A Sour Kraut Tale and How to Make it

A recent conversation I had at the grocery store prompted this column. I believe that conversation certified the need and my obligation to your grandchildren–I don’t have any grandchildren-- to share this important survival knowledge. To assume we will always be able to buy everything we need at a local air-conditioned fancy grocery store is assuming a lot. Those of us who still remember how to do some things our parents and grandparents taught us need to share it. Some of the reasons our early schools were so successful is that older students taught the younger ones. Today we call it mentoring. I’ve also noted that New York and California are turning back the clock to smaller schools and using the older students to mentor the younger ones.

To get back to the story, on a recent trip to the grocery store I bought a can of SAUERKRAUT. The cashier was excited to see someone who actually bought kraut. He commented that he had recently seen a television program on making kraut and was totally fascinated by it. I told him that I knew how to make kraut and had actually made it many times. He then told me that he really liked chopped kraut; but most of the time when he was served kraut the kraut was shredded. He had noticed that kraut required quite a bit of salt and wondered if the salt shredded the kraut. I told him, “Oh, no, a machine does that.” Frankly, I think a better name for the commercial product would be “sour kraut.” To keep it from being so sour, I rinse the kraut in water before frying it or adding it to a pork roast. Homemade kraut is delicious just out of the jar, but the store-bought kraut if just too sour for my taste. The conversation would have gone on much longer, but we were holding up the line. Now for the lesson:

The day before you plan to make your kraut, wash and scald your jars and let your jars dry. If you make very much kraut, you’ll be glad you have done this. Wash your lids as well. I like to use the old fashioned zinc lids with can rubbers. You can use the newer two-piece lids if you wish.

Hopefully, you will have grown your own cabbage or can buy it from a neighbor so that it will be really fresh and crisp. Peel off the outer leaves that may have been visited by cabbage worms and trim away any damaged spots. Wash the cabbage and cut it into large chunks placed in a large aluminum or stainless pan. Don’t try to use granite ware/enamel ware because the chopping will chip your pan. You are now ready to begin chopping. My mother’s favorite cutter was a tin can that had been cut around the top and sharpened. If you don’t have a Cuisinart, that can is the next best thing! When you have finished chopping the kraut, place 1 teaspoon salt in each quart jar. Tightly pack the jar with the chopped cabbage and then fill the jar with cold SPRING WATER.. If you use treated water, the kraut will spoil; and your time and effort is wasted. Seal the jars and set in a somewhat cool place. We always placed the kraut on a shelf on the back porch. That way it was easy to check on the kraut. As the kraut ferments, water will need to be added every day or so for about two weeks. Keep the cabbage covered with the spring water. When the kraut “quits working” seal tightly, wipe the jars, and place with your other canned goods. The cabbage stalks were trimmed and placed–usually one to a jar–and when ready to eat were considered a special treat.

Here’s a recipe from West Virginia that I’ve kept for many years:
Chop cabbage, about one bushel, and put it down in a ten-gallon size stone jar. Put a layer of cabbage and a handful of salt. Repeat until all cabbage is used. Tightly pack the cabbage in the jar. Cover with a plate. Weight down with a clean stone–not sandstone–wrapped in a clean cloth. Let stand until brine rises. ALWAYS MAKE SAUERKRAUT IN A NEW MOON.

I do not remember about the New Moon theory. Sometimes I’m sure it is difficult to coordinate the availability of the cabbage with the signs of the moon. If I ever make sauerkraut again, I guess I’ll try to do it in a New Moon.

I should also add a vegetable preservation method that our forefathers and foremothers used to keep fresh food on the table through the winter months:

Just before the first frost, dig a hole deep enough to go below the frost line. If I recall, about three feet deep will do it around here. Line the hole with straw, then add potatoes, squash, cabbage, cushaw, pumpkin, or whatever is in season in the fall. Be sure to add a layer of straw between each layer of vegetables. This keeps spoilage down as well as providing insulation from the weather. Cover with a heavy layer of straw before covering with the soil. With some thought the produce can be packed in such a way to “dig” a variety of vegetables without disturbing the surrounding quantity.

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Events

Meet-the-Candidates Tuesday, June 26 6PM-8PM

Dear Candidate:

Thank you for being a candidate for public office!

You are invited to participate in a Union County Meet-the-Candidates evening gathering on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, at 6 PM - 8PM at the Union County Senior Citizens Center.
This event is intended both to help our citizens cast an informed vote on August 2 (or earlier) and to help introduce you to your voters. Palm cards, written materials are welcome. (A surrogate for the candidate who cannot attend is welcome.)

Union County Board Of Education

UNION COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION

The next regular workshop and meeting of the Union County Board of Education will be held on Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at Union County High School. The workshop will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the meeting immediately to follow.

REGULAR WORKSHOP UNION COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 2018 6:00 p.m. Union County High School

Agenda

1. Discuss School Trips

· None at Time of Publication

2. Budget Amendments and Transfers/Director’s Monthly Report—Ann Dyer

County Commission will meet in Special Called Session

County Commission will meet in Special Called Session

The County Commission will meet in Special Called Session on Thursday, June 28, at 7:00 to finalize the budget amendments and transfers of the current budget to facilitate the filing of the Annual Financial Report. The public is encouraged to attend.

SPECIAL CALLED MEETING

UNION COUNTY COMMISSION - UNION COUNTY COURTHOUSE
Thursday, June 28 2018 – TIME 7:00 P.M.

