Friday, September 28, 2012

Introducing: Angela 12 days old!

The Boyfriend and I have been busy ;-) .. creating Hot Sauce, Ethiopian Food, Pickles and now Angela (she is named after Angela Merkel, pronounced with a hard German G!) is fermenting her way to becoming Sauerkraut.  We have never made sauerkraut, but have been talking about it for months, so when some friends of ours gave us huge heads of cabbage from their garden, we knew it was meant to be.  We used both green cabbage and savoy cabbage.
What a magnificent head of cabbage!  We decided to chop it up and use the slicing attachment on the Cuisinart.

Then, we added salt and packed it into a 5 gallon food grade plastic container.  The Boyfriend bought this at the local beer brewing store.  It's important to really massage the salt in well.  It's similar to making a Raw Kale Salad

See how much she has broken down after 5 minutes of vigorous massage?

You have to cover the cabbage with plastic and then add a plate with a weight on it.  Books and websites suggested using a heavy rock, so outside we went in search of one that weighed around 7 lbs.  
We brought it inside, scrubbed it well, and boiled it for a solid 20 minutes. 

Then we placed it in the pail on top of the plate.

.. and covered with a towel

There she sat.. for the last 12 days.  We've been keeping an eye on her, and we noticed an odor that we couldn't QUITE put our finger on.  So this morning, we decided we should check on her.  The Boyfriend was also sure the rock was causing the odor, so we took it out and smelled it.. and sure enough there was a slight metallic smell to the rock.  We figured the acid in the brine was slowly eating away at the rock, causing the smell.  To be clear, the smell wasn't a BAD smell really.. and both The Boyfriend and I have very sensitive noses..  but we decided to replace the rock with a filled gallon jug of water for the weight. 

We could help but take a taste... and we are happy to say, we LOVE her so far!  We will let her go the full 4-6 weeks to get the full fermentation effect, but as of today, at 12 days old, she is delicious and sour, yet still full of fresh cabbage flavor!  I can not WAIT to start experimenting with different flavors in our next batches.  Garlic, dill and caraway?  mmmmmmmm .. maybe add some onions too.  Kim Chi is also on our list of things to do.  

Have you ever made sauerkraut or other fermented veggies? 

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