Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Birthday (again!) and Sauerkraut.

I went to my Parent's for birthday dinner last night!
<<-- This is me with my 3rd youngest sister. (Clearly I'm the small-boned one of the bunch).
There was plenty of "accidently vegan" yumminess for me too! Tons of fresh garden produce, salad and stuffed mushrooms. Yum!

Later, as is our family "tradition", we watched/helped/offered profound advice as several of my sisters made sauerkraut on the back porch. (I'm sure they'll be happy that I've posted a view of their backsides all over the Interwebnetworld)

We do this every year (make kraut, that is) - our whole family LOVES the stuff! Wow. My folks grow some HUGE cabbages!

See the flat board with the big blade thingy? Kind of like a huge mandoline slicer. They shred the cabbage with this - being careful not to slice fingers of course! (That would make very un-vegan sauerkraut, after all!)
After we're done shredding/slicing and everyone has offered an opinion, the cabbage is packed into a huge pickling crock.

Can you see the dog? He kept eating the cabbage that dropped.


OK. Then the fun part! We stomp the cabbage down in the crock (with very clean bare feet, seriously!!) until it gets very juicy.

The only way to get "genuine" German kraut my Dad always says. I personally don't do the "stomping" part any more. I leave that for the younger folks. I just sit on the porch and offer advice like the old fart that I'm turning into...

All the leftover cabbage leaves are then ceremoniously fed to the neighbor's cows. This is as much a tradition for all of us as the actual sauerkraut-making, I swear. The cows LOVE the cabbage.

The smashed, stomped cabbage is then packed with salt and covered in the crock and allowed to sit for .... well... I don't know how long.... a long time, until it turns into sauerkraut. Then it's packed into quart jars and distributed to all of us girls.

Not to fear, there's so much salt, I doubt any foot germs are going to hang around. Can't wait for Vegan Reuben sammies and sauerkraut soup later this winter...

12 comments:

urban vegan said...

How cool! Thanks for sharing this interesting technique. I love sauerkraut but never realized how it was made.

Johanna3 said...

very interesting!

Cynthia said...

Hi there Tofu Mom! I am thrilled that you stopped by my blog so that I can discover yours and learn a lot of things such as making sauerkraut which, while I've never had, would like to try. I love cabbage.

I really appreciate your writing, it is so fresh and alive, it's like hearing you talk.

I hope you come back and visit whenever you can and thanks for the kind comments you left.

Cynthia

Andrew said...

That is so cool! I tried sauerkraut a long time ago and hated it. My tastes have matured over the years, so I tried some again a couple months ago on a tempeh reuben, and this time I liked it. I haven't bought anymore because I haven't figured out how/when to eat it. I have a bunch of comments:

-I'm the "big boned" gal of my family too. When it's picture time I like to place a little person in front of me, lol.

-I laughed about the bloody sauerkraut being un-vegan.

-Dog's like cabbage? I never would have guessed.

-cows: Aren't they flatulent enought? Must you add to it? ;)

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Glad you liked the post! I LOVE tempeh reubens made with our kraut.

Too funny, "flatulent cows"... I guess that's true.

Julie said...

Happy Birthday!!!! Also, what a cool tradition :]

LisaJean119 said...

Feet and food.. hmm.. That is a very interesting process and it's nice you have family traditions like that!

Hope you had a great birthday..

Julia said...

Oops! Andrew was me. My son had recently logged into his gmail account, which so that means he's automatically in blogger too.

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

I was wondering who "Andrew" was and why I couldn't post a comment on HIS (her?) blog....

bazu said...

I love this post! I'm a big fan of sauerkraut, but have never seen it being made- how cool.

The Veggie Cookster said...

GREAT post! Loved all the pics and learning about the kraut-making process. Love kraut myself! Hope the dog and cows didn't get bad gas from eating all the cabbage! :-p

scottishvegan said...

That looks like such a fun family day! Thanks for sharing!