ver two weeks ago, we stuck some jars in a cabinet and we haven’t opened ’em since.
Our friend Lydia, who I can most succinctly describe as a food healer, came over to teach us the basics of creating two particularly healing edibles: sauerkraut and broth. Bill’s a healthy guy, always in pursuit of that which is most holistic for the body (though we’re both a good distance away from donning dreadlocks or hemp clothes or walking around barefooot), and simple things like fermented cabbage and slow-cooked soup can perfectly embody the axiom that simple is good.
Listening to a master of culinary folk arts is super interesting. Not being much of a cook myself – and also possessing zero tolerance for waiting in line for food – I want top quality product, and while I’d totally love it if Jiro made all my sushi with his artisanal fingers, I largely don’t appreciate the philosophy behind the food. Oh sure, I love freshness, organicness, sustainabilityness, localness, but did I know that sauerkraut required the personal bacteria from your hands to create a flavor that almost literally comes from you? Nope. I don’t think about the cultures and I never fathomed how soothing it could be to skim scum off the top of a boiling pot that could bathe twin babies.
About a five-minute drive from Tokyo Fish Market, Bill chose to learn about fish broth, which, compared to chicken and beef, takes a fraction of the cook time:
- Fish: 1 1/2-4 hours
- Chicken: 12-24 hours
- Beef: 48-72 hours
Lydia left us with recipes and handouts to inform on the broader and finer points of “broths and ferments,” like “What is Fermentation? Transformative Action!” and how the flavor of sauerkraut changes from day to day during the development process. Also? The types of Mason jars (which I basically wasn’t aware broke down into further categories) will affect how you store your broth, too. COOKING IS SO COMPLICATED.
Glad there are people like Lydia to teach the art, and housemates like Bill who will put it all into practice. To gut health!
Click this way to see what seven pounds of rock cod looks like!