"Fermentation for Beginners" is the name of the class, sponsored by Oryana (http://www.oryana.coop), our local food co-op, that Don and I attended last Thursday night. We both enjoyed it VERY much with a great group of people.
Don took notes and photos while I did the cutting/slicing and mixing of our quart of sauerkraut. In this photo, I am slicing the head of cabbage, prior to adding salt and hand mixing, kneading, squeezing. :)
Here is a close up of my cabbage "slivers". After slicing around 2# of cabbage, it is then put into a large bowl with a tablespoon of salt sprinkled over the cabbage, then thoroughly mixed by hand until the cabbage releases 1/3 to 1/2 cup of liquid. When that was achieved, I added a tablespoon of caraway seeds and mixed those in thoroughly, too. The "sauerkraut" was then packed into a glass quart jar up to the jars shoulder, topped it with a folded cabbage leaf, and submerged under its "juice" by adding the cabbage core last, prior to screwing on the lid. When we got home, we were to add plastic wrap between the sauerkraut and canning lid so that the sauerkraut did not touch the metal.
Each attendee went home with a quart of sauerkraut that we made ourselves.....I love "hands on" classes! Here is mine, sitting in the kitchen while it "ferments". We were told to let it ferment for about 5 days before tasting it. After doing so, we can either say "OK, this tastes great and I want to keep it at this level of ferment", or......"This is good, but I want it to ferment a bit longer to give it more bite". :) If keeping it "as is", it then is refrigerated to keep the fermentation minimal, or left out on the kitchen countertop to ferment longer.
I noticed last night that ours had "worked" quite a bit already because it had pushed some of its "juice" out of the quart jar.
I chose to use only caraway seeds in my jar of sauerkraut but the instructor had curry and ginger root available, too, in case anyone water to have a curried/ginger sauerkraut. There were samples for us to try, but I went somewhat "traditional". :) The curried/ginger sauerkraut was delicious though and I think I will make some of it eventually.
Due to time constraints, the instructor demonstrated how to make Kimchi (a spicy, fermented mixture of cabbage and vegetables and the national dish of Korea), and Kombucha (a food supplement prepared from a symbiotic colony of yeast and bacteria that is added to tea for its health benefits).
Here are the ingredients used in making the Kimchi......
We were all given a "Mother" to start our own Kombacha, too.
As with any class, there was a huge amount of information given out in a short time, so thankfully, we were given handouts with all the recipes and instructions needed to make these fermented "goods" at home. We had a lot of fun and as I mentioned earlier, our classmates were very nice, too.