Gramma's Pen

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Old Crock

Yesterday when reminiscing with old friends my memory was triggered back into that part of my childhood that included that old crock. It was really ugly, pale tan ceramic, bottom, dark brown on the top and inside, about two feet high, 15 inches in diameter. We kept it stored in the cellar of 1021 Chestnut Street in Columbia. Along about September after garden harvest, we brought it out, set it on the wash bench and started filling it with a layer of shredded cabbage, then a sprinkling of salt, another layer of cabbage and some more salt until we reached the top. After we put it back in the base of the fruit cupboard, we put an especially prepared rounded wooden lid on top and weighted it down with a piece of iron railroad track. In just a month or so we had SAUERKRAUT!

In summertime we used the crock again, this time we put a couple pounds of granulated sugar in the bottom, a crumbled yeast cake, a bottle of Hires extract. We worked it all together with hands, then added water to the top. Out came the funnel and our previously sterilized collection of bottles. We ladled the liquid into the bottles leaving about two inches space from the top. Aunt Myra lent us her capper...a Rube Goldberg apparatus with a base to hold the bottle, a lever and hinge we operated to affix the cap and bend the edges over the lip of the bottle. Carefully we carried the bottles up the cellar steps to the back yard where said bottles were lined up on their sides in the sun. Then came the magic! I guess the sunshine activated the yeast. Happily we stored them in the fruit cupboard in the cellar. We looked forward to refreshing summer coolers and root beer floats.


  • I wish my electric crock pot could do that! Make both saurkraut and root beer. I guess I'll have to be happy with "GG's ice tea". It's nice that my girls know how to make it now and will even make a gallon at a time just like GG did.
    PS. Have you ever tried to listen to the letters/numbers that you get when you click on the wheel chair in the "Leave your comment" box? Very weird.

    By Blogger knitterykate, at 9:07 AM  

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