Sauerkraut

Ingredients for sauerkraut

  • 5 pounds of cabbage
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • (Optional additions)
  • Grated carrots, onions, garlic, seaweed, greens, Brussels sprouts, apples (a classic) and seasonings such as caraway seeds, dill seeds, celery seeds, juniper berries (another classic).

Preparation of sauerkraut

  • Grate, chop or slice the cabbage. I like to use a kitchen tool called a mandolin. You can adjust the blade to any thickness you like, and it makes an easy job of the slicing.
  • As you go along, put the sliced cabbage into a large bowl and sprinkle with a little of the salt. Keep adding cabbage and salt until they are both used up. Mix it up a bit to get the salt evenly distributed.
  • Pack the salted cabbage into a 1 gallon glass jar or pottery crock. Packet down tightly with your fist layer by layer. Put a plate or some other flat object on top of the cabbage. Add some kind of a clean weight. I use a smaller jar filled with clay pellets that I use for making pie crusts.
  • Press down on the weight. Salty cabbage water willrise above the top of the cabbage.
  • For the first day or so continue to press down on the weight every few hours if you think about it. The cabbage water level will continue to rise and the cabbage will become more compact.
  • Try it for the first time in about four days. It will be very crisp and probably a little salty. Keep trying it daily after that. At some point it will peak and the cabbage will begin to soften. My last batch went almost three weeks before that happened.  It all depends on the temperature in your kitchen.
  • When the cabbage achieves the texture and flavor you like, move it to the refrigerator to slow down the fermentation process.

You’ll be amazed at how easy this is and how delicious.  And the price savings over prepared sauerkraut are enormous. Sauerkraut has become a favorite snack of mine.

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