Ah, fermentation, a scary yet amazing process that brings us so many taste delights. I have only recently begun my pickling journey….starting out slow with ice box pickles – just some rice vinegar, sugar and salt on thin cucumber pickles – ready in 10 minutes. I wanted to bring my family a “southern treat” on a recent visit, but after seeing the price tag on the yummy looking jars of spicy pickled okra at Southern Season (local gourmet shop…they were $8!), I thought, “I could do that.” They turned out amazing! Watermelon pickles have become a regular for me, and now kimchee, which has been my personal favorite.
I have always loved that spicy, sour, funky cabbage and radish, but now that I can make it at home (for near to nothing), I don’t have to “make it last” the way I did when I had to buy jars from the store. I love how I open the container after a couple of weeks in the fridge and – whew! – the smell is so houna (bad), and I think “yes!” and dig in. You know it’s good when it kind of takes your breath away 🙂
I haven’t had the motivation to can yet, and frankly, none of these things last very long in my house anyways, but perhaps someday I’ll have the space, time and money to get all the gadgets necessary.
I think I might try my hand at some other fermented foods soon though, maybe tempeh? A friend of mine in high school used to make it for his mom’s friends in a pillow case in his closet….not sure what that was about – I’ll have to look into it.