When I was a kid, one of my summertime favourites was Tancook sauerkraut on my hot dogs. For non-sauerkraut connoisseurs, it is hard to describe the sour and tangy goodness topped with sweet ketchup piled on a smoky hot dog aloft a fresh fluffy bun. I think the hot dog was just an excuse to eat the sauerkraut and once the carton was opened, I loved to eat it strand by strand.
Over the years, I have moved far away from Nova Scotia but my treat box of sauerkraut has never been far from my food thoughts. I've eaten versions of it here and there and found I never enjoyed it; figuring it must have been a childhood favourite that I had outgrown. When I arrived in Australia, I looked for sauerkraut and found that it wasn't a grocery store staple. I toyed with making it myself but worried it would be too complicated and worried about storage and mold issues.
I'm not sure when I got over my fear to ferment but I recently bought a fermenting book, read a few blogs, and then bought myself a fermenting crock with a cabbage slicer from ebay. The crock is special because it provides an airlock seal to let the fermenting gasses out but no bad air in. It is sealed with water that you add to the moat in which the lid sits. Nothing stopping me now!
My pot arrived a few weeks later - packed in mountains of shredded styrofoam. Pulling my crock from the box, it was like a snowstorm in August; a styrofoam static nightmare. I think it took me longer to clean up the styrofoam packing then to wash and placed my fermenting crock in an honorary spot on the counter. With a vacuum cleaner clogged with artificial 'snow' and the day gone, sauerkraut making had to wait another day.