Saturday, April 29, 2017

Introducing my 'E~Z Pickler' ~ Single Jar Fermenting Kit

'E~Z Pickler' Single Jar Fermenting Kit
My Grandmother used to make amazing fermented sauerkraut at home in a large crock. Back then, there were no basements as we know it. The crock with its perpetual fermenting contents, was kept in the root cellar. Shredded cabbage was pounded with salt to release its juice, then packed into the crock and kept below the brine level with a round board that was weighted with a rock. This was to prevent unwanted bacteria that would result in mold on the fermenting 'kraut. The crock and its contents were then draped with a cloth to keep out contaminants. 

Wanting to replicate a smaller version of my Grandmother's sauerkraut, I researched the German Harsch Fermenting Crock. It is a stoneware crock with two weighting stones that fit inside. The lid fits inside a gutter at the rim that holds water, allowing fermentation gasses to escape yet sealing out air and contaminants. The extravagant price tag plus high shipping costs led me to research, develop and assemble a 'Single Jar Fermenting System' that I call the 'E~Z Pickler'.

What's in the 'E~Z Pickler' Single Jar Fermenting Kit
My main goal was to create an air-locked fermenting lid assembly with a high quality, BPA free, food-grade silicone, ring seal and grommet, instead of using rubber components. This lid assembly is used with a mason jar which allows fermenting smaller batches that are stored in the same jar in your fridge. The lid assembly fits wide mouth half-pint, pint, quart and 2-quart jars. Depending on the size of jar used, you can experiment with smaller recipes; trying different vegetables or combinations of herbs and spices to your preferred taste. The enclosed Instruction and Recipe Booklet provides plenty of free space to jot down your creations so you can change or replicate a favorite recipe in the future.

The 'E~Z Pickler Kit' is a compact and complete unit including: instructions and recipes, 1-quart fermenting jar, storage lid, stainless steel separator cup, Celtic mineral sea salt and an air-locked fermenting lid assembly to prevent unwanted bacteria that would cause mold. To ferment vegetables at home with the 'E~Z Pickler', all you need to add is; filtered water (chlorine, soft or hard water may affect culture) and fresh vegetables (preferably organic or untreated), locally grown and in season are best. After a few days of fermenting at a comfortable room temperature, they only need refrigeration. When fermentation is complete, the vegetables are still raw, but have transformed into a more digestible food that stays fresh for 4-9 months but MUST be stored in the refrigerator. 
Fast and easy - brined cauliflower

My fermenting adventure began with Brined Cauliflower and it remains a favorite. A versatile vegetable to ferment simply with just a salt brine or with added dill weed, pickling spice and/or garlic. It is easy, fast, delicious ... and addictive! Sauerkraut takes a bit more time and energy; shredding the cabbage then pounding or rubbing with salt and weighting it to release its juice before packing into the jar for fermentation. Brined Dill Pickles are also a bit more preparation but well worth the effort.
Cool Breeze replaced with Corentine

I have replaced Cool Breeze with Corentine pickling cucumber seed (from William Dam) specifically for this purpose. For those who follow my Seasonal Food Blog, you have seen the photos and heard my rant over these delightful, uniform, adorable cukes! Fermented Dill Pickles are sometimes referred to as 'half sours' and are not to be mistaken by the flavor of a store bought, vinegar preserved cucumber pickle. They can be called 'full sours' by adding apple cider vinegar after fermentation but do not have the vinegar tang we commonly identify as a dill pickle. They are none the less delicious and to my fermenting friends and family ... a highly desirable commodity!!
Fermenting assorted fresh, summer vegetables

I often 'top up' or 'decorate' a jar of tiny cucumbers with; cauliflower, thinly sliced rounds of daikon radish or julienne strips of kohlrabi or carrot before fermenting. 

I am cautiously rationing the last 2 quart jar in my fridge of Brined Full Sour Dill Pickles from August 2016 ... my mouth waters at the thought!

The 'E~Z Pickler' Single Jar Fermenting Kit price is $32 CAD. Please note ... depending on your location, shipping costs may apply.
To purchase or inquire about the 'E~Z Pickler', send me your name and address (including postal code) with 'Pickler' in the Subject line. 

Till next time... Happy Spring and Bon App├ętit!

'E~Z Pickler' by Sally Rae
Photos by Sally Rae 

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