Sunday, September 19, 2021

Savoy Cabbage stars in our next batch of probiotic-rich kraut! #gardencuizine #stonesoupblog

    Savoy - Our next Batch of Kraut!

Savory cabbage stars in our next batch of probiotic-rich sauerkraut that is fermenting now. Did you see my social media posts of the most picture-perfect head of Savoy Cabbage? We bought it from our local farmers market. You can use any type of cabbage for homemade sauerkraut.

The Savoy cabbage was farm fresh, yet didn't yield as much brine as the regular head of fresh cabbage that we used in the last batch. I decided to add a little extra brine after 9-days of fermenting.

Making sauerkraut is fun and easy. I used one head of cabbage (Savoy this time), sliced it thin. In a large bowl, non-iodized sea salt was massaged into it: 1 tablespoon of course salt (not iodized) per 2 lbs. of sliced cabbage. 

I divided the cabbage mixture into two large glass mason jars, covered and set aside to ferment. Every day I open the lids to release any gases and poke down the kraut using tongs. With the lid on tight, sometimes turning the jar upside down to let any brine flow to the top so the top layer won't get moldy.

After 9-days the kraut seemed like it needed more brine. To reduce the amount of trapped air in the jars, I combined the two jars into one jar and pressed down the cabbage firmly. A small batch of additional brine was added. The brine still did not reach up to the top of the shredded cabbage; but, by the next day there was more brine! 

I learned from Holly Howe (see link below), who explains in her blog post, that brine level changes along with temperature in your kitchen. Perhaps our kitchen was a bit warmer. Plus the additional salt brine may have helped.

See below for my small batch brine recipe: note: this may or may not be a good idea! Some say that added brine could make the kraut mushy. I hope not. At the 21-day mark, I will add a comment on texture and flavor. - check back!

Recipe for 1/2 cup extra Sauerkraut Brine

1/2 tsp Non-iodized course sea salt

1/2 cup Chlorine free water (I used filtered tap water)

Related Links

Kraut in a Jar by book author Holly Howe

10 Delicious Kraut Additions

Blog post and photos Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Today in our South Jersey garden: beautiful blooms, Milkweed, Monarchs, Figs and ants! #GardenCuizine

Today in Our NJ Garden - zone 7a (was 6b)

September 5, 2021

Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer. "End of Summer" seemed like the perfect title to my above photograph taken today in our front garden of Black-eyed Susan's with Sweet Autumn Clematis. 

The highlight of my day today was to see both a Monarch caterpillar AND a Monarch butterfly!! The monarch caterpillar was resting on Common Milkweed in Harry's Milkweed Meadow and the Monarch butterfly was visiting a small patch of native hardy Ageratum. Of course, both got reported on Journey North's website as fall Monarch migration is officially underway! 

I snapped a few photos of the Monarch caterpillar and butterfly with my cell phone and when I went back with my good camera to get better pictures later in the day, they were gone.

Figs growing on one of our fig trees
Today, our veggie garden is bursting with blooming garlic chives, zinnias and cannas. We also have dahlias (not blooming yet), chia and peppers and heirloom tomatoes that will keep producing here and there until the first killing frost.

This is our best year ever for figs! Figs have to be picked as soon as they ripen. Both trees are producing figs. Today I picked two huge figs from our littlest fig tree (variety unknown). One fig had to be sacrificed to the ants; they beat us to it.

One quick note about when to pick figs. I had this question, "Will figs continue to ripen once picked?" I read that figs do not ripen after they are picked. However, we just discovered that they do continue to ripen. Our Chicago figs continue to ripen and get sweeter after they are picked. Now, we just need to improve our timing of picking figs before the ants march in.

Happy Labor Day!

Related Links

Journey North - report your Monarch Sightings!

Photos and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.