Nourishing Traditions (the Sally Fallon cookbook) has been my pleasure reading for some years now, along with Tolstoy (all that talk of kvass and pickled beets in War and Peace is beginning to make sense) and I've gradually added strange fermented pickles to our diet, along with yogurt and kefir. Now I just need a cow. And a herd of sheep, but that's another story.
I sour up all these vegetables by chopping and stuffing them into gallon jars with salt and a bit of yogurt whey or brine from a previous batch. The magic happens in about a week. Little microscopic bacteria ferment the sugars and produce lactic acid...real, live, probiotic food! (It really appeals the geek in me.) And it is tasty stuff, too: hot, sour, spicy. Best of all, it is FAST. The original fast food.
When we head out for our emergency picnics, we throw together a jar of kimchi or whatever pickled vegetables we're enjoying. Some creamy yogurt, some sourdough bread, a bottle of fine, aged red wine. (Ok, not the wine. I only wish).
Oh yes, sourdough. I'll have to post again about sourdough, as it is amazing stuff. Every home should have a little fizzy jar of sour dough in their fridge. This is what I used to call sourdough:
When cut very fine and toasted and spread with double-its-weight in butter, it is quite nice. I've found it useful as a step-stool for reaching objects on a high shelf. It also makes an excellent doorstop. But do not drop it on the baby.
My sweet friend Sharon came back from California with a real, Californian sourdough starter. Steeped with the mystique of time, curiously close to San Francisco, it is amazing, and it deserves its own blog post. Also, if you live in the Peterborough area, drop by, and I'll share some with you.