we can pickle that!

Montreal's the Portland of Canada, so it's no surprise to find a wide variety of unique events here. Last weekend, Anya and I spent the day at RadLaw's annual forum. This year, the theme was "In the Streets and in the Courts", and talks and workshops thus revolved around police violence, student protests, climate change and more.

I arrive at 12:30pm, just in time to grab some delicious sweet potato and bean tacos made by none other than Midnight Kitchen (I didn't fail to get a few slices of nectarine cake, either). I then headed upstairs for a screening of The Central Park Five, a striking documentary my mom had told me about many times. The film is incredibly powerful and relevant given the current crisis happening in the States.

After the screening, I meet up with Anya for a "radical legal workshop" entitled Food Security and Food Sovereignty. Our first speaker, Sarah Richardson, gives an insightful overview of the  current food situation in Canada, as well as the underlying tension between food security and food sovereignty, and the challenges of legally defining what is "good" food. Sydney Warshaw, founder of The Wandering Crew, a duo that organizes popup dinners, then takes the floor. After discussing her heritage and the art of pickling, she moves us into the hands-on portion of the workshop.

We learn how to make sauerkraut and lactofermented carrots, which I cannot wait to try next week! Here are the recipes for both:

L A C T O F E  R M E N T E D    C A R R O T S 

  • quart-size mason jar
  • 1.5 pounds of fresh carrots, trimmed and peeled
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 cups of water, or more as needed
  • 2 tbs salt

  1. Dissolve the salt in water.
  2. Place garlic cloves at the bottom of the jar.
  3. Cut carrots to the height of the jar.
  4. Place carrot sticks vertically in jar on top of the garlic cloves. Pack them in so they are snug.
  5. Pour the brine over the carrot sticks so that they are completely covered. Add more water, if needed.
  6. Place the lid on the jar and close tightly.
  7. Place at a cool room temperature and allow to culture for 7-10 days or longer, as desired. Once the carrots are fermented to your taste, you can either consume them or store the jar in the refrigerator (this stops the fermentation process).
Note: During the first few days you have to “burp” your jar (barely unscrew the lid until you hear a small amount of the gas escaping and then screw it back on quickly). This lets out the carbon dioxide so the jar doesn't explode.

S A U E R K R A U T 

Ingredients (for approx. 1 quart):
  • 4 quart-size mason jars
  • 1 medium head green cabbage (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional, for flavor)

  1. Slice the cabbage: Discard the wilted, limp outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters and trim out the core. Slice each quarter down its length, making 8 wedges. Slice each wedge crosswise into very thin ribbons.
  2. Combine the cabbage and salt: Transfer the cabbage to a big mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over top. Begin working the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands for 5-10 minutes. If you'd like to flavor your sauerkraut with caraway seeds, mix them in now.
  3. Pack the cabbage into the jar: Grab handfuls of the cabbage and pack them into the canning jar.
  4. Pour any liquid released by the cabbage while you were massaging it into the jar.
  5. If after 24 hours, the liquid has not risen above the cabbage, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water and add enough to submerge the cabbage.
  6. Ferment the cabbage for 3-10 days (or even longer!). Check daily and if the cabbage is floating above the liquid, press down with your fist.
  7. Once the sauerkraut is to your taste, you can either consume it or store the jar in the refrigerator (this stops the fermentation process).

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