Many Of You Know... - Stevie's Crazy Kitchen Blog at - 298418

Stevie's Crazy Kitchen

Many of you Know... 
Mar. 1, 2013 8:39 pm 
Updated: Mar. 4, 2013 5:24 am
While I've only become a cookin' fanatic over the past few years, many of you may recall some of my "early" days of blogging.  Perhaps you simply think I'm "NUTS," or maybe your've watched and read as I've become more adventurous.  Am I a "better cook" now?  I know not... but I'm having a lot more fun since I've been trying all of these crazy things! 

Three years ago (or so,) I began doing my first ever canning, beginning with marmalade, and working my way into other foods.  First I needed to get a water bath (though for small batches I have used my stock pot,) and then found that I needed a good "canning cookbook."  I immediately ordered two... the recipes within have recipes so making such large quantities, no doubt fashioned for large amounts of home grown veg's and the like.  My marm recipe makes about 6-8 jelly jars, much more suited to my personal needs.  Then, to my dismay, I discovered that for some foods I wanted to make and preserve, I would need a pressure canner... back to "" I went, and placed my order!

Getting my feet wet, I began making such things as egg roll/wonton wrappers, English muffins, pasta and more.  I have indeed stated in the past, "find me a recipe, and I'll try it!" 

Dinner tonight consisted of smoked sausage, and sauerkraut... the kraut being so terribly disappointing!  Time to try making my own, I think...  I do need a little advice however, if you've ever "fermented" your own... well, anything!  I've read that fermenting can be done in glass jars, in addition to a fermenting crock, or "food quality plastic" containers of some sort...  Any thoughts or advice to share?  Perhaps I'd best go to the recipe request, and see just what "pops."  My recipe calls for 25lbs of cabbage, and a 5 gal. crock.  Dare I try cutting the recipe down to size, as it were, and purchase maybe a 1 gal. crock?  I sit and chuckle now... for a gazillion years, I would not eat sauerkraut as "I don't like it!"  However, I'd never even tasted it!  Yes, I was that type of picky eater!  Another change in myself since I began cooing crazy!

So, that is my dilemma (this week!)  Should I, or not?  I've said, "find me a recipe....)  Maybe it's time to delve into fermenting vegetables...

