Ever had an urge to follow an ancient recipe?
I was intrigued with canning some items using a "fermentation" method of old, not just soaking vegetables in vinegar. You might want to give it a try. Just imagine you are an ancient Babylonian doing this new "magical" fermentation process. It is a connection to the past, and this method can create all kinds of good things bursting with probiotics.
I am fermenting a batch of fresh produce:
* mixed with pineapple chunks
* bell peppers
* sea salt
* hot peppers of other varieties and colors
* yeast creating an alcoholic content of 2 to 3%.
Now you have the ingredients. All you need to add is luke-warm, filtered or purified water, which is mixed with a teaspoon or less of yeast. This is to take the place of natural yeasts that you probably washed off in preparation. Fill the glass containers to about one or two inches from the top, add a small coating of sugar, then pour sea salt to cover the top of your highest vegetables. This will slowly season the recipe as it bubbles and peculates to the top and dissolves the salt and sugar. Let it sit for a few days, or let it ferment for a few weeks or even months to let the taste "round out." You may need to carefully crack open the lid just to release some of the fermentation gas pressure during the first few days. The aroma will give you a preview of what is "cooking" inside. Wow, is all that I can say. It is a treat from the ancients.
This tastes uniquely wonderful. Almost magical.
Information and traditions gleaned from an ancient Babylonian process was later imitated by the Zoroastrians, who called themselves Persians. This historic region included what is now Central Asia, including Turkey, Iraq and parts of Europe. The magical process migrated to the USA, and our sauerkraut, sour pickles, yogurt, sour cream and sour dough breads all introduced probiotics into our systems. People in some areas of the Orient (Japan and large parts of China) still do not have a probiotic base level in their bodies as we do. But this recipe has a bit of an extra twist -- actual fermentation of alcohol. It worked well for the ancients, remember they didn't have refrigeration, so it was a long-term preservative of vegetables.
An exception is Mongolia and next door Tibet which use fermentation of horse milk to make a fermented alcoholic milk, and cheese that does not require refrigeration. I enjoyed (well, let’s say experienced) both in several Mongolian and Tibetan forays. I included photos just to prove my journeys. Upon approaching any Mongolian "Gher" or Tibetan home, I was always treated with food and refreshment from local ancient recipes. And I always brought a bottle of Vodka as my gift, one always appreciated. Out in the remote areas of Mongolia and Tibet they still use the old recipes and practices. We ate fermented cheese, tongues, and cuttings of horse meat, often cooked over an open fire in the middle of their tents. We had a few vegetables and a healthy round of toasts over fermented horse milk washed down with the newly arrived Vodka. These gracious hosts would anoint special guests by showering them with “Au-rick“ upon departure. It was aptly named, because when you are showered with this pungent, flavorful fermented horse milk, it is an honor that will stick with you for a long time. You unintentionally may scream “Auugh!"
But I, have been thus honored and anointed many times and in memory now appreciate the “experience and honor”. No doubt when and if a Mongolian visits my home I will honor him or her with my fermented jalapeño, pineapple garlic hot sauce and repay them with a singular shower to honor and enhance his/her memory. Then laugh and enjoy the "mutual" joy of our ancient recipes.
So when you next visit the Boothe Casa, if you can muster the courage, we will treat you to fermented hot sauce and fermented Jalapeño/pineapple/carrot that has bubbled and aged under natural chemical pressure to produce the probiotic-flavored fermentation. The result is a marvelous and unique flavor. It almost becomes a champagne and fizzles with carbonation.
Harvard Medical research reports that the probiotics have a positive impact on health. No doubt my concoction is made and copied with documented historical authority and may drive one to imbibe in another ancient beverage, Tequila, or Scotch. (Just to cleanse the palate, mind you!!!).
No doubt a result will be a sensation of inner happiness, after which you should not attempt driving or operating machinery. Part of this is from the ancient fermentation, perhaps part of it from the palate cleansing.
Anyway, it is fun to make, and a delight to write about and share with you. When you gather the courage, we will invite you to the Boothe Casa for a taste and anointing, which by historical folk tradition will no doubt extend your life, or at the very least flavor your existence. I am always grateful that in those days the American government would hire people like me to show the good and friendly side of America and assure the creation of good will and trust for our nation. When I read the news and see what we have done to the Kurds and others in recent times, I am saddened that we don't seem to value issues of loyalty, cooperation and personal trust with people around the world. My time and work were precious to us. Those friends we made around the world are still the source of happiness and smiles. Alas, a toast to international good will, and to getting it back!
In the meantime, we have some fermented Jalapenos, the ancient way, awaiting you at the Boothe Casa.
Ben B Boothe Sr.
(Once an international ambassador of good will for the USA)
No trees destroyed by this message but a lot of electrons became very excited.