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Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

A Burgeoning Pantry

Backyard Homesteading, Canning Kraut, Home Canning, Sauerkraut

The tomatoes never end.  Pick them, pack some, eat them every day, take some to the day job, drop a big box-full at the food pantry every week, turn-around and there's more!  It's almost biblical in scale.  Old Testament tomatoes are like a plague.  New Testament tomatoes are like the loaves and fishes.  They're the gift that keeps on giving.

Two more gallons of Green Bay Packer Super Bowl Salsa and there's still a box-full of tomatoes on the dining room table and more ready to pick. 

Saturday brought rain - a good day to stoke the fire, work on day job stuff and pack the kraut.

After seven weeks of festering in the crock my fermented garden cabbages were ready to be packed.

Kraut is possibly the easiest thing in the world to make.  Layer your chopped cabbage in the crock, sprinkle with kosher salt, layer, salt, repeat.  Add your stone weights, top with the lid, fill the moat with water and within a day the burping gases are evidence that the process of lactic fermentation has begun.

We've learned to keep a sharp eye on the blonde dog as she's taken a liking to drinking the stinky, gas-infused water from the crock's moat.

Pack the jars tightly, top with some kraut juice and process in  the canner for 15-20 minutes.

Voilà!  Nice looking kraut, eh?

I've been thinking of experimenting with store-bought cabbages this winter and making kraut in various other iterations.  Perhaps a sweet Bavarian style with caraway.  Maybe infusing a batch with white wine.  Or hard cider. 

Now you may think that sauerkraut is German in origin.  But it is believed that invading Mongol hordes introduced it to the west.  Like so many things today it comes from China.  Amongst the Germans and the Dutch sauerkraut is a staple of the winter diet.  Same in our household.  High in vitamin C it keeps scurvy at bay and is purported to to prevent cancer, cure avian influenza and improve your sex life.  I'm not making this up.  It's particularly good with braised pork. 

If you like numbers the USDA has everything you might want to know about cabbage and kraut.

I checked the garden today and I think that the red cabbages are on deck for next week.

It would be nice to add a deer to the meat pole one of these weekends.

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