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.
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.
Then I chopped the rest into fine strips and threw the strips in a bow with 1 1/2 tablespoons of kosher salt.
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.
I plopped my wilted cabbage into a jar, tamping down with my hand after each plop to release air bubbles and more liquid.
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.
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.
In a few days it should be ready to eat.