Thursday, July 18, 2013

Pickles and 'Kraut

Today was one of those rare days when I didn't have to be too many places so I made it a canning day. I drove down to that farm that's about an hour away for a peck of pickling cukes, visited my parents, and then drove back up to pick up the farm share and headed home.  As soon as I got home, I set to work on 2 batches of bread and butter pickles.  (Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, for future reference...)

Once the cukes and onions (6 cebolla onions from the farm share) were soaking in salt and water, I started shredding 3 heads of cabbage to make sauerkraut.  It's my first opportunity to use my new crock!  2 regular green cabbages and 1 Napa cabbage made about 5 pounds, to which I added 3 T. kosher salt and packed into the crock.  I topped it with some of the outer cabbage leaves and the special weights that came with the crock.  Tomorrow I'll add the white wine and let it sit for a few weeks.  The crock has a water seal, but I'll do that after I add the wine.  I did use the KitchenAid slicer attachment and it made a tremendous mess, in particular with the Napa cabbage.  Doesn't really work so well for that one!

Then I turned back to the bread and butter pickles.  I had to do them in 2 batches because each batch made 5 pints and I can only fit about 7 or 8 pints in my canning pot.  I didn't want to have a repeat of the jar-breaking disasters of the past.  See?  I can be taught.  All in all, I have 10 pints of bread and butter pickles and 2/3 of a peck of cucumbers left.  Maybe I'll make more dills, but I do have about 5 quarts left from previous batches.  So, not really sure what to do with them.  Suggestions are welcome.

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