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December 2008








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Eastern region bloggers

Tim BairdTim Baird
Carrboro, North Carolina

Born and raised in central Maine, my youth was spent mowing the lawn, kicking a soccer ball against the garage doors, and trying to sneak sugar cereal out of the kitchen cupboards after I was put to bed. More about Tim

Warren JohnstonWarren Johnston
South Royalton, Vermont

I am a baby boomer who grew up in a time when the trend in food was convenience and speed. It wasn't the fast-food era, but a post-World War II time when ... More about Warren

Barbara KattmanBarbara Kattman
Holliston, Massachusetts

We live in Holliston, Massachusetts. When we bought our house in Holliston about 27 years ago, Holliston was a rural/residential town of about 13,000 people. More about Barbara

Autumn LongAutumn Long
Wallace, West Virginia

My name is Autumn. I'm 24 years old, and I live in rural north-central West Virginia. I was born and raised in West Virginia, and in 2005 I graduated from ... More about Autumn

April LuginbuhlApril Luginbuhl
Cleveland, Ohio

My personal interests revolve around the environment, both knowing more about it and getting outside and enjoying my surroundings. This led me down an educational path to ... More about April


< Ajvar Recipe | Main | In Retrospect... >

Home Fermenting

Posted at 3:50 PM on December 9, 2008 by April Luginbuhl (4 Comments)

One thing we noticed upon moving into the SW Cleveland area was the large quantity of brewpubs. In Columbus, our neighborhood was in a diverse area near the University, which gave us easy access to all sorts of ethnic foods. We lived within walking distance of Thai, Japanese, Indian, and Chinese and a short drive to Indonesian, Ethiopian, and other nationalities of restaurants. When our international friends asked us to take them out for "American" food, like a hamburger, we always drew a blank. We just didn't know of a good local restaurant that showcased American fair.

Our corner of Cleveland however, is heavily populated with brewpubs. Fabulous mac-and-cheeses, great hamburgers, wraps, salads, you name it. It all has a decidedly German and English feel to it, but they are as close to that "American" style our friends asked about as any place I can think of.

One such restaurant is called the Brew Kettle, and they allow you to brew your own beer at their place and bottle it to take it home. Our neighbors do it on a regular basis. That got us thinking, and we are going to try to brew our own hard cider at home. It should take a couple of months and with the local fresh cider and local honey on hand, it will be a locavore delight as well.

Then, in our recent CSA order, we got a cabbage. Since my refrigerator pickles came out so well, I'm trying my hand at sauerkraut. While the cider won't be ready by then, I'm planning a 100% local, New Year's meal. Homemade sauerkraut, local sausages, CSA mashed potatoes, and whatever veggie we get in the December CSA box (I'm guessing squash). That will be a great way to start 2009.

Comments (4)

My husband and I started making hard cider over the summer and our favorite batch so far has been a mixture of apples and pears. It's super easy and very tasty! Good luck!

Posted by Amanda | December 10, 2008 1:23 PM

We did 10 gallons of hard cider this year. We put three pounds of concord grapes from the neighborhood in one 3 gallon batch - we will see how that turns out! I agree that cider is easy.

As far as sauerkraut, We have 6 lbs fermenting away - i think it is about done. As far as I know, they key is not to forget to skim the crud off of the top. Aside from that, It is pretty fire and forget.

What a fun way to ferment!

Posted by sareen | December 10, 2008 4:28 PM

Amanda and Sareen, you both have fun ideas for cider. We'll see how this first batch goes and have fun with it from there.

And Sareen, believe it or not, but I messed up my sauerkraut. The cabbage never gave up any moisture, and started molding instead. I had to pitch it last night. I even added more salt than my recipe called for. We'll get another cabbage next week in our CSA share, but it won't be ready by New Years.

Here's hoping the cider turns out better than the cabbage!

Posted by April | December 11, 2008 1:09 PM

To be honest, I am not in charge of the sauerkraut project. Here is hoping that someone is manning that ship. I am pretty sure that I know more than one batch that has been allowed to ferment too long in other people's homes. I had better check on that bucket!

Posted by April | December 16, 2008 3:17 PM