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By Laura Stec

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About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Savior Sauerkraut (cough cough cough)

Uploaded: Nov 18, 2018

Went out Thursday night to a really fun Food Party! near 101. I was feeling fine, wearing my face mask and all; it was a beautiful night, despite the smoke. Surprised to find it was an outdoor party when I got there. Was Thursday the worst air or was it Friday? Oh well, I snuggled close to a big, gas fireplace, and took off the mask because gosh, it was chilly, and you can’t sip a Moscow Mule with any sense of style in an N95’er.

Wasn’t there but an hour and a half, when I lean to my guest with “Please excuse me, I have to go in and get some fresh air.”

Think about that for a minute.

I’m sick-sick-sick of smoke. Been hiding inside for three days. Last year when Fire Mania happened, a number of you got all over my case after posting, I AM THE GOD OF HELL FIRE, AND I BRING YOU

This is worse than then.

Anyways, the air inside didn’t help and I left the party abruptly. Didn’t feel right, but couldn’t peg it, I felt weird, bad – it came on so soon. Drove away holding my stomach some, I do remember that, and made it to Stanford when I knew I had to stop the car. Stepped out and proceeded to get violently ill, kind of unexpectedly, over the curb and into the bushes; fancy dress, business coat, nude fishnets, and all. A guy stops,

“Are you ok?”

Without even thinking, cuz I wasn’t thinking,…

“I’ve been poisoned.”

He calls the guard, we all figure I don’t need medical help, and I make it home safely. Got sick once again; though by now there’s little left to get sick of, if you know what I mean. I haven’t thrown up in years. It’s a humbling activity.

The whole thing came on so fast. I felt fine when I arrived. Was it food poisoning, carbon monoxide poisoning from a leak in the gas fire, the “world’s worst” air, or a little of all three? Who knows?

Spent Friday and Saturday inside because of the crappy air and hell, I felt the same. Didn’t have but a bowl of soup each day. Nothing sounded good to eat.

But suddenly Sunday, when I opened my fridge, I saw'all. I’ve been looking at you since August when I made you, eating a little here and there. Recently thought I should actually start eating more; didn’t want you to go bad.

My homemade sauerkraut.

God, all of a sudden that fermenting cabbage looked like the ol' waterfall in a desert mirage. I couldn’t stop, ate about a cup, then did a few kraut juice shooters to boot, and I am not kidding you, guess who starts to feel like a person again? Stomach mellows, mood lightens, hunger returns… pretty much back to normal.

So halleluiah, and god bless homemade sauerkraut! All those maybe, possibly, precious microbiome rushing on in to reset my gut? Or something-or-other like that? I love you guys!

Here’s my recipe.

You gotta make this stuff.

EZ Sauerkraut – with water

1 head of cabbage

Rinse and remove outer layer of cabbage. Cut into 4-6 wedges. Mix 6-7 cups filtered water to ¼ cup kosher salt. (filtered water removes chlorine, kosher salt has no Iodine).

Put cabbage in a clean dried jar or crock. Pour over liquid. Place a plate, or a wooden lid over the top, and a clean jar of water or rocks as weights (Corneillia used rocks) to keep the cabbage submerged. Cover everything with cloth. Let sit in a cool-ish place 5-8 days. Check for scum every day or so and skim off any you see. Remove from brine and transfer to Tupperware, add back a little of the brine and store in the refrigerator. Keeps over a month, and gets better in the fridge. Also, the left over brine is good to drink. It's alive.

EZ Sauerkraut – no water

1 head of cabbage

Rinse and remove outer layer of cabbage, slice very thin. Add to a bowl with 1.5 – 2 tablespoons of kosher or pickling salt and mix well with your hands till liquid begins to emerge. Put into a crock, jar or salad press and weigh it down. Cover with a cloth.

Within 24 hours, the cabbage should be submerged in its own liquid. If not, dissolve 1½ tablespoons pickling salt in 1 quart water and pour over as much as you need to cover the cabbage. Check for scum every couple days and remove.

Start tasting after 2 weeks. It should be fully fermented in 2-4 weeks at 70° - 75°F, or in 5-6 weeks at 60°F. Store in refrigerator.

Optional add ins: 1) Cucumbers, garlic, dill, sea salt. 2) Horseradish, leeks, carrots, sea salt.

3) Onions, carrots, daikon radishes, jalapeño peppers, sea salt.

Best to add flavor and spices at end of pickling process part 1.

What’s the difference between pickling and kosher salt?
Pickling salt contains more sodium than kosher salt because kosher has larger grains – so use less pickling salt than kosher.

Also, pickling salt contains no additives and it’s fine grain dissolves easily in water. Kosher salt is also without additives, but the coarser grain prefers heating the water to dissolve into a brine.

Salad press - great for kraut! Buy at an Asian store
Photo by LSIC

What is it worth to you?


Posted by Smoke sucks, a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Hills,
on Nov 19, 2018 at 8:41 am

Hang in there girl!

Posted by bnjnbvb, a resident of Blossom Valley,
on Nov 19, 2018 at 9:14 am

Thanks for sharing. A really good post,

Posted by jhonymax, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood,
on Nov 19, 2018 at 10:12 am

jhonymax is a registered user.

I loved your content.

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Nov 20, 2018 at 7:43 am

Note to everyone, making sauerkraut with water is a bit easier, because you don't have to spend the extra time squeezing juice from the cabbage. However, the water ends up diluting the brine, making it lest crisp, zesty and in my mind "high-vibe." It doesn't take that long to massage the cabbage, and with the salad press, the time is reduced even more. Taking the extra moments to make with NO water is the preferred method for me.

Posted by Reader, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood,
on Nov 20, 2018 at 8:29 am

Niro virus?

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