Last night, while bonding over pickles and wine,* I found myself regaling my new friend Rachel with the story of how I used to put away pickles like a pregnant lady, in college often holding a jar in one hand and piercing pickle chips with my fork. No sandwiches required. [This, of course, had to end when I accidentally dropped the pickle jar on my dorm room floor and our hallway smelled like pickle juice for quite a while, and Project: Pickle Ban ensued.]
*Sign I’m Not a Normal Person #1,054?^ Or “Sign that Rachel and I were destined to find each other”?
It probably should come as no surprise, then, that when I discovered sauerkraut later in life, I fell in love.* And when it came time to make my Culinary Bucket List, I added “make sauerkraut” at #15.
*Specifically with Libby’s Bavarian Style with Caraway Seeds, of which I have one can that I’m refusing to open until I can find somewhere to buy it on the East Coast.
Did you think I forgot about the Culinary Bucket List? Well, I didn’t. It’s just that after I checked off “Go vegan for a
week month”–and then just kept going–AND decided to move back across the country, I hadn’t had the ability (both physically and dietarily) to work on it. Until I randomly bought some cabbage on sale.*
*Is it just me, or is cabbage always on sale?
And I knew it was time to make my stomach sauer.
After googling a few recipes, I, as usual, decided to take the easiest, most uncomplicated route to cabbage fermentation. [Yes, you naysayers, I do know that sauerkraut is fermented, not pickled, thus rendering my introductory segue a failure...but just go with it people.]
I mimicked the Basic Old School Sauerkraut recipe–I like basic. I like school.–adding caraway seeds and a bit of sugar to try and mimic the Libby’s sauerkraut I love.
And then I put it into a jar. And set it on a shelf. And forgot about it.
For ten days it sat, fermenting and turning into something that germophobes and those highly frightened of bacterial contamination would be frightened of, I’m sure.
But now it’s soft–but still slightly crisp–and I’ve moved my sauerkraut success to the fridge. Of course, now that I don’t eat pork chops or bratwurst pizza…what am I going to eat it with?
I guess I can go the pickle route and just eat it with a fork from the jar. It’s not like I haven’t done something like that before.*
*And just like that, I Timm Gunn-ed^ that introductory segue!
^Made it work?
Miss Smart’s Super Simple
Sweet & Sauerkraut
1 small head of green cabbage, shredded
1 Tbsp. salt
1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1-2 tsp. dill
1-2 tsp. caraway seeds
juice of 1 lemon
1. Combine cabbage, seasonings, and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl.
2. Stir well to combine.
3. Put cabbage mixture into a glass container with air-tight seal. Pour in enough water to submerge.
4. Close container, and store in a safe place at room temperature for at least 7 days.
[If you like, open it every few days and giggle at the gurgle it makes while fermenting. ]