Sauerkraut

My housemates wish I would stop fermenting things.

I’ve told them I don’t just ferment. Sometimes I bake cakes. Sometimes they’re good. Sometimes I feed them fresh, local, and organic vegetables and honey. I’ve told them to stop complaining.

But it’s true – I do ferment a lot of things. And this is one of those things.

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A while ago I made borscht and found myself with most of a cabbage leftover. This prompted me to try one of the easiest fermentations that I’ve never actually done: Sauerkraut.

I cut up my cabbage and removed the core.

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Then I chopped the rest into fine strips and threw the strips in a bow with 1 1/2 tablespoons of kosher salt.

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I smashed it all around with my hands for about ten minutes. Perhaps ‘smashed’ is too strong a word. The recipes I’ve come across online are fond of the word ‘massage.’ After ten minutes of gentle massage, the cabbage released a lot of its water and became wilted.

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I plopped my wilted cabbage into a jar, tamping down with my hand after each plop to release air bubbles and more liquid.

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I covered the whole thing with a kale leaf to protect it from the air, and weighted it down with a jam jar full of water. The name of the game with sauerkraut seems to be keeping it out of contact with the air with a layer of water. At the moment the water released naturally from the cabbage is a little sparse. I may have to add more.

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I rubber banded a piece of fabric over the whole jar to keep critters away and stuffed it away in a cupboard. The pictures of that weren’t very glamorous, though, so I’ll leave you with beautiful shot of my sauerkraut to be.

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In a few days it should be ready to eat.

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One thought on “Sauerkraut

  1. “My housemates wish I would stop fermenting things.”

    Why?

    Fermenting is the age old way of storing fruits and vegetables over winter. It requires no electricity or a fridge, thus being not only very being eco-friendly but very tasty. 🙂

    I love a good pickle or sour cabbage. And the acidity balances well with an accompanying fatty meat main dish. So, in other words, perfect.

    The refrigerator has killed so many great foods created from ancient preservation methods. For example, let’s talk about something wonderful like Prosciutto….

    Like

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