Be happy, be healthy, cook crazy!
Mar. 2, 2013 12:34 am
I wonder how much sauerkraut 25# of cabbage yields. That would be my first question, followed by how often you would like to eat it. I did a little reading before I started typing and found to my surprise that sauerkraut can be frozen. I also read the downside of using glass receptacles is the formation of mold on top of the brine, which must be skimmed. I guess the exposure to light causes the mold, but I would be afraid I didn't remove it all........When I was a kid there was a pickle and sauerkraut works in the town where we lived. It was VERY aromatic. Let us know how the project progresses.
Mar. 2, 2013 1:29 am
Here's a great guide, Stevie. I copied the whole publication to disk. ...
Mar. 2, 2013 9:25 am
BigShotsMom, I guess as with any food prep "factory," there are good/bad things (like the "aromatic smell!") I lived above a fish&chip shop in England once... very convenient, but the whole apt smelled of hot cooking oil all day/night... uggh! Sure wish I could run down and get some greasy chips right now, lol! I'll keep researching, but I'd prefer not to buy a $50 crock (or up to $150,) in case the whole process fails me! Be well!
Mar. 2, 2013 9:27 am
Mike, thanks for the link! I read something (that site?) last night, before blogging, that was almost verbatem... helpful, but as with any home preserving, I guess there's a chance of an "oops" now and again. Regardless, I've bookmarked the site... thanks again, and be well!
Mar. 2, 2013 10:31 am
I've made both sour pickles and fermented green beans. Easy as falling off a log! Pickles and kraut will form white mold in a crock too, and it still needs to be scraped off. Canning sauerkraut kills off all of the beneficial bacteria. But it is inconvenient to have a huge crock of it lying around unless you use it frequently.
Mar. 2, 2013 10:32 am
Stevie - try looking at Nourished Kitchen. Jenny has a whole section devoted to fermentation. Really good information there.
Mar. 2, 2013 12:53 pm
Wow,that's some undertaking.Love sausage and saurekraut,good luck with this Stevie.Will be waiting to hear your results.
Mar. 2, 2013 6:23 pm
Doc, thanks for the advice, and the website, I'm sure I'll take a bit and do more reading! Thinking the whole idea of a crock is overkill, (or a "crock...") I pulled a 2.5 qt pickle jar out the recycle (in kitcen, not outside!) Will run it thru dishwasher, then sterilize it, before any attempt. I'm thinking that will be more kraut than we'll be able to eat any too fast! Thanks again! Be well!
Mar. 2, 2013 6:25 pm
manella, guess I'd best get some cabbage, then! Went a different direction today, however... I still think I'd like to make my own kraut a time or three! Be well!
Mar. 3, 2013 8:02 am
Making the kraut yourself. What a challenge! I am not a fan of sauerkraut. However, a long time ago I moved to Virginia. I worked in a small school district who had fantastic Southern cooks. I must say, I did love their cooked cabbage.
Mar. 3, 2013 2:49 pm
I love sauerkraut! I have never made my own. My sister did once. It was awful but I imagine she didn't explore any info on it or compare or ask anyone for ideas. I wish you the best of luck and I can't wait to see how it goes. BSM said it was something to do with the light so glass wasn't a good idea. Could you cover glass jars so light would be kept to a minimum?
Mar. 3, 2013 3:46 pm
Lela, I'll have to give it a try, just hope that the odor doesn't drive it into the trash or compost bins! Be well!
Mar. 3, 2013 3:49 pm
Cat, BSM is correct, from what I've been reading. To solve the issue, it's recommended to cover the jar with a towel... I attempted making a pint size canning jar months back, but it turned pink, and out it went! Glad I did, that's NOT a good sign, I'm learning now! Be well, and give me a couple of months...
Mar. 4, 2013 5:24 am
I figured BSM knew what she was talking about. Pink is not a good sign in sourdough starter either. Best of luck! I love it when experiments work!
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Stevie crazycook

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Lansing, Michigan, USA
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About Me
Started cooking many years ago, and learned as I went. First meal may have been "steak & chips" at age 15, in Birmingham England, where I lived for several years. Mostly grew up in MI, transplanted to the desert 30yrs ago, or so. Favorite cookbook is "Better Homes", also enjoy "Great British Cooking, a well kept secret." Hesitate to call myself "expert," but friends do rave...
My favorite things to cook
Italian has been my "specialty" for some time, and my "signature" meal is Lasagne, salad, garlic bread, which I first made 20yrs ago... from SCRATCH, very first time I made it. (Never again, folks...) Now start with a big jar of sauce!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Thanks to my heritage, I have enjoyed trying foods from different cultures. We still have beer battered fish, and chips of course; ground meat dishes often, chicken occasionally, pork too. I would love to submit a bean dip recipe, however, my ex who gave me the original has passed, and I have no way to verify that it didn't come from another source! I also enjoy British cooking (with a few yankee twists) and once made Plum puddings, also known as Christmas puddings, as far as I know... what an ordeal that was, but well worth the effort. Today, there is mail order!
My cooking triumphs
Greatest triumph was not too long ago, when I held a sit down dinner for 12, Lasagne being the entree. It was a fund raiser I chose to sponsor, and am proud to say that "we" raised over $1000 from that meal alone, minimum donation being $25. All proceeds collected were donated; my partner and I provided the meal and beverages.
My cooking tragedies
MEATLOAF of all things! Went through a stage of "winging" it each time, and I pulled one after another out of the oven that were almost unedible. As yet, not too big on baking... no sweet tooth here! Have dabbled, but find doughs/pastries especially difficult, perhaps as it's 90 degrees in my kitchen much of the year.
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