Another food memory…

25 Jul

I come from a German-ish family that celebrates the New Year with sauerkraut.  My parents, grandparents, and I all make the same meal every New Years Day, eating it in our separate regions of the country.  A few years ago a dear friend taught me the joys and wonders of wild fermentation by teaching me how to make kim chee.  Every December I now make my the sauerkraut myself and ship it off to parents and grandparents in glass jars so we can feel that we are at least eating from the same crock, even if we’re not at the same table.

Wild Fermented Sauerkraut:

Thinly sliced cabbage + kosher salt + fermenting time in a cool place in a crock

Slice the cabbbage thinly and pound it with kosher salt.  There is no real “recipe” here, but pound it until you get juice seeping out of the cabbage, the magical brine.  I usually use a wooden pestel but a clean heavy rock works nicely too.  Then place the pounded cabbage in a ceramic crock or large glass jar.  Pour the brine over and add water to ensure the cabbage is submerged.  Add a weight to the top to hold the cabbage under the brine, such as a rock or a filled glass jar within a glass jar.  Keep in a coolish place (not outside where it will freeze though) for between 2 days-2 months!  The taste changes depending how long it is fermenting so taste it every day or so.  When you like the flavor simply put the lid on the jar and transfer to the fridge.  It will keep for many many months.   An amazing resource for fermenting is Sandor Katz’s book “Wild Fermentation”.  There are also many recipes available at

Happy Fermenting!

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