CELERIAC...It deserves your love



Yesterday, I listened to the Eight O'clock Hour NCPR show on the Kent Family Growers:  A Year On the Farm, Staying Local and Growing the Farm.  Fun to hear the inside scoop from Dan and Megan, to know what goes on on the farm that grows my winter CSA food.

As I was listening, I was grating root veggies and cabbage, 100% from the Kent Farm CSA, to make another 5 quart batch of my fermented root veggie kraut.

first sauerkraut

The pile of veggies, awaiting grating, included 3 healthy sized celeriac roots.

I had a chuckle when Dan made the statement that celeriac just does not "sell" well around here.  His NYC market LOVES his celeriac!

Seriously, people here in Northern NY don't love and crave this yummy little root?

My goal is to convince you that celeriac IS worthy of your love!

Why?  OK, celeriac to me is like the burst of fresh air when you first open the door to go outside or when you throw open the windows in spring.  That amazing smell of freshness in your nostrils and fresh taste in your mouth is what celeriac does for food... in my eyes (well, nose & mouth)!

My favorite way to eat it is in my raw, grated veggie slaws; the winter salads in my home.  It gives the salad an incredible burst of fresh flavor akin to eating stalks of celery.  The beauty is you do not need to use stalks trucked in, to give us celery in the winter, from California and Florida.

#2:  Cooked with potatoes and mashed with lots of yummy butter.

#3 to infinity... chopped and added to soups, stews, stir fries.  Celeriac is even yummy grated and quick stir fried with butter,  onions, and garlic.

I dare you... try some celeriac today.  Let me know if you fall in love!   Paula


Looking down into the crock, the next batch of root veggie kraut.

Kraut "out" date is March 13-17th, whenever I get around to scooping it out of the crock.

Stop by for a sampling; experience the love celeriac adds to root veggie - cabbage kraut!

I Popped the Cranberry of Fermentation...

first sauerkraut

I Popped the Cranberry of Fermentation


Threw in an Apple or Two

That's correct, my first fermentation of veggies!  Sure I have made yogurt, cheeses, and other fermented foods but this was my first attempt making "kraut."  Isn't the deep pink color pretty?!

I have eaten plenty of fermented veggies over the years and I figured it was time to stop being lazy in the kitchen and start making my own.

Now I confess, I did not follow a recipe.  I prefer to do things my way, figure it out as I go sort of method.  Those who know me are not shocked by this confession of being a "do it my way" kind of girl.

I put myself into a shredding frenzy with my loyal kitchen friend, the metal cheese grater! I grated:  beets, carrots, celeriac, turnip, rutabaga, cabbage, and apples.  Then I chopped up frozen cranberries.  All the goodies, except the apples, were from the Kent Family Growers.  Thanks Dan & Megan for contributing to my kitchen frenzy!

prepping kraut

When I finished grating I had a huge stainless steel bowl of grated veggies.  I added 3 tablespoons of unrefined, Celtic sea salt and got to kneading the colorful mess.  I mixed and kneaded with my hands for 10 to 15 minutes and then let it sit for 1 1/2 hours.

At this point I decided to read a recipe to see how I was doing winging it in the kitchen.  Well, I read to salt the cabbage and let it sit before adding the other veggies.  Whoops, too late for that.  No sense crying over spilled milk.  I got in gear, cleaned the table of renegade shredded veggie pieces and did up the dinner dishes.

Then I:

1.  stuffed the salted, grated veggies into my new German fermentation crock,

2.  made certain the liquid covered the veggies,

3.  placed my whole cabbage leaves on top,

4.  set the clay weights in place,

5.  put the lid on,

6.  and added water to the trough around the lid.  This water must be kept in the trough the whole fermentation period.  I was on this water "watch" like a Mom watching her babe!

DONE, finished!  Now I just had to wait patiently for 8 days to see if my method of doing things created anything tasty and edible!

28 Days Later 

happy face sun

OK, another confession:  I actually waited the full 28 days, no peaking!  That's more than I can say for Christmas presents as a kid. Yeah, sorry Mom, nothing you can do about it now.  'Ya should have hid them better.  I only peaked at one per year; honest.

So, back to the root veggie kraut.... It turned out fabulously.  Pretty pink, crisp, and tasty. The longer ferment time allows for growth of full spectrum gut microbes. You want this to happen!

My Favorite Way to Eat It?

Well, right out of the jar... but, when I am feeling like putting a bit more effort into the meal or snack I add grated, raw slaw and goat or sheep milk feta to the pile of veggies.  Then I top with lots of yummy, raw, organic walnuts and feast away!

This has to be the nectar of the Gods and Goddesses!  If not, I will ferment my hat and eat it!

Interested in learning to ferment?

Add your name to the Local Living Venture's mailing list.  They just held a fermentation class on Thursday, January 30th.  Why am I taunting and teasing with a class that is now over?   Because it was full and had a waiting list!  This is a good sign that it WILL be offered again.  Go ahead, sign up for their email notifications,  and get notified when all sorts of fun, food classes are being taught!

From their website, http://www.sustainablelivingproject.net/

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Be well, eat good food, have fun, & love ... Paula