Today I'm visiting a friend who lives in Dunorlan, about 10 mins up the road. I'm going to learn how to make Cabbage & Apple Sauerkraut!
Carolyn, my friend, said we'll be using apples from her Mums backyard and cabbage from her veggie garden.
I've never made sauerkraut before, and I have no idea of what's involved......I'm really looking forward to this!
Up early and off I go!
On arrival I find Carolyn up at the chook pen feeding the girls a porridge like mixture. Once finished, and beaks covered in breakfast, they're happy to take off and scratch in the paddock for the rest of the day.
While Carolyn selects a cabbage from the patch, I thought I'd have a look around in some of her sheds......I like a good shed :)
Oh, have a look at these gems! A working collection of vintage gardening tools that anyone would be proud of! Do you think she'd miss that spud fork?!
In the same shed Carolyn has a vintage trike hanging in one corner, a gardening desk in the other, all surrounded by other vintage bits and pieces that I would love to get my hands on......not sure if my jumper is going to big enough to conceal all these treasures!
It's so much fun looking around another persons garden, you can see the time and effort motivated by passion everywhere!
Carolyn is proud of the fact that no sprays or chemicals are used in her garden.
"So what if you share your produce with some critters, if they want to eat it, then we should want to eat it."
In the kitchen now.....we start by peeling off the outer leaves and giving the cabbage a good wash. Carolyn's chooks and jersey cows are going to love these!
I first fell in love with cabbage around the time my shop was the collection point for Hilbarn box of veggies.
Boxes of beautifully locally grown seasonal fruit and veg were delivered once a fortnight. People would come and collect their ordered box with much excitement.......and so this is where my love affair with cabbage began.........I miss my Hilbarn box.
OK! Here's some of the sauerkraut ingredients:
cabbage, Himalayan salt, sesame seeds, garlic, cumin seeds and........
......an apple! (Thanks Mum)
Once chopped, grated and squeezed, place all of the ingredients into a bowl and start to work it through with your hands.
As Carolyn starts to work the sauerkraut I noticed straight away how quickly it breaks down. What was a full bowl is now nearly half a bowl. Carolyn tells me that a whole cabbage will compact down to around 3 to 4 jars, depending on the jar size. Perfect for Made in Small Batches!
Recipe - Cabbage & Apple Sauerkraut
1 cabbage head, thinly sliced
1 sweet apple, grated
1 Tbsp. Himalayan Salt
1 Tbsp. Seasame seeds (optional)
1 Tbsp. cumin seeds (optional)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
(Carraway seeds or beetroot & carrot are other options you might like to try)
Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl and start to knead through with your hands, until a brine is formed, this may take up to 10 minutes. You might like to do it in two batches.
Pack firmly into jars, ensuring a layer of brine covers the sauerkraut mix. Leave with lid off for approx a week, cover with cloth. *Make sure you place your jars on a tray as co2 will cause bubbling over - this is good!
Refrigeration: should keep for at least 3 months, but won't last that long...I can almost guarantee that!
Note: If you wondering if a starter culture is required....cabbage leaves are covered with lactobacillus a natural forming starter culture. Great for gut health!
That evening, and unable to wait a week to try this beautifully fragrant sauerkraut, I popped up the road to Ashgrove Cheese and purchased some of their Premium Vintage Cheddar.