I woke up this morning realizing I'd better get busy if we are going to have sauerkraut — dressed as choucroute garnie — for lunch today. It has to cook for 3 hours or more. I had put the 'kraut itself in a pot of cold water overnight to thaw and soak.
Soaking removes some of the salt the fresh cabbage is "cured" in. This is sauerkraut without vinegar — not pickled, but fermented. You can buy it already cooked, but I like to buy it "raw" — choucroute crue, they call it — and season and cook it myself.
I cook the 'kraut with onions, carrots, bay leaves, allspice berries (or cloves), juniper berries, and black peppercorns. The cooking medium is duck fat, and the liquid is white wine. (I know my carrots are controversial, but bear with me. They really sweeten up the 'kraut, and the old French recipe I use calls for them.) I bought a smoked chicken to have with the choucroute, along with some sausages.
I'll post more about the sauerkraut and the whole meal later. Not that I haven't posted about choucroute garnie before... It's an annual event at our house. You can search the blog for choucroute to find older posts.
Meanwhile, here are a couple of recent photos from the kitchen and the vineyard. A couple of days ago, Walt made the apple tart shown above. He's the pastry chef around here.
Finally, a sunrise from Thursday morning, the last time I went out for the morning walk with Callie. It's my turn again right now and, lucky for me, it's not (yet) raining. It's supposed to start raining later this morning. Since November 1, we've recorded 60 mm of rainfall — a average month's worth, nearly 2½ inches. We recorded 74 mm during October, so we are wet, wet, wet.