Unfortunately we weren’t one of the few that managed to order Full Circle’s Good Food Combination this week. Luckily, our local butcher in Columbia City makes a wonderful Corned beef and we did manage to add some cabbage to our box. Corned beef and cabbage is an annual favorite around here. An easy meal that makes wonderful leftovers, especially for breakfast.

I also added some Italian sausages to our order to taste my new batch of sauerkraut on. I added some fennel and mustard seed to this one and though the mustard seed didn’t come through as strong as I’d hoped the fennel seed did, giving it a slightly anise flavor mixed with the slight acidic and tart flavor of the fermented cabbage.

Homemade Sauerkraut

It was way easier than I thought it would be and can’t wait to try it with different varieties of cabbage, since my last batches were all made with green cabbage.

If you want to try making your own kraut their are many recipes on-line, but basically you just shred a head of cabbage and toss in two heaping tablespoons of salt. Place the cabbage in a large bowl and put a plate on top. Cover that with a clean dish towel and then put something heavy on top of that. The plate should be smaller than the bowl so it can press on the cabbage and help the salt extract liquid from the cabbage. This will allow the cabbage to create its own juices to ferment in. Leave it some place warm for a day or two. After that place into clean jars with loose lids and put them into a cupboard for about two weeks.

You are seriously well on your way. Just taste it every few days and when it gets to how you like it, as far as acidity and tenderness, put it in the fridge. It will last this way for a couple months at least due to the cabbages natural production of lactic acid which acts both as a preservative and a digestive aid. You can also mix in shredded carrots or various spices or other vegetables – beets, radishes, turnips, all make good additions.

Next week’s box has a few things in it I might use for the next batch. It also has a few things we have already, as we haven’t been as diligent with our salad eating these days as usual and the lettuce is building up. Also I’m just not ready to eat tomatoes, at least not until I have some sun on my windowsill to set them in. Mangos often are not as appreciated as the tangelos, especially since tangelos are delicious right now.

So that makes next week’s box look like this –

Roma Tomatoes – Purple Top Turnips
Bunched Orange Carrots
Baby Spinach
Cremini Mushrooms
Green Leaf Lettuce – Austrian Crescent Fingerling Potatoes
Green Kale
Navel Oranges
Mangos – Minneola Tangelos
D’anjou Pears
Braeburn Apples

It’s been awhile since homemade pizza graced our table, and the mushrooms, spinach and shallots seem perfect toppings for this meal. The potatoes are going to be roasted along with some spare ribs, which if you haven’t order any yet, you have to. I’ll take some pictures of them after they’ve been dry-rubbed, oven-roasted and grilled – you won’t be able to resist.

The fruit these days, I admit are going straight into the juicer for morning drinks, or eaten with lunch. I haven’t been baking for some time and need to as I made someone a promise to make a French apple tart I found in the 100 Best issue of Saveur. I’ll wait till Granny Smith’s are in season, that will give me some time to prepare <wink>.

I’m going to use the turnips either for roasting, my personal favorite, or sliced thin, raw on toasted bread with a bit of aioli, pureed avocado and watercress. A transition snack from winter to spring. In the meantime, I’m going to start looking up some pesto recipes, ones that use things other than basil to create a tasty pesto for my pizza – like chimichurri – and some dough recipes, both healthy and delicious to create my fresh veggie pizzas.

Talk to you next week then. Eat well, be happy.