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Friday, January 11, 2013

Today in Weird Post-Holiday Traditions

Posted by on Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 3:19 PM

I always buy the Hanukah themed Ziploc containers, even though I am not Jewish.
  • I always buy the Hanukah-themed Ziploc containers, even though I am not Jewish.

German tradition has it that eating sauerkraut on New Year's Day will bring a year of blessings and good luck, so every year on New Year's Day, I eat sauerkraut, usually on an apple-sage Field Roast link, with mustard. I can't attest to its voodoo efficacy, but it is delicious.

But then there comes the moment about ten days later, when I come upon a mysterious food storage container lurking at the back of the refrigerator, and I open it, and it is the remainder of the can of sauerkraut I opened nearly two weeks prior, and it is terrible.

I suppose I could make a New Year's resolution to steal single-serving sauerkraut packages from the food courts of malls and airports and avoid the world of sauerkraut storage entirely. But I'm a stickler for tradition, and the 10-days-later discovery now seems as important as the eating of the sauerkraut.

The end.

Love, Erma Bombeck

P.S. If anyone wants half a Ziploc container of old sauerkraut, I know a guy.


Comments (27) RSS

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Jaymz 1
Just found the exact same blue topped container in the back of my fridge with homemade cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving.... not proud of that.
Posted by Jaymz on January 11, 2013 at 3:27 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 2
So, do you eat the sauerkraut raw, or with cheese, or with brats, or what?

It also goes pretty well with ramen soup, as I recall.
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 11, 2013 at 3:28 PM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 3
Dear Erma,
All sauerkraut, being a fermented form of cabbage, is old. From wikipedia:
"Fully cured sauerkraut keeps for several months in an airtight container stored at or below 15 °C (60 °F). Neither refrigeration nor pasteurization is required, although these treatments prolong storage life."

So I recommend another delicious field roast link.

Posted by Matt the Engineer on January 11, 2013 at 3:29 PM · Report this
Fnarf 4
There must be something seriously wrong with you. You let it rot? EAT ALL THE SAUERKRAUT. Do it before it goes bad. Do it before it even goes into the Ziploc. NECK IT DOWN. Sauerkraut is pure awesome (and it's a "free food" in Weight Watchers, so I can eat as much of it as I can get down without using any points, praise be.
Posted by Fnarf on January 11, 2013 at 3:31 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 5
@1 - I have my leftover cranberry sauce, too, but in a tasteful glass container. It doesn't seem to go bad, but I might like that container for other things.
Posted by MacCrocodile on January 11, 2013 at 3:34 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 6
I love sauerkraut! You do know they make freezer bags, don't you? Put it in the freezer in serving sizes. But I've kept jars of kraut in the fridge for months and it doesn't go bad, so I don't know what your eating. I'm thinking you kept it with meat.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on January 11, 2013 at 3:36 PM · Report this
seatackled 7
I once had a chocolate cake recipe that called for sauerkraut. It was pretty good, actually. The kraut adds moisture, and you don't really taste it. So make that cake January 2 next year.
Posted by seatackled on January 11, 2013 at 3:38 PM · Report this
They have single servings of sauerkraut at food courts and airports? Never seen those.

I don't have the "likes sauerkraut" gene.
Posted by originalcinner on January 11, 2013 at 3:43 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 9
@7 for the chocolatey sauerkraut cake goodness Win!
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 11, 2013 at 3:50 PM · Report this
levide 10
Why not make Reubens with the leftover kraut?
Posted by levide on January 11, 2013 at 3:54 PM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 11
Jesus. Sauerkraut is pickled. (and @1, cranberry sauce is highly acidic.) They both should keep forever in the fridge. Where the fuck are you storing them, in a sauna?
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on January 11, 2013 at 4:00 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 12
Canned sauerkraut? Gross. That's your first problem. Get Bubbie's next time. You can find it at any halfway decent grocery store; I know for a fact Madison Market has it. I'm sure it'll keep for quite a while in the fridge, although whenever I buy it, it gets consumed within a week (if not a few days).
Posted by keshmeshi on January 11, 2013 at 4:12 PM · Report this
Jaymz 13
Deeper confession to @5 and @11 - the homemade cranberry sauce was a well-meaning gift to the "lonely bachelor" that should have been returned immediately as I am not a real fan and actually seem to prefer that solid red gelatin stuff I had as a kid - the chunks skeeve me out. The delayed discovery was my excuse to toss it.
Posted by Jaymz on January 11, 2013 at 4:17 PM · Report this
heywhatsit!? 14
Next time get the stuff sold in the glass jar. I can't think of the name but the jar is barrel shaped. It keeps forever.
Posted by heywhatsit!? on January 11, 2013 at 4:39 PM · Report this
south downtown 15
i'm with @12. canned sauerkraut? that's the fucking problem...

