Honestly I have had a devil of a time fermenting food. I now believe I have over done just about everything, after all fermenting has been a preservation process for hundreds of years. I grew up with fermented foods, our Dad was the one to ferment different foods in the family. I think he was successful because he knew what to do, did it, waited the needed time and then, we ate the finished product.
While he did check the tops of any fermentation crock currently full of food, he did not obsess about the process and wonder if all was going well. He knew and believed that it was going well. And it did....There would be a quick check for any scum or debris that might need to be removed, remove it, and be done. I have yet to learn this part of the process, the it will be fine without my interference, part of the process. Ahem, I guess I am still learning after all these years.
At this time we do not have a fermentation crock, this recipe has been adapted for the equipment we do have. Other than the open crock my Dad used, pretty much everything else is the same. I remember his cutting cabbage with a kraut cutter as he called it. We will be on the lookout for some small (very small) saucers to use to keep the contents under the top of the brine. When we find some, I will update with a photo.
adapted from Nourished Kitchen
makes about 2 qts when finished
2 medium heads of cabbage
2 T sea salt
additional salt, if needed
filtered water, if needed
Remove damaged leaves from outside of cabbages.
Quarter, core, thinly slice, one of the cabbages.
Place in a large bowl, add salt and massage (squeeze the cabbage until it squeaks!) to work the salt through the slices.
Using a meat hammer, gently pound the cabbage to bruise and release juices.
Pack into a large gallon jar, repeat with remaining cabbage.
Note: this cabbage seemed very dry. So I used a mild brine to bring the liquid level to slightly above the cabbage in the jar.
One cup at a time, make enough brine to cover cabbages. For each cup of water, add 1 t sea salt, stirring until dissolved.
Cover the jar with clean cloth, and wait (the hardest part for me...). Leave at room temperature for 1-3 months. Check for debris floating on top of the brine, remove each day. Taste after 1 month, when ready, store in the refrigerator.
Update: While we did not find any saucers small enough to fit down into this jar, I did what my Dad would have done. I tried to make what I already have on hand work So (yep!) I took a white saucer into the garage and broke it into 4 pieces. I laid it down on the work bench, and took a hammer and a screwdriver to it. I am not recommending that you do this, but with honesty in blogging and all that, I am disclosing that I did. A couple of raps on the screwdriver yielded about 4 equal pieces.
The pieces were washed and then 3 of the pieces were placed on top of the kraut, in an over-lay pattern to form a solid surface. On top of the solid surface I place a flat bottom glass.
Gently I pressed against the plate pieces to pack the cabbage tightly and raise the brine to above the level of the cabbage. The glass is heavy enough to stay put, but you could add weight to the glass by filling it with plain water.
After all that, I recovered the top and now the waiting begins.
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