Saturday, October 29, 2016

Homemade Sauerkraut


This is my first attempt at making homemade sauerkraut. You may ask (in your best Todd Crisley's southern accent), "Have you lost your mind"?

Well no, no I haven't. In all my 50 plus years, I've only had the kraut you buy in cans. And it's gross! Recently, though, I've changed my mind....not about canned kraut, but homemade sauerkraut.

While we were in Colorado this summer, there was a German vendor at the Farmers Market selling brats topped with sauerkraut. Cliff bought a brat and before he could say no, the lady topped it with sauerkraut. And, he ate it. I couldn't believe it.

Like me, he didn't like canned sauerkraut. As a matter of fact, one of the very few times we tried it, the pot ended up in the yard at the edge of the woods. Ha! I had opened a can and was heating it in a pot on the stove. Cliff came in and just about gagged at the smell. He took the whole pot outside and sat it at the edge of the woods and claimed the stuff smelled so bad the dog wouldn't even eat it.

So for him to eat the sauerkraut in Colorado, it had to be good. I've, also, heard that it's a gut healthy food with numerous benefits, as most fermented foods are. So, I was on a mission to make some for myself. I found the easiest recipe online and today, I made a batch.

First, I chopped the cabbage reserving two or three of the outer leaves. Once that was done, I layered the cabbage in a large jar sprinkling salt and dill weed throughout. 
 
Once the jar was full, I used a  wooden spoon to beat the cabbage down to begin releasing some liquid. It actually reduced the volume by about half.  

Next, I laid the reserved cabbage leaves on top covering it completely. Then you have to lay something heavy on top of that to hold down the cabbage leaves and keep the cabbage submerged in the salty liquid. Oh wait, since there wasn't enough liquid released to cover the chopped cabbage, I made a brine of 2 cups water and 2 tablespoons salt and poured over the cabbage. It was just enough to nearly cover it.  
 
Then on top of those reserved cabbage leaves I sat a quart Mason jar full of water. That should be heavy enough. Last step, I placed cheese cloth over the top and kept it in place with an elastic bracelet that I found lying around. Now, I just have to wait 2 or 3 weeks until the cabbage ferments. Gosh, I sure hope it works. My mouth is watering already.

The wait is on. If this recipe works and if the cabbages I planted this fall do well, I'll be making homemade sauerkraut all winter. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Laurie





31 comments:

  1. I'll take your word for it that it will be good. LOL. I do NOT like sauerkraut...but MyHero does. He only used to eat it at someone else's house...and now, of course, can't eat it at all. To me? THAT is no big loss. (hey, gotta find humor when you can in these situations). lol

    Good luck and let us know! xo Diana

    ps. I hope you retrieved that pan at some point in time. lol

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    1. Lol! I did, but I had to go get it.

      I'll just enjoy some kraut for you. 😉

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  2. Good luck!
    Enjoy your evening....
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. Thanks, Linda! Sure hope it works. Hope you are enjoying your weekend at the lake.

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    2. Home this afternoon....having Vivian tomorrow💕

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  3. Our Lauren loves the canned stuff! Ew. We buy it for her when we have hot dogs. I've never had anything but the canned...not a favorite but it's tolerable baked with apples, onions and pork on New Years. :) I bet this is like anything else..homemade is tons better, as always. Can't wait to hear how it turns out!

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    1. I've never had it baked with apples, onions and pork. I'll have to try that. Bless Lauren's heart .... help her make the homemade kind. It sure was easy, almost too easy. I hope it works.

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  4. I guess I'm spoiled, because I think I've only had sauerkraut in Germany and it is delicious! I hope yours turns just as good!

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    1. Thanks, Sara. I hope it does, too! The German lady's sauerkraut at the farmers market was delicious. I should have asked for her recipe.

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  5. Cannot wait to see the results:) And thanks for the great explanations!
    I especially like..oh wait..so natural!

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    1. Ha! Thanks, Monique. I tend to write as I speak. I like it that way. Just keeps it real.

      I hope the sauerkraut is a success. For sure, I'll let you know.

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  6. Wow...I never even considered to make homemade sauerkraut but...heck....it sounds like it's do-able!
    Yes, let us know how it comes out.
    diane @ thoughts&shots

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    1. Hey Diane, good to see you here. Hope you're doing well! I never thought of making homemade sauerkraut either, until I tried the German lady's in Colorado. I'll let you know how it turns out.

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  7. This post cracked me up...I'm not much of a cook and I know I would never do this. Like the people that make apple sauce. I thought it was so much work. It was, and the taste was so very excellent and different. Maybe this would be a great reward😏

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    1. Lol! Nothing wrong with buying it.

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  8. You amaze me!.....and are probably the only person I have ever known to make their own sauerkraut. By the way, my Tom feels the same way .

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    1. I really didn't know people made their own, either, until recently. I can't wait to see how it turns out. If it's good, I'll let you know and you can make some for Tom. Lol.

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  9. Very good. Tip for the next time: add some juniper berries and peppercorns to it! And when you are kneading the sauerkraut, wetting your hands now and then with buttermilk ;-) You had to wait to eat until after New Year.

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    1. Thanks for the tip! I'm glad someone else makes it and can give me a few pointers.

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  10. I say yuk! to sauerkraut. Mom used to make sauerkraut and winnies all the time and Id gag! I think she used can Kraut because it was soooo sour!!! I had it homemade once from a fellow at work and it was delicious!!! I like Rubens and the kraut on those. I had no idea it took a process like this to make your own. I cant wait to see how yours turns out.
    Lisa

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    1. Lol!!! Canned kraut is nasty. I'll let you know how mine turns out. It was an easy process, but you just have to wait for the fermentation to take place.

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  11. Replies
    1. Thank you, Summer! Do you like sauerkraut?

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  12. I've never tried it and its not common here but well done you for giving it a go!

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    1. I hope it turns out well. I'll let you know and then you can make your own.

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  13. I love sauerkraut but have never made it. I'd be the only one eating it anyway! I love it on my fav sandwich...a Reuben! Good luck with your attempt!

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    1. Thanks YaYa! I'm going to have to learn how to make Reubens.

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  14. I've made chow-chow but never made sauerkraut. I hope your attempt is successful and I'm excited to hear how it turns out!

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  15. I LOVE CLIFF!!! I'm not a big sauerkraut person, myself...maybe the cans IS the reason why. But, when you get some of the good stuff - yeah, I can see why you're trying this. Please tell me the dog ate the batch in the woods, just to prove Cliff wrong! ;-) Happy Wednesday, Laurie!

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  16. Duh - maybe the cans ARE the reason why...stupid fingers - if they had just left can as singular up there, all would have been well with the IS! ;-)

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