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. 

It’s Pickling Time

 

 

It’s pickling time of year! I just want to remind you of a few things to get the best pickle. 

One, is the type of cucumber you are using to make pickles. You need a pickling cucumber. The best ones are from the black spine type, with small black prickles, such as the Chicago Pickling Cucumber and National Pickle.

Wash all ingredients carefully to remove bacteria, which might spoil your product. In washing cucumbers, DON’T scrub so that you remove the black prickles. A good way to get off the dirt and bacteria is to soak them for a few minutes in a glass or plastic container with a tablespoon of pickling salt and one tablespoon of vinegar. Rinse well in running water as you gently rub them.                                The pot you will be using to make the brine should never be brass, copper, iron or aluminum. Any of these will produce a strange taste and undesirable color changes because the metals will react with the vinegar and salt solutions. Use enameled ware, glass, or stainless steel. Stir with wood spoon and or stainless steel ladle.  

Whenever possible, use water without chlorine. Here is how you can use your water to eliminate chlorine and other minerals. Plan in advance and boil the water for 15 minutes. Let stand for 24 hours. When all the sediment has settled to the bottom, ladle the water from the top. Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with 5 % acidity to each gallon of water before using. Or buy bottled distilled water and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to each gallon. You will never regret all this effort. 

Do not use table salt in pickling or canning. Table salt has iodine and anti-caking agent. That will turn pickles an undesirable color and soften the pickle. Use Pickling salt for best results. 

Vinegar should be 5 % acidity. Check the label for percentage of acid and also check the expiration date. If it is past the expiration date, use it to make salad dressing not pickles. Vinegars of unknown strength should not be used. Either cider or white vinegars may be used. When pickling light-colored foods such as onions, white vinegars is preferable for it will not darken the ingredients. When making a simple solution of vinegar, pickling salt, and water, do not boil more than 5 to 6 minutes unless otherwise directed in the recipes. Long boiling weakens vinegar. Follow the timings suggested in the recipes: if a recipe says bring just to boil, do that. 

Always use fresh spices and herbs. Old ones will discolor the product and produce musty, strange flavors. If a recipe calls for you to put spices in a spice bag ( cheesecloth tied with kitchen twine) make sure it is not too tight so the brine can flow through during the cooking time. Remove bag before canning. If you have access to fresh grape leaves, wash them and place on top of produce in the jar. This will keep the produce under the brine and help with keeping the produce crisp. Any recipe can be changed to fit individual taste in SPICES Only. Do not change the amount of vinegar, water or salt. Blended pickling spices are available commercially, I like to blend my own. Here are a list of spices I like using: Allspice, Bay Leaf, Black Pepper Corns, Cardamom, Cayenne, Chili, Cinnamon Stick, Coriander Seeds, Clove, Dill Seeds, Ginger, Mustard Seeds, Nutmeg ( grated), Hot Red Pepper flakes, Turmeric, and Celery Seeds. 

Garlic is a wonderful addition to pickles. But one warning; If you wish to add garlic to a jar of dill pickles or any pickles, you will need to peel the cloves then plunge them into boiling water first for 1 minute. This blanching process kills the bacteria on garlic, which can cause spoilage. Or you can place the cloves in vinegar for about 1 to 2 minutes before filling the jars. 

I hope this helps you get the best pickle for you and your family. 

See you in class

      

Childhood Memories

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I find it amazing when a person takes a bite or even just the smell of some foods how it can bring you back to a childhood memory. I had that happen to me this weekend, so much that I had goosebumps on my arms. It was magical.
Last Thursday I met one of my students at the Lodi Farmers Market to pick up produce for the upcoming class. He informed me that he had been to a lot of classes, i.e. pie filling, jam, chutney, jelly, hot sauce and even sausage making, but no pickling class. So of course I wanted to find something to pickle. We found some beautiful pickling cucumbers to make into dill pickle spears. We also found some green tomatoes. I was very excited to see them because I have been thinking about my great grandma’s pickled green tomatoes. We found some lovely peaches that will become Peach Bellini. We both were looking forward to having a fun filled day of canning. We started to talk about how we both heard that home canned Maraschino Cherries are out of this world, even if you don’t like Maraschino Cherries. We looked for cherries, but not one person had any. My student said he thinks Walnut Creek Produce had some and he would bring them to class.
I went home and started researching recipes for Maraschino Cherries. I found 4 or 5 recipes and thought they were doing it all wrong. So I did it my way… and typed up a recipe I thought would work well.

While I was doing research on Maraschino Cherries and I started thinking about Great Grandma’s Pickled Green Tomatoes started writing down what I could remember that was in those yummy pickled green tomatoes, so I called my sister and asked if she could remember what was in them. She said I never liked them and I think there was pumpkin pie spice. I said no wonder you didn’t like them, I will make them a lot better. I have an old pickling recipe book I got out and looked up Pickled Green Tomatoes and what I wrote down was pretty much right on.

The day of the class we started with coffee and home made cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting made with my Carrot Cake Preserves. I love that stuff. I had a small snack laid out with other goodies,  like pickled okra, jams, jelly and home made hummus. Later we sat down for lunch.

We worked with the green tomatoes first and the place was smelling like great grandma’s. I took a sample taste and it was as if I had walked back in time. All the hair on my arms were standing up with goosebumps.

I don’t know if it is the pickles or thinking about all that love in the jars that my grandparents put in them. Happy Canning

See you in class