AGENDA

Community Worship & Revival

On February 22, 2018, A Call To Prayer was made in the Luttrell Community. Several community pastor agreed to go back to their respective churches and call on their members to pray for the Lord to guide in an effort to unite our churches with a common goal of a Community Worship & Revival leading folks to Jesus the only begotten son of God.

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An exciting event will happen in Luttrell once again this fall. Thanks to organizer Mayme Taylor. The Luttrell Music Festival will return September 8, 2018. Taylor has accomplished quite the feat with her headliner band, Ricochet, as well as acquiring sponsors and donors.

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Obituary

Brenda Ann Hall

Brenda Ann Hall-age 59 of Maynardville passed away suddenly Wednesday, June 20. 2018 at North Knoxville Medical Center after a brief battle with ovarian cancer. She worked and served faithfully as an LPN at Willow Ridge Center for the past 8 years and was beloved by both her patients and co-workers alike. Brenda was preceded in death by father, Gerald W. Hall; nephew, Stefan Hall.

Harold D. Dotson

Harold D. Dotson-age 83 of Maynardville passed away Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at Willow Ridge Center. He was a member of New Fellowship Church. Harold retired from the U. S. Navy with 20 years of service and was a Vietnam Veteran. Preceded in death by parents, Frank E. and Ada Francis Dotson; son, Frank E. Dotson, II; all of Harold’s brothers and sisters preceded him in death; James Dotson, Herman Dotson, George Dotson, Bobby Lee Dotson, Fae L. Simpson, Gayenell Stanley and Ines Bevins.

George Taylor Brooks

George Taylor Brooks, age 90, of Thorngrove, passed away on June 20, 2018 at Oakwood Senior Living in Knoxville. He was preceded in death by his wife, Grace Bridges Brooks, parents Joe “Frosty” and Hattie Hickman Brooks, sister Ida Huffaker, and brother John Elmer “Toad” Brooks. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law Cathy Jo and Jim Norris of Thorngrove. Special friends include Bob Petty, Donnie Crawford, Glyn Underwood and his little buddy Grayson Huffaker. He leaves to cherish his memory a large extended family of sister-in-laws, brother-in-laws, nieces, and nephews.

Rev. Earl Ray Johnson

Reverend Earl Johnson – age 82 of Union County, went to his Heavenly home on June 19, 2018. He was a member of Ailor Dale Baptist Church and former pastor of several churches. Earl was a dedicated man of God with the strongest faith. He was always caring and giving to everyone, always putting others needs before his own. He will be sadly missed by all that were lucky enough to know him.

Edna Mae (Beeler) Shoffner

Edna Mae (Beeler) Shoffner, Age 97 of Sharps Chapel was born on November 23, 1920 and went home to be with the Lord on Monday, June 18, 2018 at her home surrounded by her family. She was a member of Oak Grove Primitive Baptist Church.
Edna is preceded in death by her loving Husband Charlie Shoffner. Daughter: Wanda Brown, Son: Tom Shoffner and Grand-Daughter Gabrielle Shoffner. Parents: Mack and Lennie Beeler. Brothers: Tommy, Otis, and Clarence Beeler. Sisters: Mert, Lelia, and Georgia.

Teresa Ann Greer

Teresa Ann Greer, age 44, of Maryville, TN passed away peacefully on June 16, 2018. Preceded in death by mother Judith Ann Greer. Survived by children, Courtney Ann Thomas and fiancé Brandon Yeaman, Justin Joe Bradburn, and Madison Ann Bradburn; father Bobby Joe and wife Deborah; grandchildren John Mason and Eli Blane.

James Paul Myers, Jr.

James Paul Myers, Jr. age 70 of Knoxville, passed away June 15, 2018. James was a Vietnam veteran. He was of the Baptist faith and pastored many churches in his life. Preceded in death by wife Janet Myers; parents James P. Myers, Sr. and Juanita Myers; sister Helen Wrinkle. Survived by sons Jay Lloyd Myers and Stephen Myers; very special brother David Myers; several nieces and nephews. Family will receive friends 6:00p.m.-8:00p.m. Wednesday June 20, 2018 at Mynatt Funeral Home Fountain City Chapel with service to follow, Rev. Clyde Lakin and Eddie Myers officiating.

Anna Mae Shelby Davis

Anna Mae Shelby Davis-age 78 of New Tazewell passed away Friday morning, June 15, 2018 at U. T. Medical Center following a long illness. She was a member of Raccoon Valley Baptist Church. Preceded in death by daughter, Kathy Ann Davis; parents, Jim and Louella Shelby; brothers, Willis Shelby, Troy Milton Shelby; sisters, Grace Shoffner and Viola Shelby.

Gary Lynn Anderson, Sr.

Gary Lynn Anderson, Sr.-age 72 of Luttrell passed away Thursday morning, June 14, 2018 at U. T. Medical Center. He was preceded in death by parents, Rev. Frank J. and Mildred (Hundley) Anderson; brothers, Robert (Bob) Anderson, Paul Anderson; sister, Cheryl Tyson; grandson, James Thompson; great-grandson, Skyler McClure.

Betty Jane Patterson

Betty Jane Patterson-age 91 of Maynardville passed away Sunday morning, June 10, 2018 at Beverly Park Place, Knoxville. She was a member of First United Methodist Church of Sevierville. She also enjoyed square dancing and was a member of Good Times Square Dance Club. Preceded in death by her husband, Clinton Patterson, Sr. in 1998; three sisters, Dorothy, Jean and Alla.

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