My family is about 99 percent Pennsylvania Dutch, which means it was practically my destiny that someday I would learn to make sauerkraut. My dad used to make it the old-fashioned way, in a special crock kept in the cellar for several months. When he finally opened it, it would stink up the whole house. For this reason, I hated sauerkraut for most of my life. I tried it again years later and discovered it really wasn’t as offensive as I thought—in fact, it was pleasantly sour.
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I recently decided I wanted to try making my own, but I didn’t want to deal with the crock or mass-produce a year’s worth of kraut, which is how it’s done traditionally. Enter the mason jar, the perfect vessel for making a small batch of sauerkraut in a short amount of time. I tried this method a couple of times, and it’s easy to do and the kraut comes out great. Here’s how to get started.