A few months ago Instagram user @kaikatsu_konnichiwa posted this comment on one of our photos of us making sauerkraut:
“I know every recipe, YouTube or tutorial recommends the tiny shredded cabbage but I have tried so many different sizes and my quite large family all love thicker, larger, crispier cuts. And don’t get me started on how we all fight for the core!”
In addition to being pretty funny, this got us thinking about fermenting larger chunks of cabbage. For this batch we made “Buried Core” sauerkraut – instead of chopping the cabbage cores and mixing them in with the shredded cabbage, we nestled the cores into the middle of the crock, where they’ll be surrounded on all sides by shredded cabbage during fermentation.
In appreciation for all his help with our plot in the community garden, we gave our friend Kurt one of our fermentation sets, and at his request paid him a visit at his apartment for a sauerkraut tutorial.
It was refreshing to prepare a batch of sauerkraut in someone else’s kitchen without all our usual kitchen tools. The need to improvise a few steps, while explaining the reasoning behind each improvisation, reminded me how the basic principles behind fermentation are easy to understand, and that once you understand these concepts, there’s no wrong way to make sauerkraut.
Our CSA share includes a fruit share that supplies (in addition to excellent apples, peaches and pears) harder to find fruit better suited to preserving than eating out of hand. The last two weeks this has been damson plums, which are much too tart to eat, and so we’re trying two classic preparations: damson gin and damson jam. (more…)