Today was my first morning without needing to head to Belfast in over a week so I most joyfully left the phone in the car last night and skipped the usual 5 am alarm that goes off just about every morning.
After a leisurely cup of coffee, I headed out to feed the animals while Camille cranked out a few emails. As I scouted the land for ingredients, I was reminded that out local "summit" has heaps of juniper growing all along the clearing that gives us a long expansive few of our surrounding area.
I collected the family, filled up the water bottles, and off we went for a late morning adventure. Along the way we spotted and enjoyed red currants growing under big sugar maples and raspberries were scattered all along the path that led us uphill. A quick scramble and our destination was reached which offered up wild low bush blueberries, ripening choke cherries, and huckleberries galore. We continued to forage and feast on as many berries as we could pick while enjoying the calls of crows out back behind us.
Once I gave my attention to the junipers I quickly noticed that they had started a new cycle, so no ripe berries were to found. Fortunately, I had a small stash at home from the fall so into the kruat it went. This classic berry makes gin and also happens to create a happy marriage of flavors with cabbage, so it is a great candidate for fermentation.
How to Make Juniper Sauerkraut
- 1 3-5 pound purple cabbage
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 5-6 juniper berries, crushed
First, peel away the outer leaves of the cabbage and reserve. Cut the cabbage in half then remove the core.
Slice as thin as possible then transfer over to a large bowl. Salt and massage until plenty of liquid is at the bottom of the bowl. toss in the juniper then pack into a 1/2 gallon Mason jar.
Ferment for up to 10 days before transferring over to the fridge.