for my 3rd batch of sauerkraut (v3) i wanted to try cutting the cabbage with a food processor in the hopes of getting finer threads. i have an old cuisinart DLC-7 super pro which i found on the street more than 5 years ago. that thing is a monster, weighing 17 lbs. i rarely use it but it hasn't been relegated to the basement because every once in a while i do find a use for it, like today. there are a lot of built-in safety features, and in order to get the blade to actually spin, you need to press this, and lock that, and attach this other thing. the whole thing seems rather inconvenient, but better to be inconvenienced than lose a finger. the food processor came withe 3 blade attachments: a standard spiral chopping/mixing blade, a fine shredding disc, and a slicing disc.
i used the chopping/mixing blade first. it turned a quarter of cabbage into the consistency of coleslaw, which was not what i was looking for. next i used the shredding disc. it gave me strands, but the bulk of the cabbage was still shredded into tiny bits not fit for sauerkraut. finally i put on the slicing disc. it worked as long as i remembered to feed the cabbage so the leaves are perpendicular to the direction of the blade, otherwise the flat leaves will slip through the gap and won't be sliced. nevertheless, the cabbage threads were not consistent in size: some were very thin, while others were thicker. they didn't seem much different than if i had hand cut them myself, except a food processor is much faster.
to 2.6 lbs. of green cabbage i added 1 tbsp of caraway seeds and 1.5 tbsp of fine sea salt. i upped the salt portion because one of the things my father said about my 2nd batch of sauerkraut was it wasn't salty enough. i then mixed the cabbage and left it to reduce for 3 hours.
the last time i cleaned my fish tank was early august, more than 4 months ago. since that time, the only maintenance i've done on the tank was to add more water whenever the water level seemed a little low. the java ferns seem to be doing worse than they were 4 months ago. i don't know whether it's because there's not enough nutrients in the water, not enough light (despite the LED's), or algae choke (though there doesn't seem to be a lot of green algae). i ended up siphoning 3/4 of the water, giving the ferns a little cleaning in the sink, before putting everything back with fresh water. i'm going to try doing daily water change (2.5 gal buckets at a time), maybe that will keep the algae in check and allow the plants to grow.
after the cabbage finished reducing, i began to stuff it inside the quart jar. i made sure to compact everything as i went, doing it shallow layers at a time. i managed to stuff all 2.6 lbs. of cabbage into the jar with room to spare. enough room in fact that i could try using my glass votive candle holder AKA cheap fermentation weight. maybe the weight will keep it from overflowing the airlock, but only time will tell.
close to 8pm i started making my chicken pot pie. i remember from the last time i made it that i didn't want to make the stuffing too watery. not sure what kind of potato i used last time, but i chose russet potato this time around because they break down more easily. i cubed the chicken and the skinless potato as well then put both in a pot of boiling water, let it cooked for about 10-15 minutes. at the tail end i added a cup of frozen vegetables to cook them a bit as well. in hindsight i should've shredded the chicken instead, because they cubes seemed too big. i ended up cutting some of the bigger chicken pieces.
next i made the liquid portion of the filling. 1 chopped onion sauteed in 1/3 cup of butter (about 5 tbsp). i added 1/3 cup of flour which quickly absorbed all the melted butter, coating the onion bits in buttery flour. i then slowly added 1 can of chicken broth and 1/2 cup of milk, stirring constantly, to the consistency of thick glue. i also added some ground pepper and 1/2 tsp of salt.
next time, i should make the liquid portion while i'm boiling the chicken/potato. to the liquid half i added the cooked chicken/potato/vegetables from earlier. i then poured the filling into a pie dish already layered with a pie crust. i then put the second crust on top of everything. instead of fluting the edges of the crust, i just sort of tucked them inside, which is the wrong thing to do. into the oven for 40 minutes at 425°F, i was worried the filling would spill out from the uncrimped edges. but that was not to be the case, and everything worked out fine.
the final pot pie was satisfactory (i ate two slices while watching they live), but i found the filling to be too runny again. i don't think there's anyway to really fix that, because most of the pot pies i've eaten had runny filling as well. maybe they were meant to be served in slices but rather as whole pies (look into smaller pot pie pans). the filling was savory but i felt it could've used something more; as it is it's sort of plain. but definitely next time shred the chicken, and maybe add some flavoring to the meat before adding it into the pie.