18 September 2013

A Day at Heart's Ease Cottage

The weather is cooling and the outdoors beckons...I love the fall. I hate to miss a minute of it by having to be inside, but there are lots of things that need doing this time of year, so this day was spent inside. I tried to make the inside feel like it was outside by opening all the windows and doors so that the cool breeze could waft through and the bird song could keep me company while I was working. My husband worked from home so that he would be available to help out with the "heavy lifting". It was great fun to work together!

We recently went on a trip to the mountains, while we were there we picked up a bushel of apples. The apples are beautiful this year! All the rain we got made the large and juicy. We bought 1/2 bushel of Zestar, a tart/sweet crunchy apple, that is good for pies and dehydrating, and 1/2 bushel of Honey Crisp, a sweet, juicy firm apple that is great for eating out of hand. Our first task of the day was to get the Zestar apples pared, cored, sliced and in the dehydrator. Fortunately, we have a handy dandy tool that does all of that in one operation! Da welded the apple gizmo while I soaked the prepared apples in citric acid for a few minutes and loaded them onto the trays.

Some of the apples were too soft to use as apple rings, so I made them into fruit leather...yum! I will post a "how to" and a recipe for Apple Pie fruit leather on another blog entry, so if you are interested check back in a few days!

The next task on the list was to make some spiced purple sauerkraut. I have been wanting to test out a recipe I thought up months ago, but I wanted to wait until the fall when all the produce I needed for it was in season. The technique for making raw sauerkraut is discussed in depth here, so for this post I will not repeat most of the instructions for making sauerkraut, but I will show you what it looks like and give you a recipe.
Da is squeezing the cabbage for me.

This is what the cabbage should look like when it is ready for you to add the other ingredients.

Spiced Purple Cabbage Sauerkraut

4 pounds of purple cabbage, shredded
1 tsp. salt per pound of cabbage
2 apples cored and shredded
1 red beet scraped and shredded
1/2 tsp. ground alspice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp.Turkish  Garam Masala ( any Garam Masala will work fine, or if you can't obtain it you can omit it, or make your own).

Prepare red cabbage, (follow the directions on my tutorial for preparing the cabbage and putting the prepared kraut in the jar to ferment.), once the cabbage has been prepared, add the apples, beets and spices. Work the added ingredients into the cabbage until uniformly distributed, then pack the 1/2  gallon capacity jar (or two quart sized mason jars), with the kraut mixture as directed in the above link to the tutorial. Pace jar in a bowl or other glass or plastic container, I often use a plastic shoe box, no lid required), to prevent an overflow mess. Gasses being released during fermentation may carry some of the liquid out of the jar as they go. The kraut will be ready 5-10 days after fermentation. Check at 5 days, if the kraut isn't sweet/tart enough for you then leave until you get the desired level of tartness. Refrigerate once you have reached desired flavor to prevent further fermentation.

Serving ideas:
Top your salad with the kraut and skip the dressing
Make a raw salad of cubed apples, thinly sliced celery, craisins, chopped walnuts, and the kraut.

If you eat cooked food and meat, this sauerkraut would be a tasty side dish, for broiled turkey keilbasa, with baked apples and pumpernickel bread. It would also be great in a mushroom or turkey Reuben, with Honey Mustard dressing instead of Thousand Island dressing and Pumpernickel bread instead of Rye bread.

So with the sauerkraut on to ferment and the house smelling deliciously like baked apples, (the scent of dehydrating apples and fruit leather), I am on to my next task... tending my indoor garden, which today includes rinsing clover sprouts, starting another batch of Kefir for my hubby, checking on the progress of a batch of Kombucha I started a week ago, and fermenting another batch of pickled Daikon radishes.
My kitchen counter is always in use to produce the sprouted and fermented foods we eat every day. The things that are growing may change from week to week, depending on what the menu for the week is, but you can always find something sprouting or fermenting to add nutrition, interest and probiotic goodness to our diet!

Well, it was a busy and happy day, but now I am beat... I hope that this post will encourage you to try making your own fermented foods to add to your diet! Have a great day!

1 comment:

  1. I love those apples you brought back! Josie did, too.


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