Christel asks me to join her Sunday late afternoon presentation about fermentation. She demonstrates kombucha making and she likes me to do another ferment or pickle. There’s a small Savoy cabbage in the large fridge of the industrial kitchen of the health resort where both she and I work, Christel as a naturopath, me as a chef. I resolve to prepare for a quick pickle of the more distinguished and tasty sister of the original white sauerkraut cabbage: Savoy Cabbage. This quick pickling asks for vinegar and lemon juice instead of only salt and pressing down.
My stomach hurts. Deep inside. It’s not about the food I eat. But maybe the pickled cabbage will help me digest my pickled emotions. How do I pickle butterflies that nest in my stomach? I am not talking about bacteria. Tears in my eyes roll down my cheek. They taste salty like pickled emotions, the liquid drains, the flavor intensifies. It isn’t about conservation. It’s about transforming the chemistry. I love him so much. My stomach hurts.
1/2 of a small Savoy Cabbage, the leaves pulled, stem and harder parts cut off
1 tbsp course mineral salt
1 tbsp natural sweetener like coconut nectar, agave, maple sirup or honey
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups filtered water
Sterilized glass jar
Something sterilized to press down the leaves (a tall glass)
1 tsp pepper corns or 1 tsp red chilly flakes or a piece of kombu (algae)
Neatly arrange the cabbage leaves in the glass jar, pressing down tightly. Heat the liquid ingredients with salt, sweetener and if you are using them either of the additional flavors. When the salt is dissolved, poor liquid over the cabbage topping the jar up all the way. Close the lid. Let cool until you can touch it without burning your hands. Shake it and leave it stand for 24 hours. It’s ready to consume. After you first open the jar, please keep it in the fridge until it’s empty.