We are getting ginormous red cabbages from the garden.  I honestly thought that since this was such a poor summer, we would get next to nothing this year, but it looks like  red cabbage loves cooler weather.  So far we have had it in salads, and stir fries.  Now onto Sauerkraut, something I have never made before.  In doing some research, I discovered that Kimi over at Nourishing Gourmet has a great post for making Sauerkraut - check out her site for the original recipe.  I used her recipe as a guideline, but discovered, that I would need to make a couple of changes as I started off in a different direction.  Kimi's recipe shows the cabbage being shredded finely in a food processor, I chose to finely slice mine, as I wanted a bigger texture.

Using a clean glass bowl, or crock, something that is non reactive, I sliced up 5 lbs. of red cabbage, to which I added about 4 tsp. of Himalayan Course Salt.  I then put a plate on top and covered the bowl with clean towels.  I realized after an hour or two, there was still no natural juices forming, so I used a wide jar, and began pressing down onto the cabbage, and slowly the juices began to form.  It was a bit of a work out, but glad I did this to get the process happening.  Then I filled a 4 liter jar with water, tightened the lid and placed that on top of the plate to weigh it down.  There should be enough juice so that it begins running onto the plate.   Then cover well with clean towels to prevent any dust or debris from entering the bowl of cabbage.  The following morning, I checked the cabbage,  cleaned the plate and returned it on top of the bowl of cabbage, placed the jar of water on top and covered well with towels.  The fermentation process is beginning! I just realized, the recipe should have had a total of 3 1/2  Tblsp. course salt, and I used 4 tsp., so although it was two days later, I added more salt.  At this point I was not sure if it would continue to ferment.  From the research I have done, apparently, there should be a layer of "bloom"  that should be removed each day.  I never did get any, but I did check each day.  After 10 days, I decided to taste it.  Wow, it was surprisingly delicious!  I then transferred the Sauerkraut to clean glass jars, and filled the jars, pressing down the cabbage, and poured any remaining liquid over top of the cabbage.  Add a screw top and place in the fridge.  Sauerkraut is surprisingly easy to make, nutritious and delicious. Thank you Kimi for your guidelines!

Ina Gawne
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August 23, 2010