Wide mouth mason jar or canning jar, bowl, cloth, weight (ex. shot glass, bottle, smaller jar)
Salt - about 3 tbsp salt to 5 lb veg is a loose guide
Veggies - use organic, what’s in season, whatever you’ve got. Root veggies work well.
Whole spices - peppercorns, chili pepper, juniper berries, mustard seeds, bay leaves, etc.
[Purified water for brine - if using tap, let it sit out overnight so the chlorine will gas off]
1. Clean your jars.
2. Chop or shred your vegetables into a uniform size, thinking about what and how you want to eat.
3. Sprinkle salt over your veggies and massage them to draw the water out. Keep track of how much salt you’re using for reference next time and/or for making your brine (see Step 5). Massage until you’re happy with the amount of juice that comes out, or just until your muscles are angry with you.
4. Pack your jars, really punch them in tight! Try to layer spices and ‘floaters’ (like apples) away from the top of the jar (you don’t want them floating around later). Have fun mixing different layers of veggies.
5. Pour in the juice, making sure it reaches an inch higher than the veggies. Fill the jar to 1 inch from the top. If you didn’t get much liquid during the massage, make some brine and add it to the jar.
*Note on Brine: The resource I used says 1 tablespoon salt to 1 quart water, and the less salt you use, the faster it’ll ferment, but the less time it will keep.
6. Now it’s time to wait. Keep the lid off and place a bottle/shot glass filled with water on top of the mixture to keep the veggies down (if there are floaters scoop them out or readjust the weight). Cover the jar with a small towel and tuck it away in a cupboard. The veggies will start releasing air bubbles and smell.... fermenty. You may want to sit the jar in a small bowl in case any liquid drips.
7. Depending on how warm your house is and how ‘ripe’ you want it, your veggies will be fermented anywhere from 3 days to a couple weeks. The best way to check is to smell and taste it after 4-5 days!
8. Cover jars with lids and store in the fridge or cold cellar. I’ve read that plastic lids are better because metal corrodes, but I used a metal lid, ate the veggies within 3-4 months and nothing happened. These veggies should last you a long time if stored properly. Apparently if they’ve gone bad, you’ll know.