Wild-Fermented Beans? No Big Dill

Making pickles doesn’t have to be a Big Production. Sure, if you’re sterilizing jars, assembling a vinegar brine, bringing it to a boil, packing jars, and canning them, you’ll need to block out at least an hour and bust out some pots and pans. But if you’re making fermented pickles—say, wild-fermented* dilly beans—once you top…

Eastertide Fermentation Miracle

Perfectly Paschal purple, this ferment came together Easter morning, after I’d finished up a mixed-veg slaw to contribute to that evening’s holiday table. The slaw used up all the carrots, but the remaining cabbage and celeriac volunteered for laboratory duty. Time for more small-batch fermentation experimentation! I suspected my sunnier, Spring-warmed kitchen might kick the fermentation process into a higher…

Cloudy with a Chance of Pickles

Half-sour dill pickles, to be exact. Fermented halfsies, to be even exacter. I can’t pretend to be an expert on the lacto-magic that happens here; I can only testify that it works. After years of trying to replicate “Kosher dills” using the vinegar-brine method—and ending up, every time, with tasty but mushy spears—I finally gave in,…

Cabbage, Salt & Gramma’s Secret Ingredient

“Time.” That’s all she ever asked for. Once glasses were filled, grace was offered, and platters were passed, “Time” was Gramma Crawshaw’s stock answer to any host’s query, “What does anyone need?” You could count on it. Just as you could count on her bringing the finest, hand-cut coleslaw to every holiday gathering. Itsy bitsy little slivers of cabbage and carrots. Uniform,…