Making sauerkraut

I started some sauerkraut just after St. Patrick’s Day. I followed the recipe in your canning book, and put it in a fermentation crock, setting it in the corner of our kitchen. It does not seem to be fermenting, but is not rotting either. I tasted it, and it is still green, slightly crunchy, and somewhat salty. What am I doing wrong?

Jean Wenger
Fairbury, Illinois

Sometimes sauerkraut takes longer than usual, often due to too much salt being added to the batch. Did your kraut bubble? This indicates that fermentation has begun. Sometimes it takes 14-16 weeks, depending on room temperature and the amount of salt you put in your batch. As long as it is not rotting (usually due to very little salt), let it continue to ripen. Taste every week and see how it’s coming. When it’s right for your taste, either can it or refrigerate it if you have a small batch. Making sauerkraut is another of those homestead skills like breadmaking that takes a little getting used to. — Jackie

Feral cat

We have one female feral cat we cannot capture. She has evaded traps, got out of a trap, broke a cat door evading us. Animal control simply wants to set traps, this will not work. She’s producing many kittens. We have had some 20 cats fixed, this one is different. Is there something we can do to dart or sedate her, so we can get her into a carrier to get her fixed?

Doug MacPherson
Roxboro, North Carolina

My advice is to get a large live trap. Many cats won’t go into a small “cat” sized trap or, like “your” cat, get out of a small one. However, if you use a larger, say fox or coyote sized trap, she won’t be so cautious going into the large door and sure won’t get out of it, once it has been sprung. Bait it with either chopped raw liver or canned liver cat food — cats can’t resist it. Once in the trap, transport her directly to your vet without trying to get her into a carrier. Your vet can handle things from there. Good for you for trying to reduce the feral cat population! — Jackie


  1. All,

    The title does sound….bizzare, doesn’t it. At least it made you look!

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