Our fermenting experiment appears to have gone well. After a couple weeks cultivating good bacteria in a cooler in our basement, our jars of pickles and cabbage were ready to eat.
Almost surprisingly, they turned out well! The pickles and cabbage were still crisp and crunchy, and the sour-tart sharpness was somehow intriguing.
Of course, getting the kids to eat them was another story. Logan and Sadie both balked at the science-experiment-like jars, and now matter how hard I tried, Logan just wasn’t buying the pickles as pickles. (Though come to think of it, I don’t know if he’d ever had real pickles in the first place.) He wouldn’t even try the red cabbage, even though it looks almost the same as the store-bought kind he’s been eating for months. I tried emphasizing that we made these. I tried making his Mario doll squeak, “Pickles are my favorite food!” when we were playing dollhouse one afternoon. But apparently, Logan is too smart for my tricks.
Next I tried a “taste test.” I took a spoonful of each fermented vegetable out of the jar and placed them carefully on a plate. One of the spoonfuls was the Angelica’s Garden brand, and the others were the cabbage and pickles we had made. I thought they looked rather artful.
“Who’s going to pick the winner?” I exclaimed. I knew that would instantly get Logan’s attention.
“I am!” he shouted. It still took about 10 or 15 minutes, but with more prodding about getting to pick which food “wins” by tasting the best, he eventually took a bite of each.
He still didn’t like the pickles, but–hooray!–he decided our version of fermented cabbage was the winner.