Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fermenting Corner

Surprises of the fall ...

When it comes to preserving I am first in line. I have this strange believe that fruits and vegetables taste better when picked at the pick of its season, consumed as much as one can, and the rest of it is put by for use during winter and spring months. 
By Thanksgiving I usually  have 70-80 jars of home made preserves in my pantry.  In late October-November I make a batch of sauerkraut finishing up me "preserving" season. 
It wasn't the case this year. Our Farmers Market was short on a fresh produce during a very hot over 100F summer. I missed most of the berries, cucumbers, tomatoes. All I was able to "harvest" from the market were some eggplants, kale,  and green beans.  I still had some sauerkraut to make. 

When I went on Farmers Market this Saturday, I found some daikon radishes that a nice Asian lady was willing to sell me in bulk for a very reasonable price. I was thrilled with the offer and came home with 8 bunches of fresh radishes. 
I also bought some little eggplants. I guess, those were last drops of the season. 
Happy with my findings I came home, knowing that I just brought extra work considering nine heads of cabbage waiting to be shredded, salted and pressed for fermenting. Nevertheless, I was excited. 

I rolled up my sleeves anticipating a few hours of hard labor. 
Radishes  became a  kimchi, a type of Korean fermented food that we all learned to love while living in Seattle. I adopted a very easy to follow recipe from Maangchi

Then the whole family (part of the family that lives in Fort Smith. Our daughter, a sunshine and a Little Princess, even though she is 22, lives in Seattle) took part in making the sauerkraut. We had a little fun dancing with a cabbage leaves on our heads and carrots in our hands. 
I wish I took some pictures! 
Little Princess, I wish you were here too...

Then it was the time for crafting the sauerkraut. 

We had:

  • 22 lb/10kg of firm cabbage
  • 6 tablespoons/6.5oz of rock salt (pickling salt will work, any salt without iodine)
  • 8 medium size carrots

I cleaned cabbage from wilted leaves, washed it and cut it into pieces to fit in the food processor.
Cowboy-son was working with a hi-tech device, shredding carrots and slicing cabbage.

Cowboy-husband was pealing carrots, mixing all of the ingredients together and pressing it into an enameled stock pot. 

One hour later we had it all done and set in the "fermenting corner" - part of the kitchen counter that we designated for fermenting... 

A jar with  kimchi is also used as a press for sauerkraut...

After 5-7 days whatever is left in the pot will go into a glass jar and then be refrigerated.  
We enjoy sauerkraut right off the pot, tasting it each day.  As a matter of fact I am nibbling two days old sauerkraut  as I write this post.  Healthy and delicious...

Until next time,
Cowboy Country Vegetarian


  1. I have been dying to make sauerkraut! Is it just cabbage, carrots and salt in a pot? Is there any liquid added?

  2. No, there is no liquid. Cabbage and carrots produce all that juice when mixed with salt and pressed. If cabbage doesn't release any liquid then you may want to add some water, I heard people doing it. However, I never experienced this issue and can't tell how it affects the taste. Thank you for visiting!


Your warm comments put a smile on my heart.