Leisure Time | Kraut Day

It might be hard to believe, but my family has an annual Kraut Day. What is Kraut Day, you ask? It's the day that we get together with Mr. Yarnista's family and make sauerkraut. It's a really awesome thing. There was some debate at this year's gathering about what year this was and (thanks to my ridiculous skills for keeping track of things), 2016 marked the 6th Annual Kraut Day!

Mr. Yarnista shows off his coordinated  Port Huron Brewery  attire and beer, while holding a 10lb head of cabbage (and this was one of the smaller ones).

Mr. Yarnista shows off his coordinated Port Huron Brewery attire and beer, while holding a 10lb head of cabbage (and this was one of the smaller ones).


 It's a day that we very much look forward to and, either others were simply curious or we made it sound like loads of fun, because this year, we had 18 family members attend! The OKT (Original Kraut Team) formed in 2012 with 5 members and has grown a bit each year, but the 18 attendees this year, made it clear that this really is a thing (or maybe we're just really popular). 


So, how do you make kraut, you ask? First you need a 5 gallon bucket, then you need cabbage, pickling salt, and a food processor. Oh, and beer. Kraut cannot be made without a beer in the hand. Optional items are: rubber gloves, carpet square (for the knees), and knee pads.


Once you have all your supplies, you'll shred cabbage and begin layering cabbage and salt in your (super fancy) bucket. With each layer, you'll do a bit of smushing so the cabbage releases water. You'll continue repeating this layering process until your bucket is full'ish and then top it off with a bag of water to seal things up while the fermentation is in process. Kraut Day is early in October and the kraut should be ready for canning or freezing at the end of the year. It's SO good!

See, it's all very fancy and scientific. 

See, it's all very fancy and scientific. 


If you want to try making your own sauerkraut, thekitchn.com has a recipe for a smaller batch in a mason jar - I realized that not everyone is crazy about kraut and "needs" a 5 gallon bucket of it. I love fermenting in small batches and currently have a jar of homemade kimchi in process - I tried a new recipe this time and I'll share that once I can test it out for taste. 

Do you ferment? If so, what's your favorite to make?

This year's Kraut Day was October 1st and it was cool enough for me to wear a new sweater. The light rain gave way to a beautifully sunny afternoon, so I'll have FO pics of my new sweater to share with you next time...


Adventures in Yogurt Making

So, I've been pretty active the last few weeks.  I've been working on several work projects and we've been pretty busy with life in general. I've been doing a fair amount of knitting but I have also been finding time to do a little something in the kitchen.
A friend gifted a yogurt maker to me a few weeks back.  I was ecstatic and I'm pretty sure she thought I was nuts for my overwhelming enthusiasm at making my own yogurt - I get really excited sometimes.  LOL!
Here's the maker I got, it's from 1976 so it's as old as me!  It matches our kitchen counters very well, don't you think?
It came with EVERYTHING: manual, all the jars, lids and even the thermometer spoon.
I followed directions, twice, and only was able to make rotten milk.  It was very sad.  After the second trial, I admitted that this old gal may be past her prime so after some research, I ordered a new one.  This one is the Eurocuisine YM80 and it really is fabulous!
It has 7 individual serving jars and they are just the perfect size.  I am using organic skim milk, organic powdered nonfat milk and a little Greek yogurt for the starter.
We've been using it for smoothies with a banana and an orange.  Delicious!