Sunday, July 12, 2015

Preserving With Salt


This week has been pickling week on God's Two Acres. I've made hamburger chips, Three Bean Salad, Kosher Dill spears and slices. The grandkids won't stay in the house because of the pickle juice smell! I rather enjoy all the spices and vinegar and salt.

There are so many ways to use salt to preserve my garden veggies. Some I haven't tried. Some  have been very successful. The basic reason to use salt is to remove excess moisture that will cause spoilage. Our foremothers knew how to brine corn, green beans, pickle mixes and kraut. They used large crocks, layering the vegetables with salt, then weighing down the vegetables to keep them beneath the fermentation. After about six weeks, the sweet sour smell of pickled vegetables wafted into the air when the lids were lifted. No vinegar needed. I've made kraut by the quart. That's fairly easy. My husband's aunt brined green beans. All she had to do to prepare a meal was put some of the pickled beans in a cast iron frying pan with a little grease and warm them up. They were the best beans I've ever eaten.

Jesus said, Ye are the salt of the earth: (Matthew 5:13a). I was thinking about that this afternoon. Just how does the uses of salt fit the lives of Christians? Our lives should be used as a witness to preserve the lives of those we come in contact with. Our examples should demonstrate how sin has been withdrawn from our lives through salvation. We are saved, preserved unto eternal life. The difference salvation makes should be a pleasing aroma to all who come in contact with us. Did you know that if you have a crock of brined pickles, more veggies and herbs can be added to keep a constant mix of pickles going? Our witness should be such that we influence the world to become part of the mix of saved folks, adding their particular talents to the church.

If more veggies aren't added to the mix, the mix empties and becomes useless. The brine will have to be tossed out before another crock of veggies can be started. How are we adding to the church? Are we simply sitting in our own pews satisfied, or are we daily working, being salt, so others are added to the church?

Hey Kids: Would you like to make some sauerkraut to go with your hot dogs? Give this recipe a try.

You will need:

1 medium head of cabbage (about 3 lbs)
1 1/2 Tbsp of kosher salt
1 Tbsp of caraway seeds (optional)
2 wide mouth qt mason jars with lids
2 jelly jars
Clean cloths and rubber bands or string

Get an adult to help you shred the cabbage. Place the cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Then mix, massage the salt into the cabbage until it wilts. Add the caraway seeds and mix well. Pack the cabbage tightly into the jars. If the jars are not completely full the cabbage can be weighted down with a jelly jar. Cover the jars with a clean cloth and use a rubber band or string to tie the cloth down. Place the jars in a dark, cool room. I put mine in the pantry.

Check in 24 hours to make sure the juice from the cabbage has covered the shreds. If more liquid is needed make a brine with 1 tsp. of salt in 1 cup of water and add as much as needed. It is safe to taste the kraut at any time. Begin to taste after 3 days until the desired tartness is achieved. It may take up to 4 weeks.

Bubbles will rise to the top of the jar. It may even run over the top. Be sure to place the jars in a saucer or bowl. When the kraut has reached the desired tartness or the bubbles no longer rise, remove the jelly jar and screw on the jar lid, refrigerate the sauerkraut and use on hot dogs, brats, or enjoy it plain, because it's plain good!

Won't you let us know how you're preserving the summer?

Blessings,

Gail






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