How to Cold Pack Your Cabbage

Fresh cabbage from the garden is used in many recipes as well as eaten fresh. If you have an excess of fresh cabbage from the garden or purchased from the grocery store, make pickled cabbage. It is easy to do with a cold pack method. You will be able to store pickled cabbage in the pantry for the winter months.

Select three to four large heads of cabbage that are firm and do not have any moldy or bad spots on them. Wash the cabbage thoroughly and cut it up in quarters. Remove the core on the bottom of the cabbage head and discard. Cut the quarters in small pieces or shred, whichever you prefer. Layer the cabbage in a large bowl with the salt. Cover the bowl with the lid and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Remove the cabbage from the refrigerator the next day and rinse well under cold running water to remove all the salty juice. Let the cabbage drain well in the colander.

Place the jars and lids in the dishwasher on regular cycle to wash and sterilize them. If you do not have a dishwasher, place them in a large pot of water and heat to boiling. Boil 10 minutes to sterilize. Fill the water bath pot half-full with water and place on the stove on medium high heat to get the water warm.

In a large pot, combine the vinegar, mustard seed, mace and sugar. Place the remaining spices in a spice bag and place in the vinegar mixture. Heat this mixture just to boiling.

Remove the jars from the dishwasher and place on the counter. Pack the jars tightly with the cabbage, pressing the cabbage down as you add it to the jars to remove any air bubbles. Fill the jars to just below the lid threads.

Ladle the hot vinegar juice into each jar, just covering the cabbage. Wipe the rim of the jar with the wet cloth and place a lid and ring on top of the jar. Tighten the ring tightly. Work quickly and fill all jars.

Place the jars in the water bath and heat to boiling. Boil for 20 minutes. Move the jars from the bath to the towel on the counter and let them cool. When they are cooled off, test the seal by pressing your fingertip to the center of the lid. If it stays pressed in, the jar is sealed and can be stored in the pantry. If the lid springs back to your touch, the jar is not sealed and will need to be stored in the refrigerator.