While my introduction to home fermentation project involved kefir, Skinner’s walk down microbe lane was by way of sauerkraut. It began 10 to 15 years ago while she was living in Iowa, and barely able to make ends meet.
“I was gardening a lot and also really broke,” she recalled. “Most of my food came from a food bank. I was on food stamps for a while. I started growing my food. I had to.”
Cabbages were among the crops she planted, and when they all matured at the same time, Skinner needed a solution to process the lot. She turned to her friends, many of whom grew up on farms and whose German backgrounds meant a knack for kraut. “I knew plenty of people who could make sauerkraut,” Skinner said. “I wasn’t able to stop after that.”
Skinner’s recipe for sauerkraut is simple. It requires just two ingredients — cabbage and salt — and time. A few weeks after you shred that brassica and pack it tightly into jars, you’ll have a tasty treat to top a brat or hot dog, stuff inside a Reuben sandwich, pair with pork or eat straight from the jar.
If you need a helping hand to get over a fear of fermentation, hit up one of Skinner’s classes. Check out her website, root-kitchens.com, or sign up for her sauerkraut-making demo that will take place March 7 at the Edgewood Community Learning Center as part of programming for the Atlanta Science Festival, held this year March 6-21. For details or to register, visit atlantasciencefestival.org.
Recipe by Root Kitchen founder Julia Skinner. Printed with permission.
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