btw, doesn't O'Brien's wife sell sauerkraut? i'm surprised the stranger isn't gulping that shit down...
Posted by south downtown on January 11, 2013 at 5:04 PM · Report this
David Schmader 16
The can came about only because I was trying to buy the smallest serving possible!!!!!
Posted by David Schmader on January 11, 2013 at 5:34 PM · Report this
Fnarf 17
@16, well, there's your problem. Next time, buy the gallon jar and be happy!
Posted by Fnarf on January 11, 2013 at 6:23 PM · Report this
heywhatsit!? 18
And it's borderline criminal to eat sauerkraut but once a year.
Posted by heywhatsit!? on January 11, 2013 at 6:29 PM · Report this
hey Dave, 1. get Firefly Kitchen sauerkraut in a jar. (O'Brien's wife, Julie) 2. invite some friends for that good fortune boost!
Posted by Maggie H on January 11, 2013 at 7:21 PM · Report this
I just have to join the chorus here. Our predecessors invented pickling/fermenting in order to keep vegetables for a long time without refrigeration (think kim chee, kosher dills, all those weird Japanese pickly things, etc.). If your sauerkraut is not still good for next New Year, you are doing something wrong.
Anyway, to get rid of it, try this:
Brown a couple of thick pork chops in a skillet. When browned, smother with sauerkraut, cover and simmer for 40 minutes or so until done to your liking.
Remove meat to platter, add sour cream and caraway seeds to saurkraut and pan juices. Stir over heat to thicken, serve over porkchops. Delicious!
Posted by crone on January 11, 2013 at 7:34 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 21
My dear chum, the late Mary Norris (City Light's last Home Economist) and her husband used to love to make sauerkraut. They'd put up huge batches of it, and she said that it never failed that on the days they'd do it, which made the house stink royally, somebody would stop over unexpectedly. They finally put in an outdoor shelter with an electric stove to keep the smell out of the house.

But she and Joe just loved their homemade sauerkraut.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on January 11, 2013 at 7:42 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 22
Seatackled, dear, I think you may have triggered a repressed memory rest assured, in a good way)

I know that I know that cake from somewhere, and it was a pleasant experience. I shall have to ask Mother Vel-DuRay about it.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on January 11, 2013 at 8:13 PM · Report this
Two points. Number one, this is my favorite post ever, maybe even my favorite thing ever stuck to the Internet. Number two, fuck me, Fnarf participates in Weight Watchers?!?!
Posted by katallred on January 11, 2013 at 11:10 PM · Report this
fletc3her 24
I didn't think the implication was that the sauerkraut had gone bad, but simply that the smell which at first brought to mind a delicious snack had now come to seem terrible. Hence the offer at the end for a ziploc of the leftovers.
Posted by fletc3her on January 11, 2013 at 11:19 PM · Report this
Andy 25
I have sauerkraut in my fridge that I made well over a year ago. Get yourself some real sauerkraut, and you can eat it until you've eaten it all, no time limit.
Posted by Andy on January 11, 2013 at 11:26 PM · Report this
Firefly Kitchens sauerkraut is awesome. But you can make your own, it's super simple. All you need is cabbage and salt.…
Posted by elaineinballard on January 11, 2013 at 11:28 PM · Report this
seatackled 27

I don't know where that exact newspaper recipe I followed is now, but I just googled "sauerkraut chocolate cake" and found lots of stuff.

I've also made my own sauerkraut. Most recently with this recipe.…

(It came out perfect the first time, the second and third times it seemed too salty, so I'm trying to get back to the right proportion of salt.)
Posted by seatackled on January 12, 2013 at 12:34 PM · Report this

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