As I wander through the soggy late spring garden (in New Zealand), my mind goes to the numerous gotu kola plants winding through all the flowers and fledgling tomatoes, and I am prompted to find out more about this amazing medicinal food.
Seems like it is good for most of what ails a body......
Then my mind goes to the end of winter/spring cabbages that want harvesting and turning into sauerkraut or kimchi before the white butterflies or slugs get involved and do their own form of guerrilla harvesting.
And I wonder if the two could be somehow combined......
What about..... a medicinal (or at least a herbal) version of a sauerkraut/kimchi that is both delicious and good for you and kind of gives you a blast of spring when you need it?
Wouldn't that be an Amazing Thing?
hmmmm......The gotu kola leaves taste kind of like parsley....(crunch, crunch)
Could calendula petals go with?...... (sooooo pretty)....
What about spring pine needle tips? (hahaha)
All in a fermented, brined cabbage base.....
Maybe a twist of citrus in there, a hint of grapefruit from the winter harvest, now lurking in the deep freeze.....
Or throw in some Gochujang? (a Korean chilli based spice paste)......Or not....
I mean, you make a tincture of herb leaves by allowing them to sit around in alcohol, gossiping together for a few weeks.
What about making a food of them by allowing them to sit around in a fermentation brine?
It kind of sounds good to me, what do you think?
You see... I have this garden that is becoming ever richer in a widening array of foods and medicinals, and right alongside that, I need to develop ways of using those foods and medicinals, in such a way that they become an ever growing part of my food consumption.
So, this is where I am coming from, this soggy springtime day in New Zealand. Where the swales are full of water, and the grass has developed suspiciously soggy patches that the gotu kola is loving and threatening to colonise, as a first step toward taking over the world.
hugshugs from mine, to yours.
So I did pretty much what I was threatening to do, minus the pine needle tips which still sound kind of cool.
And I added ginger shavings.
It tastes slightly bitter from the gotu kola... but we will see how it goes.
I made 4 little pots, one with Gochujang (which I liked), and one without citrus.....
We will see how they all taste after a few days/weeks fermenting.
I tend to like a light (short) fermentation, but I made an extra jar so I can try a longer fermentation and see what this does for the bitterness of the gotu kola.
Of course, as a food with medicinal properties, a bitter flavour might turn out to be a success.
Time. Will. Tell.
All in all it was amusing and several hordes of slugs were deprived of comfy apartments in outer cabbage leaf land, and have now relocated to heaven.
I was a little puzzled by the previous post.....(which I may have misunderstood).
No... my ferments are not heated/cooked. I do have a fermenting crock, but did not use it in this instance, as I am testing a new idea in small quantities.
The term crock in fermenting does not refer to what is known in the western world as an electric crock pot for slow cooking.
A fermentation crock is simply a stoneware pottery vessel with a wide neck and a lid.
Mine is one I inherited from my mother, by virtue of finding it at the back of her cupboard and appropriating it.
For this test batch though, I simply used 4 sterilized jars, which simplified the process as the fermented Kraut is already in it's end use vessel.
This spring night in New Zealand there are thunder rumblings and half hearted rainings that are thinking about becoming much more of a Thing.
My swales are hoping that this does not eventuate, as they are already rain replete. hugshugs.
Gotu kola : Centella asiatica member of the same family parsley is in. (Apiaceae family) https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/herb/gotu-kola gives information on its uses and concerns, but how you use it likely makes a big difference in potency. I've heard the same about parsley - a little as a garnish or flavoring is different than eating an entire bowlful daily for months!
I suspect that since Gotu kola isn't a native in my area, I could use parsley (which mostly self-seeds with just a little extra help every 5 years or so) to do a similar experiment with Sauerkraut. I'm sure I've added small quantities before.
Janette, what were the approximate ratios of cabbage to gotu kola that you used?
I also *really* like using wide-mouth canning jars for small quantities of ferments. It's mostly just me that eats it, so it also takes up less space.