3.18.2009

Third Time's the Charm - Sauerkraut Success!

Crunchy, tangy, tasty: the third attempt at making homemade sauerkraut is an unqualified success! Hooray!!!

I'll admit something, however: I was a bit hesitant to try it out. It didn't look like the sauerkraut I usually scrape out of a can. The cabbage wasn't as finely cut, nor as translucent as store-bought. There was the memory of the past two failures, and the thought that "whoa dude, this stuff has been sitting in a crock for almost two weeks!" Me, the person who throws out leftovers no later than three days after storing in the refrigerator, is going to eat this stuff!

But, I did it. I pulled some of the kraut out of the crock with a pasta spoon (you know, the one with big "teeth" and holes at the base to let the water drain out). I put it in a bowl, alongside my favorite way to eat kraut: with hot dogs and yellow mustard. Ohmigoodness, but the kraut is yummy. No more store-bought stuff if I can help it, ever again.

If you've decided "hey, if that dork can make a successful kraut, then it shouldn't be a problem for me!" (and you'd be right), then check out my review of the cookbook Wild Fermentation. This is the book I used for the kraut recipe. If money's tight, there's a boatload of free recipes via Google search, too. If you decide to make it, I'd love to hear how it turns out for you!

[pic: sauerkraut with hot dogs. Yep, that's hay on the counter; had just packaged some goose eggs for a customer.]

4 comments:

  1. Congratulations. Not only for making your own kraut, but for refusing to give up until you made it work. Two thumbs up! :)

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  2. Thanks for the inspiration, my first batch of kraut was a fail, but your inspiration will keep me going. What do you think made the difference this time?

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  3. Sweet! I've failed twice...I will try a third time as it clearly takes 3 times to get it right!

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  4. @S_Vandemore, thank you!

    @Chance, warren: let's see, this time I added the salted water immediately instead of waiting/hoping that there'd be enough moisture in the cabbage to entirely make its own "juice". I also ditched the wooden press for a smooth plate (had to anyways, as the wood press got moldy). I give it a stir/press every other day or so, and keep a weight and press on the kraut even though it is fermented now. I also rinse off the plate/press & weight every time I check the kraut. Hope that helps!

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