Monday, May 9, 2011
SAUERKRAUT SO SIMPLE!!!!!
Everyone needs to try fresh, homemade sauerkraut at least once in their lifetime. It is a completely different food from what is sold commercially in the store. You will be incredulous after sampling it, at how good it tastes and amazed at how simple it is to prepare. I am going to share with you the basics of making the best tasting kraut that you have ever eaten. First of all, a clean, glass or ceramic crock works the best to ferment the cabbage in. Use fresh, trimmed of all the bad leaves, cabbage. For fresh cabbage from the garden, check carefully for crawly critters camping amongst the leaves, get them out. You can wipe the cabbage off, but the bacteria on the cabbage encourages the fermentation. I know it sounds kind of scary, but the ancient kraut makers knew what they are doing. And believe me, after the cabbage ferments for several weeks, nothing unwelcome will survive. Quarter the cabbage and remove the core... slice the quarters into 1/2 inch shreds. Place the shreds into the crock sprinkling sea salt or canning salt over it. Apply generously. You may" stomp" on the cabbage a little with the end of a wooden spoon to encourage it to break down. A wondrous reaction will occur and the salt will draw liquid out of the cabbage, making a brine! After about 2 hours the cabbage may be submersed in the liquid. If not make a little salt water brine and pour over it . Find a plate that will fit down into your crock without much room on the sides, and put something clean and heavy on top of it to squish the cabbage down into the liquid and keep it there. Cover it lightly with a tea towel or cheesecloth. That's it! Now find a spot in your house that is cool, around 70 degrees, and wait patiently for about 4 weeks. A word of caution: There may be a little gunk growing on the top, that's ok. Just scoop it off. It may smell like something is a little off in the house, well that is ok too, just close that part of the house from company for a while! I promise that when it is ready, all of the odd smells, will be forgotten. Just scoop out the kraut, some rinse it lightly, some don't, and put it in the fridge. Enjoy!!! It is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!