Pickling has long been a way to cope with chronic food shortages in Russia. Here is one of their favorite recipes using this method.
MAKES 1 QUART
9 cups julienned cabbage, plus 1 large cabbage leaf
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
2 tbsp. coarse kosher salt
2 bay leaves
2 allspice berries
1. Toss together julienned cabbage, carrots, and salt in a large bowl. Squeeze vegetables to release juice. Add bay leaves, allspice, and cloves, mix, and set aside for 1 hour.
2. Transfer vegetables and all juices to a widemouthed, 1-gallon jar or nonreactive bucket. Place cabbage leaf on top of cabbage, place a saucer on leaf, and weight it down with a can to submerge cabbage under juices. Place 2 layers of clean, wet cheesecloth over jar and secure with a large rubberband. Store at about 65° for 4 days. Once a day, remove and rinse cheesecloth, clean any scum off leaf, and pierce sauerkraut with a skewer to release gases. Store without disturbing for 6 more days. Transfer to 2 sterilized pint jars, seal, and refrigerate for up to 3 months.