Get Pickled Somerset Making Sauerkraut

The September 2023 Edit

Get Pickled Somerset Pickled Cucumbers
October marks the inexorable march of the seasons into the colder months…Suddenly it is Autumn and at the Equinox we celebrate the shortening of the days and cold whispers of the winter to come. Mother nature is bountiful at this time of the year, generous with her gifts. The trees are heavy with fruit, the hedges are gleaming with red and purples wild berries and the fields golden and ready for harvest.

If there is a time to make the best of the season, this is it. As we move into Autumn the time is now to turn our hands into making the best of what is now abundant, but fleetingly so.

When you eat seasonally you reconnect with the cycle of the seasons, to how our ancestors inhabited our world and became part of the landscape. After the heady days of Summer, when BBQ, salads and fresh berries are king we turn to the hard work of preserving the best of the season after the harvest.

Get Pickled Somerset Damson Harvest

Preserves are the ultimate slow food – not only because they do take time to make but also because they should be consumed slowly too. You have to work hard to make the sun ripened flavours of our fruit and vegetables last well into the winter, when those warm rays are nothing but a memory.

If you ever made a jam, chutneys or pickles you can appreciate that those are foods that take time and commitment to make. From the constant stirring of pots when making preserves to the faith in the work of microbes when you ferment vegetables. Preserving the season makes you literally take a moment to engage in conscious making and eating your food. And more importantly it is also an exercise in patience and faith, you never completely know how your preserve will turn out until you open your jar.  

I would even go further and claim that fermented foods are the definition of slow food. It takes time to grow your vegetable, then to harvest, prepare and process then and then… you have to wait. Maybe for a couple of weeks in the case of a kimchi, to a year or more if you are making a miso. Time, in this case, is one of your main ingredients. Herein lies the main difference between preserves and ferments… with jams, chutneys or vinegar you are relying on the addition of a preserving agent: sugar, vinegar or alcohol. When you ferment you are relying on microbes and how they will transform your vegetables – and they need their sweet time to create the magic.

So, when you use fermentation as a preserving tool, you are almost travelling back in time. You are able to taste the warmth of the summer sun on most dreary of the winter nights. It is a reminder that even when all is dark and cold, there is hope of spring right in the horizon – if you only wait.

This Month I am Cooking…

Oh boy oh boy, this last month saw me living in the kitchen… It is peak harvest time and I am officially the surplus lady of Frome!

  1. Jars and jars of cucumber pickles.
  2. Getting my koji set up ready for the winter, so I can make ALL the misos.
  3. A very special batch green tomato and black garlic miso kimchi for my Christmas market.
  4. A apple and sauerkraut crumble – really! Check my Instagram page for the recipe.
  5. About 10 litres of slow roasted tomato passata.
  6. Damson and Bay leaf vodka.

Get Pickled Somerset Surplus TomatoesGrowing & Sharing

Being back home, meant head down with a lot of kitchen work and planning ahead for the new year. But there is still a bit of time for some fun to be had!

  1. I learned about Tawainese douchi (fermented black bean) with Pao Lin.
  2. Went for countryside walks with the boy.
  3. I harvested all the veggies waiting for me in the garden.
  4. I had amazing veggie sushi at Hakko House, at Marston Park.
  5. Got right back into foraging.

Get Pickled Somerset Enjoying Veggie Sushi

Get Pickled Somerset Countryside Walks