA Day--Going for the Gold

Wednesdays are CSA pickup days for us. When I get home from work, Tristan and I walk out the back door and along the dyke separating our neighborhood from low-lying fields. Our CSA farm, Town Farm, is just a 5 minute mosey along the path. This week, we rushed our goodies home and went to work making a delicious dinner and putting up three different kinds of ferments to enjoy later. 


Dinner was a mutton pita concoction, with CSA cucumber yogurt sauce, CSA lettuce and tomato, and mutton sausage from the farmer's market. Yum!
Then it was on to the pickled beets. We put up two pints of a simple refrigerator pickle with 1/2 c. homemade apple cider vinegar, 1/2 c. white vinegar, 1 c. water, and some salt. CSA beets and half a regular yellow onion went in the brine.


Mysteriously energized by all this productive food preservation, we moved on to sauerkraut. We don't have a mandolin, so Tristan did all that fine shredding by hand, with the great Japanese knife my uncle sent me from Tokyo (thanks Uncle Jim!). We followed Sandor Katz's classic kraut recipe from Wild Fermentation--we had two heads of cabbage from the CSA (about 4 lbs) and added a few tablespoons of salt. The two heads of cabbage fit perfectly into a half gallon jar once they were crammed in with a wooden spoon. We added a small jar filled with water to the top as a weight--this morning the kraut is covered in a good inch or two of cabbage juice.


Wait, more cabbage? Oh yes. In addition to two heads of green cabbage, we also had a neglected head of napa cabbage languishing in the fridge from a previous CSA pickup. We whipped up a batch of my personal favorite--kimchi. I start by halfing the cabbage and spreading salt on each leaf (more on the stems than the leaves) and let it wilt for several hours. I also wilted a handful of sliced turnips in lieu of daikon radish. After they wilted, we rinsed the veggies thoroughly. To these I added a mixture of: 1/4 c. red chili flakes, 1/4 c. fish sauce, 6 scallions from the CSA, 2 inches of ginger - minced, 5 cloves of garlic - minced, and 1 tsp. honey. Into a jar they went!
Oh yeah, and half a cuke's worth of fridge pickles!
Everything but the kimchi was done within about 2.5 hours, and we even managed to clean up as we went. And the timing couldn't be better--we're headed out of town on a mini wagon tour. When we return, we'll have fully fermented beets, kraut, and kimchi waiting for us, instead of wilted, moldy beets and cabbage.

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