Hey Folks! It's that time of year again..the time when everything that is produce either comes on sale or come s ripe in the garden..So I am going to share with you a little of what I have been doing this past week..enough that it now has it's own category under canning and preserving!
I managed to buy 50 pounds of cabbage on sale for $6.49
So you guessed it..It's SAUERKRAUT time!! I made this once before years ago..but it failed because the person who taught me..left out one minor detail..of which I WILL be sharing! My sauerkraut is simple, and although it will not be ready for canning for another ten to fourteen days..I will add points as the develop!
You will need.
One food grade 5 gallon pail
6 LARGE compact head of cabbage
1/2 cup pickling salt or course ground sea or Kosher salt
one sledge hammer washed and with the head tightly covered in a heavy plastic bag..(or one really big potato masher)
A dinner Plate and a heavy rock ( cleaned and scrubbed)
a Clean towel..a VERY sharp knife ( unless you have a food processor with a shredder blade)
Here we go!!
Cut Cabbages in half and remove core..
soak in cold water.
Place an old folded towel or bath mat on floor and place your bucket on it..begin slicing your cabbage..
As you can see I am slicing ACROSS the veins..this makes for a finer shred..put a one or two inch layer of cabbage in your bucket..sprinkle over with about a TBS of course salt..and smash it down with the hammer.
( the fun part)
This bruises the cabbage and allows the salt to draw out the water..that is what makes your brine!
Continue to layer and smash down until your bucket is just over three quarters full..I cheated and got my seventeen year old son to do some of the smashing...it helps to have muscle!! Once
you are at this stage, the cabbage should have been smashed and salted enough that liquid is splashing with every smash. ( yes it can get a bit messy..but well worth the effort)
You should be able to push your hand flat on the cabbage and have water come up...
At this point..take you plate and press the cabbage under the fluid and weight it down with a rock..
Cover with a thick clean towel and let stand in a cool place undisturbed for 10-14 days...a thin coating will begin to float on top..skim this off every couple of days..but make sure you do not disturb the rock and plate..the cabbage must stay under the fluid to ferment!
I will follow up with pictures and updates over the next two weeks..as we ferment, skim and finally can the kraut!