Friday, February 17, 2012

Sour Kraut Update

   This past fall when I made sour kraut I tried something a little different.  Instead of canning the whole batch, I purchased a couple of one quart jars with rubber seals and clamping lids. I filled those two jars with raw sour kraut and have stored them in the fridge.  There seems to be a bit of a tidal flow in refrigerators that causes infrequently used items to flow to the back of the fridge.  Anyhow, today I happened to notice my two quarts of raw sour kraut that have been sitting in the back of the fridge for the past four months.  When I took them and examined them, both jars seem to have kept just fine.  They really looked just the same as they did four months ago. Therefore I opened one jar and tried a bit of the raw sour kraut on my sausage.  It was quite wonderful and tasted every bit as good as it did four months ago.  I really prefer the flavor of the raw sour kraut over the cooked sour kraut. I just don't have adequate cool storage to do more than a few quarts that way.  A friend told me that there are some great health benefits from eating raw lacto fermented foods like sour kraut. It is supposed to aid digestion similar to yogurt with live bacteria cultures.  However, until I have a functional root cellar where I can store the raw sour kraut somewhere besides my fridge I think I will be canning most of my sour kraut.

      I had read that Captain Cook's voyage was the first long sea voyage by the British Navy with no cases of scurvy.  The reason was that they took with them a great many barrels of raw sour kraut, a wonderful source of vitamin C.  Supposedly they still had a few barrels left when they neared England and gave them to a passing fishing boat.  I think it is truly amazing that they could store raw sour kraut in oak barrels and have it keep several years.
As pretty as the day it went into the fridge, about 4 months ago.

  I finished my goat shearing stand yesterday morning and I'm anxious to try it out. However, I seem to have caught a little bit of a cold so it will have to wait until tomorrow afternoon.  I still have to make a little addenda to the platform that I can put on for Buster to raise the height such that his neck will be at the right height for the board that swings into place to hold his neck.  I'm not sure what the proper term is for that. The general idea is that I will be able to shear the goats without the need of an assistant or two to hold them down.  I'm anxious to see if it will work the way it is or if I'll have to make some adjustments.

    I did a little gardening the other day.  I decided to replant one of our hollow stumps.  I had planted chives there about four years ago.  As the stump continued to rot and the cavity enlarged, the chives kept sinking down further into the hollow.  I dug them all out, added about ten gallons of dirt, divided the clumps of chives, and replanted them.  I filled in the area around the chives with the primroses we had used in our booth at the Flower and Garden Show. I also added some pansies we had gotten for free from an adjacent booth.  That booth was promoting a new product which is designed to replace peat pots.  Its a much thinner material and the plant roots seem to penetrate it very readily, unlike peat pots.

    My second runner duck hen started to lay this morning.  That makes the current score Ducks 20, Chickens 0.  The early start of the ducks has really put the hometown chickens in a pretty deep hole.  However, since I own both teams at least one of my teams doing well. As a Washington Husky fan I never thought I'd be saying this, but "Go ducks!"


  1. Oh! Your stump is so cute! That gardening show just rubs off on everyone. :) I'm sure Mom will be surprised at your foray into decorative gardening.
    No one here is even selling primroses yet. I had to drive all across town to even find a pansy to show my nursery class. :( Something about late frost or some trash like that.
    Miss you! Take good care of your cold!

  2. ...and I like your goat-sheering stand!