Dinner Tonight

Last night’s craziness of having to get up and down out of bed to get things done will pay off tonight when it’s dinner time.

Slow Cooked Boston Baked Beans – in the slow cooker after soaking overnight.

Baked Beans

Baked Beans

The sponge will be made into crusty sourdough bread.

Sourdough Sponge

Sourdough Sponge

Brisket is in the smoker.

Brisket

Brisket

There’s leftover baked potato salad in the fridge. There will also be mustard greens, pickled green tomatoes and pepper sauce!

Mustard Greens, Pickled Green Tomatoes, Pepper Sauce

Mustard Greens, Pickled Green Tomatoes, Pepper Sauce

Hurry up dinner time!  These are some of my favorite foods but . . almost all foods are my favorite!  :)

Keeping Sauerkraut in the Fridge

This should have been covered in yesterday’s blog post but I left it out.

There’s almost unlimited information on the internet about the process of fermenting and storing fermented foods. If you do a little research, it’s quite mind boggling but continue reading and after a while, I think you’ll be able to rule out some ideas that don’t make sense and learn from those that do. 

This site has some good info about fermenting – why it’s beneficial and safe storage.

My feeling, and it’s certainly not based on anything scientific or proven, but what I’ve decided after research:  Sauerkraut should be left unprocessed because the heat destroys the living creatures which make the probiotics and enzymes beneficial to us. I believe it is safe to store in the fridge for at least 6 months. At any point, it can be canned and it will still be yummy homemade sauerkraut but it will not have the probiotics and enzymes that I’m interested in getting. If at any point during those 6 months, the kraut looks or smells funny, I will dump it.

I’ve planted cabbage in the fall garden. If it makes, I will probably end up having to can some of it but my first choice is to keep it in the fridge unprocessed.

Kraut is Finished!

Why did I never think of making sauerkraut before? We used quite a bit of it and now that we’ve tasted fresh kraut, we’ll be eating even more.

In early October, we purchased the TSM 10 L Fermenting Crock.

Fermentation Pot

Fermentation Pot

The crock is a little expensive but if you like sauerkraut, this one is truly “fix and forget”.

On October 10, I shredded 4 heads of cabbage and put into the crock. My guess was that 4 heads of cabbage was about all it would hold but it was barely half full so I put in 2 more heads of cabbage, and, of course, salt. There’s a well type ring around the lid so you place the lid on the crock, and pour water into the well which stops air from getting to the cabbage but still allows it to “burp” during the fermentation. I loved hearing it burp . . I knew it was doing what it needed to do.

According to all I’ve read, it takes 2 weeks for it to ferment at about 75º, so today was the day. We were both so anxious to check it out..

Fermented Cabbage

Fermented Cabbage

You can’t tell much about it but we both tasted it and it was great! I was feeding the guys working on the greenhouse and they couldn’t believe how good it was. For lunch, we had sausage dogs with kraut, along with fried okra and fried jalapeno peppers.

Kraut

Kraut

Before lunch, we had 10 quarts but after lunch, 9 quarts and 1 pint went into the fridge! 

If you halfway like storebought canned kraut, you may want to think about making your own. In the crock, it did fine sitting in my kitchen for two weeks with temps being about 73 – 75 degrees. I think I would leave it a few days longer next time just to get a bit more “sour” taste.  It’s so crunchy and fresh tasting.