I went on a hike today after “predator proofing” the chicken coop and had a pleasant surprise of actually seeing bare ground as we have had snow on the ground for the past several weeks. I certainly hope that the snow melts because I would like to begin cutting wood stacked in a field we want to put the back into production. Our chicken coop is never completely predator proof but for now it will keep out the opossums and raccoons once they come out of hibernation. Each spring after the first major thaw, quite a few of critters are on the prowl for tasty chicken, and I would think this spring we will have intense pressure from predators after a record setting cold winter. Our chickens are just beginning to lay, and we want to make eggnog and because we don’t want to loose any chickens to the critters, the chicken coop made it to the top of the priority list.
I love our sauerkraut but not sure how it compares to those krauts that get rave reviews by the food experts because I have never tried any store bought kraut. I also don’t eat kraut frequently enough to know the criteria sauerkraut experts use when giving a particular brand of kraut a thumbs up. Sauerkraut is a staple up here in the mountains and I must say that Alivn’s wife, Martha, made some of the best kraut I have ever tasted. (Again, I don’t have much to compare it with.) When Alvin moved from his house he gave us a few jars of her sauerkraut that was stored in their basement, but that was several years ago, so I can’t recollect the exact flavor or texture of her kraut as compared to ours. I am considering making another run of kraut with cabbage we have stored in our walk-in cooler. Carl would rather eat the cabbage, because he is in the understanding that the best kraut is made from freshly harvested cabbage, and our cabbage has been stored since early December. We have also been eating our stored cabbage each week since greens are scarce this time of the year and cabbage is a green that stores well once harvested which is why we are eating a lot of it. (Except… we have also been eating a lot of spinach. Kale, that we planted extra late this past fall, is about ready for picking but we haven’t had it since November. Our Swiss Chard has not been growing in this cold weather so we haven’t had any since mid December.) So should we make kraut out of our cabbage or eat it fresh so that we are eating greens? I think we should try a batch of kraut with our stored cabbage just to see for ourselves how it compares to this batch of kraut I just bottled which was made with fresh cabbage.