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Which size Cabbage Shredder is right for you?

Posted on November 19, 2017 by Emily Kociolek | 0 comments

With 3 sizes to choose from, it's hard to know which cabbage shredder will work best for you.  Since I know these products well (we've been selling them for almost 5 years now!), I'm happy to offer our customers my take on the advantages of each size!

Medium Cabbage Shredder

Our most popular size by sales is the Medium Cabbage Shredder.

 

This size of shredder seems to offer the best balance of features and price.  It has the cabbage holder box which makes shredding much easier and safer.  While it's not a small shredder at 2 feet long, it doesn't take up as much space as the large size.  For most customers, the Medium size will work great.  When a customer asks which size to buy, I most often recommend the Medium Cabbage Shredder.

Large Cabbage Shredder

If you make a lot of sauerkraut and have the space for it, the Large Cabbage Shredder is the way to go!

The Large Cabbage shredder is just that, large!  It's wider and longer than the Medium size shredder, which makes it harder to find a place to store.  The extra width means it has a larger cabbage holder box, which in turn means a bigger chunk of cabbage can be shredded at once.  The extra length makes the shredding process much smoother as you can build more momentum in each slide across the blades.  If you have the space for the Large Cabbage Shredder, it really does make quick work of shredding your cabbage.  

Small Cabbage Shredder

If you are tight on space, or like a finely shredded cabbage, I recommend the Small Cabbage Shredder.

The biggest disadvantage of the Small shredder is that it doesn't have a cabbage holder box.  But, it is also much more compact and therefore easier to store, especially if you live in a small house or apartment.  Another unique feature of the Small Cabbage Shredder is that the blades are set closer together, giving you a shred of about 1/16" versus the Medium and Large shredders which have about 1/8" shred. 

Hopefully this "insider" information will help you make an informed decision about which size will work best for you!  Which one will you choose?

Buy Now - Can It & Ferment It Recipe Book

Posted on September 12, 2017 by Emily Kociolek | 0 comments

For many years we have been searching for just the right fermenting book to offer on our website.  Last summer, Stephanie Thurrow of the Minnesota From Scratch blog reached out to us about a book she was working on combining canning & fermenting recipes.  Since I grew up canning, and Kryz grew up fermenting, this sounded like the perfect book for our family and business!  Over the year that Stephanie was writing Can It & Ferment It, I had a chance to get to know her better and now consider her a friend.  It was such an honor to send her some of our favorite fermenting supplies to use while she was trying out recipes for the book. 

We were also thrilled that she asked to include our Polish Dill Pickle recipe (which comes with every crock we sell) in the book!  And when Can It & Ferment It was finished, I got to read an advanced copy and offer my review, which is now featured on the back cover!

I was also happy to have the opportunity to attend the Can It & Ferment It book release party in Minneapolis.  It was great to see Stephanie and get to check out Gyst Fermentation Bar and sample some wonderful fermented foods!

 

Now that we have a copy of the book to use ourselves, we have been exploring many of the fermenting and canning recipes!  Our garden has been very productive this year, which has meant we need more creative ways to preserve the harvest.  I love being able to flip through Can It & Ferment It and see lots of options for how to transform our veggies into year round goodies!

I'm sure all of you will enjoy Can It & Ferment It as much as we do.  And now you can purchase it along with your fermenting supplies right here on our website!  It's the perfect way to make sure you have everything you need to get started fermenting.  Because like I said on my back-of-the-book review -

"Reading Stephanie's book is like having your own personal canning and fermenting expert right there with you."

So don't delay and add one to your order!

 

Mountain Ceramics

Posted on July 17, 2017 by Emily Kociolek | 0 comments

Summer is in full swing and fermenting season is here!  We started our first crocks of garden veggies last weekend in our favorite Mountain Green & Cream Crocks.  These crocks have been out of stock for 3 years while the artisan took a break from his business.  But now he is back to work and we are able to offer these popular crocks again!



While most fermenting crocks are a dark brown color, customers are always looking for other options.  Which is one of the reasons we love these green and cream colored crocks!  Plus, the small 2L & 3L sizes are great for fermenting small amounts, like what you pick each day in the garden.  We also love that we can put the entire crock in the fridge when it's done fermenting and eat right out of the crock!

We also have a garlic crock from the same artisan available in two sizes, a small brown crock for storing or serving and a gorgeous mug

Because we have been out of stock of these products for over 3 years, we decided they count as new products!  So be sure to check out all of our Mountain Ceramics.

How to Use a Fermenting Crock

Posted on June 15, 2017 by Emily Kociolek | 0 comments

Today I'm excited to share with you something I have been wanting to create for the last 4 years!  We are now including a "Fermenting Crock Basic Use" pamphlet with every crock we sell.  In addition to our family recipes for sauerkraut and pickles, you now have everything you need to get started using your crock right away! 

