Homemade Red Sauerkraut

Make your own fermented red cabbage – It’s easy!

Ingredients:

1 glass jar with a air-tight lid
2 pounds red cabbage
2 Tablespoons pickling salt
Fresh ginger, jalapeño, apples, carrots, etc (optional)

Instructions:

1. To prep cabbage, wash the cabbage and peel away any ugly pieces and reserve a few of the nicer layers. Then cut in half , and cut each of those pieces in half so you have quarters. Remove the core from each piece. Then slice thin.

2. Put the shredded cabbage (and other items if using) in a large bowl with salt and massage the cabbage to extract the juices until it begins to soften and shrink in size.

3. Pack the cabbage and juices in the jar a little at a time and squish down as much as you can, extracting more juices and blocking out any air. If the cabbage isn’t submerged under water, boil some salted water and let cool and pour over the cabbage to cover it. Then top with extra cabbage leaves to block out remaining air.

4. Tightly seal lid and leave in a dark place at room temperature for 1-3 weeks. I covered mine in a towel to protect it. Check it every day to make sure the cabbage is still submerged and skim any gunk. Start tasting after 7 days. In the cool winter, fermentation will take longer than in the hotter summer. In my opinion the longer it sits the better! Once it tastes the way you like, store in the refrigerator. it should keep for a few months once refrigerated.

5. Add to anything! Brisket, Reuben sandwiches, latkes. YUM!!!

Sauerkraut in a Mason Jar

Sauerkraut came to Europe via Asia, where people have been pickling cabbage for thousands of years. Because of the high vitamin C content, it was very useful in preventing scurvy and keeping people healthy throughout the winter months when no fresh food was available.

To make your own sauerkraut you will rely on the bacteria found on the cabbage leaves. The salt draws out the water and kills off the spoilage bacteria. You will need between a 0.6% and 2% salt concentration, which equals 3/4 to 2 teaspoons of table salt per pound of prepared cabbage.

Makes 1 quart.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

8-10 c. shredded cabbage, loosely packed (about 2 lbs), about 1 medium cabbage head.
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1-2 teaspoons pickling salt
1 c. filtered water mixed with 1 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

In a clean, non-metallic bowl (I use a foil roasting pan), mix cabbage, caraway, mustard seeds and salt. Stir cabbage to release juices. Let rest 10 minutes then mix again. You may let this rest longer (1-2 hours) if needed.

Sterilize jar and lid by boiling for several minutes in water and draining on a clean dishcloth.

Pack into a sterilized quart-sized, wide-mouthed jar, pushing down with a wooden mallet. Add filtered, or non-chlorinated, salty (1 teaspoon salt per cup of water) water to rim of jar and cap loosely with a sterilized canning lid. Place jar on a tray to catch overflowing juices. keep jar between 65 and 72 degrees for 2-3 weeks.

After bubbling stops, check container and top off with salty (1 teaspoon salt per cup of water, warm slightly to dissolve completely) water if level falls below rim. Skim any (harmless) white spots or film from the top, close jar tightly, wipe off outside of jar and store in the refrigerator until you use it up.

More: German sauerkraut is made using salt, whereas Kimchi is made with rice wine. Both create a favorable environment for fermentation. Canned sauerkraut should be rinsed in a colander before eating, to reduce the briny flavor, but fresh sauerkraut does not have to be. Sauerkraut can be eaten raw, as a garnish or salad, or cooked, with apples, bacon and onions. It is low in calories, too.

How to Can Tomato Sauce

This super basic canned tomato sauce has just tomatoes and salt (and jarred lemon juice to assure a proper acidic environment for canning) – making it perfect for canning because you can add any additional flavors later, when you go to use it. Note the fleshier Roma, plum, or Early Girl tomatoes are great here since they have less juice to cook down to make the sauce.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 4 pints

Ingredients:

8 lbs. supremely ripe tomatoes (a bit overripe isn’t bad here either)
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoon jarred or bottled lemon juice
4 pint-size jars with sealable lids for canning

Preparation:

1. Rinse the tomatoes clean and pat them dry. Now you need to remove the seeds and skin. This can be done one of three ways:

Option 1: cut a small “x” in the bottom of each tomato and blanch them for about 30 seconds in boiling water, remove to an ice bath, slip off their skins, cut in half and squeeze out the seeds.

Option 2: Roughly chop the tomatoes and run them through a food mill.

Option 3: Whirl the tomatoes quickly in a blender and push the purée through a fine sieve.

2. Put the peeled and seeded tomatoes or tomato purée in a pot with the salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring now and again, until the mixture is reduced by about a third, about 45 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, sterilize the jars and lids bring a canning kettle full of water to a boil.

4. Put 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice in each of the 4 jars. Transfer the hot tomato sauce to the hot jars, leaving about 1/2 inch of head space at the top. Screw on the lids, put the jars in a canning rack, and lower them into the boiling water in the canning kettle. Process for 40 minutes.

5. Remove jars and let them cool. Store in a cool, dark place (a cupboard or pantry works great) until ready to use.

Homemade Popcorn

Before microwaves and hot-air poppers, popcorn was made over the stove top in a large pan or pot. While the process involves hot oil, making homemade popcorn is still easy to do and far cheaper than throwing a processed bag into the microwave. Best of all, making your own popcorn allows you to control how much butter, salt or other toppings you put on top, allowing you to make the perfect bowl of popcorn for your family movie night.

Ingredients:

3 quart pan or pot with fitted lid
Large popcorn bowl
4 tablespoons of cooking oil (vegetable oil works great)
1/2 c. popcorn kernels
1/4 c. real butter (optional)
Salt, to taste

Instructions:

Pour the oil into the pan, making sure the entire bottom is evenly coated. Add another tablespoon of oil, if necessary.

Heat the pan over medium heat. Drop in two or three kernels of corn to test the temperature. When the kernels pop, the oil is not enough.

Slide the pan over the heat back and forth to keep the popcorn kernels from burning. Do not remove the lid of the pan while the popcorn is popping. Continue to slide the pan during cooking.

Listen to the amount of popping. When the popping slow to about two seconds between pops, remove the pan from the heat.

Pour the popped corn immediately into the large popcorn bowl. Season with real melted butter and salt to taste, or any other toppings. The popcorn can also be used for making popcorn balls. Makes 16 cups of popped corn.

Tips & Warnings:

* The butter melts best at 50% power if warmed in the microwave

* Do not remove the lid while popping your popcorn

* Do not look directly into the pan; splattering oil and steam may burn you