Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Homemade Sauerkraut... Yum!

Back in early September while poking around on the Internet I followed a link from Gizmo Quilts Blog to The Milk Man's Wife Blog

There I found a post about canning Sauerkraut... and I have to tell you - I had never ever thought about how they make Sauerkraut.  She didn't go into how she made it - she only showed that she canned the leftovers from her last batch. 

My sauerkraut experience has been limited to eating it on hotdogs (think Costco) and on Reuben sandwiches (hold the cheese) - I don't think I've ever bought any to cook at home.  But I do like it... so I was intrigued... and did some research.

What I learned was interesting... Sauerkraut is very good for ya and fairly easy to make if you have the right equipment.  Homemade is suppose to be far superior in taste than the commercial stuff.  All that made me want to try it out... except that I didn't own a crock. 

One day in talking with my neighbor Mrs. B I found out that she use to make Sauerkraut each year and had her Mom's mandolin, crock, and stomper - items she said had belonged to her grandmother.  She suggested we make some together!

I wish I had a picture of the Crock and stomper she had... I guess I never paid any attention to Crocks - I didn't know they came that BIG!  And the stomper was impressive... kinda like a tapered cylinder wooden head on a long heavy pole. She didn't think we should make too much so she only got 9 heads of cabbage... yeah - 9 heads of cabbage is apparently not a lot. LOL  Who knew?  And these were giant heads - they all had to be at least 12-14 inches diameter.

cabbage_slicerI was very impressed with the mandolin - here is a picture of a new one.  We quartered the cabbage and put a couple quarters in the 'box'.  It's amazing how quickly you can shred 9 huge heads of cabbage with that thing.  Between the 3 of us cutting cabbage heads up, shredding cabbage, sprinkling salt, and stomping cabbage in the crock we were done in less than an hour.  We only filled the crock about 3/4 of the way... so yeah - 9 heads aren't a lot.  Then it sits for 6 weeks to ferment...

Last night Mrs. B made pork roast & sauerkraut for us for dinner with homemade applesauce and mashed potatoes.  YUM! 

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I went over this morning with my 10 quart 'Red Pot' to fetch my portion.  She filled it up!  I had to transfer it to a 12 quart pot so that I could heat it up for canning.

But first I ran to the store for some hot dogs and buns...


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Because this looked and smelled too good... I had to have some for lunch.

I almost forgot to take a picture... I splurged and had two dogs on my roll... with some stone ground mustard... Yuuummmmm!Sauerkraut 003

I didn't even want to wait for the dogs to cook so I split them so they'd cook faster....

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Did I say this was Yummy?

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And look... I've got 19 pints!


So do you make Sauerkraut?


Bon said...

When I was in high school, the neighbor lady across the street made it every year. It was always soooo good. Much better than store-bought. I don't think her crock was as big as the one you used. And she didn't have one of those nice cutters. That's a slick item.

Mama Koch said...

YES! We use to make Gallons and Gallons of the stuff! I still have my crocks and mandolin cutter and one of these days am going to make some. My boys grew up eating it out of the jar (we canned it in quarts) and didn't understand that everybody didn't make their own.

We had a neighbor who grew commercial cabbage, and we'd get as much as we wanted after the harvesters went thru. Like a pickup bed full! Ahhh...the memories. Maybe next summer I'll make some..I can smell it now!

Heidi said...

WOO HOO GOOD FOR YOU!!! Thanks SO much for stoppin over to my blog!! I LOVE homemade kraut and soon I promise I will show how I make it. I have the post written, its just uploading those stinkin pictures!!! LOL Yours looks fabuloso!!!

Judy said...

Oh my, the memories I have of my Great Grannie just came flooding back. She used to make so much sauerkraut and I always helped. I wanted to use the mandolin so bad but she wouldn't let me. So I handed her the quarters of cabbage. I can see her sitting in her chair with her skirt hiked up so she could get close enough to the crock and the smooth motion of slicing that cabbage. Thanks for the memories.
That dog looks delicious! You are so lucky.

Ghislaine said...

I've made my own too. I don't can it though. I just make one head of cabbage at a time which fits perfectly in a 1.5 quart flip top canning jar I have. It's like having a crock and storage container all in one! The fermentation process is it's own kind of preservation anyway. I keep it in the fridge so it doesn't keep fermenting! I don't have a mandoline so I either cut it by hand or use the slicing blade on my food processor.

Anonymous said...

Yup...make it every year...actually a group of us with about 60 pounds of cabbage. I wouldn't be able to call myself "German" if I didn't eat sauerkraut.

Karen L