WHAT DO YOU DO when your friend drops 50#s of fresh cabbage in a box on your front porch?
Uh... LOL..well, what we did was GOT BUSY making sour kraut and slaw...and freezing some...ATE SOME steamed...oh yes, cabbage a plenty for a while!
But if you love sour kraut and want some homemade GOODNESS~here's what I did ;-))
Please note that this is a good solid site for food preservation. I use others as well, but I TRUST THIS ONE the most! You won't go wrong going to a state university extension site like this one!
Here's the pics!
NOTE: BUBBLING IS the sign that your fermentation process is happening as it should...and when it stops~YOU ARE DONE! This is very smelly, so be prepared for THAT SMELL! ;-))
Here's my gorgeous crock that belonged in my hub's family. AND it is a secret to good sour kraut. I had attempted to make sour kraut last year ANNND the yr before...unsuccessful....I didn't have this crock! I believe crocks are key...
Sooo head out to a store of somekind that sells old crocks~junk/antique/thrift/garage sale..or hit ole great auntie or grandma up for hers...she might not be using it now...and clean it very well...I used bleach and rinsed it multiple times!
Alrighty, I have salted cabbage in the crock with the 'plate' that fits about 1/4 inch from the edge of the crock so juices can flow around it~the purpose of the plate it to hold down the cabbage UNDER juices...they won't sour or rot that way...
Also you will need a heavy object to set on the top of the plate to weight it down. Some suggested a sterilized rock, others a quart jar of sterile water. I used a well scrubbed vinegar gallon jug...here's what it looked like in the crock...
I set the crock on this chair over to the side of my kitchen so I could keep an eye on it over the processing time. I checked on my progress about every other day. The idea is to catch the kraut when the fermentation stops which is WHEN THE BUBBLING of juices stop...
IMPORTANT: Cover the crock with a dish towel or table cloth so NO BUG or VERMIN can get into it! I used a table cloth (freshly laundered) and bungee cord.
When we saw that they had, it was time to can our sour kraut. It took 2 and 1/2 weeks for our kraut to process~and man was it good!
I gathered all my supplies.
waterbath canner with lid
jars (12 1/2 pt; 2 1/2 gallon; 2 pts; 4 qts)
Lids and rings to fit all
clean dish towels
fork, tongs, pots, measuring spoons, (thingy that you put in jar to put food in through :-))
distilled water, pickling salt for brine to add to jars for canning
I followed the cold pack method. But I sterilized the jars each one before placing the room temperature kraut backing it firmly into each jar. We left 1/2 in head space. After packing to about 1 inch, I added about 1TBS brine to the jar to cover the kraut so that it wouldn't dry out in the jar after it was sealed.
Brine is 1 1/2 TBS pickling salt into water (I used distilled water.) Boiled and cooled. I used a measuring spoon to place into jars.
I had tightened the lids/rings to the jars and placed into canner. Following the directions for each size jar (as listed on the link above), I processed the jars for the full time. Afterwards, I lifted each processed hot jar using a hand towel (my jar lifter was in the basement ...) to set on a dishtowel to cool seal...
ALL sealed and look DIVINE!
Are you gonna try it? I can't wait to make rubens sandwhiches! OH YES!
HOW do you like to eat sour kraut? GOT recipes? I will post a couple of ways we like to eat it for you...it's so soo good!