Just like our recipes, I know some people will misplace this guide.  Which is why I wanted to share the guide today on our blog.  I also want to make sure any customers who purchased from us before we created this pamphlet will have access to is here as well!  So without further delay, here it is -

Introduction

Fermenting is part science and part art.  Which means, it takes a lot of experimentation to figure out what will work best for you.  For every person who says that THIS is the only way to ferment, there is another person who does it the opposite way with great results!  Remember, there are many variables in fermenting, which means no two people or batches will turn out the same every time.  These instructions are a basic guideline on how to get started using your fermenting crock.  Hopefully your first batch will come out perfectly!  But if it doesn’t, make some changes and try again!

Caring for your Fermenting Crock

We recommend washing your fermenting crock with mild soap and warm water and letting it air dry.  Avoid exposing it to extreme heat, humidity or cold.  Do not place your fermenting crock in the dishwasher!  This will likely lead to the glaze on your crock cracking.  The Luna Glass Crock Weights, however, are dishwasher safe.
  

Instructions

1.  Choose your favorite fermenting recipe. 
There are many available online, in fermenting books, or you can use the 2 family recipes that we include with your purchase!

2.  Prepare the ingredients per the instructions in the recipe. 
Avoid using reactive metal kitchen utensils when working with fermenting ingredients. 

3.  Place the ingredients in the crock, filling it to 2/3 to ¾ of the way full. 
Fermenting Crocks are not designed to be filled to the top.  You need to leave space at the top of the crock to insert the weights and to allow for potential expansion of the ingredients during fermenting.  You do not want the brine to overflow out of the crock.

4.  Insert the Luna Glass Crock Weights into the crock
Insert the weights vertically one at a time into the crock opening.  Rotate the weight to horizontal while inside the crock.  Move the weight to one side.  Insert the second weight in the same manner, placing it next to the first weight to cover the top of your ingredients.  The weights will not completely fill the inside diameter of the crock.  There will be some space between the edge of the weight and the crock. 

5.  Be sure that the ingredients are completely covered by the brine.  Add additional brine if needed to cover everything. 
Additional brine is created during fermenting as the salt pulls liquid from the ingredients.  You can wait a few hours before adding additional brine to see if this will happen.  A Cabbage Masher will help cabbage release more liquid.  To avoid pieces floating on top of the brine in finely shredded ferments such as sauerkraut, save a few large leaves of cabbage before shredding.  Place these on top of the shredded cabbage before inserting the weights.  

6.  Fill the moat at the top of the crock with water or brine.
In order to create the airlock, water or brine must be present in the moat at the top of the crock.  If you have extra brine, you can use this in the rim.  Changes in barometric pressure or temperature swings can cause the water/brine to be sucked into the crock.  If this happens, slowly lift the lid until the water/brine is released.  The water in the rim will also evaporate over time.  Check the water level in the rim every few days and refill if necessary.

7.  Place the lid on the crock and wait!
This is the hard part!  Each ferment will have a different number of days suggested to ferment.  You can sneak a peek inside your crock, but each time you open it you could introduce a foreign substance that can lead to mold or other issues.  We try to wait at least 3 days before checking your pickles, and a week to 10 days before checking sauerkraut. 

8.  Listen…..
After a day or two you should start hearing a little “blurp” noise.  This is the sound of the carbon dioxide created during fermentation escaping through the airlock water moat.  This is a very good thing!  It means that fermentation is happening.  If you don’t hear the sound, there may be something wrong.  The more “burps” you hear, the faster it is fermenting!

9.  Skim floaters or mold if needed.
If you see evidence of mold on the surface or “floaters”, you can skim them from the surface. 

10.  After several days, move the crock to a cooler place if desired.
You can leave the crock in place the entire time you ferment, or move it to a cooler place after some time.  Moving to a cooler place will slow down fermenting, allowing the flavors to develop differently. 

11.  Decide when the ferment has reached your desired flavor and texture.
Another part of the experimenting with fermentation is deciding when it’s done!  The longer it ferments, the more probiotics are created, but there is a greater chance that something could go wrong.  The flavor will also become more sour over time, while shorter times yield a milder flavor.  The recipe you are following will likely have a suggested fermenting time, but ultimately it’s up to you to find the balance of when you think its “done”!

12.  Remove ferment from the crock for storage.
When you are ready, remove the ferment from the crock and place it in storage containers.  We recommend using glass jars as they are inert and will not react with your ferment.  Place ingredients in the jar and cover with brine from the crock.  Extra brine can be used as a probiotic “gut shot” drink if desired.
Store the ferment in your fridge when it is finished to slow down/stop the fermenting process. 

13.  Enjoy!
Most ferments will last about 3 months in the refrigerator, but some can be safe for longer.  Your recipe should note how long it can be stored.  Use your nose and brain – if it smells rotten it probably is!

