I always feel the most free to experiment with new things in the spring. After a long winter spent sticking to hearty and familiar dishes, the arrival of fresh produce opens up a world of possibilities. And with next winter far off, preserving it all doesn’t seem so urgent. Now is the time to try out new ideas!
Farmer’s markets in Codrington, Trenton and Cobourg are all up and running again, which provides an abundance of fermentation inspiration. I will be keeping an eye out for asparagus, to make pickled asparagus spears (for more asparagus recipes you might enjoy this site). Properly fermented, these are tasty next to a sandwich but can also be chopped up to add zing to soups or dips.
But what I’m really working on this week is sauerkraut! In partnership with the Shelter Valley Folk Festival I am offering “Sauerkraut Three Ways” on Saturday, June 24th. I love doing community workshops because there is always such energy to these larger groups, and it is encouraging to see people meet others in their area with similar interests. I am looking forward to this workshop in particular because we are breaking the assumption that sauerkraut is just one thing.
Far from the stringy, white and vinegar-soaked sauerkraut that you find in the grocery store, homemade kraut can range from sweet to spicy, and chunky to fine. Plus you can tailor it to suit your preferences: dill or turmeric, carrots or onions? Anything goes! Creativity is built into the work of fermentation, and with the arrival of spring there is rampant permission to experiment with new flavours.
What produce are you looking to experiment with, this spring?