Monday, August 27, 2007
In Which I Make Whey for Pear Chutney
So I quit my job at the law firm. Now I have time to catch up on some mending and tackle the pears. First item: lacto-fermented pear chutney. Lacto-fermentation is the traditional way to preserve pickles and sausages using lactobacillus bacteria. Frankly, I can't pass up the chance to make the little guys do my bidding. They do it so well, producing lactic acid to aid digestion and populating intestinal tracts with little colonies of health.
I started with a quart of good yogurt, which I poured into a nest of cheesecloth rubberbanded to the rim of a large Adams peanut butter jar. I buy Adams just for the jars, which hold more than a quart and have no neck, making them perfect sprouting, pickling and cheesemaking crocks. After enough lacto-laden whey had percolated through, I mixed it with lemon juice, lemon zest, water, rapadura sugar, spices, and raisins, and poured it all over the pears. Now they get to bubble, bubble away in the cupboard.
It's wonderfully witchy to line my cupboard with jars of living, fermenting things, but it also satisfies a certain nurturing instinct of mine -- the same instinct that makes it difficult for me to resist snatching small children and rearing them tenderly as my own. Think how endangered all your children would be if I weren't fermenting my pears!