09 November 2013

Sauerkraut Saturday

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.


  1. Hawaii just went Eqal — 31 to 19!

  2. I meant Equal! I'm going to bed.

  3. I have just seen what's coming in from the West... it is like a fist!!
    I shall get things to do in the hangar... no more potato extraction for a while!

  4. The Sour German looks very nice...
    I wish I could convince Pauline that it was!!

    [This should have been part of the previous comment...
    but a cat trod on the mouse!!
    The pointer must have been parked over the publish button!!]

  5. Walt is a master pastry chef! I bet that apple tart was as good as it looks. P.

  6. The sky looks absolutely stunning in the last photo! It is 4.30 am here and I am ready to eat that choucroute and tart.

  7. Good news, CHM, from Hawaii.

    Tim, I wiil confirm that the choucroute was not disappointing. And I know about cat behavior. Bert does the same kind of trick with me and my mouse.

    Pauline, you are right about that apple tart. It does not hurt that the apples this year have been extra good.

    Nadege, it really was a beautiful sunrise.

  8. What a duo you two are: Choucroute Saturday with an Apple Tarte for dessert. Who could resist? Not me!

    Lovely photo, Ken.

  9. Love your post. It is still a little warm here, but filing this away for when we finally do get a rainy day. I made an apple tart - minus the tart pan - in a springform pan until I can purchase a tart pan. Walt's tart is absolutely gorgeous. Mine was delicious, but not as pretty as yours. Does Walt have any tips to make mine prettier? :)

  10. That is a lot of rain for such a short period of time.

  11. Beautiful post. That tart. Can taste it.

    The last photo - looks like a Van Gogh painting.

  12. Good comparison, Midlife _ _ _ (I can't remember, is it roadtripper?)- Ken that does look like it could be from Van Gogh!


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