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My new friend and fellow blogger Amy is wise in the ways of fermented cabbage. Her Croatian-bred family has a long history of kraut making, and she is the proud owner of her grandmother's kraut board. A few weeks ago, she led a great demo at the Minneapolis Farmers Market about how to make sauerkraut. I was awestruck by her sense of humor, her knowledge of kraut, and that amazing kraut board! After the demo, I approached her about getting together for a kraut-making party. She gave me a quart of her homemade kraut, one thing led to another, and soon we had a date. We invited a couple local food loving friends, and decided we'd eat sausages, make kraut, and have fun. Female sausage-fest, here we come!
Finally, this past Sunday, the big day came. It was an unusually warm October day, with temperatures soaring into the upper 70s while golden leaves fell from the trees. We met at Amy's house at 8:45 am, then hopped in her car and drove to the Minneapolis Farmers Market in search of the perfect cabbages. After investigating all the cabbages at the market, we found the goldmine: 50 pound bags of cabbages for only $12. The cabbages were wet under the outer leaves, and were still moist ('bleeding') on the stem where they were cut. Perfect! We bought a bag. I hopped up and down with delight at the thought of all those cabbages, giggling like a little schoolgirl, while Amy hoisted the entire 50 pound bag of cabbages onto her shoulder. She hauled that whole bag of cabbage back to the car on her shoulder through crowded farmers market aisles and busy sidewalks; it was like she was carrying a battering ram. I was impressed. Amy is hardcore.
With all that cabbage weighing down the back of her car, we made a quick stop back at my apartment to get a big plastic tub (more on that later), then went back to her house. Since it was such a beautiful day, we decided to set up our cabbage shredding operation on her back patio. While we got our ingredients and equipment together, we made sure the cabbage was set up comfortably in a lounge chair.
Relaxed cabbages and relaxed people make much better kraut. Seriously.