She’s a sad tomato

One lonely ripe tomato was all I had as of August 29.

Up until this past weekend, I had only picked one ripe tomato off the Mexican Jungle that my veggie garden has become this year.  Because of the Mexican Jungle effect, I can’t tell you the name of the variety, because the little tag got swallowed up by greenery. Let’s just say  I planted things too close together, again.

On Friday, before we left for the mountains, I picked some beautiful chocolate cherry tomatoes, and a couple of Romas, and some more of these, whose name I don’t know. There are a ton more green ones, threatening to knock over the trellises. As long as we don’t get an early freeze (average first frost date here is September 15, but last year it didn’t happen until early October) the green ones will get a chance to ripen and become salsa, and salads and tomato sauce, and maybe dried tomatoes. Nom nom nom.

The grape tomatoes ripen a deep purple, and taste great on their own, but with these, I sliced them in half and threw them in with some pasta and vinaigrette. Now I have lunch this week.

According to my journal, these are "Chocolate Cherry", started from seed by a friend. They go dark, almost army green before they go purple. They are rich and sweet and filled with jelly.


Ferment with me…

Got a new book the other day- “Wild Fermentation” by Sandor Katz. I got it with yogurt in mind, but it has a ton of stuff on pickled vegetables, too.

Yeah, it bugs me too, that they divided fermentation after the T, instead of between the N and the T.

A couple of years ago we had a glut of cabbages from our CSA, so I decided to make sauerkraut. I’m a white American, but I don’t have childhood memories of kraut- either my parents had it growing up and hated it, or it was considered “too ethnic” by both sets of grandparents. Anyway, I had a ton of cabbage, and all of the instructions I found online called for a ton of cabbage. The problem is, I wound up with a ton of sauerkraut…I didn’t know I didn’t like sauerkraut… yeah, I know, too ethnic.
Now, there’s a Mexican restaurant in town that serves pickled cabbage as a side. I learned it was called cortido, and it is essentially…Mexican sauerkraut. Too ethnic? No!

The recipe I found at the library made only a quart of it, which was just right.  The ease of the recipe inspired me to get this book- Wild Fermentation, for more recipes. I started a batch of Kimchee this weekend, which is like… Korean sauerkraut.  It has napa cabbage, radishes, carrots, onions and jalapeno peppers. The veggies are soaked in brine, and the spices are minced, then we drain the brine off and stirred in the spicy paste, then jar, cover with brine and let sit at room temperature for a week.

Minced jalapeno and garlic- see how fast my knife goes? No, it's just that I can't focus with my left hand.

 I’m very excited- just a few days for it to ferment, and I can try it.

I have a friend who loves pickles- only a week until we can try it.

 The cookbook has a ton of other ideas- I am thinking about sour dough and yogurt and a ton of other naturally fermented stuff. Not beer, though. Beer’s gross.