I had to go into town to pick up some chicken supplies today. On the way home I stopped at Harman's Farm. I occasionally see Mr. Harman at work, in fact last week he brought in a big bag of peas from their abundant harvest to share. My wife is a high school teacher and taught one of the Harman kids. Buying local definitely has an impact.
I bought three head of cabbage for sauerkraut, and twenty cucumbers and an onion for more pickles. This is my first attempt at sauerkraut, but as I'm interested in the biochemical processes that transform raw ingredients into the foods and drinks we know and love, it seems to be the next natural step. As I was researching how to prepare sauerkraut, of concern were numerous comments about lead content in many home crock pots. Apparently, in some models, the paint contains lead. We don't use our crock pot too often, but knowing that lead is absorbed by children much more readily than by adults, I purchased a lead test kit just to be sure.
Our crock pot doesn't contain lead, at least as indicating by the test kit, and I feel a little better about the crock pot meals our family previously ate. And now I feel safe using the crock for fermenting cabbage.
I never liked, no, strike that, I absolutely hated sauerkraut when I was a kid. Certainly our sense of taste changes as we age, but I also think my mom probably bought canned and pasteurized sauerkraut, which doesn't taste nearly as good as the real deal. I remember being in my early twenties, when at a German restaurant, being baffled by how much better the sauerkraut tasted, and, shhhhhhh, I actually like it. And now, sauerkraut is something I very much enjoy and am excited to "possibly" have right here at home. The hard part will be the waiting while the little super bugs do their jobs...So, I am looking forward, with great anticipation, to about three weeks from now when I'll check the flavor to make sure no bad bugs thwart my attempt at homemade sauerkraut.