Friday, October 14, 2011
Mama's Kraut Recipe
This is an old time recipe that's so dear to me. It came from my mama's kitchen and it's called the Krauting Recipe.
Back in the days when I was young, the ingredients came together so easily and there was so much enjoyment and fun.
And for anybody that doesn't know what I'm talking about, they were never around when I helped mama and daddy make kraut.
Sour Kraut was the proper name and it had to be done just right. Mama made sure of that even if it took the whole day and all night.
She had her way and everybody had their own, but you can ask anybody around and they'll tell you it was the best they've ever known.
Mama went by the signs and the signs had to be good, or no krauting did she do if the cabbage all ruined and sometimes they would.
And the cabbage had to be chopped with a cream can, not just any can would do. It had to be a cream can and a new one too.
Daddy took on the job of removing the top of each can. Using a file to sharpen them, they were so sharp they'd cut the pan.
Now daddy may have been slow but those cans were sharp when he got through. They'd chop your fingers off before you even knew.
That's the way mama wanted them, as sharp as could be. The more fine the cabbage the better the kraut would be.
Early in the morning we'd cut the cabbage and get them ready from the patch. So we could get started early before it got so hot with a big batch.
We'd wash and clean the cabbage and cut all the bad leaves away. Then in a big dishpan, we'd cut the leaves small enough to chop and lay.
We each had a pan, three pans in all. And three cream cans started chopping with hands large and small.
And like I said before, daddy was alot more slow and mama would say "chop that cabbage Tom before it decides to stand up and grow".
But daddy always seem to get his pan done before we did but there were plenty of big cabbage leaves left in the bottom of the pan hid.
It was the funniest sight I ever did see to watch mama and daddy argue underneath that old shade tree.
Some people might say mama was just mean but she wasn't mean, she just wanted her kraut done the way she seen.
But finally daddy took all he could take. He threw down the cream can and said "do it yourself old woman and the whole batch you can make".
He took off back inside the house and although I was busting to laugh, I knew better and stayed quiet as a little mouse.
Then mama said "that man's slow as Christmas but he sure does like kraut". I hit the ground laughing, I'd held it as long as I could without a doubt.
When we both got through laughing we packed what we had in each jar and kept on chopping but we didn't get far.
Before daddy came back and started chopping again. He acted like nothing ever happened and picked up where he began.
Needless to say we got the kraut done before supper time and carried it to the smokehouse to work off in case it blew up if it was so inclined.
That kraut was always white as the snow on the ground. But it was suppose to be, after all it was mama's recipe the best kraut around.
I remember sitting at the supper table eating kraut one cold, winter's night, when daddy got a big piece of cabbage in his mouth when he took a bite.
Mama saw him when he took that bite and said "that's from the pan you chopped" and daddy kept chewing and chewing in spite.
Now my mama's recipe for making kraut may not be to some people's taste but one thing's for certain no ingredients will I waste.
And each year when I make my kraut, I keep these ingredients close beside me and the laughter too. That's what memories are about but oh how I miss mama's kraut.