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Fermentation Day


Fermentation Day is all about the art of fermenting foods.  If you like to ferment, you can celebrate Fermentation Day along with the boots at Wheaton Labs from your very own kitchen.  Fermenting foods has a lot of health benefits.  Plus it's just plain fun to get together and create something yummy!

Last year, Fermentation Day was honored by the boots at Wheaton Labs.  

Dez and the crew make sauerkraut.


Jeff displays his creations


They made:

  • water keifer
  • kim chi
  • miso
  • kraut
  • sourdough
  • keifer



  • I wonder what the boots will ferment this year?
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    pollinator
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    Cool! Kim chi, kraut, sourdough and miso are all things I like.
     
    steward
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    I’ve been making beet ginger sauerkraut, and it’s really delicious! There’s probably three times as much cabbage as beets, but due to the strong magic of beets the whole thing ends up very deep red pink. Adding cardamom seeds gives it a really nice flavor, at least in the bites with the cardamom seeds in them. I used a fine grater for the ginger, and even after fermentation there’s some bite to it. Overall a really nice ferment!
     
    pollinator
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    Here's Chief Boot Stephen's epic post about Fermentation Day 2023!

    Stephen B. Thomas wrote:BRK #181

    Happy Fermentation Day to you...!!!

    This was one of the best Half-Assed Holidays I've experienced yet, personally speaking. This is in large part to the presence, coaching, and enthusiasm of our guest, SEPPer Austin Durant! An enormous thanks goes out to him for the planning and shepherding he did for us today, leading the team through a menu of all manner of fermented goodies that we'll enjoy for months to come.

    We had an impressive agenda set up for us today. We tackled all the items on this list with the exception of kimchi, as we used all the cabbage for the sauerkraut. Not sure how we'd have been able to cram it into the schedule anyway...



    Here's a photo of Grey with a jar of soaking, salted cashews. We'll be using some of these for the sourdough granola, however they're a nice treat on their own.



    Speaking of sourdough, here's one of the loaves ready to go into the oven. Boot Jeff and I worked with Austin to prep two loaves last night.





    A personal highlight for me was the preparation of sourdough granola. Austin was here for this past summer's PTJ, and he and his team prepped a bunch of this stuff. I enjoyed it as part of my morning oatmeal for over a month afterward. I definitely wanted to replenish the Wheaton Labs supply while he was here.

    Here's the oat and flour base.



    Making brine from water and salt was a near-constant practice today. Here's the brine I prepared for some of the seeds to be used in the sourdough granola.



    After mixing, the brine is added to a jar with the seeds, just enough to cover them.



    We'll drain all the seeds tomorrow morning, then after mixing all the ingredients it will be added to the dehydrator to dry it all out for preservation.

    Around 3pm, we were done with our first set of projects, and ready for round two! Here's the setup for sauerkraut.



    We ended up making two separate batches, and I was fascinated with the process. The first step was to - of course - chop up a bunch of cabbage.



    You then add a bunch of salt to your cabbage and begin mixing-and-mashing with your hands, and let the cabbage "sweat out" some of its moisture.

    With this particular batch, the salt turned the exudation from the red cabbage a lovely blue indigo colour. I'd never seen this before and it was fascinating.



    The final mix for the first batch I helped with included green and red cabbage, turnip, and ginger.



    I jammed it into a large glass jar, then weighed-down the contents with some glass "pickling pebbles." This will work to keep the solids completely submerged in the brine.



    The second batch included red and green cabbage, turnip, carrots, onions, and fresh oregano.





    Other projects included pastrami, which ought to be ready by the middle of next week. Hope the crew enjoys it! Here's Caleb dropping the brisket into the brine he mixed.



    Another project we completed was escabèche. This consisted of coarsely-chopped carrots, cauliflower, jalapenos, and onions all set in a brine to ferment.



    Boot Jeff whipped-up this mustard, and it should be officially-ready in three days. I had a taste today however, and I'd say it's ready to go. :)



    And for a historic moment: the first time I've photographed my food... And it's worth it! This was my first-ever sourdough loaf. Eating a toasted slice with some oat-based, fake-buttery spread on it was an incredibly satisfying, simple meal: most-definitely delicious.



    That's all for now. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day...! :-D

     
    Austin Durant
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    I was honored to be part of Fermentation Day in the Half-Assed Holiday series!

    The boots were competent and enthusiastic about making all the ferments, and even improvising (or as I call it, "fermentation jazz") where needed.

    Caleb has his own (ongoing) ginger bug and ginger-based concoctions bubbling away, so I got to learn a few new things, too!

    Stephen covered the splendid day quite well, so I'll just add a few things from my perspective.

    We will have "Pastrami Day" unofficial Half-Assed Holiday next week! (Pastrami takes 5 days to brine properly).

    Recipes we made:
    Sourdough Bread
    Escabeche
    Sauerkraut
    Curtido
    Mustard
    Kefir
    IMG_20230119_200137.jpg
    Stephen learning the art of turning sourdough!
    Stephen learning the art of turning sourdough!
    2023-01-20-13.55.17.jpg
    Stephen showing off his loaf, proofed and ready to bake
    Stephen showing off his loaf, proofed and ready to bake
    2023-01-20-14.30.08.jpg
    The 2 loaves, baked in a Dutch oven. Impressive and delicious!
    The 2 loaves, baked in a Dutch oven. Impressive and delicious!
    2023-01-20-15.55.12.jpg
    Stephen getting some "kraut therapy" by massaging cabbage
    Stephen getting some "kraut therapy" by massaging cabbage
    2023-01-20-16.04.09.jpg
    Caleb dispatches some red cabbage, which will impart beautiful hues to the sauerkraut
    Caleb dispatches some red cabbage, which will impart beautiful hues to the sauerkraut
    2023-01-20-16.26.44.jpg
    Stephen packing the sauerkraut jar to remove air bubbles
    Stephen packing the sauerkraut jar to remove air bubbles
    2023-01-20-19.30.05.jpg
    sourdough bread and escabeche
    sourdough bread and escabeche
    2023-01-20-19.23.40.jpg
    Two varieties of sauerkraut: ginger-turnip, and curtido (Latin American style)
    Two varieties of sauerkraut: ginger-turnip, and curtido (Latin American style)
    2023-01-20-21.33.39.jpg
    Grey took some milk kefir grains out of hibernation, to make a new batch
    Grey took some milk kefir grains out of hibernation, to make a new batch
     
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