Cherries with Vanilla & Cocoa Nibs

Well, some days I just get inspired by ingredients that whisper sweetly to me.  I spotted the first cherries of the season at the farmers' market
and had to get some, then started to think what other flavors would complement them in a fermented recipe. 
 I wanted something that was sweet, savory, tangy, and seductive.  Good on both grilled meats or vegetables, and to use the fermented brine juice
to make cocktails.  Here's what I came up with.  It is still doing its live-cultured dance on my kitchen counter. 
It's been fermenting for 5 days, and I will probably try it in 2 more days.


1-1/2 Tablespoons sea salt
3-1/2 cups filtered water
3/4 lbs (approx.) cherries, pitted and cut in half
1/4 lb. pearl onions, peeled
(Yes, they are take a long time to peel, but what's the hurry?)
1 vanilla pod*, sliced in half, lengthwise to reveal the seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1/3 cup cocoa nibs

1. Dissolve the salt in water to make a brine.
2. Place the rest of the ingredients in a wide-mouth, quart-size mason jar.
3. Pour the brine over ingredient until liquid reaches the shoulder of the jar.
4. Secure you Kraut Source unit according to directions.
5. Allow to ferment for 5 - 7 days.
   (If you kitchen is warm, 80F and above, 3 days may be sufficient.  Do a taste test on day three, and ferment longer if needed.)

* I use vanilla pods from LaFaza because they work directly with farmers in Madagascar who use sustainable methods.

Did you know?

The first people to cultivate vanilla were probably the Totonaca people of Mexico. They wore vanilla beans in their hats and used it to perfume their homes.

uring the 18th century, vanilla was recommended by physicians and alchemists to be drunk as a tincture to ensure male potency. And women dabbed vanilla tincture behind their ears and on their wrists as a seductive perfume.