Copyright © June Cleaver in yoga pants
Design by Dzignine
Monday, September 5, 2011

anti-recipe #37 making sauerkraut (whilst waiting for baby)

So dada is from a very German family. They aren't part English/French/Norwegian/Swedish/German/Native American like most Americans (my family) they are GERMAN. Period.

Which means brats, pierogi and yes, sauerkraut.

Sauerkrat has always been nasty to me. Slimy, stinky, cabbage. Ew.

But then, to use up some cabbage from my mom's garden one year (and to be nice to dada) I tried making it. Turns out making it is a snap and ohmylord, it tastes SO GOOD, especially compared to store bought bagged or (ew) canned varieties. If you have never had homemade sauerkraut, try making it before you write it off forever. Trust me.

It is also, apparently, really super good for you, bringing all sorts of healthy bacterias into the gut which aid in digestion and boost the immune system. And the fermenting process also increases the amount of Vitamin C in the cabbage! All good things, right? (Read here for more)

So, at the farmers market yesterday I bought a GIANT cabbage, thinking to make some at some point this week. Also turns out it is a great activity for early labor (or FALSE early labor, ugh) Because, a few hours later, restless with contractions every five minutes I decided, NOW, NOW is the time to make sauerkraut! So I did. Here is how.

Take your giant cabbage (farmer's market for $3!) and chop into thin slices. It doesnt have to be too thin or too perfect as you will be mashing it to a pulp soon anyway.

Mix up a solution of salt in hot water (to dissolve it) approximately 1tsp of salt per jar in 1/4 cup of hot water is what I did (you can rinse the sauerkraut prior to eating if its too salty, or use less salt but at least 1/2 tsp). Sprinkle some caraway seed into your bowl of cut up cabbage. Start stuffing cabbage strips into your clean (rinsed with really hot water) mason jars.

Now the fun part (at least when you are agitated pacing your kitchen thinking "Am I in labor? Am I not in labor?" etc etc and your husband is asking you every ten minutes, "So? Is this it?!! Huh??" And you are like "LEAVE ME ALONE, I AM MAKING SAUERKRAUT!")
photo by little man
Find a wooden spoon with a thick end, or a pestle if you happen to have one, and pound the crap out of the cabbage after every handful you put in the jar. You want to pound enough to release the juices and mush it up a bit. See? Doesnt that pounding feel good?? You see how this is a good dealing with contractions activity?? Oh, yes.

After about half the jar dump in some of your salt water solution. When the jar has about 2 inches of room at the top dump in the rest of your solution.

Your sauerkraut should be nearly covered in liquid, from the cabbage and the salt solution. Cover LOOSELY with your metal lid, screwing the lid on maybe just one turn. You want the air to be able to release.
That one giant cabbage made FOUR quarts of sauerkraut!

Store in a cool place (65-70 degrees) for a few weeks to ferment, then you can screw the lids on all the way and store in the fridge or just leave in your cold storage pantry (like my basement pantry in the winter!).

Sauerkraut is yummy with not just brats and pierogi but lots of different meals (on the side of potato soup with thick rye bread and cheese! etc etc. )

And, to tell the end of my sad sad story...after 6 hours of intense contractions every five minutes...everything fizzled back to my norm (tolerable contractions every fifteen minutes...or whenever I move.) And now here I am. But, I do have sauerkraut in my pantry. So, that is good.


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...