And here’s something interesting from our good friend across the pond, Justin Patrick Moore with a piece that’s well up our street! Cheers Justin!
There is nothing like some good down beet veggies, and downtempo music, to get into an up beet mood. I was thinking of this yesterday when scraping out the remains of my crock full of homemade beet and red cabbage sauerkraut. I was also thinking about something I recalled from Sandor Katz’s book Wild Fermentation (where I learned the basic techniques for making kraut and sour pickles, among other things). He said something along the lines of “The only difference between rotting vegetables and a fermented food is salt.”
Boy, ain’t that the truth. Before I tried making kraut, I always thought it would be hard. It turns out its as simple as chopping up a bunch of cabbage, and other veggies, throwing a bunch of good salt on them, pounding them down into a crock, then sticking a plate on top of it all, with some weights or a clean rock you’ve boiled, and then waiting for the amazing lactic acid transformation.
Sandor’s recipe for Kraut and is super easy to make with just some basic equipment and veg. Recipe in detail here.
This batch of kraut that I made here included the following ingredients, all shredded, like a punker rocker making dangerous swipes at a guitar:
About 9 or 10 raw beets
1 head purple cabbage
1 bunch of radishes
1 head of garlic
3 or 4 habaneros
1 large piece of ginger
The ginger & habanero pepper marry really well together with the flavor of the beets. I suppose you could also use the juice to dye your hair red, or if you were wanting to make your own Hammer horror film.
(By another chain of association, all this puts me in mind of that classic Dead Kennedy’s album, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. Now you know there is a cure for that, just add salt.)
I’m looking forward to when my pickling cucumbers come up in the garden. That’s when I’ll use Sandorkraut’s sour pickle recipe again. Mr. Katz is a great author, and Wild Fermentation, and his other book The Art of Fermentation, cover not only kraut and pickles, but sourdough and other living breads, wine, beer, cheese and even stuff like how to make miso or tempeh. It’s one of the few kitchen books I have that really makes the stuff grown in the garden, whether mine, a friends, or something picked up at the market, really sing with all that salt. Once you make a few batches of something you’ll be experimenting and trying new things out in no time, because it really is pretty simple once you get the knack.
With all that, I’ll leave you with this groaner and a track called Cultivator Dub from the DJ Spooky vs. Twilight Circus Dub Soundsystem collaborative album Riddim Clash.
What do you call someone who raps about vegetables? A Beet boxer.