Grating cabbage for a batch of sauerkraut was pretty low on my wish list this morning. Especially given two out of the four kids were pretty much up all night (one cutting his eight tooth and one in chicken pox hell). I would rather have stayed in bed, or failing that I would have liked to have been sitting in one of our lovely local coffee places with a big shot of caffeine and a large slab (not slice – slab) of something decadent.
But instead, I used the moment of ‘free’ time I had this morning in between breakfast and getting the well contingent to football, to make some sauerkraut, turn the pork stock that had been simmering all night into a soup for lunch, and put some lamb shanks in the slow cooker for dinner. Frankly I’d rather not have bothered.. from my perspective (and the kids) we could have had cheese on toast for lunch (they, in fact did, not being lovers of the old pork broth) and nipped down to the Thai for a take out supper. However, the man of the house is trying to avoid eating starchy food (apparently starchy food can aggravate inflammatory conditions..). He’s even considering doing the full on GAPS to try and kick his condition and get off the medication which he has been taking for the last year. Thinking about all this, especially now, is daunting. Frankly thinking about cooking some ‘starch free’ options for every meal makes me want to give up before I’ve even begun. It makes me crave a big bowl of real fresh pasta with a side of fries chased down with a mud pie.
So in a sense, for us, in our little world, then grating a purple cabbage at 9am this sunny Wellington morning really was a symbol of true love. (If anyone is wondering what the man of the house was doing while all this sauerkraut making was happening; he was tending to the chicken pox, playing with the little guys and probably doing a few loads of laundry, having not slept himself… yes folks, four kids makes life a little a little crazy)
To make purple sauerkraut you just grate or shred a head of cabbage. I got mine – which is, if nothing else, an absolutely beautiful colour, from Common Sense Organics. Add in 2 tsps of sea salt (or a mix of salt and whey if you have whey - I don’t .. and clearly now is not the moment in my life to start making whey). Pound the cabbage to release the juices and then put it into a sterilized jar. Bash it down in the jar so it’s about an inch from the top. Seal the jar and leave it on the bench for about 3 or 4 days by which time it should have fermented. It’s then ready to eat and will keep in the fridge. For more technical information on fermenting food then it’s worth taking a look at Nourishing Traditions (Sally Fallon). You can also read my other post on lacto-fermented vegetables here.