Wednesday, July 30, 2014

CLCA Day 19 and Fun with Fermentation!

"Cyd's Low-Carb Adventure," Day 19
Once again, I have nothing exciting to report, as Cyd stayed home sick today. She finally felt better enough to have some dinner this evening, so she had two of the leftover carnitas tostadas, and some sugar-free Jell-O for dessert.

Since I didn't have to cook anything new/special today, I turned my attention to some pickling projects. ('Tis the season, you know.) I have a peck of Kirby cukes cleaned, trimmed, and soaking in cold water in the fridge overnight to be dealt with further on the morrow.

And then I have another fermentation experiment going on in the laundry room: I am trying to recreate something I bought at a farmers' market in Maine that the vendor called Swedish Carrots. I made nine pints! I sure hope they turn out. I guess we'll see in 5-7 days.

Swedish Carrots

4 lbs. organic carrots*, peeled, ends removed, and thinly sliced
1 gallon water (non-chlorinated)
2/3 cup canning salt or sea salt

In each (pint) jar:
1 bay leaf
1 large peeled garlic clove
1 tablespoon thinly sliced or chopped onion
1 small head of fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seed
1/4 teaspoon peppercorns
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

Prepare the carrots, then leave soaking in cool water until ready to pack your jars. Meanwhile, bring a gallon of water and the salt to a boil, then turn off the heat and let cool.

Place all of the herbs and seasonings in the jars, fill with (drained) carrots, and cover with the cooled brine. Use the handle of a wooden spoon along the sides of the jar and in the middle to help remove air pockets. Put about 1/4 cup of the remaining brine in a sandwich baggie, and place one in the top of each jar to weight down the carrots and keep them submerged in the brine. (Or you could use a smaller glass jar, lid or disk or a sterilized stone if you prefer.)

Place the jars in a cool, dark place (on a lined tray to catch the overflow as they start to ferment). Check every day, and skim off any mold that may form at the top (a cloudy, fizzy brine is normal). Add a little more brine if necessary to keep the carrots covered. Start tasting on day three, and let them go until they taste the way you'd like, probably between 5-7 days. When the carrots are as sour as you want, remove the baggies, cap the jars, and store in the fridge (for months).

*You can also add sliced parsnips and rutabagas along with the carrots if you like.

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