The Start of a Very, Very Good Thing:

Sauerkraut! Check back in 4-6 weeks…

We added caraway seeds (yummmmmm) and used canning & pickling salt. A 5-gallon bucket filled almost completely to the top with layered shredded cabbage, salt and caraway compressed to just under 2 gallons of compressed cabbage and brine in a couple of hours. The salt draws the moisture out of the cabbage, and, if left long enough, begins to bubble and boil and ferment. Doneness means the bubbles have dissipated, and it smells kraut-y and is crunchy. It doesn’t quite smell krauty, but it certainly doesn’t smell great… we already learned our lesson about keeping it in a well-ventilated area.

I never liked sauerkraut until my boyfriend prepared it for me the way he grew up eating it prepared by his family. Drained from the jar, heated with a little cider vinegar and sugar and caraway seed until it reaches the perfect balance of sweet and briny. Once I got a bit of it prepared in a way I liked, I began to realize it wasn’t the kraut I didn’t like, it was the method in which it was delivered at room temperature in a plastic ramekin at the Costco food court. Now I can eat it plain, or smothered on a sausage, or mixed with garlicky mashed potatoes – my favorite. I can’t wait to see how this does!

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