Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Urban Homestead Series: A Repost

Some of you may recognise the content of this post from earlier this year when I used my 'new-to-me' 100+ year old crock to make my first batch of sauerkraut. It turned out pretty good!

I have since made another yummy batch, with one head of white and one head of red cabbage. I shredded the cabbage much finer and added caraway seeds. The suaerkraut ended up being bright pink from the red cabbage and I loved the addition of the caraway seeds.

Today I will start another batch with three heads of this season's local cabbage, and in a few short weeks I will be feasting on delicious sauerkraut again. I can't wait!

For those who missed it the first time around, here's how the process looks. It's so simple. If you're interested in giving it a try, don't worry if you don't have a crock. A food grade plastic pail or large, glass jar will work as well. Enjoy.

(For more on making sauerkraut and all kinds of other hot, fermentation action, check out Sandor Katz's excellent site Wild Fermentation.)

I gave my crock a good scrubbing and set myself to making my very first batch of sauerkraut. I had a long talk with my Oma on the phone and she explained to me how she used to make sauerkraut. I also followed these instructions. And here's a good video.

I used a stone to weight down the plate. Of course I gave the stone a good scrub too, soaked it in vinegar and sterilized it in boiling water first! If you don't want to do this, a glass jar filled with water will also do just fine.

I covered the crock with a towel and set it aside to start the process of fermentation, pressing down on the stone weight every few hours to help draw the water out to create the brine. After 24 hours there was not enough brine to cover the plate, so I added about five cups of salted water. I'll keep checking on it every few days, and if all goes well, I'll have delicious and nutritious sauerkraut in two to three weeks!


Jenn said...

Looks good! I've been thinking I should give this a go - you make it look very manageable, and I'm intrigued by the thought of pink sauerkraut (okay, and healthy homemade food, too). I've considered asking my mom for one of her old crocks, but they're enormous, and I think I'll try starting a bit smaller for now.

Amber said...

Yep, it's super easy! Chop, salt, pound. Repeat. That's it.

Pink sauerkraut is fun!

Next I want to try kimchi. Mmmm....