Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Mad Kitchen Scientist

That's a lot of funky cherries! Notice the brown slush in the bottom of the box. But even such nastiness will not deter the diehard fermenter. Hey...all those cherries on top are Perfectly Good.

I am totally obsessed with fermentation. At a party at the house of some friends a little more than a year ago, I picked up the book "Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Food" by Sandor Ellix Katz. Check him out here. I haven't looked back since.

Using this book and various resources on the internet, as well as the book "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon , I have made my own kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, carrot-ginger pickles, goat cheese, vinegar, hard cider and ginger ale. The ginger ale is still brewing, but all the other things have been shockingly successful. Well...except for that one terrifying batch of vinegar. But that's for another post.

I have a clandestine source (as in, if I tell you I'll have to kill you) of mass quantities of random organic produce and fruits. It's not a regular supply, so I have to be prepared when a windfall arrives to start fermenting.

Last night on the summer solstice, soon after I had gotten the little one down to sleep, I was just getting ready to do some reading or crochet, when I received a sudden windfall of past-their-prime organic cherries at my door step. About 25 lbs of them! It wasn't pretty folks. These cherries needed to be dealt with immediately!

I dropped my plans for a peaceful evening and immediately went to work sorting, cleaning and then mashing them up for a nice solstice wine. Well, I hope it's nice anyway. I think part of the fun of fermentation is that it's always a gamble of sorts.

Cherries all mashed up and ready to become solstice wine. Too bad it will be almost a year before it's ready to drink.

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