What Is a Krautrock?

Remembrances of my youth...

The other day as I wrote about the old flat iron I ran into down in the basement of my old home place an idea ran across my mind for another hub. Besides that flat iron that my mother used before she got an electric one I found something else that brought back memories of an earlier simpler life style that has since gone the way of many of the old time ways of doing things. It was a large river rock, smooth all over and rounded resembling a small loaf of bread. Mom saw that I was rolling it around in my hands and ask if I remember what that rock was called. I guess I was too startled by the question and as she retrieved the large stone from my hands she began to tell me all about this super smooth stone and what she had used it for specifically over the years.

kraut rock
kraut rock

a special stone called a kraut rock

This was our Kraut Rock, and it held a special place in our early lives and had a specific use during the warm summer months. Mother looked around and found a large earthen pot or urn and ask if I would reach and bring it down carefully so I did. And as we sat mother’s eyes brightened as she began to refresh my memory and hers concerning that old urn and the use of this special stone called a kraut rock.

Did your mom or grandmother can or preserve vegetables?

See results without voting
garden spot
garden spot

we didn't follow the Farmer’s Almanac completely

As I had mentioned earlier, our little house was situated on an acre of land so we naturally had space for a garden and I remember that I said the larger the better—since I was the one responsible for mowing all the area that was accessible and not being used for anything else, like a garden or such.  When I was younger we used to have a large garden space and would grow potatoes, corn, beans, onions, turnips, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and oh yes, cabbage.  Mom said the more cabbage the better so we would have at least a full row and sometimes part of another one.  Mom and dad showed us kids how to make a straight rows for everything and how deep to plant the various vegetables.  Some were seeds and some were’ slips’ or small plants or ‘sets’ ready to be re-planted.  We would check the calendar and plant during the right times not always going by the Farmer’s Almanac completely.


I got the stalk...

All the different kinds of vegetables had their own season or length of time until maturity. That way everything was not maturing at the same time and each had their specific way of handling which brings us to the cabbage. Dad would go down the row and would ‘thump’ the cabbage heads and listen to see if it was time to harvest and if it needed a few more days he would move on to the next head in the row and if it sounded good, he would reach under and cut the stalk handing the ready heads to mom. They would remove the outer leafs and mom would wash the cabbage and set it on the table. She would generally work on two to three heads at a time cutting down through the head and around the stalk which she handed to me to eat with salt on it. Then with a large knife would chop up the cabbage into smaller pieces then with an old tin can that she used to cut out biscuits she would chop, chop, chop the cabbage into even smaller pieces and when chopped enough she would dump it all into the large earthen crock or urn. Adding sufficient salt and placing a round wooden lid which just fit inside the urn and then placed the ‘kraut rock’ on top the hold the lid down securely.

It was a miracle...

As the other cabbage heads matured mom would do the same thing with them and after chopping the cabbage up finely, would remove the lid and add to the cabbage that ‘was working.’ Dad had to tell me just what ‘workin’ meant and I was amazed to find that the cabbage would ferment in that old urn and turn into the best tasting kraut you ever eat. That old kraut rock held the lid down and the fermenting juices would rise through the holes and around the sides. It was a miracle I thought, how cabbage would turn into kraut. What we didn’t eat that summer mom would can so we had it even during the cold months when cabbage wouldn’t grow.

I didn’t learn all about gardening that first year, but I did learn how kraut was made.

© SamSonS

More by this Author

  • Mom's Old Butter Churn

    In “Mom’s Old Butter Churn” I relate to differences in how things were done when I was a little boy and after I became a man…

  • How I Learned to Drink Black Coffee

    In “How I Learned to Drink Black Coffee” I relate to the difference of taste we each possess being evident in the simple way we generally drink our coffee…

  • Jumpin' Trains

    In “Jumpin’ Trains”, I relate to one time I followed my big brother Jack just a little too far. I didn’t realize the danger that some bigger boys went to just to have some fun. Yes, I should have let go before...

Comments 18 comments

Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

WOW! finally something out of the past, I do not know Amazing!

Brother Dave.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks Bro Dave, we didn't divulge all our Appalachian Mountain secrets... ha, ha

jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines

Wow, I didn't know what a kraut rock was until I read your hub! Now I learned something new.

Never experienced canning but this reminded me of the days when I was still living in our small town though. We used to keep a vegetable garden on an empty lot beside our home. Watching the plants grow and then bear fruits was somewhat magical to me then.

Thanks for this beautiful reminder.

Voted up and useful!

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks jiil for your visit and for sharing your sweet reminisce, and also for the kind ratings...

Marliza Gunter profile image

Marliza Gunter 6 years ago from South Africa

You make me feel like I'm back in my grandparents home.. my father traveled a lot and would bring me home all sorts of special stones, I had a nice collection..grandpa also made me plant my own little vegetable garden.. I remember the first time I had to dig out my own potatoes, hehe..I was so exited about those potatoes, could not fathom how they got there (beneath the soil)..oh..wonderful memories.. :)

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks so much Marliza for your nice remarks and for sharing your reminisce...

carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Coool post.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks carolina for your input...

Karen N profile image

Karen N 6 years ago from United States

Very intriguing, I just had to read your hub and find out what a kraut rock was. :)

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks Karen for your visit and your kind comments...

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

Great hub! I also wrote a hub about sauerkraut and my grandparent's basement. Loved the smell of fermenting sauerkraut!

I have a rock that my mother used for years in making wilted lettuce salad. Still have that rock and will continue to use it for the same purpose!

Really enjoy your hubs! Rating this up and beautiful.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

Thank you Peggy for your ratings and your fine comments. Yes, it was your hub that inspired me to write this one...

drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 6 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

I really love sitting back and reading your hubs. I know before I finish, I will be in my own little world remembering my past. I must say though, I did not know about a kraut rock, lol, lol. Your hub are always GREAT! Much love! Voted-up!

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thank you drpastorcarlotta for you usual exceptional comments and also your kind ratings.

Merry Christmas and blessings...

frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America

I remember mama's kraut, especially once when it spoiled one time and make her really unhappy. I ate the cabbage heart too, but didn't think of salt...

Those were the days, huh. Huh? :-)

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

Hey frogyfish, thanks for droppin' by. Yes, those were the days alright, and much better than these, I figure...

DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Unique stone and so beautiful too, I learned about a new stone I didn't know much about thanks for this hub

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 3 years ago from Tennessee Author

Thank you again DDE for your visit and comments. I remember I was surprised to learn that a simple smooth river rock would be used to hold the cabbage down under the brine solution while making the kraut...

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article