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.

                                         Susie Swanson


  1. I don't remember any details, but I remember the old stone jar the folks made their kraut in. Somewhere in the basement, I've still got their old "kraut rock."

  2. How fascinating.
    I've never made kraut but I've surely eaten my share of it.
    Happy memories with your mum and dad, I'm still smiling :)

  3. Some people still do put their kraut in a churn jar to work off. But you have to take it out and heat it relly hot in a pan and then put it in jars. Mama didn't do that, she said it was to much trouble.. go figure.. Thanks George

    Thanks Jo, it surely is good on a cold, Winter's day. I love it too. Thanks for stopping by..

  4. I never did learn to like kraut; when we had it at school with hot dog pieces in it, I'd pick out the meat and leave the kraut. I did try to make some one time; not good results ;(

    Wonderful story about your memories though.

  5. Hi Susie, what a sweet story for sour - kraut! :) My husband loves kraut. He is a big fan of German food. He especially likes it on top of braut sausages. I have never made it before and your story was so interesting. I loved the part where your Daddy sharpened the cream can! What an ingenious way of chopping the cabbage. It sounds like you all had so much fun. I felt like I was right there with you. How I would love to watch you make it! I don't know how I would do around sharp cream cans though. There is a joke in my family about not letting Delisa around anything sharp! I am notorious for cutting myself. I guess I get in too big a hurry sometimes. I hope you have a lovely friday evening! Delisa :)

  6. What I like about this is that it's about so much more than making the kraut. I can see the intricacies of your family, and tradition, and love and connection in your kraut experiences. Isn't that what life experiences are all about, all those emotions that keep them in our memories ... Happy Saturday Susie!

  7. What sweet and fun memories you have, Susie. This is fun to read. What a lovely family tradition.

  8. Thanks Delisa, I don't know if you would want to watch me for long or not, I don't have the patience that my mother had.I'm with you when it comes to anything sharp.. it's scary being around Glad you liked it.
    Thanks lil red hen, glad you enjoyed the memories. Some people say you have to develop a taste for it, I like it raw better than cooked..

    Oh yes Joanne, it surely is. The emotions mixed with the memories is what makes it even more wonderful.. I agree ..

    Thanks Disy so glad you enjoyed going back in time with me. As everyone knows, I visit the past quite often.. thanks again..

  9. What wonderful memories. I've never made kraut before buy Mom and Grandma made it. One time I remember Charley's mom making it and she sat the jars in the tub to 'work off'.

  10. I remember making kraut & hated doing that, but oh how I loved to eat it. You share the sweetest fun memories, Susie, that tickle the tar out of me.

    Have a beautiful weekend
    TTFN ~

  11. Thanks Janet and Marydon, glad you liked it. You can do that Janet just as long as it's out of the house.
    Thanks Marydon, glad you got a laugh out of it. Mama and daddy argued like that but we all got use to it. It was just their way, daddy grieved his self to death after mama died. He only lived four months.

  12. Honey what a great post. I really enjoyed catching up with you tonight and reading this post.
    Hope you have a great week

  13. Hi Susie, I hope you are having a nice sunday evening. I just thought I would pop by and say hello! It's been a beautiful day. My husband is out of town this weekend so I took my mother-in-law and niece out for Japanese food. We had a lot of fun. It is one of those places where the cook puts on a little show for you as he chops up the meat and vegetables on the hibachi grill. It was pretty entertaining! Wow, talk about sharp knives, maybe not as sharp as your Daddy's cream can, but pretty close! haha. I hope you have a good night's rest and a wonderful week ahead! Delisa ;)

  14. Oh I loved this post! I felt like I could see you all 3 there under the tree. Makes me wish I had some of your Mama's kraut too : )

    Granny is picky about how she does hers too!

  15. Thanks Maggie, it was good to be able to comment on your blog. I truly enjoy it .. Thank you for stopping by..

    Good to hear from you Delisa, I bet you relly did enjoy that Japenese food. I've never eat any of it so I wouldn't know. I've always wanted to try it though.. And I've heard about those sharp knives, I'm not to be trusted around sharp knives,,lol..Glad you had a wonderful weekend. It has been so beautiful and warm here but is fixing to change seasons Wednesday. It suppose to be in the 50's for highs the rest of the week. Big shock to the system.. You take care and thanks for the visit..

    Aww, thanks Tipper. I wish you could have tried her kraut, but I'm sure your granny's is just as good Th older people sure knew how to can and pickle anything. I enjoy your posts so much and just want to thank you for the old time memories.. Susie