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In the world of enthusiastic fermenters, there are lots of people whose children are gung-ho eaters of various healthy ferments– carrots with dill, sauerkraut, water kefir beverages, beetroot kvass, etc. Mine have never been these kind of children. One child panics — not kidding — if he thinks he’s going to have to smell sauerkraut; the other just looks in disgust at the Ruby-Kraut on her daddy’s plate.

But today, without their knowing, but not seeking to deceive them through any ruse, I had a breakthrough.

Lazy and busy, I decided to serve corn tortillas with melted cheese, and made a salsa.  Not my finest hour as a Mother/ Cook, but I am trying to be easy on myself and was terribly hurried.

The incredibly easy salsa was, whizzed up:
One tin of tomatoes
One onion
a large handful of fresh spinach
maybe two tablespoons of fermented green chillis of can’t-remember variety

I LOVE that my kids are beginning to revel in spicy foods, I love that they no longer reject things with leafy green bits, but mostly I’m happy that i managed to get them to enjoy food with that wonderful sour back-taste that I find so satisfying and know to be so health-giving.

And, it was the best Mexican style salsa I’ve ever made.  Recently I made something similar with the cascabellas but this was better– the spicy heat was really radiant and smooth and the sour, really compelling.

The green chilis I’d fermented— something someone brought home.  With a few cloves of garlic, I put them in salt water under the surface of which I kept it all for a few months, forgetting its existence, until yesterday I saw the jar and thought to use the slightly odd looking contents therein.

How salty a salt brine?  I like to use this guideline: somewhere between tears of joy and sea-water.   Taste first– you can add but can’t remove…

I increasingly enjoy using vegetables I’ve fermented as an ingredient– in sauces, dressings, spreads, dips and soups.  On their own, these chilis were nothing special– as part of something else, they came alive.

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