Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Making Sauerkraut

Each fall Ken harvests heavy storage cabbage.  We store some for our CSA over winter, and we make the rest into sauerkraut.  Sauerkraut consists of two ingredients: cabbage and salt.  Making lacto fermented vegetables of any type (kim chi, sauerkraut, vegetables in a salt brine) creates pro - biotics that aid digestion.  

First Ken harvests cabbage with the outer leaves and piles them on a pallet under a tarp to prevent frost damage when temperatures drop to single digits.  

Then one of us starts to take off the stems and outer leaves we will not use for sauerkraut.

I filled two carts of these tough leaves to feed to the geese.  

As I cleaned cabbage I sorted into those I would save for the CSA and those huge heads that would make sauerkraut.  It was a good year - the heads were dense and heavy.

Once I get that done, I clean up the area outside

Then I moved them into the lowest coolest level  of the house to a clean sheet covered table.  

Then Ken got the processing area ready - kraut cutters and clean tubs.  Once each tub was full, Ken weighed the contents and added salt.

Then Ken brought the cut, salted cabbage down to a barrel.  He punches it down to get out any air.  When finished he weighs down the cabbage so the liquid released remains above the cabbage.  Then he covered the barrel with a clean sheet.

This year Sam helped.  He was really efficient and we were glad he came to help.

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