Happy Halloween! Although I’m a huge fan of the holiday. When else do adults get to let their creativity shine? I don’t care what Dan Savage says, if you use this day as an opportunity to let your boobs and butts shine instead of your creativity, I don’t think you’re that cool. Personally, I’ll be pouring myself a heaping cup of
blood beet kvass before I head out to show off my halloween spirit at a party tonight. My husband’s favorite holiday is Halloween, so we tend to do it up. We have a costume budget and we tend to take the afternoon pretty much off to get our costume details perfected. It’s fun!
Although I love Halloween, my favorite holiday has traditionally been Thanksgiving. It’s mellow, and the food is a fall feast. I get to see my family and just enjoy our traditions.
This year, I’ll be introducing a new side dish to my Thanksgiving table. I think it’s pretty spectacular. It will be perfect on a cheese platter and even better mixed into some mashed potatoes (okay, maybe I’m weird). The tart acidity of these pickled cranberries seems like the perfect thing to cut what can sometimes be a starchy meal.
This was a first time experiment for me, and frankly, I wasn’t sure it would work. I didn’t know if the bogs in which cranberries are grown would contain the necessary bacteria, present in the soil, to kickstart fermentation. They also contain anti-bacterial compounds that are wonderful when you have a urinary tract infection, but could have potentially been an issue for my favorite little lactic microbes. I thought I’d give it a couple tries and if fermentation didn’t initiate on its own, I’d throw a bit of kefir whey in there to get them going. No need, though! Although they took their sweet time getting started, they fermented beautifully once they got going. So be patient and get started now, unless you’re looking to have them only for the Christmas table.
As always, feel free to change up the seasonings. If you aren’t a sweet/salty fan, you may want to omit the orange peel.
makes ~1 pint of pickled cranberries. Easily scalable.
New to fermented pickling? Check out this pickling FAQ before you get started.
2 cups cranberries (I used organic)
1 tablespoon orange peel (organic), NO PITH. Make your pieces as large and long as you can, but make sure all pith is removed. It will impart bitterness rather than flavor.
1 cup of brine (2 teaspoons of salt dissolved into 1 cup of room temperature water)
- Place orange peel pieces at the bottom of a pint jar.
- Add washed cranberries.
- Pour brine over your cranberries and submerge them using a weight. (I used the cheapo jar method)
- Mine showed no signs of activity for a week! Once they started going they were maniacs, and at 3 weeks, they were firm and pickly.
- Once they have the acidity you enjoy, place a lid on your jar and stick them in the fridge or eat them. I find myself snacking on them, so I’ll have to make a pretty big batch for the big day.
Enjoy your ghouls and goblins, tonight!!