As Shannon mentioned last week in her introductory post, my name is Stewart. No introduction into a man’s perspective on fermentation would be complete without an action and adventure story.
It was sometime in the middle of the night and I woke to the sound of shattering glass. My heart sank. In an instant I realized a window was broken and jumped out of bed. In my dazed and confused state I did what any man would do… I found a baseball bat next to the bed and began my manhunt in the house. With my heart thumping in my chest I went from room to room, examining window after window, ready to pounce if the situation demanded.
After satisfying myself that the perimeter was secure, I returned to bed somewhat confused. It wasn’t until the morning that I finally found the intruder dead on the kitchen table.
I discovered a half gallon mason jar full of pickles. I should say, I found what remained of a half gallon mason jar full of pickles. The explosion was apparently not powerful enough to throw large glass fragments across the room or embed them within the table itself… but that might have been cool to see from a distance if that had happened. It was, however, enough to leave the jar with severe structural failure… where explosive gases had escaped during the epic sounding eruption (otherwise known as “the window breaking”).
Thankfully, it exploded in the middle of the night when no one could be hurt. At this point, you probably figure I was concerned about the safety of the food experiments my wife was doing on the kitchen table. This wasn’t Shannon’s first attempt at these new-fangled things she was calling cultured foods… but she definitely had my attention. Anything with that kind of firepower demands a man take a second look.
I was raised on a lot of fast food growing up. I was programmed by the modern culture (or lack thereof) with the typical “all fat is bad” and nothing that sits out of the refrigerator for long is edible. The closest thing I came to fermented foods was probably “sauerkraut” on a Reuben sandwich or some yogurt.
So when my wife started trying to make her own yogurt and fermented vegetables I was a bit skeptical. In the next few weeks I hope to take you down the journey of how I went from disliking most fermented foods to actually endorsing, supporting, and eating fermented foods of all kinds.
Oh, and don’t be alarmed by explosive pickle jars. They are just one more tool in a man’s arsenal for around the house odd jobs… such as scaring off the neighbor’s cat or unclogging something unmentionable in such a civilized forum. Of course, for the faint of heart, you can avoid extreme action and adventure ferments with some simple solutions from Cultures for Health like the Perfect Pickler. If you are diligent in burping your ferments you don’t need anything extra like this, but if you are married to someone like my wonderful wife Shannon, it might not be a bad idea.
What about you? Do you have any fermented food action and adventure stories to share?