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Turkey Tracks: Creating Winter Culinary Assets

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Turkey Tracks:  October 31, 2016

Creating Winter Culinary Assets

My kitchen smells like garlic, shallot, parsley, and lime juice.

It’s making me hungry!

It’s that time again–the time to clean out the garden and to do something with the last of the food crops.

The cherry tomatoes were so bountiful this year–Sun Golds.  I was able to pick all the green tomatoes as I worked.

I had a huge bin of them, but I somehow did not take a picture.  With one thing and another, I did not get to lacto-fermenting them right away, and they starting to ripen on me.  I wound up having to pull out the dehydrator again to dry them as I cannot eat all of these before they start to go bad.

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Here are the green ones, all jarred up and, hopefully, lacto-fermenting in their garlicky, herbed brine.

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Look what I found in the zucchini plants!  I checked them all the time, but missed these two.  Into the dehydrator they went–cut into bite-size pieces that will be used in soups/stews over the winter.  The green squash next to the napkins is a Buttercup–it is dense and sweet.  I plan to roast the flesh with cut-up large green tomatoes, onion, garlic, little potatoes, rosemary, and olive oil.

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I love our winter squashes–but we did not get so many this year due to the drought.

The striped ones are Delicatas–which are candy sweet.  The tan ones are Butternuts and are mild.  They are happy in the warm kitchen.  The Delicatas won’t store as long as the Butternuts.

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I processed the cabbage I bought for winter sauerkraut–which I use instead of lettuce sent in here from California, 18 days old and gassed and tasteless.

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You’ve seen other posts on lacto-fermented sauerkraut if you’ve followed this blog at all.  If not, you can search on sauerkraut to see the lovely ruby red color this mixture will turn.  I will probably make some carrot/turnip kraut before I am done.  It is delicious and turns a bright orange.

Here is a little video of what I am looking for to see if the mixtures are “booking”–my slang for fermenting properly.

Now, here’s the really fun thing that has upped ante on my lacto-fermenting goodies:

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What a great book!

I am still reading it, but have already tried some of the herb recipes.

I cut the parsley in the garden–the curly one yesterday, the Italian today–and used the interesting parsley recipe in the book, sans the hot pepper as I am allergic.

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I took off the leaves from the stems and discarded those.  I don’t wash any of these items–I just brush away any debris–as I want the organisms to stay put as they are part of the lacto-fermenting wild process.

Here’s yesterday’s haul.  I have two more from today.  The plastic bags contain water and will form a seal over the top of the mixtures, but will allow me to get to them to push them down and let the liquid rise to the top.

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There is a recipe for processing basil with this method–and it will keep for six months or more.

What about sage?  Rosemary?  Chives?  Tarragon?  MINT?

I may try mint tomorrow as I have a lot of it.

If this method works, I’ll try more herbs next fall.

For those of you who don’t know, lacto-fermented veggies are chock full of really good probiotics and are more powerful than the veggie/herb by itself.

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