Now that that’s out of the way:
I made sauerkraut using the recipe from Food In Jars and it’s finally ready.
When my schedule is rolling along correctly, I like to do a batch of preserving every week, the day after the farmers market. Ideally, every scrap of unsold produce – those last few tomatoes, extra zucchini, that one little cabbage that no one wanted- gets turned into something. (I know, sorry chickens, there’s plenty of grass for you girls). This keeps the pantry stocked and also makes sure that the garden stays completely picked so that it keeps producing at maximum capacity. I can all kinds of things, make jams, dehydrate some stuff in the oven, infuse the occasional liqueur. I’ve been trying to incorporate more ferments into the mix since they’re so easy and require so few supplies. These cabbages I have in my garden right now are a variety called Deadon, and the seeds are available from Johnny’s Seeds here. I love the shades of deep purple to the palest green on their leaves; they’re really quite stunning. The general idea of this recipe is that you cut up cabbage, put it in a jar with salt and fennel seeds, and then wait. …. and wait some more….When you think the sauerkraut is, well, sauerkraut, taste it. If it tastes lackluster, just let it sit for awhile longer. It’ll get to a point that you’ll taste it and it’ll be super tangy and wonderful and you’ll want to keep taking more tastes and then eat the whole jar …. and that means it’s done. I think it’s pretty crazy that I can cut up some vegetables and put them on a shelf in a jar with some salt and then come back later and they’re not only edible, they’re delicious! There’s something about fermenting…. I really don’t know anything about the chemistry of it, or why it works (I should probably read up on that, though…) I do know that when I ferment stuff it makes me feel like I have magic superpowers over produce. You should try it.