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Posts Tagged ‘sauerkraut’

Post Christmas Update

We spent the week before Christmas up in Michigan with Megan, Jim, and Drew. On the way up we visited with my Aunt Nana for a couple of hours. She gave me this little wooden doll cradle which I remember playing with at my Grandma's house when I was a little girl. I'm hoping to make a little quilt for it after I finish sewing a few things for the new little girl who is due to arrive in February.

After visiting with Aunt Nana we drove on to Bowling Green, Ohio and visited with Rob's mom for a few hours and then drove on up to Michigan. We drove back down for a day during the week and were able to spend time with Rob's mom, sister Deb, and brother-in-law Dan. While we were at the nursing home we even got to see Rob's mom's pastor when he popped in for a visit.

On Sunday we went to Meg and Jim's church and were able to hear the new pastor for the first time. Their church has been without a pastor for quite some time so it was a blessing to see how the Lord has provided a new man who seems to have a great heart for the people there. The morning we visited they presented a cantata. The story was about a man who was sick in the hospital and his life was described by different people who visited and told how he had showed God's love throughout his life. The main characters in the play were George and Ethel and were portrayed by Dave and Joyce W. We thought it was very fitting because this couple is extremely kind and gracious and have been a great blessing to many people, including us.

We had a very good time with Meg, Jim, and Drew. Megan spent the last six weeks as a long-term sub teaching 4th grade. I went to school with her the last day of school (just a half day) and helped with the Christmas party and helped her clean up her room for the teacher who will begin teaching full-time after the new year. Here's a picture of her playing a game with the children:

In the morning while we were in school and Jim was at work, Rob and Drew hung out and went to Tim Hortons for a mid-morning snack, McDonald's for lunch, and the park to play. After a quick lunch, I got to accompany Megan to her doctor for an ultra-sound and got to see pictures of baby girl. Her doctor has scheduled her for a C-section on Valentine's Day if all continues to go well. Rob took Drew to the golf course where Jim works and then went to a nearby town to the funeral home to visit with a family who recently lost a grandmother. He taught the grand-daughter this past semester and had previously taught both of her parents when they were in high school. While at the funeral home, he was able to see a number of friends we had known years ago when we lived in the area.

Tuesday evening we were all invited to the home of some friends for supper and an evening of good conversation and games. Here we were playing a new game called Bezzerwizzer, which was a lot of fun.

For two of the days while we were up there Rob was very busy painting the nursery a lovely shade of pale green. Nora and Topher are up there this week and she is going to do some decorative painting on one of the walls. I'm sure Megan will blog about it in the future and I will try to remember to post a link at that time. I think it is going to be very cute.

We drove home on Friday (Christmas Eve eve) and after a good night's rest we got ready for the local families to visit on Christmas Eve. Mark and Katie were the first to arrive and they brought this little Santa with them. He had just woken from a nap and wasn't his usual cheery self. He later cheered up and thoroughly enjoyed playing with the boxes and wrapping paper.

Nora and Topher came and brought their two dogs who spent most of the evening in their crate watching the festivities. We are keeping one of the dogs while they are up in MI this week. Sorry for the blurry photo.

Christmas day it was just the two of us and the pets. 🙂 We had just one service at church in the morning. It was kind of nice to have all the festivities over with and just to have a quiet day to contemplate Christ's coming to earth.

I have one other update that has nothing to do with Christmas. I finally tried the home made sauerkraut a couple of weeks ago. I had made approximately two quarts of it and used half of it to make this recipe. I am happy to report that it tasted like sauerkraut! It really wasn't difficult to make--probably the hardest thing in my small kitchen was to find a place to let it ferment at the correct temperature. We had a pretty warm fall and it was too warm in the garage and we don't have a basement so I just let it sit out on the counter.

I hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas and will enjoy the final days of 2011.


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Sprouting and Fermenting

If you have read this blog for any length of time you know that I enjoy trying new things in the kitchen. Some time ago Tammy of Tammy's Recipes posted about her mom making Beef Chop Suey and growing her own mung bean sprouts for it. I gathered up all the different ingredients for the recipe and put the meat in the freezer and the other ingredients in the pantry and then set about sprouting the mung beans. I found a small package of mung beans at one of our local oriental grocery stores and have since seen large packages of them at Walmart with the Bob's Red Mill items. A small package was plenty for us since three tablespoons of the beans filled a quart jar after the beans sprouted. The process was easy and I will definitely sprout more in the future when I need them for a recipe. I did find that the jar was pretty well full of sprouts after only four days. Maybe in our warmer, more humid climate they sprout more quickly.

Here are the sprouts after a day or two:

picture of Small Sprouts

Here they are after they are completely sprouted:

picture of Full Sprouts

Here's the finished Chop Suey:

picture of Beef Chop Suey

A second recent experiment has been making sauerkraut. I had heard about making sauerkraut by the jar and decided to try it out.

picture of Pounding Kraut

My jar is still in the fermenting stage, so I'm not sure how it will turn out. We did try it after about a week and it was starting to taste like sauerkraut. You are supposed to let it ferment for two to three weeks and then either refrigerate it or can it, so I'll let you know in a future post if it turns out.

Have any of you ever grown sprouts or made sauerkraut?


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Do you like Sauerkraut? It seems it's one of those foods that you either like or dislike. Rob and I both like it but I don't make it very often for just the two of us. I made some tonight when we had friends over for supper who also like it. I got this recipe nearly 30 years ago from the Detroit Free Press when we lived up in MI. It seems like sauerkraut is a required dish at nearly every social event up there. I think the potatoes and the brown sugar help to temper the "sourness" of the sauerkraut in this dish. It's my favorite way to eat the stuff.

Be sure to use the sauerkraut in the pouch like this in the picture rather than the canned kind.

picture of package

Stuffed Sauerkraut Casserole
4 oz. bacon, cut into small dice
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsps. brown sugar
1 pouch of refrigerated sauerkraut
2 cloves garlic, minced
caraway seeds to taste (optional, but good)
about 6 red potatoes, boiled and sliced about 1/4 " thick
1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced (I use turkey sausage)

In a large skillet brown the bacon. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. of the bacon grease. Add the onion and brown sugar and cook until golden brown. Add kraut, garlic, and caraway.
In a large greased casserole or Crockpot alternately layer kraut, potatoes, and meat. Repeat layers.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 mins. or in Crockpot on low for 3-4 hours. Makes 8-10 servings.

picture of casserole

I always have trouble deciding what to serve with sauerkraut. This time I served applesauce and biscuits.

What side dishes do you serve when you make sauerkraut?


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