My last batch of sauerkraut fermented up just fine, but unfortunately, the plastic bucket in which I made it retained a whiff of the Mrs Meyers cleaner I’d used to scrub the bucket out, so I wound up throwing out the whole batch. Yesterday I found a lovely 3 gallon stoneware crock at a local antiques store, so it was time to fire up another batch of sauerkraut. I did pretty much the same as the first time — alternating layers of cabbage and sliced onions, with bay leaf, coriander and celery seed, and of course, salt. I used about one soup spoon of pickling salt for each half a cabbage — kind of a rough estimate so we’ll see.
I also made up a batch of Asian cole slaw — cabbage, shredded carrot, mixed with the leftover sliced onions (which were too thick, I did them in the Cuisinart instead of on the mandoline) chopped in with cilantro and a little parsley. I grated one clove of garlic and a small knob of ginger in, then made a dressing out of the juice of one lime, some rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, a little soy, some sesame oil, and olive oil. Tossed it all and put it in the fridge overnight to do it’s thing. With a few toasted peanuts on top it’s delicious.
And then last night I had the weirdest craving — I have all these brussels sprouts that came out of the garden that have been hanging around the fridge for a while, so I crisped up some homemade pancetta, then threw in a chopped onion and a couple of cubed potatoes. When they were all sizzling away I threw in a rice bowl’s worth of trimmed and halved brussels sprouts, and then because it didn’t look green enough, I tossed in some leftover escarole. A splash of wine and the top on it for about 10 minutes, then one last blast of heat and a grating of raclette cheese over the top and it was a really nice meal that wasn’t meat-based.
Must be too much holiday. All I want is sautee’d greens with a hint of pork. Today I’m making my traditional pot of New Year’s bean soup — must mean I’m getting old, the holidays have been delightful, but there’s just been too too much. All I want for New Years is, as my five year old friend Simone wailed on Christmas eve, “my comfy pyjamas.” I have one little party I’m going to early, but I plan to be home, in my PJs, with the dogs, in a house that smells like ham and bean soup.