A gloomy, rainy, chilly, enervating, soul-sucking December afternoon. Carol and I were sick of being stuck in the house doing chores, sick of short days and long dark nights. We went to Wisnom’s Hardware across the street and spent a long time buying five dollars worth of hardware, just so we could get out of the house. But eventually we had to go back home, and watch the world outside the windows turn ever grayer and darker.
So we decided to make sauerkraut. I chopped a two-pound head of cabbage into thin strips, grated some carrots into the cabbage, and dumped everything into a glass bowl. We grabbed big handfuls of cabbage and carrots and squeezed hard to bruise them and begin to release their liquids (this was the best part; very satisfying):
I added five teaspoons of salt (two for each pound of cabbage plus one far the carrots), and mixed it in. We smushed the mixture down with a plate until the liquid rose up over the vegetables:
Then we put a weight on the plate (another glass bowl with water in it), and set it on the kitchen counter to ferment:
With any kind of luck, it will have turned into sauerkraut in time to make choucroute garni on New Year’s Day.