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...

CHEERS!

Sauerkraut, Salsa and Rainy Days

Life has been crazy the last couple weeks, but things are calming down. I am, in fact, knocking on wood right now.

As I shared recently, we had a date with hubby's family to attend what has now become an annual sauerkraut making event. I've always enjoyed sauerkraut and we've been gifted homemade for years, but the tradition is now being passed down and 2 weekends ago, we attended our 3rd DIY kraut event. IMG_20131031_130100It's a relatively simple process with simple supplies: food processor, cabbage, salt, a bucket (ours was previously used for icing) and a good strong kraut smusher.

IMG_20131031_130302What is a kraut smusher, you ask? Well, this is ours and I suspect this is why we're invited. *wink* 

IMG_20131031_130537After layering shredded cabbage and salt, elbow grease is added and this happens:

IMG_20131031_130910Cool, huh? Our bucket of kraut is now fermenting in our basement and will be ready to eat in a few weeks. I can't wait! The day wrapped up with a delicious meal of dumplings, roast pork, sauerkraut, and apple crumble. All in all, a pretty fabulous day!

I also spent some time in the kitchen last week - shocking, I know. Taking the Veggie Fairy's warning that the peppers she delivered were "H.O.T.", I used these lovely veggies for One Tomato, Two Tomato's Roasted Garden Salsa.

VeggieFairyFollowing a recipe is a rare thing for me and I'm so glad I did - it's fabulous and easy!

After adding some of our garden tomatoes, I ended up with 5 pints:

IMG_20131023_102416 I haven't been in the kitchen much this week. Mr. Joey wasn't feeling well over the weekend and has been at the vet since Monday. After a few days in their care, I'm happy to report that he's feeling much better and coming home today. At nearly 13 years old, we know he's an old boy and we're lucky to have a little more time with him.

The last few days have reminded me how quiet a house without a bossy Siberian Husky is and I can't wait to have a full house again! Neither can this guy:

IMG_20131031_131123When it rains, Mr. Logan seriously debates how bad he really has to 'go'. For a dog that's 'all dog', I always find this quirk of his amusing!

I've also been knitting - a lot - so I'll be back with some yarny updates very soon.

Cheers! Alisa