Sunday, April 13, 2014

House of Sauerkraut: A Primer

 Ich möchte Sauerkraut!  Ich möchte Sauerkraut!  Ich möchte Sauerkraut!

In preparation for Jeff and Kim's impending nuptials, Sylvia and I are hosting a "Couples Shower."

As you can see, the theme of the event is for you to BYOB and we provide some bar food to accompany the beers.  Of course, no beer tasting would be complete without Brats and Sauerkraut. In an effort to "keep it real," I made the kraut by hand.  Here is how I did it:

First, remove any old, nasty leaves of cabbage from the heads.  Peel off five big leaves from a few of the heads of cabbage and set aside. Quarter the cabbage heads and remove the cores. Now, chopped up a bunch of green and purple cabbage a la chiffonade, about four pounds worth.

Then I added about 2 tablespoons of kosher salt and about a tablespoon of caraway seeds. Then I mixed this all up very well.  Just like when you make coleslaw. 

Meanwhile, Sylvia washed 5 large mason jars. 

 Then I stuffed the cabbage in the mason jars with my special tortilla rolling pin aka wooden dowel. You need to stuff it really tight! Get your back behind it!

 After I had stuffed the cabbage in the jars, I used the big leaf I tore off at the start and used it as a top. I also grabbed an old, clean dish towel and cut it in squares big enough to to cover the jars (see below). You will also need some twine or rubber bands.

For the first 24 hours you will need to compact the cabbage every few hours.  After that, the cabbage will need about three days before it becomes sauerkraut.  It will ferment for about a week before it tastes right.  Be sure to taste it every now and then and pour off excess liquid. You can let it go even longer if you dare.  

A̦n gua̦dn!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge

Here are some shots of our first trip to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.  This is an A+ experience for kids and adults.  You get to drive around and pet wild Tatanka (Buffalo).  Yes, Kevin Costner was there to give his famous demonstration.  Without it, we would have tried to milk them. 

Roby did a fashion show:

The landscape was full of texture and interest even without a ton of color. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Pop-up Camping: Third Time's a Charm?

So, we decided to try out our pop-up camper again. This was the third time out and we were hoping to hit a home run in terms of everything functioning on the trailer and good weather. Last time, I was camping by myself in the spring (read: very cold in Colorado) and the heater didn't work and I flood the galley. The time before that, the fridge didn't work and I flooded the galley. We understand that we are not very good at this but we were hoping for a little good camping karma. We didn't get it.  I won't keep you waiting to hear how it went. The heater didn't work, Roby would not go to sleep. The wind picked up during the night an almost ripped the awing off and...I flooded the galley.

The upside was that the state park we camped at, St. Vrain State Park near Longmont, CO, was right next to US 25, had no trees (no shade), was filled with drunk rednecks and mosquitoes, had no bathrooms and it was 94 degrees.

All jokes aside, we had a good time trying to stay out of the heat and we saw a ton of beautiful birds and plants. Check out some pics...

Roby loves to play in the trailer...for about three minutes.

Daddy is making todays catch, Sockeye salmon.
Roby is helping Daddy cook.  Gravel is a nice side dish.

Salmon, Arugla, etc.
Sylvia went for an evening paddle.  She was eaten by mosquitoes and never seen again.

The Front Range in the background.

Morning hike around the Rookery.

Old spillway for the surrounding horse and cow farms. 

Comorants on the lake. 

Nice plant of unidentified nature. 



Sylvia of the identified nature.

See ya!