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Sauerkraut (Nourishing Traditions version)

Makes 1 quart

1 medium cabbage quartered and shredded

1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional. Make sure you like them before using!)

1 tablespoon sea salt

4 tablespoons whey (if not available use an additional 1 tablespoon salt)

In a bowl, mix cabbage with caraway seeds, sea salt and whey. Pound with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer for about ten minutes to release juices. Place in quart sized, wide mouth mason jar and press down firmly with pounder or meat hammer until juices come to the top of the cabbage. The top of the cabbage should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to cold storage. This may be eaten immediately, but improves with age.

What do you mean by cold storage?  Fridge.

I have stored it either in the fridge (as we were using it immediately) or in a cold part of our home (the pantry). Anywhere the temp is normally lower (around 45 or less is what I've been doing.)

All that happens is it continues to ferment. Many years ago folks would make a batch in a fairly good sized crock, set it on their back porch (no matter the temp), and keep it covered. If anything 'funky' grew on the top of the liquid it was skimmed off no problem.

There's no place in my house that is 45 unless its the back porch in the winter at night.

Granddaddy used to keep a barrel of it in the barn all year along with a barrel of pickels and sausages in lard.  I don't have too many crocks so I've been putting it in quart mason jars.  I "canned" half of them but the other half I didn't.  I can't see what could be wrong with not heating it but then again it will be anaerobic conditions sealed but then again it will have high acid.  I'm confused.

I think it is all about *how* you set it up. For the recipe that I've given, you have two very beneficial preservation 'aids' as it were. So whether you use salt or whey (with whey being the preferred) you have the base that your kraut needs to 'live' and be edible no matter when you consume it.

As for storage, I honestly really do not stress about temps. The crocks worked well as the kraut could *breathe* as it was stored. If you *seal* it with/without starting the fermentation process, then it will die...thus a rotten product would ensue.

When you pressure can it you kill *everything* about it and as long as it isn't opened, you're Ok...once air hits it though you are on a time limit. Living products don't have the same limitations.

You'll need to think outside the box with this or it isn't going to make a lot of sense. I'm sorry if I only made this as clear as mud for you. I can be terrible at explaining things...

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