Sauerkraut made in a toilet reservoir

When my three kids were 10 years old we started the tradition of sauerkraut making, outside, on a long table. We would pick the cabbages, put them in a large galvanized steel tub of water. One kiddo cut away the bad parts and weighed them. One started shredding on an antique shredder we found at a second hand store. Another child added the salt and several kids smashed it, working together in unison. The shredded and salted and smashed cabbage went into a big toilet water reservoir we found at the recycle yard and cleaned thoroughly. We had carved a four inch plank to the shape of the reservoir and pushed it down until the plank was covered in cabbage juice. On top of all this we put jars full of water to keep the kraut under the plank. All of this happened on Autumn Equinox. On Winter Solstice, we took the plank off for the first time, skimmed off the mold and ugly green stuff, and took our first pot full of kraut for a winter feast. We tried to save enough kraut to last until the next reservoir was ready to open the next year. 

 

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Comment by Joan Denoo on October 19, 2014 at 11:55pm

Grinning Cat, you are clever. That would be a really good birthday cake for some great kids I know. 

Čenek, yes, it was things like this they remember. A side story, my son Craig was going through his separation phase one summer when we were making kraut, and scavenging firewood for our fireplace. His way of rebelling was far easier on me than Cary and Laura's separation phases. Craig grew his hair very long, so long it kept getting in his way, whether shredding cabbage or chopping wood. After a few cuts from the slicer and the saw, he went in the bathroom and cut his hair. We then went to the barber and he got a really fine styled haircut. 

Comment by Grinning Cat on October 19, 2014 at 10:59pm

Now if you had used the other part of the toilet....  even then, when clean, it's just a container.

There are recipes for cookies that look like cat poop. (Google and ye shall find.) The suggested way to serve them is in a new, never used litterbox, with a new, never used litter scoop. Just sayin'...

Comment by Čenek Sekavec on October 19, 2014 at 10:24pm

Haha!! Great story Joan!  Even more than the memorable kraut vessel I'm certain that your kids value their participation in making it. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 19, 2014 at 2:31pm

Daniel, I went to a junk yard looking for crocks 40 years ago. They were too expensive, but the toilet water reservoir were cheap. They worked beautifully. And a great conversation piece.

You pee is  practical and perfectly proper in the plant pots.  

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 19, 2014 at 12:57pm

I am surprised no one has mentioned the container in which I made the kraut. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 19, 2014 at 12:57pm

FlyGirl, yes, I discovered these are the kinds of things they remember, thankfully. The mind has a way of healing trauma. 

Comment by Deidre on October 19, 2014 at 12:50pm

I like Reubens, but I'm not good @ making them. :( This sounds like nice memory making. I did things as a kid with my parents, that I'll cherish forever. I bet your kids appreciated this time together.

Comment by Plinius on October 17, 2014 at 1:21am

Thanks for the recipes! I'm going to try Daniel's Virgin Reuben

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 16, 2014 at 11:07pm

Daniel, thinks for the quick response. I'll not order an airlock. I looked up the German Gairtopf Pickling Crock Pots with stone weights and the reviews were not at all good. I threw out my toilet reservoir years ago and the wooden block carved to fit inside. I think your method of canning jars with plastic bags full of water makes good sense. 

I like the idea of thinly sliced onions on the kraut. I assume you mean to put sliced onions on the sandwich with kraut, or did you mean add the onions to the pickling process? 

I'm going to put a note on your "Cook" site to refer to this one. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 16, 2014 at 9:34pm

OOppss! I didn't see your recipe Loren. Didn't mean to step on your toes. 

Chris, short or long recipe, they are delicious. 

Daniel, do you substitute something for the meat? If you like sauerkraut as much as I, it would be delicious with only the kraut. You have one of those airlock devices for making pickles don't you. Do you prefer the airlock or a crock? 

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