Sauerkraut (6 quarts)

Yield: 2 servings

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If your grandmother made sauerkraut, it is likely that she used this recipe or one very close to it. Huge stoneware crocks of sauerkraut were a common sight in spring houses and cellars on farms in the past, and farm children were assigned the task of skimming bad kraut and scum off the tops of these crocks.

Select 15 pounds of firm, green cabbage. (This will yield about thirty quarts of shredded cabbage.) Let stand at room temperature for one day. Wash, quarter, remove cores. Cabbages should be dry before grating for sauerkraut. Shred or cut about the thickness of a dime.

Thoroughly mix 3 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. salt (use pickling/canning salt) with each 10 quarts of shredded cabbage. As each batch is salted, get ready 4 to 6 quart crocks. Pack the cabbage firmly, but not tightly, into the crocks, pressing down with a wooden spoon or paddle. Lay a clean cloth over the cabbage with a plate on top that fits just inside the crock. It is important that the cabbage is covered by the tight fitting plate; it may spoil otherwise. Weight with a stone or a gallon jar filled with water. The weight should be heavy enough so that the liquid just reaches the bottom of the cover.

To vary the weight, use heavier or lighter stones or fill or empty the jar as needed as fermentation increases. Allow cabbage to ferment at room temperature (68 to 72) for 9 to 14 days. (The lower the temperature, the slower the fermentation.) Change and wash the cloth, adjust the weight, and skim off the scum daily. Fermentation has ended when bubbles stop rising to the surface. Taste at the end of a week and can when taste suits you. To can your kraut, use hot, scalded quart jars. Bring kraut to boil with 3 quarts water. Pack lightly into jars, filling spaces with liquid. Process in boiling-water bath for 15 minutes. Posted by Pat Stockett. Sauerkraut Chop cabbage until very fine. Pack in quart jars. Allow 2 teaspoons salt to each quart cabbage. Pour hot water over cabbage, filling jars to shoulders. Seal. Sauerkraut will be ready for use after two weeks. Mrs. Ethel Hixon, Topeka, KS. Posted by Fred Peters.

Submitted By PAT STOCKETT On 03-16-95

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