I wanted to share this on this forum as it is sort of related in a sort of traditional way to Ancient cooking.
Looking around for a nice Borshchte recipe on the net (having liked the ones of restaurants) we did a Beetroot soup a week ago with beef, and lots of vegetables, which tasted nowhere near the Borscsht served in restaurants, and wasn't sour at all despite the lemon put in it, It was allright but bof bof.
Looking again, I found this oddity on the Guardian website about someone doing an essay about Bosrcshts soup, and the fact that Maria Ochorowicz gave a semblant of a recipe that was simply beetroot and rye bread, fomented for a few days in a warmish place.
This sounded much more interesting!
So I went, sliced beetroots thinly (grated half of it in fact)added warm water to it (not boiled nor purified so possibly full of microbs and sheep detritus), but as I didn't have rye bread, I put instead 2 tablespoons of rye flour leftover in the cupboard from bread-making days, and, to help I thought, a tablespoon of unpasteurized organic yoghurt with the lacti in.
From the 24th till today, (what day are we? 28th!) it sat in the kitchen, in a stainless steel pan with a lid on.
Tonight, I saw it had started to develop little moulds bits floating on the top, and thought it was ready to be served. (the recipe-not stated that one shouldn't worry about the mould and just take it off and serve cold or hot with no more information than that!)
It is funny, because the colour of the soup changed from 4 days ago. It started pinkish-white and unappetizing, to a silky, smooth, thick syrupy burgandy red, proper beetroot colour. Beautiful.
I didn't dare try more than half a teaspoon of the raw "soup", fearing a bit for my life, but put the rest, after having strained it, on the stove to warm up till it got near to boil - but not to the boil as something was telling me it would lose a lot of its goodness if boiled.
It was very odd tasting, very sour, as if it had a lot of vinegar or lemon in, smelled like sourdough starter mix (to try and make it appetizing - no rude comments please about how it may smell of decomposed beetroot!) and was rather pleasing to the taste buds. (but not so much to the nose, I must admit)
It felt very satisfying afterwards, but of course I am wondering what will happen in the next few days, having once done an experiment with "The best thing since sliced bread in the alternative world of health": mouldy wheat grains
that had developed a white mould and not a blue one and I only ate half a hand-full but was sick for about 3 days with terrible bowel pains and couldn't eat anything. This recipe was meant to be really good for health and the immune system, as the moulds of the wheat acted as antibiotics or I don't know what, it was meant to be a panacea that the Ancients knew about and us modern weak people had forgotten about. It didn't help a bit and put me off mouldy bread forever. So told people in prison ate mouldy bread in old times and were the most healthy of all, and resistant to disease! Maybe my wheat had microscopic blue moulds in it, but I won't try it again.
Anyway, I will keep this post posted about what happens metabolically.
Interesting, recipes from the past and tradition of things we couldn't do today in our health-and-safety world!!
PS: I thought this would be a perfect recipe for Terry