3 and a half weeks ago when my mom was here visiting I felt like it was the perfect time to try to make sauerkraut. Mainly because of the extra hands:) I have only had sauerkraut once at our neighbours on baked potatoes. Oh my! I just dreamed about it after that and just had to try to make some!
I bought 5 heads of cabbage at Walmart. I think the total cost was $8.50 (at $0.50/lb). I gathered the tools I had on hand. Which turned out to be a 3 gallon crock, potato masher, mandolin and sharp knives. Oh ya, and my mom and Rebekah.
My mom and I cut up the cabbage as thin as we could with knives and my little mandolin. Which is more for looks than use. We worked in batches of 2.5 lbs, because that is how much my mixing bowl would hold and the recipe we were using was;
5 lbs shredded cabbage
2 Tbsp canning salt
So we just made half batches. Rebekah stirred and worked in the salt until the salt was dissolved and juice was starting to form on the bottom. Then Rebekah transferred it to the crock and packed it down with the potato masher, which worked really great. She packed it down until it was covered in it's own juice. And we repeated this process until all the cabbage was in the crock.
Then I put a plastic lid from a plastic mixing bowl that covered the cabbage on top of it and put 3 quart jars filled with water on top of the lid to keep all of the cabbage under it's liquid. Then I made sure to wipe around the inside of the crock right down to the liquid to get all the juices off of the sides. My neighbour told me this is where mold could grow.
Now, I didn't really know what to put on top of the crock for a lid. So, I just put on a dinner plate that covered the top. I put the crock in the boys' closet, because it's fairly cool in there. But I didn't realize, especially for the first 4 days, it should be kept quite close to room temperature to get the good bacteria growing.
I read that it should sit for at least 4 weeks, but I noticed the juice colour was getting a little darker and got anxious. So I hauled it downstairs to the dinging room table, because that was as far as I could carry it. It was HEAVY! Now this is where the "I Think" comes in. As I said, I have only had sauerkraut once on baked potatoes, with butter, sour ream, green onions and salt and pepper. So, I couldn't really taste what the sauerkraut itself tasted like. But, Rebekah ate a bowl of the neighbours on it's own and said ours tasted just like theirs, only stronger because I let ours sit a bit longer.
So, I just put it into smaller glass jars to store it in the fridge. I think I read it will last 6 months in the fridge and I am sure that we will have eaten it all by then.
|I had just a little bit of foam as you can see. But I think it looks all right.|
|Out of 5 heads of cabbage, I got about 6 quarts of sauerkraut.|
|My pretty mandolin and the potato masher we used. The sauerkraut was packed down very good using this potato masher.|
That chronicles my first attempt at sauerkraut and I'm happy with the results! Please, if any of you make sauerkraut and see something I did wrong, or you have a better way, please tell me. I would be SO happy to hear from you.
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the hearts.
But the Lord weighs the hearts.
This post is linked up to; Thrifty Thursday Sew Crafty Angel From the Farm Hop