Foment the Ferment

My oldest daughter always tries to get me meaningful Christmas gifts. For example, last year she knew I was trying to eat healthy, so she bought me an herb garden. I still haven’t used it. I just haven’t had the thyme, but I hope to soon.

Wow, what a way to start the New Year, with a bad dad joke. But murder is no joking matter. This Christmas, my first-born bought me this gift which had me convinced that she may be trying to murder me.

Ferment Kit

No, she didn’t give me the gift by trying to smash the glass jar over my head. She presented it normally, wrapped in this seemingly festive Christmas paper.

wrapping paper swastika

I see the swastika. Is that a hint that I was to be eliminated? And speaking of elimination, fermented food is supposed to provide one’s digestive tract with all sorts of good probiotic bacteria that aids digestion and promotes intestinal health … allegedly.

I excitedly opened the gift and decided to start a batch of fermented (also known as rotting) food on Christmas Day. It would be ready to eat on New Year’s Eve. I packed the glass jar per the instructions with carrots, celery, cabbage, pepper and zucchini slices. I followed all the directions perfectly and waited. The only problem was that within a couple days, my jar did not look like the jar on the box. It looked like this.

Ferment actual

The brine water was quite cloudy. Sure, all the so-called fermented food aficionados like my daughter assured me that cloudy water was okay, a natural by-product of the vegetables rotting in the jar. I imagine that if the box showed a pic with cloudy water, sales would be zero.

On New Year’s Eve, I cautiously opened the jar and tried some of the veggies. We were staying in and had no real plans that night, except for maybe staying alive and seeing 2019. The veggies were delightfully tangy. I was struck by the thought that they tasted good enough that I hoped I would have a chance to eat more. And then it hit me.

My stomach gave a bit of a gurgle and then the room slowly went dark. I could see nothing. My mind flashed to the veggies I had just eaten. Were they tainted? Was this all part of my daughter’s master plan to eliminate me and get to her inheritance early, rumored to now be in the high three figures? Did she need the cash to pay back gambling debts or fuel some forbidden habit? Then my wife turned the lights on in the room and told me to stop sitting in the dark. I hate these short winter days.

If this gift was designed to eliminate me, it failed miserably. I made it to 2019. The joke may be on my daughter as the only side-effect of eating the fermented vegetables has been that I am even more gassy than usual. But after a certain point, who can even tell?

Happy New Year!