When life gives you cabbages,(how to make) make Sauerkraut!

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Honestly, I have had a devil of time fermenting food. I now believe I have overdone 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.

Homemade Sauerkraut, delicious, fresh and better than store bought.
Homemade Sauerkraut.

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, then 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. 

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.

How to make Homemade Sauerkraut.

Place in a large bowl, add salt and massage (squeeze the cabbage until it squeaks!) to work the salt through the slices.

How to make Homemade Sauerkraut, more delicious than you can ever imagine!

Using a meat hammer, gently pound the cabbage to bruise and release juices.

How to make Homemade Sauerkraut.

Pack into a large gallon jar, repeat with remaining cabbage.

How to make Homemade Sauerkraut, more delicious than you can ever imagine!

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.

How to make Homemade Sauerkraut, more delicious than you can ever imagine!

Cover the jar with a 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 workbench 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.

When making sauerkraut, creativity is very handy!

The pieces were washed and then 3 of the pieces were placed on top of the kraut, in an overlay 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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  1. I have always wanted to try this! We had a lady at our Farmers Market that made fresh kraut, it was delish! I am adding it to my garden list this year! Good luck with yours!

  2. I should try this this summer. My husband used to make the best dill pickles. I wonder why he stopped. Humm. I'll have to remind him to get the crock out when cukes appear in the farmers market.

  3. I had a great-grandmother that used to make some kind of fermented fruit dish. I'm trying to remember what was in it. I do remember that my little brother got into it and took a bite - LOL. Yes, not ever again for him. My mother and grandmothers used to make pickles every summer. They were so good. I've never tried it.

  4. Can you use grocery store cabbage or does it need to be organic? I like your description of your dad's attitude. Thanks for the fun post!

  5. Hello Frances, thanks for visiting. I was given cabbages literally. Three to be exact and while we would grow organic in our garden, I did not ask.

  6. I love how you talked about your dad's process. He knew what to do. Go, dad! So, I'm confused as to how to use the pieces of plate.

  7. Hello Maria, small enough plates were not available. I have enough spare dishes I thought I would take a chance and see if I could break one and STILL have it usable. I got lucky on the first plate.....

    the pieces were over-laid slightly to form a bridge (if you will) or solid surface to set a flat bottomed glass on, then with a gentle pressure, I pushed against the cabbage to pack it down and there by bring the brine above the plate pieces.

    thanks so much for your visit!

  8. I hope this works for you and you can enjoy delicious homemade sauerkraut this summer.

  9. I was so interested to read this post, Melynda! I've never fermented anything myself but I certainly enjoy good homemade sauerkraut on a Reuben sandwich! Thank you for sharing this excellent tutorial and your first hand experience with us a the Hearth and Soul hop. Pinning!


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