~ For people who are passionate about respecting the earth, walking in nature, observing wildlife, local diet, making do, repurposing, organic gardening, foraging for wild plants and fungi, natural health, scrumptious healthy cooking, renovations, DIY, crafting, raising children simply and mindfully, taking time for stillness, and living in harmony with the seasons.
These ribs are incredibly delicious with the meat soaking up the sauerkraut juice and falling off the bone. Nothing beats homemade sauerkraut for this recipe. If you can’t find any, you can try making your own.
Pork Ribs with Sauerkraut
4 cups sauerkraut
Cut ribs into large pieces. Blanch in boiling water for five minutes. Place ribs in a roast dish and cover with sauerkraut. Season with black pepper and bake in a 300*F oven to two hours. Enjoy!
It has been years since I had homemade sauerkraut and I was really missing and craving it! I had been searching thrift stores, garage sales and antique malls for years for a large stone crock so that I could start making my own here at the cabin. I did find a few but they were too pricy at $50-$60 dollars per crock (in antique stores). Finally, just a few months ago, I found these two crocks at a thrift store in Edmonton. I paid $7.99 for the large one and $6.99 for the smaller one. Hooray! I was on my way to some homemade sauerkraut!
I did not grow cabbage this year so I had to buy the cabbage. For this batch I used green cabbage. Try to buy organic if you can as they are more flavorful. I thought three cabbages would fill the large crock but once they were pressed down they only filled the crock up to a third! Next time, I will use six cabbages per batch of sauerkraut.
Sauerkraut combines the health benefits offered by all cruciferous vegetables (a category which includes cauliflowers and brussel sprouts as well as cabbage) with the probiotic advantages derived from the fermentation process.
Cabbage offers a host of health benefits. It is high in vitamins A and C. Studies have shown the cruciferous vegetables can help lower cholesterol levels. Cabbage also provides a rich source of phytonutrient antioxidants. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory properties, and some studies indicate it may help combat some cancers. However, this already helpful vegetable becomes a superfood when it is pickled.~Natural News
green cabbage (or the cabbage of your choice)
salt (I used sea salt but some recommend pickling salt)
Quarter the cabbages. Remove the tough outer leaves and inner core, then slice the cabbage very thinly with a sharp knife or with a mandolin.
Place the sliced cabbage into your stone crock and add one tablespoon of salt per head of cabbage. Mix thoroughly. If you like, you can leave the cabbage and salt to sit overnight before crushing, or you can crush right away. Crush the cabbage well with a wooden utensil or anything heavy and clean. You should notice a lot of juice being released by the cabbage.
Place a plate over the cabbage making sure that the plate is fully submerged under the juice. Weigh the plate down with something clean and heavy. Cover the crock with a clean, dry cloth to keep insects and dust out. The juice and cabbage will rise a bit as fermentation begins so be sure and leave ‘room to grow’.
Check the sauerkraut at least once a week and remove any mold that starts to form. (The mold is completely normal so do not be put off by it.) The sauerkraut will be ready by the fourth to sixth week, depending on how strong you prefer it. I harvested mine after four weeks.
Measure the sauerkraut into four-cup measures and freeze.
Three heads of cabbage yielded six four-cup measures.
There are many different recipes for sauerkraut and I look forward to experimenting with this healthy, tasty food!
Cole slaw is such a versatile dish and can be served in a variety of ways: as a side dish, in a taco or even on a sandwich or burger. It’s a fantastic picnic or barbeque salad and I find that it tastes better the longer it sits. Just add the toasted nuts at the last minute so that they stay crunchy. Try substituting toasted walnuts instead of sunflower seeds and toasted black sesame seeds instead of poppy seeds.
Crunchy Cole Slaw
2 tablespoons apple cidar vinegar
juice of 1 lemon, reserve 1 tablespoon
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sourcream
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 small savoy or green cabbage
1 cup sunflower seeds, freshly toasted
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, sour cream and mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Peel the apple and grate over a coarse grater. Place the grated apple in a bowl of cold water and add the reserved tablespoon of lemon juice to keep the apple from browning. Cut the cabbage into quarters and core each section. Slice very finely and place in a large bowl. Drain the apples and add them to the bowl along with the vinaigrette and toasted sunflower and poppy seeds. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
I would like to show you the vegetable garden. When we bought the cabin last fall it was just a little postage stamp of a plot with some potatoes left behind. We dug these up in October and they lasted us until March.
By November, the land was covered in snow and I spent the winter planning my garden, making endless lists and researching ‘deer- and rabbit-resistant gardening’. In May, my wonderful neighbor, K, came over with her tractor and tilled the soil for me, enlarging the garden into it’s current size. The soil is good in this spot and I was told that years ago this used to be a large garden.
Once tilled, I mapped out a Medicine Wheel design using mulch for the pathways. I added some plants and sowed some seeds. Then I spent an afternoon pounding in large stakes for the fence. My budget was very limited so I used what I could find on the land. I also found some rusty barbed wire fencing in large rolls around the property. I carefully unwound these and wrapped these around the poles, using wire to fasten it to the stakes. I did two rows of fencing, one on top of the other and wired these together. This was tricky as I did this on my own, holding the fence in place with my head while wiring the fencing together with needle nose pliers and being careful not to get scratched with the rusty wire…
I choose a Medicine Wheel design as I wanted to be intentional in my creation of a garden. This place would be set aside as a quiet place for contemplation, a source of nourishment and healing. For some reason, stepping into a circular garden invokes a feeling of reverence and quiet power.
Both the design and use of sacred space are processes that draw on both the conscious and unconscious levels of mind and spirit. We learn as we create and we change as we garden. Let the process inform you spirit. ~Peg Streep
The circle has four quadrants (which were further subdivided into pie-shaped plots) set to the cardinal directions (north, east, south and west). Each direction has a corresponding element (earth, air, fire and water). The center of the circle is a place of concentrated ‘power’ and peace. At the door of the garden is a pile of stones found previously buried in the soil. Visitors are invited to take a stone, envision a prayer or request, wish or blessing, and imagine that they are putting it into the stone. Then they can place the stone in the center bowl. As I spend time each day working in the garden, I meditate, contemplate and pray. I sing songs, I laugh, I dance, I express gratitude for the earth’s abundance. I imagine this good energy being absorbed into the growing plants.
The creation of sacred space- how we set apart and arrange a certain spot and imbue it with reverent feelings… draws us closer to nature and affirms our personal ties with the earth. Medicine Wheel gardens are places for celebrating and teaching. Some go to the Medicine Wheel garden for vision quests, prayer and personal renewal. Others see it as a place to gather together for drumming, fire ceremonies and singing. -E.Barrie Kavasch
The above shot was just taken today. I love spending time in the garden and taking care of it never feels like a chore. I feel the earth supporting my body as I kneel to work, I listen to the wind and the birds, I feel the sun and sometimes rain on my skin and all of this brings me deep contentment. Today, it was a very hot and sunny day. Here are a few more shots of things growing in the garden…
I am noticing lots of green and yellow in the pictures but very little red. I do have red beets and radishes and red lettuce and potatoes; and soon will also have red peppers, chili peppers and loads of tomatoes, if only we would get more warmer weather. In fact, everything is behind this year due to the cool, wet summer. Perhaps we will have a hot late summer/autumn in time for harvest?
This season marks phase one in the Medicine Wheel garden design. Next year, I will add raised beds and incorporate the four elements into each quadrant (a bowl of stones for earth, prayer flags and wind chimes for air, a small fire bowl for fire, and a bird bath for water). In the meantime, we have a few months of harvest ahead of us. I will show you more pictures of the garden as the summer progresses.