SALTING WITHOUT FERMENTATION
Preserving cabbage, string beans and greens for winter use by salting is a
method which has long been used. To do this the vegetables should be washed,
drained and weighed. The amount of salt needed will be one-fourth of the
weight of the vegetables. Kegs or crocks make satisfactory containers. Put a
layer of vegetables about an inch thick on the bottom of the container.
Cover this with salt. Continue making alternate layers of vegetables and
salt until the container is almost filled. The salt should be evenly
distributed so that it will not be necessary to use more salt than the
quantity required in proportion to the vegetables used. Cover the surface
with a cloth and a board or glazed plate. Place a weight on these and set
aside in a cool place. If sufficient liquor to cover the vegetables has not
been extracted by the next day, pour in enough strong brine (1 pound of salt
to 2 quarts of water) to cover surface around the cover. The top layer of
vegetables should be kept under the brine to prevent molding. There will be
some bubbling at first. As soon as this stops set the container where it
will not be disturbed until ready for use. Seal by pouring very hot paraffin
on the surface.
THE USE OF BRINE
method is used for cucumbers, string beans, green tomatoes, beets, corn and
peas, as these vegetables do not contain enough water for a good brine using
only salt. Wash and put in a crock or other container within 3 or 4 inches
of the top. Pour over them a brine made by adding to every 4 quarts of water
used 1/2 point of vinegar and 3/4 cup salt. The amount of brine need3ed will
be about 1/2 the volume of the material to be fermented. When fermentation
is complete the container should be sealed as detailed for sour-crout.
To Ferment Cucumbers
Unless the cucumbers are from
your own garden wash them carefully to insure cleanliness after
indiscriminate handling. Pack them in a keg, barrel or rock, leaving space
at the top for the cover. Cover them with a brine made by adding to every 4
quarts of water used 1/2 pint of vinegar and 3/4 cup of salt. The amount of
brine needed will be one-half of the volume of the material to be fermented.
Place a wooden cover or glazed plate on top of the contents and press it
down by weighting it with a stone or other weight, to keep the cucumbers
under the brine. Fermentation will require from 8 to 10 days in warm weather
and from 2 to 4 weeks in cool weather. It is complete when bubbles cease to
rise when the container is lightly tapped or jarred. When this stage is
reached remove any scum which may have collected, pour hot paraffin over the
cover and around the weight and store in a cool place.
The process for green
tomatoes is the same as that for cucumbers.
Remove the strings from beans, Beets should
be washed thoroughly and packed whole. Spices may be used, as with
cucumbers, but these may be omitted if the vegetables are to be freshened by
soaking, when they are to be used. The method is the same as with cucumbers.
PREPARING FOR USE
To prepare salted vegetables for
use, soak in 3 or 4 times their volume of cold water to draw out excess
salt. One or two changes of water will shorten this process. They should
then be drained and rinsed well, put in cold water, brought slowly to a
boil, and cooked until tender. They may then be prepared and served as fresh
products are prepared and served.
Fermented vegetables should be rinsed in fresh water after removing
from the container. To retain the acid flavor do not soak in water before
If cooked without soaking, fermented dandelions, spinach, kale and
other greens will have flavor similar to that of the greens in their fresh
Fermented corn should be soaked several hours, with three or four
changes of water. During the cooking also there should be one change of
water. The corn may then be used in chowder, pudding, omelet, fritters or
Salted string beans should be soaked to remove the salt and then
prepared and served as fresh beans are prepared and served. Fermented string
beans may be cooked without soaking and served as the fresh beans are
served. Young and tender string beans may be eaten raw.