DIY fermenter and my first attempt at saurkraut

Today I made my own fermenter out of an old olive jar and an airlock I bought at at thrift shop ages ago.

I got a “grommet” from the brew shop, and then came home and drilled a hole in the plastic lid of the olive jar.

I sterilised all the bits and then used this recipe for hot pink jalapeño garlic kraut.  Except I used half regular cabbage and half red cabbage cause that is what I had around.  I ended up using about 2 kgs of cabbage so upped the garlic, chilli and salt accordingly.  I hope even though it’s only 50% red cabbage it will still end up looking awesomely hot pink!

I’m excited to see if my experiment works!  I have always wanted to try fermenting foods but was too worried about doing it all wrong.

Now that I have mastered pickling and preserving (and haven’t died from eating contaminated food) I am getting more adventurous.

I’ll be sure to update this blog with the results.


What I Made Today

Last week the Fabric Store was having a leather sale… I had had my eye on a few pieces but given the fact that I don’t have a walking foot or heavy duty machine I thought I wouldn’t be able to sew it, and resisted the temptation.

But I couldn’t handle the allure of a sale!  I got an amazing piece of bright orange leather and a smaller piece of brown leather at very discounted prices.  So, I decided I needed to sort out my leather sewing situation.

I thought I would try putting it through my Necchi Lydia 3 machine that I got for $20 at a garage sale, which seems fairly heavy duty.

Most beautiful sewing machine ever.
Neck Lydia 3 – Most beautiful sewing machine ever.

Surprisingly, the Necchi sewed through two layers of quite thick leather!

I am so pleased with the results!

My first try turned into an awesome pouch that is exactly the size of my iPad mini, which I put a magnetic snap closure on, and covered it with a bit of wax print fabric.

The leather for the pouch I got from the leather working class I did with the community education centre a few months ago.  When I cut it out I had no particular use in mind, amazingly it is exactly the size of my iPad mini!

Confidence boosted by the initial success with the Necchi, I thought I would try a more challenging project – a lined laptop sleeve.  I had a piece of fabulous gold leather I got at Made on Marion from the scraps bin a few months ago that was somewhat big but a bit irregularly shaped.

I traced the size of my laptop onto it and cut it into a large rectangle, which I folded in half then sewed the sides up. The Necchi handled it, barley skipping a stitch!

I cut out some lining also from a wax print and attached it by sewing around the top edge with the right sides of the leather and lining together.  Then I pulled the whole bag through a hole in the lining and tucked it inside then closed the hole.  I was really nervous the machine would go all wrong but surprisingly I had no trouble.

I’m seriously proud of my first attempts and sewing leather, they look professional.

I also made some very hot sauce today, like 4 litres of it, which I bottled.  I have no idea what to do with all this hot sauce!

I used the last kg or 2 of jalapeños I picked at Penray farm the week before last, and some onion, carrot, and a tin of tomatoes, along with some vinegar, the zest & juice of 1 orange, mustard seeds, ground cloves, and some sugar.

It’s got a nice Caribbean flavour but is really really hot so I have no idea how I will use all of it.