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TO MAKE "SAUER KRAUT"

(German) - (Pennsylvania Germans)







Cut heads of cabbage in half, after trimming off outside leaves. Cut
out centres or hearts, cut cabbage fine on a regular old-fashioned
cabbage cutter, which has a square box on top of cutter to hold the
pieces of cabbage when being pushed back and forth over the cutter. If
not possible to procure this, use small slaw cutter for the purpose.
Partly fill a large pan with the cut cabbage, and mix enough salt,
with the hands, through the cut cabbage to be palatable when tasted,
no more. This was the rule taught Aunt Sarah by her Grandmother, and
always followed by her. Then put the salted cabbage into a wooden cask
or small tub to the depth of several inches. Pound the cabbage down
well with a long-handled, heavy, wooden mallet, something like a very
large wooden potato masher. Then mix another panful of finely cut
cabbage, lightly salted, into the tub and pound down well, as before.
Continue in this manner until the tub is partly filled with cabbage,
pounding down well at the last until the liquid formed by the cabbage
and salt rises above the cabbage. Cover the kraut with a layer of
large, clean cabbage or grape leaves, then cover top with a clean
piece of muslin cloth, place a round, clean board on top and put a
well-scrubbed, heavy stone on the board to weight it down. Stand the
tub in a warm place several days, to ferment. When fermentation
begins, the liquor rises over the top of the board. Remove the scrum
which rises to top, in about six days, and stand in a cool part of the
cellar after washing stone and cloth with cold water, return to top of
kraut and in two weeks the sauer kraut will be ready to use. Should
the sauer kraut require extra liquid at any time, add one quart of
water in which has been dissolved two teaspoonfuls of salt. Squeeze
the sauer kraut quite dry when taking it from the brine to cook. Boil
about two quarts of the sauer kraut several hours with a piece of
fresh pork and a little water until the pork is thoroughly cooked
through, when the sauer kraut should be cooked tender.
Some prefer "frankfurters" cooked with the kraut instead of pork, and
others do not care for the German dish without the accompaniment of
drop dumplings. Serve mashed potatoes and simple dessert with sauer
kraut.
Aunt Sarah taught Mary to save the hearts of the cabbage usually
thrown aside when making sauer kraut. The hearts were trimmed all one
size, like small triangles. She cooked them in salted water until
tender, drained them and served with a cream dressing, and they had
much the flavor of a dish of cauliflower.
Frau Schmidt always placed several tart apples among her sauer kraut
when making it, and thought it improved the flavor of the kraut; gave
it a "winey" flavor, obtained in no other manner. A sour apple, cored
and cooked with sauer kraut is considered by some cooks an
improvement. The apple, of course, is not eatable. Aunt Sarah _never_
placed apples with her sauer kraut.











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