Friday, February 8, 2008

Spin Friendly

Garden time! I have planted Fava (broad) beans and Snow peas, lettuce, cabage, potatoes, carrots, radishs, Kohlrabi and spinach. I have netted some of the beds with bird net to keep the chickens out. My asparagus is coming up and I have started moving some of the old beds to make way for a window remodel project.
It has been very cold and rainy, but I have found time to do some gardening.

AND I have been making saurkraut. This is a German word for pickled cabbage. But is it not just cabbage you can pickle. Any Kohl vege - broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, greens, brusselsprouts. So I mixed red and green cabbage for my first batch and got pink Kraut. It is very tasty. Recipe will follow.
Kimchi is also a Kraut, with other stuff in it- like hot peppers, daikon radish, chinese cabbage, mustard greens. Hmmmm. good.

I am still spinning and knitting socks, remodeling the house, chasing chickens and working for the election as a Trouble Shooter. But now I am getting into the dirt a bit too.
I will be giving spinning demonstrations at my Local Yarn Store (LYS) Common Threads on the 15th with Julie of Natasha's Hand dyed Roving. I will have my wheel and some of my hand washed fleece there as show-n-tell. There will be an announcement in their newsletter and email system. It would be fun to play with others. I don't meet many other spinners. It is a stay home sport.

But back to the Kraut recipe. This starts with equipment.
Equpment- glass, ceramic (no lead) and stainless steel will work. I have a soup tureen with a lid and a stainless pot with a lid and a plate that fits inside the pot. Zipper bag full of salt water. Plastic wrap.

Shred, chop, slice, dice. It all works. For Brusselsprouts just take off the outer leaves and cut in half.
In a large bowl, mix 5 lbs . shredded or chopped cabbage ( or combo of stuff) with 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. Put about a pound in a pot and tamp it down (potato masher works great). Add next layer, tamp, layer, tamp until you are out of stuff or pot is full to 1 inch of top.
Make a brine solution of 1 tablespoon kosher salt and 2 quarts water. Pour some onto cabbage until cabbage mix is under brine. Push down with masher to make sure cabbage is submerged. Cover with plastic wrap- push down to touch water. Place a plate ontop of plastic wrap or a zipper bag ful of left over brine. This forces the cabbage to stay under water. Cover with a lid or towel (to keep out bugs and air).
Place in a cool (50-65 degree F) area. It will take 4-6 weeks to make the kraut ferment.
You must check it every couple of days to make sure the Kraut is still wet and under water. If air touches the brine it makes a skummy stuff. Spoon it off and keep going.

After about two weeks the kraut is starting to get sour- lactic acid from fermentation. Hmmm good.
You can eat it at any time. Rinse off some of the salt and eat it fresh or cook it with apples and onions. As the pot gets low, mix up more cabbage and salt. Take old kraut out of container with juice. Layer new stuff and put old kraut and juice on top- like a starter. Second batch should take less time to ferment. As the weather gets warmer, the Kraut ferments faster (which is why Kimchi is fermented under ground).

I keep mine in the garage because it is a bit aromatic. Eduard's car doesn't complain, much.