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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sauerkraut

Kitchen Update: Yes I know the renovations are taking longer than anticipated but we've been slowed by weather, company and waiting for things like the sink and hinges ordered online that took a bit longer to get here than anticipated. Besides we are doing it ourselves which really means life gets in the way. Last night we tore off the old laminate from the wall and removed the back splash from the existing counter tops. We discovered a plug receptacle that had been covered over but it is in a good location so the electrician is coming out Friday morning to connect it properly. We would do it ourselves but we aren't sure were to connect it to. This morning we cut the breakfast island top to the shape we want it then after seeing it we are debating cutting it shorter and possibly narrower. So that is where we are at right now. I will be making a more detailed post on my homemaking blog later today.

Summer is in full swing here. The weather has been hot, muggy and stormy perfect for grilling to keep the heat out of the house. Salads and cold dishes are working nicely as well. Meals have been a bit simpler to prepare with the kitchen renovations. It seems like we are doing something daily on renovation except when I have to clean up for family, company or want to can something. The kitchen really needs to be fully functional during these times.

For all the grilling we do, hotdogs and sausages are not high up on the list. In order of preference for grilled meats are beef, chicken, pork and while hotdogs and sausages can be made from one or more of those meats, they just aren't our first choice. We tend to have these on hand mainly for company because some prefer a hotdog or sausage to a burger. We even have a friend and I kid you not prefers either a hamburger or hotdog to steak!

Honey Garlic Sausage

The local schools have moved away from selling chocolate bars as a fund raiser. Instead they are selling things like cookie dough and popcorn. The local soccer kids were selling boxes of meat so we supported them and bought a couple of boxes. What you get is a coupon saying you made that purchase then you go pick it up. It's rather a nice way to do fundraising yet giving those who donate something useful. Not that chocolate bars and popcorn aren't useful but meats are a better value in my book :)

We grilled honey garlic sausage on the weekend. It was nothing fancy but with the warm temperatures and kitchen it was a nice meal paired with a salad. To me sausages just beg for sauerkraut, a good mustard and lots of onions. On this occasion I used fresh chopped onions but sauteed onions are even better! I adjust the sauerkraut recipe to use 10 lb of cabbage that yields about 10 - 250 ml jars of sauerkraut. I know that isn't a lot but we don't go through a lot of sauerkraut. As always please see my additional notes.

Sauerkraut

50 lb cabbage
1 lb canning salt

Remove the outer leaves and bottom stem portion of the cabbage. Wash and drain. Cut into 2 - inch wedges. Shred 5 lb of cabbage using the food shredder/slicer attachment for the KitchenAid® stand mixer or use the shredding blade on your food processor. Place in a large bowl. Thoroughly mix 3 tbsp canning salt with the cabbage. Let stand several minutes to wilt. Pack salted cabbage firmly and evenly into a large, clean pickling crock*. Use a wooden spoon or tamper to press down firmly until the juice comes to the surface. Repeat shredding, salting and packing the cabbage in batches of 5 lb until the crock is filled to within 3 to 4 - inches of the top. If the juice does not cover the cabbage, add brine.** Cover the cabbage with cheesecloth and tuck edges down against the insides of the container. Weigh the cabbage under the brine. Allow to sit at room temperature until bubbles appear indicating fermentation has started. Remove and discard scum formation daily. Allow to ferment at room temperature (70º to 75º F) 3 to 6 weeks.

To can: Bring the sauerkraut to a simmer but do not boil. Pack the into hot, sterilized jars leaving ½ - inch headspace. Ladle hot liquid over the sauerkraut leaving ½ - inch. Wipe the rims. Adjust two piece lids. Process 15 minutes for pints, 20 minutes for quarts in boiling water bath canner.

* crock - I use a 5 gallon food grade pail
** Brine: 1½ tbsp canning salt to 1 quart of water; bring to a boil then cool and use as required.


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