Unusual Times

 

 I hope everyone is doing well. I sure miss my students coming and having fun in my kitchen. I know this has been hard . At first I was in shock that something like this could bring our country to its knees. 

This has opened my eyes to how important preserving food and growing food is. I keep thinking of the next generation of preservers and growers and how necessary it is that I keep the knowledge going forward. 

 By doing our part staying home and having food on hand has been a blessing. Having a pantry full of jars and a freezer with meals and meats available. Not to mention a garden with a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit. I can say we have had many wonderful meals.  

 We have gotten a lot done around here. Lots of weed whacking and mowing to keep us safe from fires. Plus it looks pretty.  We made a new garden bed. I have planted more this year that ever. I have volunteer plants coming out my ears. I have given away many. 

With the country slowly reopening I’m asking myself when will All In A Jar reopen. I’m looking in July. I think it would be nice to have small private canning classes. That way you know the other students in class. I’m still working on this and if anyone has suggestions please let me know your thoughts. 

Yes, I miss you, family and friends.

See you in class

  

Cabbage and Time

What do you get with cabbage and time ? You get Homemade Fermented  Sauerkraut! 

I love growing cabbage and I’m good at it. I have cabbage that weight as much as 8.5 pounds. I have made three recipe of sauerkraut.  The first sauerkraut  was a simple kraut the next one was Spicy Carrot Cabbage Kraut and todays is Pear – Juniper Berry Sauerkraut. Each one is so different from each other.  I’m in love with the Spicy Carrot Cabbage Kraut. It is my favorite.

I have no idea where I got this recipe. I have had it for a few years . Knowing me I changed it . It starts with warming the dry peppers and spices in a dry pan over medium heat. The heat  wakes up those aromatic oils.  

Best of all, they have live probiotics which are  great for your gut. 

 Making good use of my time and enjoying the kraut. I hope you like the recipe. 

 All In A Jar is looking forward to the day we can open the doors for classes. 

Take care and be safe.

See you in class

Fermented Spiced Carrot Sauerkraut

21/4 pounds green or red cabbage

1 to 2 dried guajillo or New Mexico chili, remove seeds and cut up

1 tsp caraway seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 lb. coarsely shredded carrots

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tbsp. sea salt

1. In a small skillet combine chili pepper pieces and caraway seeds, and cumin seeds. Cook over medium heat about 3 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, shaking the skillet and stirring occasionally. Let cool. Using spice grinder, grind mixture until coarsely ground.  

2.Use wood cutting board, remove outer leaves from cabbage. Quarter cabbage heads lengthwise; remove cores. 

3. Using food processor or a large chef’s knife,  shred cabbage.

4. Place the shredded cabbage in a large metal bowl and sea salt, using a wood mallet  smack cabbage for ten minutes.  Add carrots, garlic and spice mixture into the cabbage, mix well. Let sit for 10 minutes.  

5.  Into a large ceramic crock  ( if using a crock make sure you have a plate that can sit on top of the cabbage to hold below liquid ) or glass container ( like a jar ).  Push down to remove any air bubbles and to get the liquid above the cabbage at least one inch. 

6. If cabbage doesn’t release enough liquid, add a brine to cover cabbage at least by  one inch. 

7. For the brine, combine filter water ( no chlorine) and sea salt in a ratio of 1 cup filter water to 1 teaspoon sea salt.

8. If using a jar, place the lid on loosely so the gases can be released. 

9. Place  the container in a cool dark  place to ferment for 5 days.

10. Each day use a clean spoon and push down the cabbage and making sure the brine is above the cabbage.Taste to see if this is what you want if it tastes great to you, put in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.  If any discolored cabbage appears at the top, remove and discard it. If the brine is low add more. The cabbage must be submerged completely in brine to ferment safely. If you see any mold discard the sauerkraut.  The sauerkraut is ready when it has a slightly crunchy texture and pleasantly tangy flavor. 

Temporarily Closed

Well, like all nonessential businesses, All In A Jar is closed temporarily until further notice. Wow, I don’t think anyone saw this coming. 

When I started All In A Jar in 2012 people would ask me all the time why would you go thought all that work for a few jars. I would say  

“ Because I know what is in the jars.” Not too much sugar or salt and no weird preserving chemicals. I would still say that but, I would add, “ It is nice having a pantry full of jars that can become a healthy, delicious meal in minutes. Having my jars, dry goods, a freezer with meat and a garden with fresh vegetables. And in a few weeks, I will have fresh fruit. This is why I do what I do. 

I know it is hard for so many people right now. The worst part is the unknown and people dying at a fast pace around the world. If we all do our best by staying home, for those that can, it may help us get past this.   

I think we should be looking at this as a great opportunity to slow down and reconnect with ourselves, family and friends. Take this time to get some rest, to call a friend, write your mom a handwritten letter, teach your child how to cook, read that book you always wanted to read, do some yoga, do some arts & crafts with the kids,  teach yourself how to make bread, be silly with your kids. Or look at this is as a great time to clean all the ceiling fans, clean out the refrigerator and freezer. Go outside and pull some weeds and plant a garden and if you have been to my canning classes you too would be canning and fermenting like me right now. I now know how important canning and preserving food is to me and my family. 

I have to admit I’m a homebody. Yes, it bothered me that I did not get to go see my granddaughter for her second birthday or that I can’t go help my best friend that is fighting cancer. But I think it is very important that we do our part by staying home if we can. We all need some kindness and patience from each other. 

I want to Thank all the Medical staff, Firemen, Policemen, Grocery staff, and the Truck Drivers that are putting their lives and family’s lives at risk each day they are working. 

I’m here for you if you have any questions about preserving food. Please email me and I will do may best to help.

Be safe.

See you in class