|Sauerkraut - Day 1. Will add "after" picture when it's ready!|
In keeping with this year's culinary theme of "A Stocked Homemade Pantry" (I didn't even realize that was the culinary theme of my year until just now. I didn't even know my year's HAD culinary themes!), I decided to try fermenting my own sauerkraut. With cabbage from my very own garden! *Side note: In my opinion, if the items in your freezer/pantry/jam jars aren't local or from your own yard, what's the point? You can get grocery-store strawberries all year round, there's no need to preserve THOSE cardboard-y things.*
If you feel like trying, it's actually quite simple. You don't even need a real 'recipe'. Just basic instructions:
1) Thinly slice some clean cabbage, reserving a few whole leaves, and put it in a large bowl and sprinkle it generously with some kind of coarse salt - maybe about 1 1/2 Tbsp. per small head of cabbage.
2) Let it sit for 20-40 minutes - you're looking for some water to start leaking out. Massage the cabbage and squeeze every now and then to extract as much water as possible.
*At this point you may no think you have enough water to cover the cabbage. Don't worry, it'll happen!*
3) Start packing the cabbage into litre jars, pressing down on the cabbage with as much force as you can muster every few layers, to release more water. When the jars are pretty much full, put a whole leaf or two on top of the cabbage to cover it. Smack the lid on that sucker and put in a cool, dark place.
4) Every 5 days, slowly open the jar to release some of the pressure, and then really quickly close it again. Somewhere around day 21 you can start tasting it. When it's at a strength you enjoy, pop it in the fridge and consume at will.