Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cabbage and Food Preservation

A couple of weekends ago at the farm, I picked three cabbage (one large green & a small green & red) and brought them home to Illinois along with a whole cooler full of spinach, lettuce, beets, radishes, carrots, onions, new potaotes, summer squash, basil, oregano, chocolate mint, a small amount of garlic (rejects I'm not going to sell) & cucumbers.
Harvested garlic before cleaning


Drying the garlic

I give away quite a bit of produce to my family & the guys at work. My daughter is starting to make baby food for Jaelyn, who just started eating solids so she got the summer squash. No one wanted cabbage, so I decided to try making sauerkraut. I have never ate it so it was all new to me. I have preserved foods in many different ways, so fermentation is now added to my list. I went to Sandor Ellix Katz's website Wild Fermentation to get some instruction on how to proceed. It really is very easy. This time (yes, there will be a next time), I made plain sauerkrat. Just cabbage. The next batch I will be more creative and maybe add carrots & apples. I love that it can be stored for months in a cool room or canned if you want. Cannning does kill the "aliveness" though as Sandor says. Fermented foods are great for your digestion.
Cabbage ready to be covered for the fermentation process.

So if you grow cabbage or pick some up at the Farmer's Market or your CSA, try making some sauerkrat.

11 comments:

2 Tramps said...

Your garlic is gorgeous! We tried the sauerkraut thing years ago - ended up at the emergency room for stitches after cutting myself with a pirate sized knife when cutting up basketball sized kraut cabbages. Maybe it is time to try again - we have two crocks just waiting...

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Great way to dry garlic!
Sauercraut is one of the few thing I have troubles eating. I´ve tried it a couple of times, but no not again :-)
Have a great day now!
Christer.

Lynn said...

I'm really glad you posted what to do with garlic. Am doing my first harvest and didn't know what to do with it.

Also, I'm going to try your cabbage recipe. I do like good sauerkraut; cabbage is a winter crop in this part of the country.

Barb and Steve said...

Thanks and a little more info on the garlic...garlic takes 3-4 weeks to dry & due to not being able to be there when it is drying, I set up a box fan on a timer to dry it. Seems to be doing the trick. It comes on twice a day for a couple hours each time. This weekend it all should be well-dried. When we move there I hope to have a better way to dry it with natural air circulation.

Barb and Steve said...

Hey Christer...sorry sauerkraut doesn't agree with you. Maybe try to ferment some other veggies :-)
Oh & 2 Tramps...I used a food processor this time but have a great old wooden cabbage slicer up at the farm to try next time.

Happy Days said...

Wow! you have quite a haul there!! We love sauerkraut at our house! It's a great New England dish, and we love it here in West Virginia too! I have it with pork chops, hot dogs, and ham mostly. Hard to believe you never ate any!! ...debbie

Barb and Steve said...

Hi Debbie...my mom was a "meat & potaoes" type of cook, never going outside of the "norm" for our food. There are a lot of foods I've tried since leaving home at eighteen :-), just never gotten around to sauerkraut until now. Looking forward to experimenting though.

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Oh I am so envious of the AMOUNT that you are able to grow - that photo of the garlic is awesome.
This year I grew purple cabbage simply for the storybook appeal it would add to my potager but now I don't know what to do with it.
I have 6 heads.

Barb and Steve said...

I also have a recipe for Harvest Slaw from allrecipes.com. It is a favorite of ours & is quick to make. Here is the link...
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Harvest-Slaw/Detail.aspx

Hot Belly Mama said...

Man, I am so envious you have an empty room to dry garlic! I am growing sunflower seeds this year (for our chickens) and I am trying to figure out how to dry them so the birds and mice can't get to them. Our barn is too open and our garage is... well, it's just a shell of a building that needs to be burned down.

I am now inspired to grow garlic!

Barb and Steve said...

I have seen people use a screened in box to dry seeds, etc. Then you could have it in your barn without the critters getting to it. So glad you want to grow garlic! It really is easy to grow & so good to eat. :-)