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Fermented Saeurkraut

Fermented sauerkraut is perhaps one of the easiest foods to make. All you need is cabbage, salt, and time. You can ferment it in a jar, a crock, or any other container you have on hand. This recipe was a part of our  Old Time Oktoberfest meal.
 
1. Shred the cabbage. You can use a food processor if you want thin shreds, or you can chop it by hand if you want your kraut a bit chunkier.
 
2. As you chop, dump the cabbage into a large bowl. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of salt over the top. You can use any salt you like. As you continue to make the kraut, you'll get a feel for how salty you like the finished product.
 
3. Cover the bowl and leave it alone for a few hours. This step is optional, but it makes the next step a lot easier!
 
4. Uncover the bowl and begin to squeeze and knead the cabbage with your hands. There should be liquid that the salt has already begun to draw out. The idea is to get as much liquid as possible. Some people use a kraut hammer here (just a wooden mallet) to help get the juices out.
 
5. Pack the cabbage into a jar or crock, using your hand to mash it down. The cabbage needs to be below the surface of the liquid.
 
6. Use some kind of weight to keep the cabbage down below the surface of the liquid. This could be a small diner plate if you're using a crock, or a small round wooden disk. You can even use the root end of the cabbage (wedged between the cabbage and the lid of the jar) or a large piece of cabbage (folded over the top to push the cabbage under).
 
7. Put it on a shelf and wait. When you see bubbles start, you'll know the fermentation has begun. If you are fermenting in a jar, you will need to open the jar slightly every now and then to let the CO2 out. Otherwise, quite a lot of pressure can build up. Some people prefer using the swing-top jars with rubber gaskets that let the pressure out naturally without letting air in.
 
8. Taste every day or so. When it has reached the level of sourness you want, put it in the fridge.