Saturday, August 13, 2011

Feeling Sour

So I've had these cabbages growing in the garden FOREVER. They are big, showy, healthy, and never really did the whole cupping thing. Mostly they stopped growing and went into deer in headlights phase every time we had a blast of heat. So I decided that as they've been in the ground since March, and 4 months later they're still not cabbages, I would take them out.

I only had the guts to harvest 2.

But I thought I'd make sauerkraut with the two I did pull. I planted a compact (ha!) Savoy varietal, and so the leaves are a bit thicker and need a bit more cooking than your non-savoy smooth-skinned cabbages.

The center "cabbage" is about 3inches in diameter

The two I had the guts to pull
 I took off all the loose leaves, rolled them up and cut them into a chiffonade.

See the crinkly?
 I really like other additions to my kraut (inspired by this stuff), and I had some beets that have been in the ground for a while in a place I wanted to put some new fall crops, so I put them in too.

While I cut the cabbage by hand with a knife, but the beet I grated on a micro plane
I tossed the whole concoction together with salt (based on a recipe in this book - she is the official word on pickling, in my humble opinion), packed it tightly into a jar, and weighed it down with a bag of brine. You do this in case the bag breaks. If it's brine it won't dilute the concoction in the jar. I have never had a bag break, but I also figured I'd have to add some brine to the kraut after 24 hours anyway (so the cabbage stays submerged), so no big deal to go ahead and make it.

Weighed down with a ziploc full of brine
 After 24 hours it did need a bit more liquid, so I topped it off with the brine I made, and then weighed it down with an obliging jar of molasses.

24 hours later
I let it sit on the counter (not in the sun, though) for about 3 days and then it was super sour, so in the fridge it went. It has a little further to go before the cabbage is totally translucent and krauty, but we're on our way.


Samantha Bangayan said...

Fancy! I learn new things from you every time I'm here! Had no idea sauerkraut was made from cabbage! =)

caitlinvb said...

I love day I'll have to tell you the story of my mom and the first year we lived in Japan!