Yes, I’ve been back into the world of sauerkraut again, despite having a fridge full of the stuff! 😀
My top shelf in the fridge is over half full of stacked up glass jars, full of fermented carrot sticks, fermented coleslaw, straight sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) and fermented ginger and carrot too. There are several other jars of ferments in there too. My fridge looks like a chemistry fridge in high school. 😉
Still, I had a garden full of turnips and cabbages that needed to be harvested so I got busy in the kitchen making ferments again. 🙂
First things first, harvest. One of the cabbages ready for harvest was Allegra’s “pet” cabbage, Purpley. I was a little apprehensive about how she would go when I chopped him but she was well proud and more than happy for him to be “killed”. Yes, I am a slaughterer of cabbages, a killer of brassicas. 😉 The turnips required no-ones permission. The leaves and under-formed turnips were well appreciated by both the neighbours chooks and ours too. Even the goats got some. 🙂
The turnips received a wash and had the roots and tops cut off before I took them to my mandolin slicer, turning them into julienne strips of crispy yum. 🙂 I’d also found a single beetroot that I added to the mix. The resulting strips were shoved into small instant coffee jars before receiving a brine mix with some sliced cayenne chillies in there for good measure. Job done. 🙂
Given that we grow our veggies using organic principles and I also follow the lazy gardener approach which means I usually don’t get around to spraying with organic sprays when needed either (I get the kids to pick off any obvious bugs in exchange for sultanas or dates 😉 ) so our veggies need to be carefully picked over unless you’re not to bothered about the extra protein. 😉
After picking off several stowaways nestled well inside the outer leaves, I sliced the cabbages, carefully checking for any extra guests as I went, mixing a little of Purpley into each bowl of cabbage. I was stuck with a problem though. I am currently a little low on jars with lids aside from my fowlers jars and I don’t own (and likely won’t buy) a fermenting crock, so what to do? Enter in large enamel ware stock pot!
As I added the cabbage to the stock pot I bruised it with the end of the rolling-pin and added in a few sliced onions too. Over the top I poured the leftover brine from making the fermented turnips so there’s some of my home-grown chillies in there too. Yum!
Using an idea I’d seen, I weighed down the sauerkraut with a glass bowl and some plastic bags filled with water. As the cabbage has fermented down I have place a small pate on top of the sauerkraut instead of the bowl, and placed the water filled bags on this plate, ensuring the cabbage stays below the surface of the brine. It goes mouldy if it’s in contact with air. The bags have also added extra weight and effectively sealed the top of the pot too.
Now, interestingly, the turnips and beetroot mix have all turned bright red. Given how little beetroot is in there I am astounded at the depth of colour that has come out. Most pretty. 🙂 I’m not sure yet if the turnips have taken the colour on or not. Purpley has done the same in the sauerkraut and the brine is a bright bluish purple colour.
I guess I will need to clear out the rest of that top shelf once my Ball mason jars arrive. 😉