My daughter told me yesterday on the phone that I ate healthier than anyone she knew. That gave me pause for thought. She and her husband have a big garden, raise chickens, and so produce a fair quantity of their own foodstuffs: make and ferment cider, etc. that it would have never occurred to me, she’d view me that way.
As early as today, I can harvest the first batch of sauerkraut I started fermenting 14 days ago which made me give some thought as to why – why exactly – I made it. Because it is after all more than a fair amount of work. And to get what? Sour cabbage.
I love the flavor of it, which as such is one of those key flavors from childhood. But as I thought about it, that in and of itself was no reason to recreate it.
And the fact that natural lactic acid fermented sauerkraut is extremely healthy only partially justifies the personal investment in labor. As I sat here thinking, I came to the conclusion how I would have never made sauerkraut had it not been for both reasons of flavor and health.
For instances, if homemade sauerkraut was unhealthy – just a salty, sour condiment – then I most certainly would not have gone to the trouble to make it. And if the experience was just about recreating a childhood memory then that too would be insufficient.
No, I make sauerkraut – lofty as it might sound spelled out – because to not do so would be to miss out on completing an expression of my identity. And that is to participate the healthy life that I have been propagating since the beginning.
And isn’t that curious, what humble sauerkraut is to me?