When I was a girl, my mom and I would make regular road trips down to Washington state to visit my grandparents. I remember in particular that my grandparents loved sauerkraut. I couldn’t wrap my head around it – how could rotting cabbage be anything that anyone would ever desire to eat, yet alone crave? Well, both me and the times have come around, and naturally fermented foods such as sauerkraut are supremely popular. And now I crave them too.
My Grandma died last month. I’m not writing that to gain sympathy from anyone, but because I’ve been thinking a lot about her and about the parts of her that are a part of me. If you’ve read my introductory post, Who am I and what am I doing here?, you will know that I inherited my love of gardening from my Grandma. In October last year I published a poem I wrote, Old Woman’s Summer, that was inspired by my childhood memories in my Grandma’s garden. In the days before she died, I re-read this poem many times, reflecting on the words and their memories.
So, today I made four jars of sauerkraut and I thought of my Grandma the whole time. My son helped me shred the veggies and macerate the cabbage and it is not lost on me the generational legacy I was actively creating.
I used a Christmas present that my mom gave to me, this Masontops Complete Mason Jar Fermentation Kit:
So, there you have it, four generations of sauerkraut lovers, all pounded firmly down tightly into a glass mason jar.
I got a little creative this time, after devouring the red cabbage sauerkraut that I made from my garden harvest this summer (see my Preserving Summer post). Instead of just making a regular cabbage kraut, I made four different kinds:
- “The Purist” – pure red cabbage
- “Bloomin’ and Rootin'” – Red cabbage, beet, carrot, and apple
- “Das Deutsch” – Red cabbage, beet, carrot, apple and caraway seed
- “The Ginga Ninja” – Red cabbage, beet, carrot, apple and fresh ginger
I can’t wait to give these a try and see which ones are hits and which ones are misses. Does anyone else have any creative sauerkraut or fermented vegetable recipes they love? Do you have a recipe that reminds you of your family lineage? I would love to hear your stories!