It had been far too long since my hardcore German Harsch fermenting crock had seen any action, so I thought it might be fun to make some “superkraut” — in addition to the classic cabbage and salt, I added carrots, quite a bit of fresh younger ginger, and even more fresh turmeric, all sliced very thinly with the benriner. After six days of ferment, it’s perfect in my book: tangy, lively, almost medicinal (in a good way). Instead of using just kosher salt, I used herb salt and tangerine salt.
For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of making your own sauerkraut, it’s a marvelous thing to do. You simple shred a boatload of cabbage (I used two very large heads), take a big handful, toss it into a crock, salt it, and punch it down with your fist, both to break up the cabbage pieces and to squish them down. Add more and do another layer. And again, either till you run out of cabbage or space in the crock, whichever comes first. The salt draws out the considerable amount of water of cabbage, which then provides a kind of salt bath, which prevents some bacterias from forming, and encourages lots of probiotic activity. The veggies then get a heavy ceramic “lid” placed over them, which gets pushed down to make sure everything is sitting in brine. The crock itself has a little “moat” around the top so that critters can’t crawl in. Here’s a photo of what the crock looks like. I got the 20 liter version — must have been feeling a surge of optimism when I hit the purchase button that day! A much smaller one would have done just fine, say the 7.5 liter one.
It’s just delicious stuff. I love having several gallons of it around, for snacking, for part of lunch, to give away to friends and neighbors. If anyone’s around Marin and wants a taste, let me know! I have a feeling the crock is going to see constant action this winter.