Mar. 19th, 2007

orelonde: (kitchen madonna)
Meinen Mann has been missing my sauerkraut, and I've been feeling up to making another batch (go go gadget meds, even with your side effects), so I asked him to bring home two or three cabbages so I could put up a jar.

He brought home two plus cabbages, so I put up a *big* crock, plus made a quart of kimchee and a pan of franks-and-cabbage with fennel and other seasonings.

I followed the directions from Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions:
per medium cabbage, a Tablespoon of sea salt + 4 Tablespoons whey or 1 additional T salt, pound 'til juices run, pack in crock, press and hold all cabbage beneath at least 1" liquid, let ferment 3+ days before serving / moving to cold storage.

I sliced the cabbage with my grandmother's kraut slicer while watching The Incredibles with the fam. I only dinged myself thrice, once each on thumb and middle finger, once on the thumbnail -- not bad for four and a half cabbagesworth while watching TV and interacting with other people, especially all gimped up and stuff as I am). This slicer's older, faster and sharper than my mom's kraut slicer, which I also have (though my mom's also grates ginger, a definite plus).

I retrieved a gallon glass jar from the laundry hall shelves (It's not exactly a room, and is the path between dining room and workshop - a step up from both and from the back door, by which it is; not an ideal setup for the mobility-challenged). (The jar was ariginally from my then-local Subway franchise, it held pickles or pickled peppers. Delis go through lots and lots of glass jars and food grade plastic buckets and friendly managers are often willing to give you their discards.) When I set it down on the dining room table, I spied my mother's Rumtopf.

Would I scandalize the family by putting up sauerkraut in her Rumtopf (rumpot)? (It's this model, exactly link. -- gray stoneware with cobalt blue glaze decoration. RUMTOPF and various fruits decorate the front, instructions in Deutsch, in block script for my non-Fraktur- non-Seutterlin-reading enjoyment, are on the reverse.)

A quick phone-a-friend consultation with [ profile] libbilu put my fears to rest. According to her report, no one but Mom liked the Rumtopf punch and Gram put sauerkraut and bread and butter pickles in the crock given her. (Kraut and pickle recipes things to search for in these boxes, and I need to get cracking on the scanning project ... need handheld scanner, if they still make 'em, for delicate bindings, or prop books up and take pictures of pages with the camera -- yes! Why didn't I think of that sooner?).

I, myself, have ambivalent memories of the punch as I was poisoned by being fed too much fruit by my then-fifteen year-old sister back when I was six (she loves me and she'd never give me alcohol to drink, but didn't realize the alcohol soaked into the composting/fermenting/becoming more potent by the moment fruit -- that was not a Happy New Year for me), but the crock itself is *gorgeous*.

These memories, and knowing my Gram may have shredded cabbage (and barked her knuckles, and dinged her fingernails) on the same shredder, putting it down in an identical crock, make it all the better.


I've not been able to sleep well tonight, and to save husband + babymandus the discomfort of trying to sleep next to my wiggly, awake self, I padded out to the kitchen a little over an hour after the Mister came to bed, typed this up and started making tamales.

I've been craving tamales lately. Tamales and stuffed shells, both... so I figured I'd see if I could meld the two recipes, and make a sort of mid-ocean mishmash of the two dishes.

I'm sort of following along with the recipe, and most of the instructions, here. I'm substituting some spices (I used smoked paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, ground cumin, turmeric) and oil (peanut and sunflower) in the 1/2 batch of masa and am filling it with browned, ground turkey (with red onion, elephant garlic, basil, salt, pepper, garlic powder)and yogurt cheese (my on-hand answer to the ricotta I've been craving). Some with one filling, some with another, some with both.

I didn't realize they took so long to cook (2 hours to steam) and while waiting have been puttering at the sink, finishing up a stack of dishes, and at the computer, making this entry's icon from an image found on the web of a statue I dearly, dearly, dearly love.

I also wanted to share these links on cultured dairy, as when I get the counter ready, I'll be doing more with that again. -- Buttermilk, © David B. Fankhauser, Ph.D., Professor of Biology and Chemistry, University of Cincinnati Clermont College, Batavia OH 45103. Cultured buttermilk, includes its microbiology and recipes for waffles. -- Dom's Kefir In-Site. Everything you *ever* wanted to know about kefir.

Verdict on the tamales: cheese ones edible, meat ones *good*. Both, good too. Could also use beans in the middle, I spose, and the Three Sisters Stew (codename: schlop) I made the other day would work here well. Served with sour cream, very mild salsa (says so on the label), bread-&-butter and dill pickle chips and two-day-fermented kimchee (good flavor except too salty for my taste) right off the top of the jar.

March 2007

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