Sunday, January 29, 2012

Macht Sauerkraut on Funday Sunday!!!

7:15 am Kirche, 8:20 am Frühstück, 9:00 Einkaufen für Kohl,  9:45 am macht Sauerkraut, 10:45 am schriftlich meinem Blog veröffentlichen.
OK, no I do not speak German so please forgive the grammar.  It is 10:50 am and I have already been to Church, breakfast, shopping and made 3 one quart jars of sauerkraut.  I have been contemplating tackling sauerkraut and finally decided to just do it.!  After all cabbage is cheap and today it was on sale at the store for 48 cents a pound.  Here is how it is done (I think) least here is how I did it.
Recipe and  instructions:

3  one quart mason jars
Canning salt (non-iodized salt)
2 heads cabbage
¾ cups filtered water with ¾ tsp. of non-iodized salt dissolved

1.    Gather your supplies

2.    Wash and cut your cabbage

3.    Shred the cabbage.  I like just shredding it up with the knife but you may want to use a shredder or a food processor.

4.    Fill the jars one handful at a time adding about ¼ tsp of salt between layers.

5.    Make sure you tamp the cabbage down nice and tight and sprinkle about ½ tbls of salt to the top of the cabbage.

6.    The cabbage should produce almost enough brine to cover all the cabbage in the jar.  I needed to add about ¼ cup of filtered cold water to cover all of the cabbage.

7.    Place the lids on the jars but DO NOT tighten down.  The cabbage will be fermenting and will need to let the gas escape.

8.    Store in a safe place in your kitchen (I put it next to my jar of milk liquor in process) for 2-3 weeks.  I am told that the concoction will start to bubble and the jars should be placed on a tray to catch any overflow.  I will be putting something under the jars so that the mess will be minimized.  If the level of brine ever become insufficient to cover the cabbage just make some more by adding 1 tsp. of the non-iodized salt to 1 cup of filtered water and top off.

Lassen Sie den Gestank kann beginnen!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Making Milk Liquor for the first time, YUMMY!?

So, I get bored easily and need to try different and unusual projects. Tonight I stumbled across a recipe for Milk Liquor.  It interested me so I decided to get a small batch going.  From what I read about it, it is supposed to be a really smooth and syrupy sipping liquor made from vodka, milk, sugar and lemon juice.  It will take about 10 days to finish.  Here is the recipe and process I used to fill a quart sized mason jar:
1 quart sized Mason jar with a lid
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups milk (whole or 2% and if you can get your hands on unpasteurized, better yet)
3/4 cup vodka
3/4 cup Mango infused vodka (if you like another flavor, go for it!  The original recipe called for all of the vodka to be unflavored but I only had ¾ cups so I used the Mango for an extra treat.)
½ - 1 juice of a lemon and cut up about ½ of the squeezed lemon and add to the concoction
Note:  I used a canning funnel to make adding the ingredients to the jar easier.

1.       Pour the sugar into the jar.

2.       Squeeze the lemon juice into the jar and then put half the squeezed lemon into the jar as well.

3.       Pour the milk into the jar.

4.       Add the vodka.

5.       Put on the lid and shake until all of the sugar is mixed into the liquid

The mixture should look like watered down milk 

6.       Store the jar in a spot in your kitchen for 10 days. 

7.       Give the jar a good shake a couple times each day.

8.       After 10 days your jar should have a mix of liquid and curdled milk solids.  Mine was started on January 28th so it should be done on February 7th.

9.       Strain the liquor through a paper coffee filter or very tight woven cheese cloth several times until the liquid is a nice bright clear yellow.

10.   Store in a pretty bottle or covered jar. 

I will keep an update on the progress of my liquor and the finished results.  Until then I will have to drink my homemade wine!

Why it is what it is!

Today the sun is shining on the scant inch of snow that fell while I slept last night.  The sun streaming in the window is warm and very bright.   I am sitting here trying to decide what I should do today.  I am going to make this blog mostly about the projects I choose to tackle (cooking, creating, planting, experimenting, planning my daughters wedding....whatever).  But first, a little background.....

I have a condition called Ehlers-Danlos which has caused my body to hurt.  Most noticeably, the pain has been in my right hip and lower back for over a year now.  For most of my life I have lived with some sort of pain somewhere in my body.  I am still learning how to cope with it.  Ehlers-Danlos is a condition that that affects the connective tissues in your body.  Some of my joints are very loose because of this.   Most of my life the health issues that I have been plagued with have been a mystery.  Many times, I am sure, the doctors and people close to me have thought that I make things up.
In the summer of 2010 my youngest daughter (18 yrs old at the time) decided to discuss with her doctor some concerns about her own health.  Her doctor did some blood work and found some abnormalities that required further medical evaluation by a specialist.   We were sent to Children’s Hospital to see a hematologist.  About 15 minutes into the evaluation and history taking, the doctor exclaimed “I think you guys have Ehlers-Danlos!”  Further blood work was done and I was sent to a separate specialist.  Wow, after 43 years of living with so many weird issues, I was finally given a diagnosis that made sense.  And, all three of my children have been diagnosed with the disorder.  We are all learning to live with the chronic pain in our own way.  I am glad however, that my children will not need to live through half of their life with the not knowing what is wrong with them and questioning and being questioned as to whether it is “all in their heads!” like I had to.
My oldest child, a son, has had problems with his shoulders dislocating and has had one surgically repaired.  His other needs repair but he has put that off .  When he was younger he dislocated one of his elbows and a finger.  He lives in chronic shoulder pain.
My middle child, a daughter has had issues with her knees when she was younger.  She is an LPN now and finishing school to be an RN.  She has some back issues and some other female issues that are related to the bleeding issues associated with this disorder.
My youngest daughter is a professional caregiver for the senior population.  She has had terrible bloody noses and female issues both related to the bleeding issues and she has problems with her back also. 
Both of my girls need to take hormones to control bleeding as this disorder has the tendency to cause problems with the body’s ability to clot blood.  I will not go into detail on this aspect.  The disorder can also cause weak blood vessels and aneurysms. 
Most days are hard to get through both physically and emotionally because of the lateral problems that inevitably arise with any chronic health and pain issues.  For now I am seeking the wisdom to recognize, each day, the benefits of choosing to live another day breathing!