I didn’t know I wanted to make sauerkraut until I unwrapped the giant box my Sissy gave me for Christmas and found a ten liter stone crock for making sauerkraut. Ten liters! I knew this was going to be great. I love fermented foods, and I love playing pioneer. Salting down a ton of cabbage in a stone crock falls squarely into both categories of goodness.
At the grocery store I filled my little cart to the top with heads of cabbage. And a box of salt.
I consulted the recipe booklet and finely shredded eleven heads of cabbage. I layered the cabbage into the crock, sprinkling with salt, then packing it down as firmly as I could.
The instructions said to only fill the crock 4/5 full. I may have gone a little beyond that in my enthusiasm…
I then placed the stone weights on top of the cabbage, poured in boiled and cooled water until it covered the cabbage by a few inches, and put the lid on the crock.
I heaved the full crock up onto the kitchen counter, and filled the groove around the lid with water.
The next step is to wait: several days until I start to hear bubbles, then I will move the crock to a cooler location for several weeks until the fermentation is complete. The instructions warn not to lift the lid under any circumstances, for at least two weeks.
It’s a little like having the Manhattan Project in my kitchen. Only better of course, because there are no bombs. Will it start to bubble? Will it start to smell? Will I be able to resist lifting the lid and peeking inside for two whole weeks?