Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Sauerkraut is Ready!

We've been putting up quite a few goodies lately.  Our sauerkraut was finally ready today and it tastes unbelievable.  Since we eat mostly raw, I just put the kraut in sterilized jars to store in the refrigerator.  I've read it should keep for months this way.  If we had canned it using a water bath, we would have first brought the kraut to a boil on the stove and then canned it.

We started out by ordering a 3 gallon crock online from Lehman's.  It's very heavy and so beautiful.  The inside is a pretty chocolate brown.

When we received the crock, we then harvested the last of our cabbages - 4 large and 3 small/medium.  Next, the cabbage was shredded super fast in our food processor in batches.  As each batch was finished, we put in in a large bowl and added 1 T. of celtic sea salt, stirring it all with a wooden spoon.

When all batches were finished, the salted cabbage was put in the crock.  The fun part was next--pressing the cabbage with a large (giant) wooden spoon until juices covered the cabbage.  We used unbleached cheesecloth for a cover, placed a salad plate on top and weighted everything down with two gallon baggies filled with water (making sure all the cabbage was covered with the juices.)  That was it!  Every 2-3 days, we changed out the cheesecloth and plate and rinsed the water filled bags.  We kept the top of the crock covered with a dishtowel throughout.

The whole process took around 4-5 weeks.  Today was the unveiling and tasting.  Unbelievable.  So crunchy, not too salty, with a bit of tang and actually a bit of sweetness from the fantastic cabbage straight from the garden.  I truly don't think this sauerkraut will last very long.  It gave us 6 quarts to put in the fridge, and we've been munching on the rest this afternoon (probably another quart). Yummy!


The DeL Sisters said...

Esther and I love sauerkraut!

Looks wonderful!


Anonymous said...

I am wanting to make Sauerdraut. The recipe I have does not say to weigh it down. It does say to press it down until the juices cover the cabbage and then place in a jar. Ready in 3 to 4 days, taste better if you wait. My question is, am I suppose to weigh it down everyday and do I have to use a wooden utensil? Thanks for the help.

The Garden Life said...

Hi there!

The purpose of weighing it down is to KEEP it under the juices for the duration. You can either use a jar on top of a plate or use filled baggieson a plate. You definitely don't want to use anything metal. You can use wood or plastic. I just try to avoid plastic so I use wood. Have fun!

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

How funny - I just said today - "We need more crocks".

Thank you for your wise words. I have been thinning out the knick knacks, decluttering... I get what you are saying and I really appreciate it!

Merci Encore!
The Parisienne Farmgirl