welcome, and thank you for joining me on my farm and studio in southern lancaster county, pennsylvania

Monday, October 6, 2008

"putting food by"

This past weekend was a busy one in the kitchen. I started the hot habanero sauce (it has to steep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks), and canned sliced apples as well as apple sauce. But the big news is that I started a crock of sauerkraut. I've been wanting to do this for some time, but was always a little nervous. I mean, you slice up cabbage, add a little salt, cover it, wait 4-6 weeks and you are supposed to end up with sauerkraut. Logically, I know that it ferments and that's what keeps it from spoiling, but it's not something I'm real comfortable with yet. 

So I want to know just when it was that we lost touch with basic food preservation skills. My parents both grew up on farms, and yet just one generation later, I have none of this knowledge and have to look it up on the internet! Seems wrong somehow. 

It also seems wrong that so many people have such disdain for these skills, and sometimes even for the people that practice them. Sad, actually. Yes, I know, you can just go to the store and buy all the kraut you want for not much money and almost no effort. But then that's true of almost anything. Really, you don't even have to know how to cook anymore. Just buy pre-made food and heat it up. It concerns me a little that we have become/are becoming so inept at taking care of ourselves. We spend so much time working to make money that we have no time or inclination to do anything for ourselves. We'd rather just pay someone else to do everything for us. But where is the joy of accomplishment in that?


Jennifer and Steve said...


Anonymous said...

Kathy: Be warned! As a child one of my father's chores was to clean the sauerkraut crock after his grandmother made a batch. The smell turned his stomach so that to this day he will not eat sauerkraut!

Forewarned is Forearmed!

Bonnie Frank

Kim Nikolai said...

Hi Kathy,
I'm a fellow Shetland lover and was checking out your blog. I just wanted to mention that there is a cook book out called "Nourishing Traditions" that supports the "old" ways of preserving food. I use it quite often. I'm sure your sauerkraut will turn out wonderful!