No, it is not a racial slur. I made a sauerkraut with Rudy, (the Rutabaga who was featured in a previous post). My plan was to make a latke-like pancake with shreds of the vegetable but today I was more in the mood for rot. (by Rot, of course, I mean fermentation, which is a process of preservation by way of breaking down and effectively salt dehydrating the original material)
Did you know you can ferment most vegetables? And that sauerkraut doesn't have to be limited to cabbage? Here's my version of kraut that includes Rudy and some other stuff I had lying around the kitchen.
First I had to weigh it again. When I first started working with this behemoth I did 'before' and 'after' shots, (omg am I spoofing weight-loss commercials... buh...) and for some reason I kind of want to stay true to that. So here it is before and after the kraut process.
I peeled the rutabaga and took two thin slices out of it and placed them aside. For the kraut I chopped it up into matchsticks (you could grate it for convenience if you like) and did the same with the cabbage and carrot. I grated about 1 tbsp of horseradish in there and added a bunch of herbs from my freezer, some caraway seeds, and mustard seeds.
Next, I tossed the whole lot with 1 tbsp of sea salt and smashed it into a jar. Topped with the thin slices of rutabaga to keep the kraut submerged and left on the counter for 10 days. Now it's a little sour (fermenting slow cus winter) but still flavourful and crunchy. I think I should have added a little more salt.
Next week I might try using the kraut in a beet and veggie soup with some of the fermented cucumber pickles that are disintegrating at the back of my fridge. Sound disgusting? We'll see...
varieties: var. lupus (European) and var. neomexicanus (native) -- (although poorly studied)
Common Name: Hops
Hops are most commonly known for their bitter/floral/citrusy contributions to the flavour of beer, notably the iconic Westcoast IPA. The reason an Imperial Pale Ale from the Westcoast of North America should taste hoppy is because our wilds, rogues, and roadsides are covered in renegade hops. Here in BC, the district of Squamish was founded by its hop industry at Alice Lake, and since then, the farm escapees have travelled around the province, a boon for wild harvesters and Indigenous Gatherers seeking a lovely spring shoot or floral medicine.
Key Features: Smells like beer, especially the flowers! The mature leaves are shaped like the baby of a maple leaf and a club while younger leaves or leaves of different varieties may simply be one toothed lobe. The entirety of the plant is covered in brisk hairs to help it climb even the smoothest of surfaces. Shoots are in season during the spring and flowers in hot summer.
Edible/Medicinal Parts: Shoots can be steamed, blanched, stir-fried, and pickled like asparagus. As the plant matures its aerial parts become tough and spiky. The flowers are heavily scented and contain cannabinoids and phytoestrogens which are helpful in relaxation and menopause, respectively. It's best to collect flowers to flavour beer while they have lots of pollen and before they have developed seeds because the seeds get into filtration equipment. I have made teas from the flowers as well as potpourri, and pillows for their soothing effect (especially when I'm on the rag).