Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Phoebe Pounds Cabbage

My dad couldn't resist the huge heads of cabbage from Uncle Merv in Thanksgiving week.  My basement is now highly insulated as part of our new boiler installation, so I didn't know where to ferment cabbage into sauerkraut.  But with cabbage so cheap (ok, my dad wouldn't let me pay him back, but I think it was something ridiculous like $1.50) and labor so willing, I had to experiment. It's a feat to find real work for toddlers (they're not easily fobbed off with fake chores!) that is actually helpful with minimal potential for breakage, bodily harm, and disaster.

I borrowed a mandoline from a neighbor and sliced two heads.  Phoebe took up the meat mallet with proud purpose to pound the cabbage to release its juices. Another key to having a toddler helper:  act like it's normal and don't over-praise because then you will mark their helpfulness as somehow abnormal. I want to encourage all the helpers!  We all eat food in this house and by gum, we can all pitch in.

I lugged the crock up to the balcony - I'm going to try fermenting outside!  The crock is in a sheltered spot and will get strong morning sun.  So far the weather has been fairly mild, so we'll see how the bacteria like being outside in the fresh air to make sauerkraut.


kay saylor said...

Still my daughter's favorite activity (and she is now 12). "We all eat food in this house and by gum, we can all pitch in." Love it!!!!

The way the weather is I bet your porch is just fine. I keep ferments in a cool closet on an outside wall. Another option if it gets too cool outside.

e said...

Such a great way for the wee one to help! And, I love your maxim:
We all eat food in this house and by gum, we can all pitch in.
Yes to that!

Lisa said...

Look at her work! I guess everybody's feeling a bit better at your place. :)

Becky said...

I'm a strong believer of letting those kids help out without letting them know how helpful they really are myself.
I can't wait to hear how your outdoor fermenting works out! I've had a hot sauce on my kitchen counter that I have to keep skimming, so I moved it out to our sunroom yesterday, hoping the sunlight will help keep that from happening more.

sofia said...

Great post and pictures

Marisa said...

Please do report back and let us know how the outdoor fermentation goes! I'll be curious to hear if it behaves any differently than an indoor ferment.