The Wonderful World of Making Kraut-Chi


Two batches of just-started kraut-chi

Two batches of just-started kraut-chi.

Most of my friends know that I love to garden, experiment, and create in the kitchen. A few years ago, two friends in particular (Bonnie Jean and Sarah) urged me to make my own sauerkraut. Each one insisted that it was super easy—and good for our bodies. The biggest hump I needed to get over was what on earth to do with anything I might make. The only thing I could think of off the top of my head was adding kraut to the occasional Reuben sandwich.

Thankfully, my curiosity (and their consistent urging) got the better of me and I decided to make the leap into the amazing world of fermentation—and an amazing world it is! Beside being an ancient form of preservation used world-wide, it seems that every day someone is proving how eating and drinking fermented foods has great health benefits.

That original entree has tumbled me into trying out kefir, kombucha, sourdough, apple cider vinegar (okay, that was completely accidental), hard cider, beer, and mead (a type of wine created with water, honey, and yeast).

My favorite guide into the world of fermenting is Sandor Katz, whose books The Art of Fermentation and Wild Fermentation were added very quickly to my own personal collection after cruising the copies I’d checked out from the public library. The former book appeals to my artistic and explorative brain by explaining the history and processes of many types of fermentation with wide open and very general guidelines to follow. The latter is more of a cookbook with specific recipes for those who prefer less experimentation.

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