Stems and All

My journey to buy less, consume smart, use what's there.

Not yet perfected (or even edible): Homemade sauerkraut


Warning – this is not pretty.

Contrary to what most blogs would like you to think, not every homemade experiment turns out right the first time (or even after several noble attempts). Even in this age of YouTube, Wikipedia and endless pixels of user generated content, it’s still possible to do a bunch of research for a project, follow steps exactly, and then have the project totally and completely flop.

This was the case in a recent kitchen adventure. I decided that I was going to make homemade sauerkraut….

homemade sauerkraut | stems and all

Red cabbage before homemade sauerkraut experiment.

The end goal was to create – from scratch and in the comfort of my own home – some nice, tangy kraut to go with some lovely sausages from the local butcher. I bought a lovely head of purple cabbage at the farmers market, took it home, and began my quest to master the cabbage.

Based on the research that I did online, it seemed that the process of making kraut in the comfort of my own kitchen was virtually foolproof. I sliced the cabbage thinly, layered in some – but not too much – salt, and then kneaded the cabbage until moisture started to develop. I then placed a plate and a weight on top of the briney cabbage mixture, covered with a towel, and waited.

After 72 hours, I unveiled what I thought would be magically transforward vegetable. Sadly, that was not the case. There was not the forewarned ‘thin layer of mold’ that some sites talked about. Instead, the entire top and sides of the cabbage mixture seem to have molded. And it smelled nothing like what I anticipated homemade kraut to taste like. It smelled like bad eggs. Sadly, this experiment went the way of the city compost (I’ve heard somewhere that cabbage shouldn’t go into your own backyard compost – something bad it in. I’ll do more research on that later).

I haven’t given up on this one. I’m going to try again in the coming months. I will conquer the kraut…

These were some of the resources that I used to do research, though the one that I followed exactly I’m not going to reference here…

homemade sauerkraut | stems and all

Red cabbage before homemade sauerkraut experiment.

empty clean jars homemade sauerkraut | stems and all

cabbage in jars | stems and all

Author: Jane Newcomb

“Stems and All” is my personal journey to become a more environmentally responsible human, live a more sustainable life, and practice sustainable consuming habits.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.