Clark started another batch of sauerkraut tonight. It's fermenting in the room adjacent to our bedroom along with the batch he started 2 ½ weeks ago and the 15 gallons of kombucha that are fermenting as we speak. And in other news, I'm fully aware that we're weird.
As he prepped the ingredients, he removed the outer layers from several small heads of cabbage and commented on how perfect they were. "Like little bowls! You could drink from them, see?!" Or, I said, you could put a bean salad in them and use them as a tasty, low-calorie vehicle.
This winter hasn't been so bad. Nowhere near as bad as last winter. This time last year, we had been holed up in the house for about 10 days straight due to persistent snowfall and dangerously cold temperatures. Work was canceled, driving was out of the question, and my attitude – having just moved to Indiana from Brooklyn – was less than cheerful.
This winter has been different in every way.
After an intense kickboxing workout this afternoon, I popped outside to take care of some unfinished business in the garden. Yes, outside. In January. In Indiana.
The air was cool, but not cool enough to require a jacket. No wind and a few, determined rays of warm sunshine made all the difference. I recruited my mom's help, suited up in my holey Toms, gardening gloves, shorts and a t-shirt and took a hoe to whatever I could dig up.
If you've been following The Fitchen for any period of time, you might know that my fall garden met an early demise at the hands of unexpectedly brutal fall weather. Today was the first day that it was warm enough to go outside and clear the carcasses of what would've been brussels sprout stalks, heads of cabbage and cauliflower, and reoccurring rows of kale and greens.
After I finished the "out with the old," I began the "in with the new." Situated in a warm space in indirect light, 36 seeds are awakening from their slumber. Soon, tiny green sprouts will be poking through the rich, dark soil in a race to be ready for spring planting.
Mostly cabbage, a few brussels sprouts, and a few cauliflower will be the first ones planted this year. This time around, as opposed to last fall, I think I'm better prepared. I will get all of my plants to maturity and I will enjoy the fruits of my [and their] labor.
In the meantime, I will plan for spring and I will daydream about more warm days like today. And I will enjoy sweet and crunchy cabbage leaves filled with nutritious, energizing ingredients and irresistible flavors.Print