Local News

Canning Kraut

Is it the refreshing sourness that quenches the thirst? Or the typically soft crunch with the first mouthful? Perhaps the taste just naturally rounds out a good piece of pork roast or adds something new to a wedge of pizza. And really, what would a great brat be without the tangy goodness of the most popular shredded topping?

“I eat mine on saltines. Nothing beats pulling a jar out of the cupboard, grabbing a box of saltines, and snacking away while I watch T.V.,” says sauerkraut fan Jon Chapman. “I love it.”

In fact, the Hebron gardner likes it so much he puts up a few quarts every year. Well, more than a few quarts. More like 129 pounds worth according to the scale this year, which translated to 125 quarts.

“I learned how to make it from Lowell Bartels, an old farmer over by Ohiowa,” Chapman says. “I had some of his once and thought it was a lot better than I could buy, so I learned how to make it. It isn’t that tough.”

In fact, Jon’s method mimics how it’s been done for centuries right down to a large hand grater fashioned after a design from 1902. He uses crocks made in the 1940s and fresh ingredients in his recipe. And he grows his own cabbages – big ones as a matter of fact.

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