I'm always trying to give a different homemade treat to my special peeps about this time of year.
Four years ago it was Christmas stollen. Even though I spiked the dough with chunks of apple and pear that I grew, picked, and dehydrated myself, the result was not nearly the level of awesome as what our family is gifted from our good buddy Dougal every year. I'll leave the stollen-making to the master.
Three years ago I sheepishly gave lumpy hand-dipped beeswax candles that I hope were modestly better than a lump of coal.
Two years ago: these ridiculously yummy Vanilla Rooibos Fig Newtons from My New Roots.
And last year, well, I really risked it with my first ever go at fermented hot sauce (a bit of an... adventure, eh Boss?).
Shh, don't tell, but I'm thinking about gifting sauerkraut this year. Joy!!! After all, I want my special peeps to have A1 gut health, and I've got some cabbages in my garden with their chilly little hands up. "Pick me! Pick me!"
Thought I'd share with you this crazy easy small batch way to make Sauerkraut. Great for first-time kraut makers and those without a giant crock, this recipe is adapted from The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care by Sally Fallon Morell.
Basic Small-Batch Sauerkraut
1 medium cabbage, cored and shredded
2 T sea salt
In a large bowl, mix the cabbage and salt. Put on your favourite playlist. Roll up your sleeves, get your hands in there, and really work it until the cabbage has released it's juices. Stuff the juicy cabbage into a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar and press down firmly until the juices cover the cabbage. The cabbage should be at least an inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to the fridge. You can eat this immediately, but it gets better with age - and it will last for a year or more in the fridge.
Once you've got the knack of this "just cabbage" kraut, you can start to experiment with additional vegetables and flavourings. But that's the subject for another post, yo.