Tips & Tricks

-  Large fermenting crocks become very heavy once filled.  We recommend filling large crocks with ingredients in the place where it will stay during fermentation.  The process can be up to 6 weeks for sauerkraut, so take some time to plan for where the crock will be during this time!

-  The time it takes to ferment will vary depending on the amount of salt used (more salt = slower, less salt = faster) and the temperature (cold = slower, hot = faster). 

-  We do not recommend water bath canning your ferments.  The high temperature will kill off many if not all of the probiotics present in the ferment.  It will also change the texture and flavor of your recipe.

-  If you have an unfinished basement or root cellar, you can store the ferment in the crock like was traditionally done.  Make sure that the crock is set directly on top of the concrete floor so that the cool temperature of the ground is transferred into the ceramic crock.  This cold temperature is what suspends fermenting.  However, if you do this, you won’t be able to use your crock to ferment another batch!

Now that you know what to do, go buy a fermenting crock so you can start using it!

 


  

Luna Glass Crock Weights Giveaway!

Posted on May 18, 2017 by Emily Kociolek | 46 comments

----THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED----

We think every fermenter should have a set of our Luna Glass Crock Weights.  And we know the best recommendations come through word of mouth, so we want you to tell us who should win a set of Luna Glass Crock Weights.  And if we draw the person you nominated to win, we'll also give you a $10 credit to use on www.stonecreektrading.com!

The Luna Glass Crock Weights are our signature product.  You can only get these large glass fermenting weights from Stone Creek Trading because we invented them and are the sole manufacturers!   And now that you can purchase our US patent pending Luna Glass Crock Weights in Canada (www.wisecrock.com) and Europe (www.fermentingeurope.com), we wanted to celebrate by making sure everyone here in the US knows about them too!

Check out the important details below.

How to Enter 

There are 3 ways to enter this giveaway - 

1.  Comment on this blog post with the name of someone who should win.  Be sure to include both your name and email address in the comment form as well as the name of the person who should win in the comment itself!

2.  Comment on our Facebook post about this giveaway by tagging the person who should win.

3.  Comment on our Instagram post about this giveaway by tagging the person who should win.

You may nominate multiple people, but you must comment separately for each person.  To enter multiple times on each site, you must nominate a different person to win each time.  You may enter on all three sites.

Prizes

(3) pairs of lucky winners will be drawn!  There will be one winning pair chosen from each entry option - Blog, Facebook and Instagram.

For each winning pair, the person who is nominated will receive (1) set of Luna Glass Crock Weights in their choice of size, shipped to the US address they provide.  The person who nominated the winner will also receive a $10 store credit to be used on our website - www.stonecreektrading.com.

Fine Print

This giveaway will close on Monday May 22 at 5pm CST.  One winning pair will be randomly drawn from each entry option (Blog, Facebook, Instagram) after the giveaway has closed. Winners will be notified via email.  Winners will have 48 hours to respond via email accepting the prize, or alternative winners will be chosen.  Once the winners have accepted, they will also be announced here and on social media. 

This giveaway is open to US shipping addresses only.  You must nominate someone other than yourself in order to win.    If duplicate winners are drawn, an alternative winner will be chosen.   

Our Products Available in Europe!

Posted on May 12, 2017 by Emily Kociolek | 0 comments

Introducing FermentingEurope.com, our sister company located in Poland.  The website is now up and ready to take orders for customers throughout Europe! 

Ever since we launched 4 years ago, we have had requests to ship our products internationally.  It didn't make financial or environmental sense to import our products from Poland to the US, only to then turn around and ship them back to customers in Europe.  So instead, we looked at opening a company in Europe to ship our products direct from Poland.

It's been a long process as we wade through the regulations for ecommerce in the EU, but we are happy to say the website has finally launched!  One of the main things we worked on last week during Inventory Week was to get this website ready to go.  There are still many tweaks to work out, but the website is launched and ready for customers!

You won't find all of our products available at this time as our sister company is focusing on our popular and unique fermenting crocks.  And of course, the most requested item is available - our exclusive US Patent Pending Luna Glass Crock Weights!

So if you're in Europe and have been long waiting to buy our products, head on over to FermentingEurope.com and check it out!

Inventory Week - No Shipping

Posted on April 23, 2017 by Emily Kociolek | 0 comments

Our annual Inventory Week is almost here!  During this time, we won't be shipping out any orders.  It can get very busy here at Stone Creek Trading, and we sometimes need to take a short break from shipping out orders so that we can focus on all the other important aspects of our business. 



Orders placed after 6pm on Tuesday, April 25 through Friday May 5, will begin shipping out on Monday, May 8 in the order they were received.  You will be able to place your order during this time, but the normal 1-2 day processing times will not apply.  Customer service will be available, but response times will be longer and limited to time sensitive matters.

We will be back to normal business operations with order shipping and customer service starting on Monday, May 8.  So if you have a product you've been eyeing, I suggest ordering before April 25 to avoid delays!

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