Thursday, March 16, 2017

Cabbage to Kraut

Since we grew a few cabbages this winter in our new raised beds, I decided to try my hands at making sauerkraut.   It was easier than I thought it would be so I'll post an addendum in a few weeks when it's done.   One cabbage makes two quarts so that was all I invested in this experiment - well, and a couple of Granny Smith apples. 

Step one is shredding the cabbage - nice and thinly.    Save a couple of the outer leaves to place on top in the jars. 

Now thinly slice the apples.   Any tart baking apple will do.    The directions didn't say this but I made some cross-cuts in the slices for smaller pieces.   

Put it all in a large bowl.  Add 3 tablespoons of fine sea salt and a teaspoon or two of caraway seed.  (The directions said I could add this now or later and I'm opting for later).   Let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour to get the juices flowing. 

Now it's time that  pack the jars.  Start with clean canning jars.   They don't have to be sterilized, just nice and clean.   I ran mine through the dishwasher.    The cabbage had not shrunk during its sitting so I couldn't imagine that it would fit into two jars.  Put a little in and using a tool, pack it forcefully.  I used the handle of my wooden lemon juicer.   It was a little short but did the job.   It will be moist and more liquid will form.   To keep the small bits of cabbage from floating to the top, place a part of a clean cabbage leaf on top and weigh it down. 

I used pie weights wrapped in cheese cloth as my weights.   

I'll taste it every week.  (And add some carraway seed).  When it's where I want it,  it will go into the refrigerator.   The cool will keep it at its present state for a year or more.   I think that is you live in a cool climate, it can be stored in a cool dry place too.  

Check back and I'll give you an update!  

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