THE CABBAGE EXPERIMENT
Apr. 10, 2013 11:02 pm
Updated: Apr. 12, 2013 10:08 am
Ok, so I just now "named" my experiment, but as I've been asked a few times to report to you all as things progress, I had to think of a "name" for this endeavor. I've also been asked to immortalise this wandering into unknown territory with the camera,
but frankly, I really don't think that any photos I could have taken would be of any interest... AND may put you off sauerkraut for the rest of your lives! Maybe even my own...
I'm approaching week 5 of the fermenting process... Seems every "recipe" I've looked at claims different fermenting time, suggested temperatures vary, and any other assorted differences. Isn't that the usual way? Face it, some recipes have as many variations
as there are cooks!
Recently a friend suggested that sitting just inside two windows might not be a proper place for the "crock," so I moved it into a walk in closet, which remains cooler, and of course is dark. Then, I read that the warmer the temp. the faster the fermentation
process would complete. Thus, just before I sat to write this, I skimmed off a bunch of scum, and moved it back to the original spot.
Surprisingly, thus far I've not been driven from my home because of the odor... that is, except when there's gunk that needs to be removed. Then it smells... I'm not sure how to describe it... "dirty" combined with a hint of pungency. Yumm - NOT! Once the
crud is disposed of, the smell dissipates until the next time, which currently is about every 3rd day.
Last week I fixed a pork shoulder roast, and would have liked some kraut to go with it, but alas, mine is not ready to nosh, and I've neglected to buy any at the market. I can almost taste it, kraut with a sprinkle of caraway seed, and good splash of beer,
topped with slices of cooked pork roast then slowly reheated.... Just a few short years ago, I would have laughed at you had you predicted that I might salivate over such a concoction!! WHO KNEW?
Now, one of my cookbooks under "canning" says 3-4 weeks to ferment, yet another book I've looked at says 3-4 months! Perhaps it all boils down to "conditions" at the time? I'm lost, but still plodding along and hoping for the best. Afterall, they say homemade
is MUCH better than store bought.
Once I deem it "edible," I do plan on canning it in a waterbath, in hopes of killing off any bacteria that I may have missed during the fermenting stage.
Last week or so, I did a quick taste test, only to find crunchy cabbage in my mouth tasting mostly of salt... Go figure, the brine it ferments in is salt water... I guess that if it still tastes like ka-ka after a couple of months, I might just pull the plug,
but then what am I out if I let it go for 4 months? All I'll need to do is skim off the gunk every few days, and add brine as needed to keep a suitable depth between the top of the cabbage, and the top of the brine. (I've read that this protects the cabbage
from - well, whatever)
So, if you've read this and have any tips or suggestions from experience, don't be bashful... I'll accept any advice for "THE CABBAGE EXPERIMENT."
So friends, be happy, be healthy, be CRAZY... and if you dare, attempt to make ANYTHING! What's the worst that can happen? It will meet Mr Trashcan!